We all have our coming out stories. Usually a family member or two has a difficult time processing the reality. There is that intense feeling of freedom to be one’s genuine self without the need to be validated by others. That first kiss, while openly gay, which will never be forgotten.
And then there’s my story.
I never truly made it a point to announce my sexuality. When I finally accepted that I just needed to be me already I just did so without telling the world. So, one day I was secretly gay and the next day I was engulfed in a sea of lesbians… at an event I was hosting…
Let’s rewind a little.
After I told my close family and friends that I was gay, I faced a new challenge: Finding the lesbians.
“I’m gay, World! Drown me in all of the vagina!”
Where are the lesbos?
My first attempt to go to the only lesbian bar my straight friends could guide me to consisted of an old drunk man trying to get my phone number and a room full of lesbian couples that weren’t too happy about me shamelessly undressing their girlfriend with my eyes.
Getting advice from straight friends on how to find other lesbians was like asking a five year old how to perform heart surgery. They have no clue how to answer that question — nor should they be expected to.
It was time to brainstorm a new strategy. One that didn’t involve swiping left or right on my phone.
By the time I had accepted my lesbianism I had been producing events for a few years, but never an event that catered to the LGBT community. Since party planning was a normal occurrence for me, I naturally decided to host an event that would bring the lesbians to me.
This is probably both the laziest and most ambitious a lesbian has ever been in order to find other girls.
As a baby-gay my first LGBT party didn’t have a very unique or branded name. It was titled “Lez Dance” with a play on words for “let’s dance”. At the time, I thought I being was clever. As the days led up to the event– with zero budget, there was no way to hire talent. At this point in time I didn’t know any DJs that I could just hit up in order to request a friendly favor. So… I decided to teach myself. Even though I was reluctant, this was the only viable option.
When initially starting, I had no idea what I was doing.
“Maintaining the energy in the room” consisted of me playing songs I liked to listen to when I was driving in my car. The DJ controller was this mysterious magical machine that I didn’t know how to properly use. My ability to utilize the software was only a hairline away from what someone would do if they connected a speaker to their MP3 player. It was me, two laptops, a mixer that I used to crossfade one song into the next, and a huge smile plastered across my face to trick attendees into thinking I knew even the slighted bit about DJing.
We all have to start somewhere, right?
The beginning was rather rocky. Some nights would have a low turnout and some nights would be packed. However, despite the roller coaster ride of being sustainable, the pansexual venue owner continued to book me. It was her generosity in persisting to keep her bar gay friendly, despite the drop off in regulars (after they found out an LGBT night was being hosted) that has contributed to our community’s unabating growth. I will be forever grateful for her unapologetic attitude in the face of homophobia.
Eventually — after putting in extra promoting efforts — people in the LGBT community started showing increasing amounts of support for these events. People of all shapes, sizes, genders, ages, and sexualities would come hang out and create the start of what has now turned into several venue residencies with re-occurring events. So, after some positive and negative feedback about my disc jockey “skills”, I decided to drop the facade and actually learn how to properly DJ.
There seems to be an endless amount of techniques to refining one’s style. At this point I can BPM match, loop, hot cue, scratch, use effects, cut, and mix. Although I am certain there are a plethora of other methods that I have yet to learn, this has gotten me to a level where I can successfully keep bodies moving on the dance floor until they are wasted, making out with strangers, and giving each other lap dances. At the point at which girls start flashing everyone (this has happened at every single one of my most recent events), I know that my job is done. That I can confidently call myself a DJ.
Solid DJing is much more than just playing songs. It is the artistry of intuition, energy, and keeping the good feelings alive. When a set is truly well composed, you can feel it pumping through your veins and seeping out in the form of dance moves you didn’t know you were capable of performing. The beats give you the confidence to ask that girl for her number. To grind mindlessly on strangers.
These are the moments we wait for at the end of a long week.
Learning this art has brought on more positive — unexpected — experiences that led me to even larger rooms filled with even more lesbians than I could have ever dreamt existed. Not only did the party-going lesbians find me, but so did the other lesbian party planners. Ones that had larger, more established, events — that I wish I knew about when I was freshly out and ready to mingle. All of these new connections eventually got me to a point to where I finally knew where to find the lesbians almost every single day of the week!
However, I’m not greedy enough to keep all of the lesbians to myself.
Finding other women shouldn’t be such a huge chore for those who are newly out or looking to meet new people. Hetero-bars are a dime a dozen and the LGBT community needs as many safe spaces as we can provide. The more support these events receive, the longer they can endure. In response to this need, I have started compiling a comprehensive list of all of the lesbian events around the country. They are being organized into one place where lesbians can find each other. You can see these events at www.queertainment.com where more and more cities are being added to the list of places with queer spaces.
So, even if you aren’t out (of the closet) you can at least know where to go out to find the motivation to swing those doors open.
About the Author: Lily Khuu
Lily Khuu is a Los Angeles based DJ and LGBTQAI+ party producer for Queertainment. She has had several residencies including The Roar Room, The Other Door, The Vampire Lounge, and The Liquid Zoo. She is currently running the queer events Honey Pot and Purr with more in the making. Lily has DJ’d at many lesbian and queer socials in LA including the HER dating app sponsored events and GLOW B.O.Y. For up-to-date information about the lesbian/queer events happening in LA visit www.queertainment.com — Follow Lily Khuu on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. See more articles by Lily Khuu here.