N.Y. Scene March 2010: Pantyhos, Hey Queen!, Eden, Stiletto, and Winter Heat


Caught up? I’d like to direct everyone’s attention to the history page of L.A.’s renowned lesbian franchise Girl Bar, namely this: “After moving to L.A. from New York in the late 80’s, [Sandy] Sachs and [Robin] Gans recognized the need for an upscale nightclub catering to the lesbian community. In response to that demand, they launched a weekly event unlike anything else that had been done before. The concept was simple: to provide the most exciting events, in the most elegant of settings with the hottest women in town.”

Sound familiar? Thank you, L.A. for carrying on our tradition, but thanks to Maggie C., we’ve brought it back home.

Our last and final stop is the annual women’s event “Winter Heat,” a fundraising benefit for the Empire State Pride Agenda, which was held last Wednesday at BLVD in Manhattan. The Empire State Pride Agenda is New York’s statewide LGBT civil rights and advocacy organization, and its events are always packed with affluent and socially conscious members of the NYC LGBT community.

Most of its major fundraising events, such as the Fall Dinner, Spring Dinner and the Hamptons Tea Dance, are mixed gay and lesbian events, but Winter Heat is primarily a women’s event, and this year at Winter Heat, the ladies did not disappoint. New Yorkers are known to show up notoriously late to events, but by 9 pm it was a full house.

I spoke to event organizer Stephanie Berger about the organization’s main lobbying efforts this year, and she said that The Empire State Pride Agenda is working on three goals: marriage equality, and lobbying for the passage of the The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) and the Dignity for All Students Act.

GENDA is a bill that would outlaw discrimination in New York State based on gender identity and/or expression, and the Dignity for All Students Act is a bill pending in the state legislature that establishes an anti-bullying and discrimination policy for all New York’s public schools.

The crowd was age-diverse, with 50-somethings shaking it on the dance floor to Lady Gaga and Ke$ha with 20-somethings. One thing is for sure – New York lesbians, no matter what age, love a good party, and if it’s for a good cause, all the better.

This concludes the first installment of AfterEllen.com’s “NY Scene.” We’ve barely scratched the surface of the New York City lesbian scene. For every widely promoted lesbian party or event, there are at least five others that are not. Many are promoted word-of-mouth amongst those “in the know,” and some are only frequented by locals in a particular ‘hood. At Eden, when I introduced myself to Maggie C., she responded, “It’s about time AfterEllen.com covered events in NYC!” but now I understand the delay.

The New York City lesbian scene is a diverse and labyrinthian (hot) mess.Most small cities and large towns have one or two venues that cater to lesbians, but in New York, we have parties and events that cater to every type of lesbian imaginable, but sometimes you wouldn’t know it. The New York City events section of Go Magazine is a good resource if you’re looking for lesbian events in New York City. Whereas the NYC gay guy scene is well publicized to the general public, the New York City lesbian scene is just as vibrant and its parties are just as well-attended, but it takes a little more effort to navigate.

In the coming months, we will attempt to chip away at and make sense of the New York lesbian scene. Are you ready?

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