HER/LA bridges feminism and queerness for a pop-up festival this Saturday



This coming weekend Los Angeles will see the debut of a very cool event called HER/LA. Described as “a modern, mobile feminist pop-up festival celebrating community and culture,” the weekend celebrates “anti-mean girls, new wave riot grrls, sex-positive and  LGBTQ-encompassing ultra-inclusive creatives who believe in the power of supporting other women.” 

AfterEllen writer Chloe is one of HER/LA’s organizers, along with creator Laura Wise. The two met through mutual friends within the LA lesbian community, “sharing a zeal for modern feminism,” Chloe said. “The positive yet realistic kind that unites rather than preaches. We’re young, fun, and and a sense of humor. We’re also intelligent, driven women who see the importance of feminism.”

Chloe said she “loved the idea of creating a festival for women, by women, that balances festivity and substance while giving excellent artists a platform to show their work and connect.” HER/LA will highlight fashion (from brands like Bobo Academy, Coyote Bruises and Modern Girl Blitz), artwork (from paintings by Bridget McManus to Laura’s own Gender Bending photography series), and live music (No Girlfriends Band, Wolf Prize and DJs Bounce House, Little Indian and Goodboy, who are behind the LA girl party Milk Milk Lemonade), as well as workshops, witchcraft (from AE vlogger/sociology professor Giana Cichelli) and yoga set to ’90s jams. Even feminist cocktails are promised.

frida-waits-bridget-mcmanusFrida Waits by Bridget McManus

“People, gay or straight, have a tendency to fall into cliques and stay locked in social circles. My biggest desire was to open up a chill, non-pretentious, awesome, interesting environment for women of all sexualities and circles to come together and share some sincere but non sappy love,” Chloe said. “We’re all so hard on ourselves. We want to be good at everything, and society is always pitting us against each other or making us feel like we’ve gotta take some other girl down to get ahead. I think that’s bullshit. I think women could run the world if we stopped hating on each other, and channeled that frustration at the patriarchal exclusionary perception and social structures that are actually responsible for ignoring female accomplishment and artistic innovation.”

10420261_10207769678735693_2270466971520388494_nHER/LA organizers

Chloe is also hoping that the innate queerness of feminism is not only seen but celebrated in an event like HER/LA.

“I think that feminism and queer women are intrinsically tied. Historically, certain feminists have not been very supportive or embracing of the lesbians,” she said. “Fortunately that’s becoming less and less common as LGBT rights have become mainstream. The feminist movement actually owes a huge debt to the lesbian community. We’ve been fighting for respect and equal rights for women for decades without receiving equal attention or action. I think that the future of feminism involves seamless integration of homosexual and heterosexual women in one movement.”

wpWolf Prize


The whole thing goes down this Saturday, April 25 from 7 a.m. until 1 a.m. The location is private until you purchase tickets from the HER/LA website.

“I hope to see women of every type talking, laughing, and connecting with rad feminists they would have never otherwise encountered,” Chloe said. “The ultimate goal of HER/LA is to become a traveling pop up festival throughout the country that can tap into local talent and thinkers in every city. Next up would probably be another west coast stop, such as San Francisco and Portland. We believe a good time and expanding minds are not mutually exclusive, and thus HER/LA was born.”

Can’t be in LA for the event? Follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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