By Keegan Hamilton
By Albert Samaha
By Village Voice staff
By Tessa Stuart
By Albert Samaha
By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
'It's so white here," laments a late-twenties white girl from her corner perch atop the Middle Eastern–inspired cushions of the hookah bar Sultana, the home of Choice Cunts. "All the black girls go to one party, all the Puerto Rican girls go to another." But a look around Choice Cunts—thrown by Ellie Conant, a Korean promoter who styles herself "The Gaysha"—actually reveals a pretty good mix of people: a smattering of black girls, Latinas, and Asians swirled in with the white-skinned majority of what one patron calls "the trendy, hipster lesbians of Brooklyn," plus a few tranny boys. Top 40 hip-hop spins, to the displeasure of some, but generally to success: The dance floor is packed. Asymmetrical hair, white T-shirts, and Chuck Taylors blend seamlessly with tight tube tops and low-rise jeans in a gyrating throng while Rihanna blasts through the front doors onto a Williamsburg street. It's homogenous, yes, but not remarkably so.
Just as hetero women get divvied up between Sex and the City haters and wannabes; just as the gays have spawned their own categories like twinks, bears, and leather daddies; so in the lesbian scene's micro-worlds, everyone—from the goth poet and non-shaving organic gardener to the high-femme bleached blonde and the suburban mom—can find a place to call home. Sometimes, true, the divide is racial, but it's also age-related, and almost always geographical: How often is a Williamsburg dyke found at Cattyshack [249 Fourth Avenue, Park Slope, 718-230-5740, cattyshackbklyn.com] or a Park Sloper at Metro [559 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg, 718-599-4444]? So what better occasion than Pride to spend some quality time checking out the many faces of the community coming together under the auspices of gay history, solidarity, and a penchant for getting ecstatically wasted?
The big momma of the weekend is the official women's Pride party on Saturday, June 28, Rapture on the River [Pier 54, 13th Street at the West Side Highway, 800-494-8497, 6 p.m., $20–$40]. Hosted by Heritage of Pride, the organization behind the next day's march, Rapture lets you watch the sun go down in the company of a few thousand gals to the tunes of DJ Susan Levine, a Fire Island fixture. Head up to Rapture's massive after-party, Pier Pressure [Pier 59, 18th Street at the West Side Highway, lover girlnyc.com, 9 p.m., $20–$25], co- produced by LovergirlNYC and Henrietta Hudson. Over 2,000 women will dance on two floors in a 12,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor venue to DJs Kim Dazy and Stacy. Dani Campbell—spurned by sometime lezzie Tila Tequila on MTV's A Shot at Love—will also appear.
Alternative chicks will enjoy Dee Finley's follow-up to last year's loud-and-proud rock show Heavy Eyeliner [Friday, Don Hill's, 511 Greenwich Street, time and price TBA], featuring Team Gina, GSX, and more: "It's a party for outsiders, not the kind of girls that wear ponytails through their softball hats," Finley says. On Saturday, hipster fete Choice Cunts [160 North 4th Street, Williamsburg, firstname.lastname@example.org, 8 p.m., $10–$15, 18+] welcomes DJs Lesbian van Halen and Sophia H. Sarah FM raises money for RightRides and employs a strict no-'80s, no-irony playlist at Laid [Knitting Factory Main Space, 74 Leonard Street, rightrides.org, 11 p.m., $10, 18+], with DJs Bianca and Noa D. On Sunday, the mother of all alternative gender-queer Pride parties, *snapshot*'s annual Proud as F-ck [35 East 13th Street, snapshotnyc.com, 6 p.m., $10–$15], returns to the roof deck of Bar 13.
If Laid is no-'80s, West End Girls [HK Lounge, 523 Ninth Avenue, 212-947-4208, Monday at 7 p.m., free], one of the few lesbian events above 14th Street, is—as the name implies—all-'80s, with classic films from the Reagan years like Flashdance. Uptown girls—and by that we mean fancy—can also be found at Showstopper [BLVD, 199 Bowery, myspace.com/showstopperparty, Friday at 10 p.m., $10–$12], a fashion-forward, erotically charged event (synchronized pole dancers, anyone?) brought to you by Wanda Acosta (who also runs Starlette). Other schmancy affairs include Stiletto [18 Ninth Avenue, myspace.com/stilettoevent, Sunday at 11 a.m., $5], an outdoor soiree for upscale femmes at the Hotel Gansevoort's Garden of Ono, and Shescape's holding three events: Kick-Ass Kick-Off [Mannahatta, 310 Bowery, shescape.com, Friday at 10 p.m., $15], The Main Event [I Tre Merli, 463 West Broadway, Saturday at 10:30 p.m., $20], and Climax [Aspen, 30 West 22nd Street, Sunday at 8 p.m., $10].
For the cheap girls, there are no covers at these lezzie institutions—on Pride or ever. Starlette [Angels & Kings, 500 East 11th Street, starlettesunday.com, Sunday at 8 p.m., free] is the East Village's long-running Sunday-night party. Slopers of all shapes and sizes can enjoy a garden BBQ and a Bud at the old-reliable lesbian pub Ginger's [363 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope, 718-788-0924, gingersbar.com, Sunday at 2 p.m., free].
Women of color flock to LovergirlNYC's Fifth Annual Pride Event [Mars 2112, 1633 Broadway, Friday at 10 p.m., $20–$35]; Extravaganza [Pacha, 618 West 46th Street, Saturday at 10 p.m., $20–$25]; and Grand Finale [Shadow, 229 West 28th Street, Sunday at 10 p.m., $20]. DJs Mary Mac, China, Missy B, Trini, and Tease spin the best hip-hop, r&b, house, and reggae, while dancers Oohzee and Mona could melt the poles with their moves. Snack on the buffet and elegant eye candy at A Taste of Honey 3 [Iguana, 240 West 54th Street, xclusive-ent.com, Saturday at 10:30 p.m., $20–$25], where rapper Charlie Baltimore and r&b songstress Chrystal Atmosphere perform. At Cirrah [Sultana, 160 North 4th Street, Williamsburg, 718-218-8547, myspace.com/cirrahfridays, Friday at 10 p.m., $10], Miss Sugah and her dancing divas do a special performance, putting a burlesque spin on the wildly popular party.