So, you’re new to Seattle from, oh, say…Minnesota. When you’re done laughing about Seattleites and their inability to drive in precipitation (much less snow), you get the famed “Seattle Freeze.” (See what I did there?)
This is less true if you have someone with you, be it friend or partner. SGS recently received a query from a lez wanting to know what’s a girl like her to do in our community?
But first, a few pointers:
- Do NOT take the Seattle Freeze personally. It just happens, because very few of us are actually *from* here anymore. And those who are have already moved to West Seattle to have babies and die.
- Don’t drive if you don’t have to. No, seriously. You’ll have 15 brain embolisms and 20 heart attacks before the month is out. Besides, with public transportation, carsharing, and a myriad of taxi options, it’s super easy to have a night of drinking and still be safe.
- Notice the passive-aggression? If you’re not from New York, New Jersey, or Chicago, this will seem natural to you. The others will spend the next two years feeling like awkward pre-teens trying to figure out communication all over again.
- If you’re from California, go back. You can’t handle the lack of sunlight, and we can’t handle you bitching about it.
- The gays here have three holidays: New Year’s Eve, Halloween, and Pride. Some cities get Black Parties and White Parties, but that’s not actually a thing here. Experience each once, then in subsequent years just don’t. No matter how hard your friend from back home begs.
- Seattle is gorgeous, especially in summer. But we *are* going through a lot of growing pains, so you’ll hear everyone’s opinions whether you want to or not. Stick it out, and in no time you’ll have opinions of your own!
- Seattle does NOT, I repeat NOT, have a ghetto. They don’t know what a ghetto is here. There are certain places you will learn that you don’t like to walk around at night, but overall this isn’t Oakland or Compton. (Just don’t dress like you’re a 21-yr old waitress from a titty bar while walking through Pioneer Square.)
- The giggling at seeing signs for “fish tacos” will stop in a week.
Got it? All fine with you? Great! Now we can dig in.
First off, you’ve probably heard of The WildRose if you’ve been a lesbian in Seattle for longer than an hour. Like you were probably unpacking and someone told you, “Oh hey, you know where you should go??” Because somehow, some way, against all odds, we’re pretty sure Shelley is magic for having owned a female-centric establishment for thirty years. And ladies, we all know that simply doesn’t happen. But yes. That is THE only bar you can find like-minded womyn of all shapes, sizes, colors, and dancing abilities. They’ve got it all, from karaoke to sportsy things to dancing to DJs to tacos. If you’ve got a special someone, you’d better bring her. If you’re single, you might get a number once in a while. Overall a great place to drink cheaply without male gazes. Trans people are always welcomed and not given dirty looks.
As for other nightlife, you have options, believe it or not! Check back to SGS for burlesque info, or start going to random shows and become friends with the performers. If that’s not your thing and all you want to do is dance, I recommend Hot Flash. From 6 to 10pm on every first and third Saturdays of the month at Neighbors, you can shake your moneymaker with the non-20-something meat market scene! Really great dance music and a whole heap of fun. With themes and HOT go-go girls!
You’re a little lower-key, you say? After you’re done shopping with TomboyX, I recommend Cineoke. It’s karaoke set to movies! And it benefits Three Dollar Bill Cinema, which puts on our Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival every year (an event NOT to be missed). While not strictly for the ladies, it IS a ton of fun to break out your shower-singing fabulous self, even if you don’t get on stage. That’s at Re-bar every second Sunday. (I know, I know, Seattle does events like periods.)
For the do-gooder volunteer-y person in you, there are always Reel Grrls, Skate Like a Girl, and helping with Pride Events, the Dyke March, and organizations like DAWN. Seattle is quite female-empowering, as evidenced by GeekGirlCon.
BUT. Ya wanna sports, but ya don’t wanna see sweaty men everywhere? Arcaro Boxing is here for your toughen-up needs. The real Seattle spectator sport, though, is…(drumroll, please)…DERBY! ALL THE DERBY!! Rat City Rollergirls is Seattle’s premier team, and the best cheap fun you can have on a Saturday night before drinking at The ‘Rose. Jet City Rollergirls are there for you too, if you happen to be weird and live on the north end of town. Also Tilted Thunder, whose season runs kind of opposite/overlaps the other two. Tilted track for the win!
So basically what I’m saying is that, as a woman who likes women, your Saturday nights are booked solid for the next year. Derby seasons run into Pride, Seattleites get sun-stupid and have to do ALL THE THINGS in summer, then there’s SLGFF, and when rainy season (“winter” to midwesterners) comes, you cozy up with drink specials, karaoke, and burlesque.
And hey, ladies? If you’re single, and new to town, you can always meet the lezzies at Whole Foods. Maybe I’ll see you there. *wink*