Women Have More Fun in NYC’s Gay Scene, Says NY Mag

gay-faceNYC LESBIAN NIGHTLIFE: New York Magazine‘s annual “Reasons to Love New York” issue hits the stands tomorrow and Reason Number #15 is, “for the first time in memory, gay nightlife in New York was dominated by the ladies. That’s right, we can stop mourning Meow Mix now. The magazine attributes New York’s triumphant rise in Sapphic nightlife, which Team Autostraddle’s New York leaders mostly sat out in their rooms, to the “new, Brooklyn-centered sapphic circuit.” That’s right, ladies,  if you haven’t already noticed in The Village Voice‘s monthly “Choice C*nts” photo gallery, there is a world of wonder awaiting you in Brooklyn (although Choice C*nts itself recently made the move back to Manhattan) and we’re not just talking about Cattyshack (which may or may not exist anymore), Metropolitan, Sugarland, and Gingers. Yes leave Henriettas, Cubbyhole, Snapshot, West End, Rodeo Disco, Shescape, Eden, etc behind and go borough, like a groundhog or a lady looking to have a good time.

Despite what Ilene Chaiken may have lead you to believe, there’s a great big world out there where no-one uses the word “Glamazon” and everyone has a good time …  some highlights from NY Mag’s selections:

Panty Hos: “The original Williamsburg art-dyke dance party. Everyone goes, even if simply out of respect.”
Gayface: “An occasional Saturday-night party thrown by D.J. Manhate (yes, Manhate) at the East River Bar.”
That’s My Jam: “A roving affair that sets down in three bars in Brooklyn. Its original intention, allegedly, was to promote interracial hookups. It seems to be working.”

So maybe we’ll go out or have a party some time or something! Go New York girls!

WANDA SYKES: Out TV host Wanda Sykes uses her late-night show “The Wanda Sykes Show” on Fox to make fun of the lack of racial diversity on Fox News, which is amazing. (@huffpo)

GAGA: Is Lady Gaga an over-hyped star for the 21st century? This dude seems to think so, lady gaga-flare-mag-006The wacky dressing screams: “I’m mad, me.” But I bet that under all that slap, Stefani Joanne Germanotta – you can see why she changed the name now, can’t you? – is actually really boring.”

So the backlash has begun from journalisty people too, not just people who don’t really dig her style, but from people who claim to be open to digging a style like hers, but discredit hers in particular as being no good.

At least he got one thing right: “But I understand these things now. I think these articles were created in the knowledge that Lady Gaga would one day rule the world, or at least the airwaves.” One component of the #TheoryofGaga (coined by Bernard, Casino, Wooley, Choo) is Lady Gaga’s mind control — clearly she is taking over the world. Of course it’s not really as bad as he thinks, is it? (@telegraph)

And then here’s someone who seems to think that Lady Gaga’s album The Fame is the most important album of the decade. (@examiner)

WORST MOVIES: The worst movies of the decade somehow includes our editor-in-chief’s favorite movie, From Justin to Kelly. (@huffpo)

VIDEO GAMES: Spike’s 7th Annual Video Game Awards attract Snoop Dog, Oliva Wilde, and others – read the Technostraddle recap of the event.

LOHAN: Lindsay Lohan is getting sued for false claims, but they don’t have a case! She mentioned on twitter that 40 children had been rescued in India, which the Delhi-based NGO says Lindsay was not involved in and therefore they are suing. But that’s not what she said in her tweet. I honestly can’t believe the world has come to this. (@ohnotheydidn’t)

STEPHEN COLBERT: Second City’s ‘Colbert Report’ panel featuring Stephen Colbert – A review. (@nofactzone)

REAL AMERICA: Zack P. is a 21 year-old trying to make ends meet in North Dakota where it’s still legal to be fired or evicted for being gay. The Awl put together a benefit calendar full of “preposterous, topical, sexy, poignant, naked, embarrassing and bad photos—sometimes all at the same time” of Zack where all proceeds go to him to be used for protest posters, his new house, or a vacation to somewhere warm. (@theawl)

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3213 articles for us.


  1. I thought Cattyshack closed, re-opened as a straight bar, closed, re-opened as a gay bar, and now is closed again? Cattyshack is like the bi girl of gay bars. JK mostly.

    • lmao. wow.

      I take a bit of offense, but it’s still funny.

      sounds like it’s the undercover bi girl, rather. I know so many “lesbians” who turn around and sleep with men. Like uhhh, what?

  2. the website is definitely down, and I don’t think I’ve been there since 2007. so all of these things are possible/likely.

  3. I honestly thought that I was the only one who actually enjoyed ‘From Justin to Kelly’. That movie probs made my life.

    • THERE IS NOTHING ABOUT THAT MOVIE THAT IS NOT AMAZING. I actually watched it three times in one weekend. It’s the epitome of “so bad it’s good.”

      • EXACTLY! What a shining example of straddling the terrible/awesome divide that is so beloved around here.

  4. Something awesome I found:


    Our GaGa who art in Disco Heaven
    Glorious be thy name
    Thy Fame will come
    Your Fashion become
    on Earth as it is in Disco Heaven

    Give us this day, our daily Monster
    And forgive us our opposing fan bashing
    As we listen to your timeless hits
    In hopes, others shall do the same

    And lead us not into a Bad Romance,
    But the music of a siren .
    For thine is the Thrown,
    and the Fame, and your Queenliness,
    for ever and ever.


  5. I’ve only picked up the Village Voice like once in my life, and if they’re going to be doing things that involve word combinations like “Choice C*nts”, I think I’m gonna start picking it up more. Oh wow, I’m from BK and right now I’m living on a campus in Queens and one of my friends from down the hall kept telling me how I missed out when they all went to some club the other night, all I kept hearing was “omg, and the girls!”. I need to start going out, I need to see more girls, lol. I’ve got a pair of teal-green-black gladiator 4 1/2 inch heels that need to be worked.

    Lmao, Wanda, good play.

    I wouldn’t mind if Gaga fell off the face of the earth. I’m just picky about my music, is what it is. I need good instruments (like actual instruments, not something you did with a computer), good vocals (you know, like ACTUAL vocals?), or really impressive lyrics (there’s my poet showing again.) I just can’t appreciate anything like Gaga. My half gf likes her because she’s so weird, and I love weirdness but I need more. I’ve been listening to a lot of Tegan and Sara, Regina Spektor, Lykke Li, Lupe Fiasco, people like that. But, to each their own, I guess…

    Ah this worst movies list. Employee of the Month wasn’t good? Never saw it, but I love Dane Cook. Finally someone admits Catwoman was baaaadd. And I THINK I saw I Know Who Killed Me, and I vaguely remember it being bizarre. But I love Lindsay.

    Okay, really North Dakota. Really, Papi? Um, listen United States, I’m getting tired of you and your bullshit. Frankly, I think you better call Tyrone.

        • Okay, so several thoughts, now that I’ve finally got around to watching.

          I love weird people, and she’s weird, I’ll give her that. Her voice is actually good. But I’m still not a fan, lol.

          And she scared me somewhere in there. But at least I know now she can actually sing.

  6. I totally own From Justin To Kelly. It screams terrible/awesome. I mean, its a movie about text messaging.

  7. So i reside in NYC and I must say that Henrietta’s is such a drag, the crowd is usually 35plus, rarely ever in the 20’s and it always seems highly depressing, as if that’s the place after you go get dumped or fired…Either way one of the greatest clubs in NYC is Eden!!

    P.S I think you guys should have more stuff about the African American lesbian community also…on this site its almost as if it doesn’t exist

    • Vintaglapearl, please forgive me/us, but I didn’t realize the African American lesbian community was separate from the lesbian community in general. What sort of things are we missing out on?! Seriously. Do tell.

      Also, I agree with you on Henrietta’s… I never found that place bearable. Which is unfortunate. Eden is where it’s at — at least for the one time I went there.

      • This is true in a sense. It’s one of the reasons I still look at the Urban L, sometimes, there is definitely a big ripple between races within the lesbian community, but I can vibe with either side, so it doesn’t bother me much. The African-American lesbian community, in the Urban NY scene anyway, is much different and a world of its own. There’s all this hip-hop culture infused, too. The masculine/feminine roles are much more pronounced and defines for some reason, and other things like that… I don’t know, it’s just completely different. None of it is shown here on Autostraddle, but I don’t blame any of the people here for that, it’s not their native language, you know? I still love this site. I think maybe they’ll get an intern or something with insight to all sides one day? Maybe?

        I am still dreaming/conjuring a resume to apply.

        Also, just based on what I’ve seen, the urban lesbian crowd doesn’t seem to want to reach out much. I don’t know too many people who can dance on either side of the line like I like to, you know?

        • I actually don’t think we cover any “scene” in NYC at all, except today when we wrote about that NY Magazine article.
          In response to DemiArianna’s statement that “the urban lesbian crowd doesn’t seem to want to reach out much,” that makes sense I think? My ex went to a lot of under-the-radar events specifically for queer women of color and there was an emphasis on keeping these networks and events separate from mainstream gay life to preserve the specific strength of gathering people together who do share unique challenges & life experiences. But I think generally when we do go out, we are in racially diverse spaces, certainly moreso than the straight “scene.”
          Really most cities and towns w/o giant populations like NYC’s can’t afford to racially segregate their gay communities, b/c just being gay is enough to have in common, and I think that forced integration is one of the magical things about gay life and a more familiar experience to most of our readers.
          When I read straight lady sites, heteronormativity does bother me — the assumption that all readers are straight. I don’t think we assume the race of our readers here, but if you think we do, I want us to work on that.
          That being said, we don’t pick stories racially, and I think we’ve done a reasonably good job with inclusiveness. I feel like it’s easy to assume otherwise considering that our team is obvs white, asian, hispanic, etc but void of African-Americans. That’s not on purpose, but I don’t know how to fix that without specifically requesting it.
          I spend a lot of time on the lesbian interwebs, and we all try to report back what we see. So where should we look that isn’t already coming across our radar? (real question) That could sound totally ignorant … but it actually is confusing to me, b/c I am constantly trying to hunt down stories that haven’t been told and voices that haven’t been heard.
          SO THAT BEING SAID EMAIL RIESE AT AUTOSTRADDLE DOT COM and tell me what sites we’re missing, what stories we’re ignoring and where to find them. Seriously. Send them to me right now.

          • that’s something so refreshing (sometimes) outside of the nyc queer scene for me- that people can be unified under one kind of identity, as much as that is an oversimplification and naturally large cities are not conducive to that kind of bonding. one my my favorite gay bars was in corpus christi, tx- it was mixed in every way, extremely racially diverse and just felt awesome and supportive. and here we are in nyc where everything is just fracturing into smaller and smaller sub-communities. and though i definitely am certainly a part of some of those sub-communities, it’s fun to see the other, more unified side of things sometimes. where being queer in a marginalizing community is enough to unite people. both sides of this are naturally problematic, though i do enjoy moving between those different communities.

          • I certainly don’t think you should specially request it, just because you don’t have any African-Americans doesn’t mean you should feel bad, lol. I’m sure we all know it’s not on purpose, and yes, specially requesting it would definitely be just plain weird. I totally agree that you don’t pick racially on what you write about, you just cover whatever is going on period. However, I feel like the African-Americans who are covered here tend to be the crossover stars, like for instance, if something pops up about Rose Rollins from The L Word, that doesn’t pertain that much to the urban crowd, because, although I’m sure she has plenty fans in that community, she is someone mostly known for her role on a predominately white show, you know? So her being African-American doesn’t really mean stories about her automatically make them stories that pertain to the Urban crown, do you get what I’m saying?

            Honestly, Riese, I wouldn’t be sure where to tell you to look. I don’t know if this is something I can ask you to look into if it’s not on a first person basis. I don’t want that to sound condescending, I hope it didn’t come off that way. Most ideas I have in my head on potential topics and stories come from experiences I really have. And I don’t even read theurbanlmagazine.com that much, so I can’t tell you if that would help or not. =/

    • from everything i’ve heard “that’s my jam” is super diverse (awesome), super hot & queer. i have friends who get laid there every week.

      honestly, ginger’s is worse than henrietta hudson’s. it’s shitty, doesn’t run specials EVER, and is stuck in this weird retro era of sexuality. i used to live across the street and i get weirded out every time i go there.

      happily, as A/S grows more and more i’m sure that coverage will grow and diversify accordingly, which will in turn (hopefully!) plug everyone in to a number of sub-communities we might not otherwise have access to/knowledge of.

    • Sorry to butt in but your comment caught my attention. What’s wrong with the over 35s? Some of us are over 35 and absolutely loving it. Perhaps one day, you’ll get there also

  8. a;ex I think you might of misunderstood my comment, I didn’t mean the African American community was separated from the lesbian community because that would be ridiculous! I said that basically this website doesn’t really have post/stories/blogs that have stuff about the African American community as far as the artist, poets, photographers etc etc etc, things that include the nuyarican cafe and also yes the party scene is different but its still out there and still very much gay lol

    DemiArianna yes I do understand this and I personally do love and enjoy Audostraddle myself too, but as you stated the Urban NYC lgbt community is different, but wouldn’t it be nice or cool if things merged and collaborated or even if this site also featured stuff within the URBAN lesbian scene, I don’t think its asking for too much, My website caters to all communities but I won’t deny its targeted for specifically African American lesbians because there are rarely sites that we can find stuff for us, and my site is more for entertainment and gossip.

    Either way just wanted to state my opinion because as said I don’t really ever see post about things within the African American lesbian community on here.

    My site for lesbians http://www.lez-behonest.com
    My personal blog http://www.vintagelapearl.blogspot.com

    • i think that’s a good point. though i def think it’s a good idea for a/s to not stray too far into a local NYC community at risk of alienating people who live all over. though as i live here myself i have a hard time noticing how much that happens. not that coverage of african american/black communities/events/etc would require that. maybe it boils down to community access? i def think people are open here to whatever we come across, and i know we’d love more tip-offs to stories involving diversity of every kind!

      um, i definitely used my fake ID at the nuyorican cafe for the very first time and i was so nervous i almost died! i forgot about that!

      • I’d like to say that living in a small town, I don’t really get to experience many different scenes. So, even though I might not live in NYC, I promise I’d still read your articles on different scenes and cultures, etc… because that is sort of the only way I have to learn about such things. If something is super interesting, then I know what to look for when I’m in bigger cities and such. Does that make sense? But I’m only speaking for my self. I see your point about alienating readers outside of specific communities. Also, I love Autostraddle so much that I would read anything you throw at me.

      • Wait, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe on the lower east side? I’ve been there million times, why did you need an ID?

    • duly noted, i have added lez-behonest to my google reader and will be checking out the other sites you link to!

      also i have a GIANT BOOK from the nuyorican cafe which i’ve been carting around since the mid 90s when I first found it and was in love. i think reading about something i’ve never been to is a chronic problem in my life across all areas.

      • Omg, you should totally go. I have a lot of friends who slam there. Actually, I’ve slammed there, haha.

    • I’m glad you elaborated on your comment.

      I want to say right from the get-go that it’s not like we ignore stories cause they’re too ethnic, we report all the stories we know about.

      The whole NYC-scene thing written about here wasn’t even our original thought — we were reporting on a NYMagazine article, which we sourced/linked to. When we read blogs we generally look for the source rather than the blog write-up of it, and actualllllly looking at your website most of the stuff there isn’t sourced, which might be why we overlooked it. Sourcing lets other websites know you exist (like if you linked to us for the FOOW doc, we would’ve noticed), it helps your SEO, and that helps all of us. (Also your website doesn’t load in Safari.)

      I’d like to re-iterate that I’m glad you shared your feelings here, and we absolutely encourage this! With that said I’m gonna go one step further and actually defend what we’ve done. Looking at your website I see a lot of the same stories we have covered here — Tila Tequila, Rihanna, etc — with the exception of Chris Brown (he isn’t gay news.)

      My point is: there’s a lot of shit going on the world and it’s hard to cover all of it, but we try. We’ve reported on stories affecting gays of every ethnicity, I can say that with complete confidence. And we’ll continue to do that, and the more people we have giving us info about stories that the mainstream has overlooked, the better.

      Again, thanks for the elevated discourse on this topic. I’m glad you brought it up!

  9. riese and taylor you should come to the nuyarican cafe this month for the poetry jam show if possible!

    • there is this dyke bouncer at the nuyorican that also bounced at henrietta hudson’s & cattyshack. I THINK WE SHOULD INTERVIEW HER. not only has she witnessed my entire college coming-of-age, but she is always, always mean to me. and all my life i have just wanted her to like me.

      this is a weird confession.

  10. I’m just glad nymag mentioned HotelMotel good music good drinks fun times.
    Never really felt comfortable at a queer party till that one.
    As for the other parties -Pantyho’s and That’s my jam are cool I guess.
    Haven’t heard much about Sugarland.
    Stopped into Henrietta’s for the first time last week (during karaoke)and uh yeah it’s an older crowd.

    Hopefully this attention/write up brings more ladies out into the clubs.

  11. a;ex the site is down on safari right now it works on mozilla firefox and other browsers…

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