One Girl, One Unicorn: A Truly Epic Guide to Washington DC


0. 2/20/2012 – Here/Queer Call for Submissions, by Riese
1. 3/02/2012 – Queer Girl City Guide: Montreal, Canada, by Sid
2. 3/05/2012 – Playlist: Here/Queer, by Riese
3. 3/05/2012 – Queer Girl City Guide: Portland, Oregon, by Lesbians in PDX
4. 3/07/2012 – Queer Girl City Guide: Brighton, United Kingdom, by Sarah Magdalena
5. 3/07/2012 – Oh But To Be A Queer in Sicily, by Jenn
6. 3/08/2012 – City Guide: Seattle, by Marley
7. 3/11/2012 – City Guide: Washington DC, by Keena

So you’re coming to Washington, DC? That is so exciting, you are going to have an amazing time here! DC is full of History, Politics, and you probably came here once on a school trip with one billion of your classmates if you live anywhere on the East Coast. But what you probably missed between the bus tours, duck tours, Capitol tours, museum tours, Segway tours, monument tours and Japanese tours, is that DC is also full of lesbians. We’re everywhere!

Autostraddle says that DC is the #4 most lesbianish city in the U.S. when it comes to population numbers and #11 in per capita numbers – so HEY everyone! Check us out! (Also Emily on the Real World: DC kinda liked making out with girls too, so there’s that).

But DC is big and it can be overwhelming if you don’t know your way around. It is the capital, after all. There’s so much going on and you probably have a powerful job or important social cause of some kind that brought you here, so in between your business lunches and office happy hours, where are you going to find your fellow ladies?

FEAR NOT. I’m here to help! My name is Keena and I’ve been living in DC for four years, before, during and after graduate school. I’ve lived and worked on the Hill and now I do other things and live in Logan Circle, which I think is the most awesome area of DC to live, especially if you’re gay. DC is actually a great place to be gay: it’s full of politically liberal people and tons of other gay people. It’s also the headquarters of the Human Rights Campaign and all kinds of other socially progressive groups that bring together intelligent, thoughtful people who work hard to promote happy, fuzzy-feeling-inducing causes like protecting your civil rights and letting you marry your adorable girlfriend.

You probably want to meet these fuzzy-feeling people. Of course you do! And you probably need a place to live and want to know where to go to work on your laptop and read novels with a delicious beverage. So! Let me take you on a virtual tour of DC and we’ll go to all the fun places and do all the fun things that I think you will like to do, too.

I know it’s scary to go to a new place, so I’ve enlisted the help of my friend Pixie the Unicorn to come along, ‘cause you’ll probably need a friendly face to make all these new places a little less foreign. And I think Tinkerbell will need a partner in crime if Riese ever comes to visit.

Meet Pixie:

Name: Pixie the Unicorn
Favorite Food: Fruit Loops, because they are really just gay Cheerios
Aspires To Be: Britney S. Pierce
Occupation: DC Tour Guide Accomplice
Often Found: Posing with bottles of liquor

All ready? Let’s go!

Lesbian Bars/Nights

The first thing you should know is that there’s heaps of gay bars for men and not so much for women. Our lack-of-dedicated-barspace is a sore subject/point of contention amongst DC lesbians. But I go out a lot, luckily for you, and therefore I’ve been to all those gay boy bars! Pixie told me there were too many bars to list them all, and because she’s right, I’ve narrowed my list down to my top five bars and my top five lesbian events.


Top 5 Bars

1. Phase One and Phase One, Dupont

The original Phase One (or, “the Phase”) is the one all-lesbian bar in DC. It is the oldest LGBT bar in Washington, DC and the first lesbian bar in the entire US (!!). Phase is a sponsor of Capital Pride, works with local LGBT clinics and has a fun annual music festival called Phase Fest. So, you know, it’s a Big Deal.

The only downside of going to Phase is that Capitol Hill is far away from all the other gay places so it’s difficult to club-hop (I recommend taking a cab to/from Phase if you’re planning on club-hopping anyhow). Also it’s small and can get very crowded, and can be intense if you’re not into indie music or alternative girl bands. Some of the commenters on Carmen’s post said it’s not a great place to be if you don’t appear obviously gay. Basically, Phase is great, especially because of its history and Jell-O wrestling, but not an ideal locale for fans of pop music and a clubby atmosphere.

But in February Phase One Dupont opened and changed everything with its promises to be a bar, a club, a place for girls to dance, a place where we can say to our gay boy friends, “come join me at MY club, instead of me joining you at yours.”

Of the opening, Carmen said it was “amazing and bewildering.” Also: “I stood in the center of a place where I used to be a visitor — a woman in a place for men — and suddenly it was my place, for people like me, for people who liked people like me… 600 women in the same room is more than a dream come true and potentially the fodder of your next late-night dream. 600 women in the same room in the same place, suddenly all together instead of all spread apart, suddenly waiting in line to even fit inside of a space, suddenly in a formidable group, suddenly so big and invincible – that’s power.”

the line at phase one’s opening night

I foresee the new Phase starting a positive feedback cycle of girl-on-girl events attended by girls who want more events, who get more events, until all of a sudden it’s like a giant glitterbomb went off over Dupont Circle and we’re all happier than kittens in a field of flowers. And I feel like we’re ready for that. Right?

But Phase One, Dupont will also have boys’ nights, meaning that while it will be the new spot for girls, it won’t be exclusively so. Or, as a friend said over Gchat:

friend: God there is a total lack of lezzie bars in this city
me: yes there are
friend: and even the new phase is going to have boys nights
It’s boys night every night in dc
stomps feet

However, I’ll say that the boy bars recognize that girls lack their own ladies nights and have made changes to make us more welcome — there are now girl bartenders at some of the Gayborhood bars, and most of the time (though not all the time), lesbians feel totally welcome at the boy bars.

Since the Phases are the only girl bars in DC, the rest of my list is made up of gay boy bars I consider lesbian-friendly, based on the highly specific algorithm of “I’ve been there on a date” or “I’ve been involved in lesbian PDA there without feeling uncomfortable.” Seems as good a rubric as any to use, right?

2. Cobalt/30 Degrees (17th Street NW, corner of 17th and R)

I’m at Cobalt all the time. Like, all the time. And despite many stupid things I have done there, they always welcome me back with open doors. Cobalt is located in the heart of the Gayborhood and is one of the most iconic gay bars in DC and is considered “a place to be seen” with “eclectic DJs” and “electric parties.”

The first floor is a restaurant called, inventively, Level One. The second and third floors are made up of a nice bar (30°) and dance floor (third floor). Though Cobalt is mostly for boys, you can usually find a bunch of girls there too.

There are many reasons why I love Cobalt, despite the general dearth of girls. In the last six months I have:

+ Attempted to smuggle a Bernese mountain dog puppy into Cobalt in my coat (bouncer: “honey…no.”)
+ Played in an LGBT flip cup league.
+ Been to a wedding.
+ Irish goodbye-d out of ladies’ night leaving behind my phone, credit card, wallet and keys and had them all returned to me the next morning with my tab paid off.
+ Had a most amazing New Year’s Day Disco Brunch at Level One at which the waiter used the phrase “dick licker” before 11am and during which I drank approximately fourteen billion bottom-less mimosas.

Also, little-known-fact: From 11pm-midnight every Friday, it’s “free vodka hour” at Cobalt. FREE vodka hour! Vodka drinks are free. For an HOUR! It’s unbelievable. But be warned, free vodka hour comes with a danger factor of 9/10 since if you’re like me (i.e. competitive and poor) you’ll spend the entire hour yelling, “we have only ‘X’ number of minutes left to drink free vodka drinks!” and wake up the next morning feeling like you were assaulted with a frying pan.

Anyways, go to Cobalt. I’ll probably be there and then we can hang out.

3. Nellie’s Sports Bar (U Street NW/Corner of 9th street)

Nellie’s is a hop/skip/jump away from Cobalt on U Street NW on the corner of 9th Street. It’s a great place to go if you like to watch sports with other girls who like watching sports, and you can often watch Glee there as well, if you’re so inclined. It’s more low-key, especially in the early evening when you can even play board games or bring your laptop.

Later in the night Nellie’s hosts fun events like Drag Bingo, Smart Ass Trivia, Poker nights and Sunday Drag Brunch. The Nellie’s crew sponsors various teams in the DC leagues (kickball, women’s rugby, crew, running, baseball, skiing, basketball, and so many others). If you’re a sporty girl that wants to get involved in LGBT sporty events in DC, Nellie’s is your first stop for all these things.

The bartenders are all very nice at Nellie’s and sometimes they’ll put a napkin folded into a swan around the neck of your beer for no reason at all! I was also there for Halloween this year and will ask you this: where else can you go to see guys dressed as 50 Cent and a storm trooper start making out? Nellie’s, that’s where.


4. Town Danceboutique (8th and V St NW)

Town is the largest gay dance club in DC and is catty-corner from Nellie’s, which is often used as a staging ground before heading to dance at Town. Town charges a cover but it’s a great place to dance, if you don’t mind being surrounded by bachelorette parties and a bunch of gay boys with their shirts off. I think the club “Babylon” in Queer as Folk might have been inspired by Town. Town’s got yummy drinks with crushed ice and some good drag shows, too.


5. No. 9 (P Street between 14th and 15th Streets NW)

No. 9 — located on my favoritest block in DC — is new on the scene, and is a great option if you’re looking to get some slightly classier drinks in a more low-key setting (like maybe a first date?) If you’re lucky enough to snag the front window seats there’s great people watching. No. 9 has no dress code, no cover and happy hour every day, including Saturday and Sunday. Yippee!

Bonus: No. 9 is next door to Stoney’s Lounge, a truly excellent dive bar with good food and a very chill atmosphere. If No. 9 is full of boys, as it often is, or you feel the need for cheap beer, try Stoney’s.

A last word about these bars: I say they’re lesbian-friendly, but it’s worth pointing out that my experiences can’t speak for everyone’s. I’m a bold person and relatively unbothered to be in a bar that’s mostly or only boys, but that’s not for everyone.

Top 5 Lesbian Events/Nights/Etc

It can be hard to rally the troops to go out in DC but when there’s a lesbian event, everybody goes and it’s so packed with girls you don’t know what to do with yourself. It’s like New Year’s Eve: you get your friends together, you pre-game, you get yourself all dolled up and think, “This is it! I have been so excited for this!” and then it ends up being a chaotic mess in which everyone gets covered in glitter, feels kind of overwhelmed, and may or may not make out with someone. But, unlike New Year’s Eve, the ladies’ nights in DC are NEVER a letdown and you should really go.

1. The Ladies of LURe Present Ladies’ Night at Cobalt

On the third Saturday of every month, the ladies of LURe host a girls’ night called BARE at Cobalt. It’s packed with cute girls (they had The Real L Word girls there for their third anniversary). It’s intense: girls wall-to-wall, strippers dancing on poles, etc. But if you wanna meet a girl, you can’t ask for a better venue. I always go, since to me ladies’ night at Cobalt is one of the Lesbian High Holidays that should always be observed by faithful devotees.


2. SHE.REX at Chief Ike’s Mambo Room

Every second Friday of the month is a rock n’ roll ladies’ dance party at Chief Ike’s Mambo Room at Columbia and Ontario Streets NW sponsored by SHE.REX. SHE.REX features badass female DJs (they wear dinosaur masks!), bartenders and cheap beer specials, and there is a pool room in the back of the bar if you don’t feel like dancing. Just like Cobalt ladies’ night, though, it can get crazy crowded, so it may not be the choice for you if you don’t like crowds. SHE.REX is guaranteed to be filled with lovely queer ladies, though, so I highly recommend it.

3. Lez Get Together

Lez is a Washington, DC-based organization that aims to foster a sense of community among lesbians and queer-identified lovers of women in “the DMV” (the District, Maryland and Virginia – justsoyaknow the lingo). It’s not a regular event or a bar, basically the “Lez Invade” team sponsors girls-only happy hours around DC which are like more relaxed versions of Girls Night and SHE.REX. They’re fun! You can get more info on their website or Facebook. I’d recommend you go with friends – like all lesbian events, girls show up with their posse and don’t seem to talk to people they don’t know, just engage in intense, overly-long periods of eye contact with girls they kind of recognize from other events or OkCupid stalking but don’t feel like breaking away from their group to go talk to. Huge surprise, I know. I’m sure you have nooo idea what I’m talking about.

4. Wherethegirlsgo

“Like” them on Facebook, or go to their website. The WTGG team has the scoop on the DC queer girl scene and also sponsors awesome one-off events like Valentine’s Day parties, Superbowl parties and bike rides around the city, which might interest you as a recent DC transplant and lover of bicycles, which hopefully you are because bicycles are just neat.

5. Twilight Tuesdays at Donovan House

It’s a summer-only thing, but the Pool Parties on the Donovan Hotel rooftop are sweet with great views. Every Tuesday is gay night, and again it’s mostly boys but I’ve been with lesbians and really enjoyed it. You can see my house from there!

5.25 BY Gays

The DC blog Brightest Young Things is awesome in general, but deserves special note for its coverage of gay events in the city through the feature Brightest Young Gays, or BYGays. In addition to coverage of pop culture, media and LGBT happenings in DC, they also provide “best weekend bets” to let you know what’s going on in LGBT life every weekend in DC. It’s worth taking a look at their Ponies Choice Awards coverage of the “best of” for gays in the city.

5.5 Pretty Girl Swag DC

This is the answer to “where are the girls at?” Pretty Girl Swag DC is basically a calendar of all the girl-on-girl events happening in the DC / MD / VA region every single day of every single week of every single – you get the drift. It’s one click to the ultimate guide to getting laid, finding the girl of your dreams, or really just wearing a lot of plaid socially.

So yes, there are very many choices for gay-friendly outings in DC, only a few of which I’ve described here. This does not mean that you can’t have a fabulous and wonderful lesbian experience at any of the other bars. You can!


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Keena has written 4 articles for us.


  1. OK, I have a list of thing to say ;)

    1. I was disappointed to not see some of the more hilarious/sketchy places on this list (Ziegfeld’s Secrets anyone? What about Omega?!)…and yes…I know girls don’t go to there. In fact, sane lady-loving ladies will stay far, far away…but still! Lol.

    2. I didn’t think Phase is the only bar for women! What about Lace? (Sure, I always got a sense it was for an older crowd and never went there, but…) And I’ve heard Phase is the “oldest continually operating” lesbian bar in the US, not the “first” per se…but maybe I’m wrong. According to this Wikipedia article, the first lesbian bar in the US was Mona’s 440 Club or something (

    3. What would you say are some of the queerest ‘straight’ activities? The only places I’ve ever been hit on by a girl were at a bar across the street from my university and also once at the Black Cat. This includes frequent trips to Town and Phase. Hah! I guess this point is covered by “coffee shops”? ;)

    4. I’ve had the worst luck with OKCupid. Does anyone else suck at OKCupid? Maybe I need to try harder/not as hard/no really these articles in which you guys are like everyone-has-seen-everyone’s-OK-Cupid-profile has me worried that I’m blacklisted/will be soon haha

    • 3. Any sort of music show, BYT events (not necessarily BYT gays), and house parties – more so when these places serve alcohol. I’ve hit on girls at all these events and find it easier to get a number at these types of things cause it’s more like “hey we’re lesbians who ran into each other at X event, we should hang out more” and less, “this is me picking you up at a lesbian event.” If that makes sense.

      4. I can’t stand OKCupid if that makes you feel better. I’d rather just meet someone and see if we hit it off than chit chat for two months before maybe going for awkward coffee.

    • I’ve been to Lace and it was super fun! I’d say the general crowd was more local vs college kids/recent grads and more varied in ages cause of that, but I had an awesome time.

    • 4. I didn’t have much luck with OkCupid either and actually deactivated my account two months ago. It seemed to be more trouble than it was worth. The problem is meeting girls in general. I live right outside DC and go out a good bit, but it’s still hard to meet girls at Phase, ladies night at Cobalt, and other places. I honestly stopped dating for now because I had a horrible string of bad luck.

      • Amen. I’m so over OKC. And I never meet girls out. There has to be another option, right?! Oh, like Autostraddle. ;)

  2. Pixie!

    I would introduce Pixie to Tinkerbell if I didn’t think that Littlefoot would get jealous.

    • Pixie would love to get a delicious beverage with Tinkerbell, she’s actually being a bit pushy about it.

  3. Man, I’m going to be in DC in October! I’m not 21 so I can’t go out, but I am going to see if I can check out the bookstores and coffee shops as they look super hip and make me happy!

    (Also, I totally want to see your tattoo now, Keena!) Thanks for a great guide. I have a unicorn too, she’s purple and called Star, maybe she and Pixie can date.

    • You might also try looking at Black Cat’s website when you’re in town. If they’re holding a party in their backroom, like Gay Bash, or if Mixtape heads over to the main stage that night you can party under-21 with the best of them.

      • Cool, thanks for the advice! I’ll check it out for sure. I’m bookmarking this page so I can party down nearer the time ^_^

    • lol trust me there are some pretty nice places for coffee and books, you dont need a bar to have fun :D

  4. So glad someone took the time to do a nice DC write up!

    I’d add:
    1. Dupont Circle needs a shout out for being the OG gayboyhood. Thank your gay foreparents for queering the city!

    2. If you want a cheaper but totally awesome haircut I’d recommend Bang Salon. I’ve seen three different stylists at two of their locations and have always been happy.

    3. Word to the wise, approach Arlington like the author suggests you do for Georgetown. That said, there’s all sorts of gays in the suburbs, it’s just more of a challenge to spot ’em outside of the ubiquitous GSA groups at local high schools (awww, have you warmed to settling down out in Northern Virginia yet?).

  5. While I adore Filter, I almost wish you hadn’t recommended because it is tiny and always so crowded. Filter- I wish to make love to your espresso but I need to be able to sit down.

  6. While this city guide does a great job of calling out some well known gay spaces in DC, a lot of those mentioned tend to be more male-centric. Town, Cobalt, and Number 9 are not places I’d recommend going unless you like being swarmed by gay boys or are wing-manning for a guy friend. The most queer-female events are monthly parties-She.Rex, BARE, Anthology of Booty, WTGG, LezInvade, etc. Even “straight” bars like the Black Cat and DC9 have queer dance parties each month. Phase is obviously a place where you can expect to find almost entirely queer women, but it’s definitely top 40, not indie music.

    Just as a heads up, the H St neighborhood and 18th St in Adams Morgan are not super gay friendly for going out at night in my experience.

    LOVE the roller derby shoutout!

    • Roller derby rocks. Pixie will be there for the finals. It should/will be amazing. All of you should come out!

  7. Keena, you should write for Autostraddle on the regular. I’ve only been to DC once, but I really enjoyed this piece and now want to go and visit ALL the bars!

    • Can you imagine!? That would be my birthday + Christmas + Pride + Pixie coming to life all at the same time.

  8. good stuff, Keena! I want to add a plug for the LGBT tennis group in DC, Capital Tennis ( I think spring league signups are closed, but keep it in mind for the summer….. we could really use more ladies. I was at the opening night of phase one in dupont and all I could think looking out at the hundreds of women there was like, don’t any of you fools play tennis?? ok fine, that’s not *all* I was thinking, but you get the idea…

  9. Ahh I miss DC! Wanted to mention that especially if you are new in town or more shy, WITT (Women in Their Twenties) group at the DC Center is really nice to meet queer ladies in a smaller, quieter setting than a bar or club. (There’s also a Women in their Thirties group at the DC Center). After a discussion, usually they go out, so you suddenly have a queer girl posse to check out the clubs with. That and Meetup groups were super great for me!

  10. This series really makes me wish I lived in a city with a more interesting queer scene. DC sounds great!

    • To quote Urban Dictionary, “Irish goodbye” = “To depart, as from a bar or pub, without notifying the friends or family you are with.”

      • Oh haha… Why is it irish thats bizarre ha.. i dont think ive ever done that… i presumed it was like had to be carried home by friends cos your ridiculously drunk thats more irish… IMO

  11. Yeah for the roller derby shoutout! Thanks for supporting. Hope to see ALL the DC queers for our last three home team games this season—this coming Sunday, March 18, Saturday, April 14, and especially for the home team championships on Saturday, May 12!

  12. If by “up and coming” you mean currently in the process of gentrifying, then yes, H ST and Shaw are hip, up and coming neighborhoods.

  13. Keena, this was a great piece! thanks for writing it, and thanks for putting in so much thought and loveliness. DC is my hometown (and also, coincidentally) the BEST town.

  14. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Autostraddle, for putting these lists together! So far you’ve featured 3 of the 5 cities I’m interested in moving to. This is going to be so great when I actually make the move. Looking forward to reading more.

  15. Holy crap, are you reading my mind? I’m trying to move for grad school and obvi the first thing I’m figuring out is which city to go to…My mother’s words of advice were “go where all the gay girls are!” so I told her DC was #1 on my list. This is perfect, thank you!

    • come to dc! it’s the best. free museums. rock creek park. excellent restaurants and cafes. tons of theater and music and art. a super public-transit system. lots of TREES (unlike, say nyc). low buildings, so you can actually see the sky.

      also the obama family would be your neighbors. just saying.

      • I mean I love DC with all my heart but “super public-transit system” does not describe WMATA. DC does have a public transit system, so hooray!

        • i respectfully disagree. i can get anywhere in the city with a combination of bus, train, and walking. not to mention that the bus drivers in DC are the friendliest and most knowledgeable city bus drivers I have ever encountered.

  16. Adams Morgan might be a bit tense but still it’s my jam and I love it.

    I’ve heard some bad stuff about Fattie’s in terms of piercings so I’d double check some reviews, but it’s friend of friend type of stuff.

    Georgetown is conservative dude, I remember hearing about a girl being beaten for wearing a pro gay shirt at the Uni last year. The reason they don’t even have a metro is because in 70s they didn’t want the public transport to bring the ‘riffraff’ of the rest of the city into their neighbourhood.

    U Street Music Hall has plain good dancing if you just want to kick around. When it gets warm, on dates you should go buy boxed wine and go to Fort Reno and watch the sunset from the hill. That’s pretty uptown though. Oh! Uptown theater! That’s a gem, it’s not gay but it might as well be, it’s fucking awesome. It’s an old theater with a single huge curved screen in Cleveland park.

    • AH i can’t believe i didn’t mention uhall. also, regarding the georgetown lack of metro, the funny thing is they have so many buses (+the circulator) running there that everyone can get there. ALSO, i work across the street from uptown!! so great.

    • re: no metro in georgetown, that is a myth.

      the real reason the metro doesn’t stop there is the engineering difficulty presented by the proximity to the river and the very steep hill(s).

  17. thank you for the guide, Keena! I’ve lived in DC for almost 7 years now and I must say, there’s definitely some more we can add to this list. We have Lace and Fab Lounge in Dupont (which is SUPER divey but girl centric 7 nights a week). Also, the warehouse loft is partially owned by a gay lady and hosts the best dance parties. also, mixtape at black cat or now, Town. also there are SO many queer dance parties/spoken word nights/a dj crew (anthology of booty)/gay girl community houses that organize amazing things. we should talk, if you still live here! there’s a lot goin on, girl!

  18. While H St as a whole might not be super- gay friendly at night, I do have to say that Little Miss Whiskey’s is the gayest “straight bar” I’ve ever been to. SO MANY LADYQUEERS. I wasn’t even expecting it.

  19. My favorite Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies professor went to GW, and still lives there though she teaches at Ohio State in Columbus, OH. She has some pretty cool stories about DC, though she also notices how LGBT stuff there mostly focuses on men. She only lives there since her lawyer partner lives there, but she is usually in Columbus because we really are the best lesbian city ever! I still wanna go to grad school in DC though! I’m planning a GW visit soon!

  20. I’m currently living in D.C. and have found it pretty hard to make queer/lesbian friends in this area. Hopefully my luck will turn around though! :)

  21. Oh DC, how I do adore thee.

    These comments make me happy because it shows that, even though Keena did an awesome job highlighting some great places to go, all the DC ladies here have other suggestions or experiences to share. I’d rather have there be too much for one article than too little, know what I’m sayin?

    With that said: I’m surprised though, that Eastern Market wasn’t really mentioned. One stop at Peregrine Espresso (practically right next to the market metro stop), and you’re not only getting amazing coffee, but also tattoos and alternative hair cuts (and it’s right on the way to the Armory if you’re down to catch some derby. (Someone please explain to me the new Pickle mascot).

    And if you’ve got some bucks to spend, sign yourself up for the Mautner Clinic’s big gala. It’s voted as one of the best places to meet women in the city. They also do volunteering for those who so desire. As do so many other DC non-profits. Like everything in this city, it’s all about the network.

    This is a great list, though, and it definitely covers a lot. Part of the fun of living somewhere is exploring for yourself.

  22. Ahh. I wish I had access to this article a couple months ago, so I could plan a nice little getaway to DC. Alas, I’m moving to San Diego next month… However, I could totally use a truly epic guide to San Diego. ;)

  23. I don’t have a problem with public sex. I have a problem with somebody going around claiming she is “radical”, and that she knows something that I don’t when doing the deed in a shitty bathroom stall. What you’re saying ultimately is that we should be able to express our sexuality in public. If that is truly the way you feel, then I should be able to take my girlfriend out for a walk on my leash. We are freaks, and she loves that shit. I should be able to whip her in public. Why stop at public sex? Why discriminate against other kinks? Where exactly do we draw the line?

  24. This is really perfect for me because my girlfriend and I are going to DC next month for a long weekend/nerd vacation. Thank you Autostraddle and Keena! We were trying to find some queer things to do while there :).

  25. Hi! I’m a resident of the D.C. area (Arlington), and I’m so excited to see this guide!

    I totally ditto the comment about how going to Phase One can be rather… awkward if you’re not a “typical” looking gay girl. I.e., if you’re uber-lipstick lesbian, prepare for looks, and to be pretty much completely ostracized if you’re not there with your own group. Sucks, but has been my experience on multiple occasions.

    All that being said, I echo sentiment about Phase One Dupont being a new starting point for the gay girl nightlife in D.C. And I hope to switch to bartending there (from the straight bar I currently tend at, up the street from Dupont).

    Fortunately, I’m offering a great solution! No matter gay/bi/queer/trans, if you’re in D.C. you should look me up & we should go have fun.

  26. Going to Phase (/other lez places in DC) is probably the thing I’m looking forward to most about turning 21. Basically, being able to hit up any place other than Town, Black Cat, and straight bars…

  27. Great article Keena but I agree with some comments that places like Town and No.9 are definately more “boy” places to hang.

    Phase 1 is probably the only place on the list that you can say for sure women will be all the time.

    I’ve been going to for the 4 years I’ve been in DC and it gives a really good rundown of where you’ll find the ladies in DC.

  28. I just moved to DC and ohmygosh I walked 15 miles in three hours today and I can do this.

  29. I know this is super late but still hoping to get a response. I’ll be in DC this weekend. Particularly this Saturday night. I’m high femme/uber-lipstick. Riding solo and don’t have a posse with me. Any recommendations of where I can go to grab a couple drinks and meet some ladies without feeling intimidated that I don’t look “typically gay” and don’t have a group? Kinda shy but warm up quick with conversation.

  30. Just wanted to say thank you for your guide! A friend sent it to me right before I went to DC, and I went to several of the places you listed :) It sparked me to want to write the one for my hometown, New Orleans.

  31. I’m going to D.C with my sister in a couple weeks, and I was wondering if there were any other particular bookstores that you all would recommend?

  32. Hi! This is a late add on, but I wanted to mention that if you are Jewish, the DCJCC has a program called GLOE that has so many programs for GLBTQ folks (social events, volunteering, arts, etc.). There is also a fun book club called “Lez Read” through the bookstore Politics and Prose!

  33. music artist new to D.C. Thanks for the info on this site. Would love to get some shows together with other artists.. Express yourself!

  34. I’m visiting this week! Any chance that anybody’s going to see this and want to meet up?

  35. Im new to the DC area my wife is overseas I’m looking for a good time with sophisticated adults. Anyone know where that goes down?

  36. Thanks Keena for the post, I know this is older but most of this is still very relevant and as someone who has lived in the NOVA area for the last 15 years, it’s sad that I don’t get out to DC as often. In fact, I tend to head out to B-More for most of my city shenanigans, but mainly that’s because I’m IN LOVE with the Charm City Roller Girls :) B-more is kind of a hike though, so now with the metro opening up the silver line (soon), I have a feeling I’m going to be heading to DC more. Any girls wanna hang out or grab a drink sometime hit me up!

  37. I’d like to echo what a few of the earlier comments have said about No. 9. I don’t think it’s particularly welcoming if you don’t have a gay guy with you. I went on a date with a woman there once, and we got a lot of stares. It is full of gay boys dressed to the nines; I was wearing a shirt and tie and still felt under-dressed and out of place. The bar tenders were also semi rude, although I think it was partially because it was so loud/crowded that it was impossible to hear anyone. It’s in a nice area though. Go on a date at the Whole Foods Market across the street instead. Seriously. Organic food is sexy.

  38. I haven’t traversed out in the local scene much since the big shift with the baseball stadium years ago (yes, I’ve been living here for some time) and the uproar that caused. I primarily go to Phase (Capital Hill) when I get a hankering to dance myself into a frenzy. Any other recommendations for a good dance party with ladies in tow?

    I’ll definitely checkout the Blackcat’s parties someday.

  39. Hi Autostraddle! My girlfriend and I are visiting from London next week (Wednesday 11 – Saturday 14) and are looking for any good queer events to check out in DC. It looks like She Rex isn’t on anymore?? Or it wasn’t on the website anyway. We’d appreciate any recommendations! :)

  40. Loved the article! Now I have a new bucket list to try out since I’m new around the DC area! Awesome?????

  41. I am not lesbian, but bi and frequently will openly flirt and play with women in front of my boyfriend. He is used to it and has no problem. We are a little older in our early 40’s, and I was wondering where we would be the most comfortable while we are in the area.

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