We’re Looking for More Queer Girl City Guides and to Update Our Current Ones!

click here for other queer girl city guides

feature image via shutterstock

So, if you live in or are moving to or visiting any of the cities that we have Queer Girl City Guides to, you’ve probably noticed that they’re pretty gosh dang out of date. But not for long!

I’m doing as much work as I can to update them, but I’m just one witch, so that’s where you come in. If you live in a city with an already existing guide, you can fill out this dandy form and help me out! This will make the work a billion times easier and the quality of the work a billion times better.

Excquisito! Restaurant from QGCG: Sao Paulo, 2013 Photo by M.O.S.

We’re also looking for new posts in this series! So if you live in a city without a guide, you can write one! These pay $50 per post! Here’s the kind of cool queer stuff we’re looking for guides to tell readers about in your city:

  • Roller derby
  • Libraries
  • Hair Stylists
  • Queer Friendly Coffee Shops
  • Nightlife
  • Diversity
  • Pride
  • Comic Book Shops
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Tattoo Parlors
  • Ikea
  • Subaru Dealerships
  • Cat Cafes
  • Dog Parks
  • Sex Toy Shops
  • Anything Involving Witches or Dinosaurs

Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro from QGCG: Bellingham, Washington 2016. I’ve been there! It’s good!

The cities we need the most desperately are:

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti, MI
  • Detroit / Suburbs, MI
  • Dallas, TX
  • Glasgow (UK)
  • Manchester (UK)
  • Paris (FRANCE)
  • Asheville / Raleigh / Durham, NC
  • Missoula, Montana
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Tucscon, AZ
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Boulder, CO
  • Omaha, NE
  • Iowa City, IA
  • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Low Country High Rollers Roller Derby Team from QGCG: Charleston, South Carolina 2014

These are City Guides we already have that need updating:

That’s it! Sounds good? Send your pitches for new Queer Girl City Guides to mey(at)autostraddle(dot)com!

Mey Valdivia Rude is a bisexual Latina trans woman living in Los Angeles. She's a writer, comic consultant and a trans activist. She's a bruja, a femme, a pop princess and she loves comic books, witches, dinosaurs and crying. She has a cat named Sawyer and a very successful twitter.

Mey has written 575 articles for us.

79 Comments

  1. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for bringing back the Queer Girl City Guides! I moved to Indianapolis and came out about a year later and I have no clue what I’m doing here, so please, Hoosiers, help me out and tell me where the queer things are!

  2. Will you accept submissions for cities not on the list?

    I commented this in the A+ box a few weeks ago as well….but Madrid (Spain) is hosting World Pride 2017 in 6 weeks (no I haven’t been counting down for the past year…) and is expected to receive over 3 million visitors so…

    My little queer crew can certainly get a guide together before then 🙂

    • Side note, my friend Kate wants to add:

      “You should also pitch that it’s a little known fact that Madrid may be one of the gayest cities in the world”

      She has a good point

    • I would have loved a queer girl city guide to Madrid last summer (I was there for archival research – also Sevilla, for that matter, so I got to go to both Prides), especially for bookstores, haircuts, and other daytime things to do…for instance, is there any good queer art tucked away in the museums? O sea, what is there beyond late night dancing in Chueca (or for people who aren’t into that)?

      • Bookstores I know one or 2, but I have other people more in the know. Hair I go to a super gay hairdresser in Chueca.
        As for art, another thing I’d have to get out of my network except La Tabacalera is an old tabaco factory which is now like this weird community space I don’t even know how to describe but is full of awesome street art and there’s usually some nice feminist pieces.
        Daytime stuff is more tricky because there tends to be pop-up things like poetry etc (if you can find them, it’s usually word of mouth), but there’s quite a lot of pretty queer places to eat or drink, and I know queer-friendly dance classes for example. Madrid in general is really gay friendly and has a big feminist movement

        You can always HMU if you come back to visit 🙂

        • Thanks! I have no specific research trips planned at the moment, but I’m pretty sure I will be back at some point. Last summer I did find some slam poetry by the river during Pride, and I think the group had regular open mics too.

  3. Can people collaborate on these? I’d love to put a guide together for Indy but I feel like I would need assistance so it’s not just a where to find Brandalynn on the weekends/after work guide.

  4. Well, approximately 99.9% of people in Asheville drive Subarus, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a dealership. Prestige on Tunnel Road is the largest but really any used car dealership has them. That’s 99.9% of all people, not just queers. Personally I drive a Jeep though.

    • Asheville is also one of the whitewater hubs in the US, so the only people I know that live in or around Asheville are kayakers and queer folks. Subies are pretty much the go-to car for boaters (so easy to sleep in), but Jeeps are becoming more popular (also easy to sleep in; the newer ones get better gas mileage).

      It probably says something about me that the first thing I think about when looking at cars is how easy they are to sleep in (second is MPG but with a boat on it). I am not sure if I want to know what that something that says about me is.

      • Yup. Took kayaking lessons from the Asheville Nantahala Outdoor Center. Learned to paddle on the French Broad. A Prius is surprisingly roomy, and is excellent for kayaks too.

    • Haha I will totally write a Queer Girl City Guide to my small norcal town!

      Here it is: Come visit beautiful Northern California! We have a bar that’s gay every other weekend, and an LGBT center where my exes hang out! There’s the big beautiful park where I run into another ex while hiking (but that’s ok, we’re friends), and the recreational softball league is somehow full of straight people! End scene.

  5. Hi Mey, I live in Ottawa, and I’d love to write the Queer City Guide, but my life is kind of crazy for the next few weeks, so I’m just wondering if there’s a deadline or timeframe for when you’d want to have them ready? Thanks!

    • Aww, but there are no true vacuums of gay. No matter which place you’re talking about, there’s going to be some gay person living there who will be hurt by people telling other queers to stay away. People living in vacuums of gay probably need community even more.

    • Hahaa but my immediate reaction was also as adorably earnest as Ellie’s. I have such a soft spot for the secret gay spaces that exist in places that seem like they shouldn’t be gay. Like when I lived in Oklahoma and I sometimes had to do a double take in the grocery store like “was that a short old farmer dude or a regular sized Oklahoma butch??”

      I may still be on board for your satirical post but I volunteer to write the listicle titled “Secret Queer Places in Your Podunk Town”

    • On one hand yes. On the other hand, I spend a good bunch of my time there. (Because SERIOUSLY LOCAL DRUNKS why did it seem like a good idea to drive several miles out of your way to harass a hundred-odd whitewater boaters at 4 am and then you harass us by calling us a “bunch of queers” like ????? THIS IS THE MOST STRAIGHT ENVIRONMENT I’VE EVER BEEN IN AND THAT INCLUDES MY HIGH SCHOOL. THERE IS APPROXIMATELY 1 QUEER HERE.)

  6. I’m an Atlanta native who’s moving cross-country in the fall and trying to experience as much of my hometown as possible on a tiny budget before I move. I’d be happy to write some of it down. (Also, it’s a crying shame that Agnes Scott only got one line in the current guide. It’s my alma mater and it’s the gayest place I know. And Charis Books has moved to Decatur in an Agnes-owned house!)

    • Whoo-hoo Atlanta folks! I remember reading the guide when I still lived in ATL (birth-2014) and thinking, ‘I would add XYZ’. I’ve been gone for a few years now, but I feel some awesome areas still exist/have grown/formed

    • I have lots of stuff to share about Ypsi! But no time to learn more about Ypsi or anything about AA or write it up nicely. Riese said ppl can collab, so I would love to send info for Ypsi for you to include if you’re open to that. Are you?

      • Yes yes yes!!! I haven’t gotten anything back from Mey yet, but if/when I do I’ll let you know! If you want to send me an email at sierracsharpe(at)gmail(dot)com I can loop you in to the conversation!

    • Yay thank you! I’m considering applying to Ann Arbor for grad school next fall, and I need some reassurances that I will, in fact, meet lesbians and other queer-identified women there. Cuz after rural Wisconsin, my next move must. have. more. gays.!

      • We definitely have more gays than rural Wisconsin!! Especially depending on what you study. Applying to Michigan, I’m assuming? School of Social Work, Sociology, Psych, Women’s Studies, English, American Culture, all full of queers. Ann Arbor is a really great city 😀

        • Yes!! I’m getting all excited! Yep, I’m applying to University of Michigan for their dual PhD program in social work and sociology–since that’s TWO of the programs you listed above, I’m guessing that’s a pretty gay program 🙂

  7. PLEASE update Atlanta! There’s all these queer gal parties I want the info on!
    Also, I hope Charlotte, NC has a better queer lady scene now–when I moved away three years ago, they’d just closed the only lesbian bar. It’s definitely a city for queer guys more than girls, so I’m hoping that’s changed. (And gotten more inclusive for non-binary/trans/etc. peeps as well.)

  8. i live in manchester and would love to help out but i never go anywhere or do anything :'( we have plenty of the things on the list but i haven’t visited most of them.

    tbh doing all of those things once my exams are over so i could write about it would probably be a blast. queer girl city guide: special edition – introvert forces themself to go outside and sweats through two layers of clothing out of nervousness.

    • I used to live in Phoenix (only for about six months) and if there had been a city guide available for me I would probably not have had a depressive episode and moved back east on Christmas day.

      A few things I can tell you:
      – There’s an Actual Lesbian Bar (TM) called Cash Inn Country, and it’s huge with a nice big dance floor, but if you don’t like country music and actual square dancing, be careful of what nights you go. They have karaoke nights and there are some game tables, darts, etc. and most nights I went there, the crowd was a little on the older side, maybe 36-50, but occasionally there will be a big party night with women in their late 20s-early 30s – so watch their calendar! They also have karaoke, game tables and a nice outdoor patio for the not-disgustingly hot months!
      – There are technically two Prides in Phoenix – one is in October and it’s called Rainbows Festival. It’s more of a street fair than an actual parade. You can get a lot of free stuff there.

      Honestly I wish you luck because while I was living there I was SHIT at meeting new people and I hope your experience is fun and full of cool queermos!

    • I just moved from there! Honestly Roosevelt Row (where I lived) in downtown Phoenix is full of queers. The area is changing quite a bit, but I’ve never seen more queers in my life than at their awesome vegan/veg-friendly restaurants. Nami/Green on 7th Street is queer, vegan paradise. Jobot, Lux, and Fair Trade Cafe are coffee shops usually filled with queers or allies. Queer-owned restaurants/bars like Bliss/Rebar, Fez, etc. Crescent Ballroom (a music venue/bar/restaurant) now has a monthly W4W night. Phoenix also has several queer Meetup groups. I didn’t have much luck at the gay bars along 7th Ave, as they are primarily male spaces. I never went to the country girl bar, so I can’t speak to that. Overall, I found Phoenix very LGBTQ friendly. I made friends through OkCupid and by just becoming a regular at several of the places I mentioned.

  9. I was in Paris like two months ago and I’m going back later this year so will be definitely checking back for the Guide. I’d be hopeless at writing for it tho cos my French is pretty substandard (😭) but will be keen to read it!

  10. These might work as wikis, with community editing. Bars and restaurants go in and out of business on a regular basis, and those visiting the city in question may be out of luck if the city guide is more than a year or two old.

    • Seconded! I could definitely contribute to a wiki page on my city, but I don’t think I could write a full, well-rounded guide on my own. I always feel like I’m missing out on all kinds of stuff, and most of what I do know about comes from other websites, anyway. And I’d be happy to share stuff about cities I used to live in, but someone would have to check to make sure my info isn’t completely out of date.

  11. Someone please create an Austin, TX guide! I’m moving there in a couple of months for grad school all by myself and it would be really helpful to know where to find my peeps (if you could throw in a “how to successfully talk to stranger gay women” guide, that would be awesome as well).

    • there is already an austin guide i’m p sure! also! HI! i’m in grad school in austin and also moved here all by myself!!! and am kinda a stranger gay woman! join the austin autostraddle group!!!

          • Hi Laura and Sarah! I don’t think there is a city guide for Austin. We definitely need one! Here’s the link to the group on facebook —https://www.facebook.com/groups/1444738005794682/

            Did that work for you? If not, you can always just search “Austin Autostraddle” in facebook. We’ve been getting a lot more active since Alaina came along. Thanks, Alaina! I’m going to an event next week actually. Hopefully see you soon!

  12. Hey, I completed a city guide back in July last year and it’s not up on the site yet – I’ve not heard back from anyone regarding this, and a part of it now needs changed. Is there someone I can get in touch with? Thanks 🙂

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