I’m in NYC again, walking around among the places where it seems everyone I knew over the last 16 years in this city used to be able to afford to live. What a perfect frame of loss and longing, transition and possibility in which to speak as part of the weekend long events on the Eulogy for the Dyke Bar (EFTDB) at PULSE today. EFTDB is an installation by artist and queer Macon Reed: a fully-immersive structure that revisits the legacies and physical spaces of dyke bars, an increasingly rare component of the contemporary queer cultural landscape. Made of simple materials and seductively saturated colors, Reed’s hand-made installation includes a full bar, pool table, jukebox, and wall-to-wall wood paneling.
I am honored to be part of that exhibit! I will be on a panel discussing the present moment of dyke bar closings at 1pm on 125 W 18th St. between 6th & 7th Avenues. I’ll be drawing on research from my book-in-progess, Queer New York, as well as my own experiences regularly attending NYC dyke bars since 1999. I include the participant bios below!
Also from the organizers, since I love this note: *A note on the word “Dyke” used in this project: Eulogy For The Dyke Bar uses the term “dyke” in its most expansive sense and recognizes that gender and identities are complex and fluid. If you have identified with the term or an experience of feminine spectrum queerness in the past or present (or perhaps future), and/or feel an affiliation or ally-ship with dyke culture, you are welcome and valued here.
- Wanda Acosta is a photographer, DJ, and icon of lesbian nightlife in downtown New York. She is the creator of Sundays at Cafe Tabac and owner of WonderBar, Starlight, and Clubhouse.
- Lisa Cannistraci is the owner of Henrietta Hudson, one of the last remaining dyke bars in NYC and the longest consecutively running lesbian bar in the country.
- Jen Jack Gieseking is an Assistant Professor of Public Humanities in American Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. S/he is currently working on their second book, Queer New York: Geographies of Lesbians, Dykes, and Queer Women, 1983-2008.
- Aay Preston-Myint is an artist, printmaker, and educator based in Chicago. He is also an organizer for Chances Dances, a party whose goal is to provide safer spaces for gender expression while providing a platform for queer artists and performers in Chicago.
- Asia-Vinae Palmer is a multidisciplinary genderqueer artist who works in poetry, visual art, and performance. She is a member of Last Call: New Orleans’s Dyke Bar History Project and a performer in Last Call’s multimedia performance Alleged Lesbian Activities.