Where do you gather with your community?


One of the things that I’ve been asking people since this project began is, where do you gather with your community? It’s intentionally an open-ended question. People bring to it a variety of meanings of community. A number of people feel deeply ambivalent about the question, and for some, it pisses them off.

If you haven’t had a chance to answer this question for the project yet, please do so using this form.

The image above is a rough draft of a visualization of the results that I’ve compiled through December 2014 from people I’ve spoken with for the documentary, people who have attended events, as well as donors and supporters of the project. I’ve grouped specific answers into general categories to help simplify the visualization a little bit, and I’m tinkering with how to represent the spaces on a spectrum from very private spaces where you must be invited in to spaces that are entirely open, public spaces.

This is obviously not a “scientific” study in any sense and my sample is highly biased because most of the people who have answered the question have some connection to me or to the project. It’s just an attempt to get a rough sense of where people meet up with people they consider to be part of their community.

Below are some of the responses that aren’t yet represented in the visualization; specifically the ambiguity, the uncertainty, and/or the dislike for the question.

Meanwhile your question brings up more questions, like what is/are my communities at this point?

I don’t seem to actually know more than one or two other gay women here.

Where do I spend time with my community…..

This question resonates and sucks for me because I feel so stretched trying to fit into many communities…

Your question, however, is a little tough. Since I became disabled in 1999, many gathering spots have been off-limits to me…

To answer your survey question, I don’t really “gather with my community.”

Your question is an odd one for me. Essentially, I am an introvert. Yeah, I know when let out of my box I talk a lot, but I need lots of quiet time and tend to socialize one on one rather than drawing together in a community.

I don’t really think about gathering with community much—it doesn’t feel like a big part of my life, to be honest.

Please feel free to use the comment section below to challenge or ask your own questions about how things are organized, categorized, or represented. It’s a work in progress—very much a first draft.

Lesbian Bars in NYC, 1994 & 2014

The number of bars intended specifically to serve lesbians in the US is decreasing. This decrease seems to relate to a variety of societal shifts: the economic downturn, the growth of online dating, and broader shifts in how women, queer, and trans individuals identify and gather socially.

(Click purple icons to get name and address information. See full list of 2014 bars with addresses and links below map.)

Lesbian Bars in New York City in 1994 (Total: 9)

Lesbian Bars in New York City in 2014 (Total: 4*, as of Feb 15, 2014)

* As of this writing, the bar Cubbyhole appears to serve a primarily mixed crowd (no longer majority lesbian) as well as a significant non-LGBTQ clientele, so its identity as a lesbian bar is currently in flux.

NYC Lesbian Bars in 2014

Sources for Historical Information

  • The Lesbian & Gay Pink Pages, New York, Winter/Spring ‘94. Published by DAC Marketing, Inc., Chicago, IL.
  • Betty & Pansy’s Severe Queer Review of New York City: An Irreverent, Opinionated Guide to the Bars, Clubs, Restaurants, Cruising Areas, Bookstores, and Other Attractions of Lesbian and Gay Manhattan. (Various/multiple authors.) Published by Bedpan Productions, San Francisco, 1994.

NOTE: I found these resources and others at The National Archive of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender History housed at New York City’s LBGT Community Center.

Sources for 2014 Information