How you can help Arizona's only lesbian bar survive the pandemic

Even before the pandemic, America's lesbian bars were starting to vanish. Blame gentrification, or Netflix and chill and dating apps. But the pandemic has been the nail in the coffin of many brick-and-mortar establishments across the country. Stay at home orders, mask mandates, and shifting guidance on the virus have put public-facing businesses such as bars in impossible situations, logistically and financially.

But some help is at hand. The Lesbian Bar Project has been raising money to subsidize and save these bars — just 21 of them, having dwindled from the 200 lesbian bars in the heyday of lesbian chic, the 1980s and '90s. Even legendary, seemingly bulletproof establishments like Henrietta's in New York — which survived 9/11 — are struggling.

In Phoenix, Boycott Bar, on 7th Avenue in the Melrose District, is the only Arizona bar included in the Lesbian Bar Project. Boycott owner Audrey Corley told The Arizona Republic that The Lesbian Bar Project had donated about $7,000 to the bar, a crucial boost. "If they raise $500 or $5,000, I am just so grateful they chose us," she said.

Now, the issue has received even wider attention with dating app Hinge, popular with a new generation of queer women, supporting the project.

Hinge announced in a press release that they are offering "stimulus payments" for the 21 lesbian bars involved with the project, including Boycott.

Boycott Bar opened 17 years ago and found a forever home in the Melrose District in March 2018. Like many lesbian bars it offers themed nights such as The L Word watch parties, karaoke, and guest DJs.

“Boycott is a place in our community where everyone is welcome, a place to celebrate who we are; to live, love and be our true selves," Corley states on The Lesbian Bar Project's website. 

“The bars that comprise The Lesbian Bar Project are not only a safe space, but an essential part of LGBTQIA+ culture,” Justin McLeod, Founder and CEO of Hinge said. “Our hope is that this support will help these sacred spaces to stay open through this summer and beyond.”

Ironic that a dating app — which in many ways supplants the function of a bar as potential place to meet a new partner — has come to the rescue. But Hinge is also looking beyond short term altruism and running an ad campaign, starting Aug. 8, to educate app users about the importance of LGBTQ-focused bars in the dating ecosystem. Why not take the next step IRL and meet your right swipe at one of the 21 endangered lesbian bars?

But with the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 spreading in many U.S. states, including Arizona, bar patrons are justifiably still gun shy about returning to their favorite venues. If you venture out, make sure you're vaccinated and masked.

Boycott is open for business, hosting karaoke on Thursday and Sunday nights, Whiskey Wednesdays and an L Word viewing party on Sunday Aug. 8. The bar's website says masks are required and all staff wear masks.

To donate to Boycott Venmo @BoycottBoss.

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less