Girl(friends) Provides a Place for Queer Women to Meet in Los Angeles
If you are looking for a space to meet other women in Los Angeles, then we know just the spot. Girl(Friends)LA provides a space in the city for queer women to get together and hang out. Although the party is open to all LGBTQ+ women and allies, the concept for the monthly gathering started as a way for Kirsten Hart and her roommate Sarah to meet other queer women in a city that they had just moved to live.
“I started [Girl(Friends)LA] with my roommate, Sarah, at the time,” said Kirsten Hart, founder of Girl(Friends)LA. “We’re both from the Midwest, and we both came here to Los Angeles with no friends or family. We wanted to find a space where we could find other girls and not worry about guys being around in a club atmosphere. We wanted to do something that would be for ourselves outside of our jobs.”
The duo started the monthly event in January of 2019 and continue to hold fun gatherings each month at the Friend Bar at 2611 Hyperion Avenue in Los Angeles. They did everything from passing out fliers to posting to Facebook groups to invite other women to come together and hang out. However, since creating the event, Kirsten’s roommate, Sarah, moved away and Kirsten has taken it upon herself to keep the event going. She manages the Instagram account, @girlfriendsla, arranges the details with the bar, and plans for the event each month.
“It was just me doing it, but there has been a lot of support for the event since then,” said Hart. “We have our own little community, and so I don’t feel alone doing it. I have people who are helping me. I’ll reach out on social media to ask if anyone wants to come early and help set up and I’ve had a few girls do that which is really nice. It’s a really great way to meet people who are also looking for other queer girls or just girls, in general, to connect with. The girls that I reached out to help set up at the beginning of the party were people that I didn’t even know. They just found us on Instagram. It’s just a beautiful thing because we’re all here to support each other.”
The monthly meetup is LA transplant-friendly and open to all women wanting to meet other women. The parties are also a more relaxed option for women looking for a night out.
“It started out catering more to the single lesbian and queer female crowd, and now it has evolved into a meetup for all girls,” Hart explained. “Most of the girls who go are queer, but we have a lot of straight girls that attend too. There are a lot of girls who are LA transplants, don’t have any friends here yet, and they’re supporters of the LGBTQ community, who come to the parties too. I am really open to having anybody come. However, I do want to have this be focused on the queer community since that was the original idea for it. I do love that it has grown into something that all girls feel welcome going to.”
The event has grown each party with more women showing up each time. However, the event itself isn’t overwhelming, and it still seems small enough to feel relaxed and laid back.
“We’re still a small community, which I kind of like,” said Hart. “People feel comfortable enough to come because they know it’s not going to be this crazy rager. I would like to see this keep going. I hope that this is something that will last for years.”
“We are looking into doing an art/craft event and have talked to some girls about doing an open mic involving comedy and music.” Hart continued. “I would like to do more events that are not just a party but where some activity is going on too. We’ll definitely be doing something every month. Some months will have two events, and the other months would just have the regular event. I’m excited to see it grow and I hope it becomes something that people will know about. There are girl parties, like Wednesday nights at the Chapel, and I just want this to be something that you have heard of.”
Kirsten Hart also explained that she doesn’t intend for the event to have a cover charge in the future. She’s hoping to continue the relaxed vibe by keeping the event free to enter.
“I don’t want to charge a door price to get in, said Hart. “There’s no money that comes from the time that I put into it. The reward is seeing people happy and interacting with the community. I want this to be an event where people feel comfortable and safe. You’re coming to have fun, and maybe you’ll meet some people, or maybe you’ll just chill and enjoy the music. I just don’t want there to be so much pressure on people.”
The former environmental studies major worked at a national park near San Francisco fell into planning for events and parties not only to fulfill a need but because she is passionate about the event planning process. Over time she realized the environmental studies path wasn’t the best fit for her. When she moved to Los Angeles and started teaching English to adults, Hart and her roommate began putting together these events in LA for fun. However, over time, the parties turned into an opportunity for people in the LGBTQ community to get together and meet new people.
“[Teaching English] was really rewarding but once we started doing this, I realized that this is something that I could do for a living and I ended up quitting my job,” said Hart. “People say to find your passion, you should think about what you wanted to do when you were a kid. There are a few things that I can say for that, but I was really into making birthday parties for myself and throwing parties when I was younger. I would get stressed out about it, but it was something that I have always liked to do. I naturally bring people together. I have two friends who I brought together who are dating and living together now. I think that this is something that can turn into a career, and I just like doing it.”
Hart also gave great advice for anyone else looking to find a space and create a community.
“I was really afraid at first to talk to the bar and get the space for us. It was kind of intimidating, but once I did, I felt more comfortable about asking other bars to do it. If you have a good idea, people are less likely to say no. Just do it and start small.”
Girl(Friends)LA parties usually occur the last Friday of each month during the happy hour spot at The Friend Bar from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. For more information on all of the upcoming events, follow Girl(Friends)LA on Instagram at @girlfriendsla.