A dance party for ladies, by ladies
The 2015 shuttering of Wall Street Nightclub was not only the end of a 28-year era for its Columbus patrons; it was also another signal of the disappearance of lesbian bars from the city. Today, only Slammers remains, and Laurie Granger felt the impact last year during Pride.
“Pride just had nothing for women anymore,” said the Two Truths manager during an early-June interview. Two Truths itself used to be a lesbian bar called Blazer's Pub. It closed in 2011.
“[My friends and I] were joking about doing a ‘Ghost of Blazer's Pub' for Pride,” Granger said. Instead Granger settled on a dance party called “Broads,” hosting the inaugural event in 2017.
“I wanted to do a party that was for ladies, by ladies,” Granger said.
But because many women DJs were already booked, Granger had to bring in Columbus DJ Topher Guenther, who appeared in drag. It was a great time, but for the second-annual “Broads,” which takes place Friday, June 15, Granger wanted to stick to her original plan. So she will take over the reins herself as DJ Dog Mom.
“I generally have a great collection of music,” said Granger, who bought a cheap controller and watched how-to videos on YouTube. “I don't know a lot about DJing, but I'm sure I can figure it out.”
Attendees can expect all-women sets. “It'll be everything from house to hip-hop to some aggro female punk stuff and everything in between,” she said. And with luck, she'll be able to track down some women DJs to help her out this year.
As a Short North bar, Two Truths will be in the center of Stonewall's Pride crowd — a fact that prompted Granger to consider her role in this year's celebrations, following the 2017 Black Pride 4 protest. In response, she will donate 10 percent of all bar sales during the “Broads” event to the protesters' legal fund.
“We can't help who's gonna walk in our doors,” she said. “So I'd rather take … what's seen as the Stonewall Pride money and give it to the community. … It's been a very difficult thing to figure out where I belong in that world.”
Granger will be present at both Stonewall Pride and Black Queer & Intersectional (BQIC)'s Community Pride. “I think it's really important that people around Pride are being reminded that this movement started because of a black trans woman [at the 1969 Stonewall Riots],” she said. “That's one of the things that I love about this Community Pride event. It's a reminder of that.”
And Granger expects “Broads” to be a similarly diverse affair. “Last year was fantastic,” she said. “It was the first time I looked around the bar and did not recognize far more people than I did recognize. … You get a chance to meet someone new.”