When I moved to Pittsburgh last year from a big city, I have to admit that I was a little concerned about the lesbian scene here, or lack thereof–but I was very pleasantly surprised. Despite what I saw on Queer as Folk, it is NOT all about Liberty Avenue, especially not for women. We do have a regular hangout we can head to if we want to shoot pool, grab a cold one after softball, or get sweaty on the dance floor. OK, it’s not fancy or anything, but everyone knows that they can always head dahn Donny’s when they want to socialize with other dykes. But a lot more is happening outside the local bars…
Regent Square is probably the best place in town to spot lesbians in their natural habitat. Everytime I go there to meet someone, go for a jog or walk the dogs at Frick Park, I can’t go two steps without running into another dyke. I would definitely recommend this part of town to newcomers! While you’re there, step into The Square Cafe for the tasty food and lesbian eye candy, or D’s Six Pax and Dawgs, for a cheap, loaded hotdog washed down with a cold brew from their amazing selection of beer.
And I’ve discovered that some of the best stuff for gay ladies in the Steel City are things that women have organized themselves. Like the monthly Queers! They’re What’s for Dinner gatherings hosted by Ehrrin Keenan at the Gypsy Cafe on the Southside. If you’re new to town or maybe just want to get out there and meet some fresh faces, you should email Ehrrin–she can put you on her Evite list for the dinners, and on her queers mailing list, which will update you about other happenings of lesbian interest around the ‘burgh. You’ll find out about book clubs, game nights, karaoke, singles dinners, political actions, and all kinds of local performances.
Because another thing I love about Pittsburgh are all the talented performers! Soulful local veteran Joey Murphy hosts regular queer singer/songwriter nights featuring well-known acts stopping by on national tours, as well as up-and-coming ‘burghers. Joey also hosts an open-mic night for acoustic singer/songerwiters as part of MySpace Mondays over at Moondog’s. This coming Monday night you can check out the Emmy-winning Carol Lee Espy, get up onstage yourself (there are prizes for participants), or just enjoy a cold drink and soak in the sounds. And it’s not just for the gay ladies–anyone is welcome!
I heart Pittsburgh because of all the gorgeous and talented women who make it such a great place to live. If you want to know more about the local dyke scene, email Ehrrin to get on the mailing list, check out the Pittsburgh Dykes profile on MySpace, and read the Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondants’ newsy and political blog.