Lez Swim: Diving In at an LBT Pool Party
By Rebecca Rush
Lez Get Together!
It’s #Pride month, and with it, our responsibility as progressive coast dwellers to carry the message: Lez is not less, gay is not gross, trans is not troubled, and bisexuality is real.
After living a life of suppression, being ‘straight enough to pass’ became no longer an option. (I thank you for that, NYC.) Girl Social began popping up on my newsfeed a few months back like “even Zuck knows you’re queer, bitch.” That it exists is amazing, but the fact that these events are SOLD OUT EVERY TIME is incredible.
I crossed the velvet rope last Wednesday at LezSwim, a pool party hosted at the Room Mate Grace Hotel in midtown west by Girl Social. A female bouncer let me in, the energy was just right, and through a wall of windows I could just about make out a beach ball being tossed around in the pool area. Rihanna’s “work” was streaming out of the speakers because she is everyone’s queen. It was lovely, so naturally, the first question I asked the first queer I saw was what they liked LEAST about the lesbian community.
“The worst part about the NYC lesbian community is the racial segregation,” Arielle, 23, NYU Grad and tech startup employee, tells me in the bar of the Roommate Grace Hotel.
“But it’s so nice to be surrounded by other lesbians, and just be off guard in that way, and that’s why I come, and I know that happens in all of life, but when you already feel marginalized, it’s like, can’t we all just be together?”
Imagine my surprise then, when I walk into the pool room to see women of all shades and gender appearances.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t ask any follow up questions or get Arielle’s last name because later on in the evening I made out with her and then took too long to text back. Some lessons are learned the hard way, like put the story to bed before you take the source there. Got it.
The integration happening at these events is thanks, in large part to Simone Davis, director of events. Davis was handed over the role from Girl Social Founder Rachel Cohen, who recently left to pursue her MBA at Wharton.
Simone, a tall woman with the kind of indeterminate cultural background that falls under the ‘who knows and who cares, this woman is amazing’ category, believes that helps her to be an ambassador to bringing all the different LBT shades of the rainbow together for a good time.
“I’m a mixed kid so I love bringing two worlds together,” she tells me from the DJ booth.
All Girl Social events are organized around an activity, whether it be bowling, swimming, or the perfectly punny LezzerTag. “It’s something to bond around,” says Davis.
“We haven’t been without growing pains,” continued Simone, noting that Girl Social started in the summer of 2016, with the LA chapter beginning this past winter.
It’s hotel policy that they don’t deny access to the pool and bar outside of it to any guest of the hotel. The first few parties dealt with the errant cis male hotel guest, since then the hotel has agreed to use only female staff to work the events and only those on the list to enter. Queerness is inclusive, however, Girl Social would prefer that a cisgendered male goes to the gay male events instead.
Girl Social is also body positive, so where I expected to see a bunch of women who look like they keep Juice Press in business I saw just a bunch of women. Human beings enjoying their humanity. Imagine.
And they mean it. The lady next to me who dove underground to submerge her face in her girlfriend was gently asked to cut it out when she came up for air. The only real problem I saw was that nobody had a snorkel, but that’s why I don’t run anything.
However, if someone is making fun of a trans woman, or a big woman, it won’t fly. If that is happening, or body shaming on any level, the perpetrator will be asked to leave immediately.
The adorable 22-year-old (who I also made out with, sorry, that’s just the kind of journalist I am) was there with her girlfriend celebrating her birthday who had both her breasts removed when she turned 21.
“Don’t need em, don’t want em,” she shrugged.
“We want all shades, all body types feeling good about themselves here,” Davis stated.
Here is the future. Feeling good about feeling female. Crazy, huh?
Raise that rainbow! And Happy Pride, everyone!
Girl Social’s Facebook page and links to upcoming events can be found here