You are invited to experience an online storyworld recreating some of the most well known lesbian bars that have existed throughout history. Lesbian bars may have all but disappeared in todays brick and mortar cities, but inside Last Butch, you can hang out, sit at a bar stool, chat with people and listen to former patrons like Joan Nestle, Chrystos and Lillian Faderman share their stories inside their respective bars. 

This interactive lesbian bar and “herstory” project is open to everyone, regardless of sexuality or gender identity.

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“Last Butch is an interactive multi-media trip down a very important road, alley, dark street, underground space—the lesbian bar,” said Marie Cartier, author of Baby, You Are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars, and Theology Before Stonewall.
 

The bars in Last Butch are recreations based from writings, photograpghs, interviews with former bar patrons and bar owners, to create the interactive online bar and salon spaces that make up this collaborative story-world. Marie Cartier's book, mentioned above has been an inspiration for this project. Inside Last Butch you can hang out, meet up, and learn about lesbian history while experiencing lesbian and gay women's spaces that existed between 1925 and 2005. The interactive, online lesbian bar and “herstory” project is open to everyone, regardless of sexuality or gender identity.

In Last Butch spaces, you’ll also hear audio interviews with former bar-goers, whose portraits and audio interviews are part of the storyworld’s “herstory” experience. 


I've been fortunate to interview—

Lillian Faderman; scholar of lesbian and LGBT history and literature, as well as ethnic history and literature.
Interview inside Club Laurel, Los Angeles 

Andi Seagal; secretary, Los Angeles
Interview inside Joani Presents, Los Angeles

Joan Nestle; activist,writer, co-founder of Lesbian Herstory Archives
Interview inside the Sea Colony, New York

Saundra Tignor; retired nurse 
Interview inside the Star Room, Los Angeles

Nancy Valverde; activist,barber, bar owner 
Interview inside Redz, Los Angeles

Chrystos; activist, poet
Interview inside Romeo's Pizza, San Francisco

Jonathan Ned Katz; author, independent scholar and history activist, founder of OutHistory.org. 
Interview inside Eve's Hangout, New York 

Christina Schlesinger; painter and muralist
Interview inside Big Brother's, Los Angeles

Barbara Kahn; playwright and actor
Interview inside Eve's Hangout, New York 

Carolyn Weathers; Librarian, activist,
Interview inside Bacchanal 70

Lila Thirkield; Owner of the Lexington Club

Interview inside the Lexington Club, San Francisco

Susie Smith; Filmmaker, Lexington Club Documentary
Interview inside the Lexington Club, San Francisco

Every month I hosts public events and introduce new bars into the existing storyworld. I currently have 17 bars represented, two salons and a tea room across two continents.

 

There is also a gallery space inside the Lexington Club currently showing artist Chloe Sherman's work and curated by Jenni Olson. 

Look, I love lesbian bars. Specifically lesbian bar history. I believe these bars to be the birthing grounds to explore and frame our identity, history, activism and agency.  Because of this I believe that they are sacred spaces. 

It is my goal in creating Last Butch to pay homage to these spaces and honor the gay elders who paved the way, upon whose shoulders we stand on.  And to have a place to honor and tell our own story, inside the bars — together. 


I believe that looking at our history provides a mirror to our present. I hope Last Butch strikes conversations around that mirror, while at the same time revel in our history. 

Marie Cartier said, "It is time to be proud of our history, rather than search for a history we can be proud of.



Thanks for reading this. 

 

Cheers!

 

We are interested in gathering peoples personal experiences at lesbian bars. If you are interested in sharing your story please email us at hello@lastbutch.com. Our future plans entail that these oral archives will exist inside the virtual bars.
Image from the Last Butch experience. Gateways, London c.1940s - 1985

LAST BUTCH | An Interactive Lesbian Bar Project
Revel in history, hang out, meet friends — All Welcome!