If you’ve ever wanted a safe space to talk about sexual health among other womxn, Whitman-Walker Health and No Filter DC’s B.A.G.G. Series has you covered. The B.A.G.G. Series, which meets via Zoom on Wednesday nights at 8:30 p.m. ET, stands for Bad-ass Gurl Group. It’s a free event for womxn to discuss sexual health prevention tools and tips. Each week, the group gathers for two 15 minute sets of sexual health conversations broken up by two 30-minute sets by DJs Alex Love or Chan Don.
The idea for the B.A.G.G. Series came about from its host, vocalist and arts educator SolLikeSoul, who hosted a brunch for femme creatives in the D.C. metropolitan area last September. The idea was well-received among the group, and when someone said this is a “bad-ass gurl group,” the acronym B.A.G.G. was born.
The B.A.G.G. Series started in June 2020 with plans to meet in person, but has held all of its sessions via Zoom due to the coronavirus pandemic. The series is more than a pride initiative, but a part of Whitman Walker’s larger goal of finding ways to engage the womxn’s community. “Whitman-Walker has had a womxn’s pride party in partnership with Tagg Magazine for the last four to five years now,” says Jewel Addy, who works in external affairs at Whitman-Walker. “We wanted to create a space for womxn during pride season and extend that beyond the month of June.”
So far, the series has covered a variety of topics, including normalizing masturbation, lube, HIV prevention, and vaginal and frontal hole health. These topics are geared towards “all womxn,” as DJ Alex Love describes. “Straight womxn, queer womxn, trans womxn, just womxn in general.”
Rama Keita, Senior Manager of Community Health at Whitman-Walker, is particularly proud of their efforts to talk about HIV prevention. “If you think about HIV prevention, it’s heavily marketed towards men who have sex with men,” she says. “A lot of times womxn are overshadowed in that space, and it’s important that we’re having this conversation so womxn can understand their own risk.”
Participants have appreciated skipping the awkward conversations with their doctors, but still having the factual information and expertise provided by the series.
DJs Alex Love and Chan Don have even shared some of their own experiences around sexual health with the group. “The idea is to take away and also to give back, so it’s like a sharing community for us,” says DJ Chan Don. “And at the end of the day, we wanted it to be similar to a girls’ night.”
The B.A.G.G. Series will meet for five more weeks on Wednesday nights. Upcoming topics include menstrual health, cancer prevention, body image and body perception, and consent. The series also will include giveaways for its participants. In the future, the group hopes to meet in person and also “go beyond sexual health” and expand to mental health, financial relationships, and other topics that the community might find helpful.
As Keita explains: “Whitman-Walker wants to be in spaces of community where community voices matter the most. That feedback is so important to our organization to help us grow to be more inclusive, and to be true to the experiences of our client-patient population.”
To RSVP to the B.A.G.G. Series, please visit: bit.ly/B.A.G.G.rsvp.