On Saturday January 19, a special event will echo and pulse Cobalt’s familiar floors. BARE, a monthly LGBTQ women’s party put on by the Ladies of LURe, turns ten years old. Founders Karen Diehl and Sterling Higgins are bringing back old and familiar faces to celebrate with the people who keep BARE going—their incredible team and patrons.
“Surreal, grateful, mind blowing, and amazing” are the feelings bubbling within Diehl and Higgins as they think about BARE’s tenth anniversary. “We were thankful to have an event that was consistently attended by our community,” says Higgins. “We never imagined BARE would run this long. We’re elated our event is providing a safe space where like minded queer women feel they can go.”
Over the last ten years, events and venues for the LGBTQ community, especially those geared towards the district’s queer women’s community, have disappeared. But while these spaces came and went, BARE has flourished into the monthly celebration we know and love.
“There was a time, during the Obama years, that I honestly thought we really didn’t need LGBTQ spaces anymore as we became more accepted at “straight” bars,” Diehl explains. “I thought times were changing for the better, and that we all could just be ourselves anywhere we went. As the days have gone on, I feel like we are in desperate need of these spaces, as the LGBTQ community seems to be [targeted] more frequently.”
This celebration will be a little different than last year. “This is going to be our past meeting our present,” says Diehl and Higgins. “Look out for some new ideas but also look for some familiar faces.”
The evening will include the familiar sounds of DJ Rosie and DJ Keenan Orr, joined by the Dystruxion Dancers.
“Let’s go down memory lane together,” says Diehl. “Let’s just celebrate the space, each other, and everything we have been through together.”
BARE’s 10th Anniversary takes place January 19 at Cobalt, 1639 R Street NW, Washington, D.C. 10 p.m. $7 admission before midnight.