Three years ago, the ladies of The V DC shimmered and shined their way into the hearts of the queer D.C. women’s community with their monthly queer women’s party, glittHER. But now, the head promoter is packing up and moving on, giving the D.C. queer and lesbian scene one last epic party before she hits the road.
“Life keeps moving,” says McKenzie Jones, one of the founding members of the flagship party. “I’m getting married in the fall, and I’ll be moving to San Francisco.” The V DC (formerly The V Spot), which started out as a group of eight promoters, has dwindled down to Jones at the helm, which accounts for the closing event. While another safe space is closed, another will surely open, and DJ Tezrah, resident deejay of glittHER, hopes to fill it.
“I cannot express how grateful I am to have worked with such a sparkling crew and crowd,” says Tezrah. “With blessings from The V DC, I am excited to help throw a spin-off party to continue and commemorate the spirit of glittHER.” Tezrah is currently scouting for creative, motivated people to help with the project.
So just how did the ladies of The V DC win over the hearts of queer women across the DMV? “It all started with a fundraiser that my friend Liz Ball asked my band at the time (Rando Tambo) to play,” explains Jones. “Liz wanted to throw a dance party to raise money for a clean water non-profit she was about to go work with in India, so my band played the first half, and the newly minted DJ Deedub (now Tezrah) deejayed after.” That first party turned out to be one of the highest volume nights the venue had seen, and, given Ball’s and Jones’s networks, attendees turned out to be predominantly queer. Management immediately asked them if they’d throw a monthly queer party.
Since Ball was off to India, Jones brought the ask to a group of friends (Tess Bishop, Jules Russell, Kerry Burke, Josette Matoto, Jess Forrester, Kara Burney and Kelsey Branch), who decided to take it on together as The V DC. “During that time, our friend Rebs Creer had been decorating our faces with glitter before we went out on Friday and Saturday nights, so that was the inspiration for the party name,” Jones says.
During that first year, in addition to putting on glittHER every month, the eight founders developed and promoted The V DC brand, grew their following and planned other parties such as a Strike Down DOMA happy hour at Nellie’s, Doll House at Flash, Taco Tuesdays at El Centro, a Rocky Horror Picture Show party at Mothership and YONCÉ at Brixton.
Over the last three years, The V DC has experienced a vast amount of success, including an anniversary party that landed on the same day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality. “There was a line around the block to get into glittHER that night,” recounts Tezrah. “That moment was pretty special to celebrate with the community.”
For the finale event, The V DC plans to host their party at Old Engine 12 Firehouse Restaurant in Bloomingdale to accommodate more attendees, who will undoubtedly want to get in one last glittHER bomb before they hit the road. From a glowstick limbo competition to a “Glitterfication” Station to a glitter portrait studio with GoKateShoot, patrons will immerse themselves in every nuance they’ve come to love about glittHER. The party will boast hourly flash-drink specials as well.
“The finale is about celebrating the last three years and thanking all who have been a part of it,” says Jones. “I so appreciate my fellow founders, who poured their hearts and souls into The V DC and grew it through their efforts and networks, as well as our photographers, graphic designers, other promoters and many others who contributed to our success. But most of all,l this finale party is about thanking our glittHER attendees, who came out every month to get down with us! We’ll miss you!”
The closing party is set for Friday, July 22 at 9 p.m. at Old Engine Firehouse Restaurant. More information about the event (and some glittHER herstory) can be found here.