The Castro prides itself on being open and hospitable to all, but one look around the neighborhood’s nightlife scene makes it clear that the vast majority of bars and events, while welcoming to people of all genders and sexual orientations, primarily cater to gay men.
A year after the closure of the Lexington Club, San Francisco’s last remaining lesbian bar, Hoodline met up with a few women to talk about their impressions of today’s Castro. We wanted to know whether the world’s first distinct gayborhood still feels hospitable to lesbians—and what might have led to the lack of spaces for them.
Gathering spaces for gay women in San Francisco used to be more prevalent, but they were never numerous, says award-winning playwright Mercilee Jenkins, a longtime Castro resident. “There used to be a few places, such as The Café [which still has a designated girls night, ‘Lips,’ held on the first Saturday of the month] and Francine’s, but there’s no specific place that’s just for women,” she said. “All we really ever had was Amelia’s and the Lexington Club, which were near the Castro, but now they are closed.”