A new documentary series chronicles the decline of Lesbian Bars in the United States, and seeks to raise both awareness and funding to support those that remain. The Lesbian Bar Project explains:
In the 1980, there were roughly 200 Lesbian Bars in the United States. Today, there are fewer than 25. As these bars disappear, filmmakers Erica Rose and Elina Street established The Lesbian Bar Project to celebrate, support, and amplify the remaining Lesbian bars. The Lesbian Bar Project believes what makes a bar uniquely Lesbian is its prioritization of creating space for people of marginalized genders including women (regardless if they are cis or trans), non-binary folks, and trans men. As these spaces aim to be inclusive of all individuals across the diverse LGBTQIA+ community, the label Lesbian belongs to all people who feel that it empowers them.
Speaking to NBCNews, filmmaker Elina Street explains:
"We wanted to really dive deeper in really discussing and showing the spaces more in depth and also show how these spaces are changing due to the pandemic, how they're reopening and what they're offering — hopefully, a safer and healthier future."
The project has created a 20-minute documentary (released last summer), and a newly released three-part docuseries. Part I focuses on Houston's Pearl Bar and owner Julie Mabry, Part II on Phoenix's Boycott Bar and owner Audrey Corley, and Part III on New York's Henrietta Hudson Bar and owner Lisa Cannistraci. The film and docuseries were created and directed by New York-based filmmakers Erica Rose and Elina Street, and Lea DeLania (best known for her role in Orange is the New Black) is Executive Producer. You can watch the three-part docuseries here and read about the 24 remaining lesbian bars here. You can also watch the 20-minute documentary that was released in June 2021 here.