There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
When Michelle Ross moved to D.C., she took to the local lesbian scene fast—but she wasn’t content to just show up at parties. She wanted to make it easier for women to find them. “Being new to town, I pieced together a map of where women gather,” Ross says. “The idea hit me I should share this information.” And so PhatGirlChic.com was born. In the decade since its creation, the site has become a go-to clearinghouse for lesbians of color in search of a good time, promoting lesbian circuit events with a calendar and “Pink Pages” listings of women-owned businesses. Ross also launched ZOOM Excursions to host her own affairs, from chocolate tastings to DJing classes, carving out space for urban lesbians to have fun outside of the nightclub. The social planner and promoter says being a lesbian of color informs the inclusive, welcoming vibe she tries to nurture at her events: “One of the reasons I’m so open is because of spaces where I’ve felt the complete opposite.” Ross’ newest venture is a monthly queer women’s happy hour called REVEL, each of which spotlights a queer artist, musician, or lesbian-owned business. But the focus, always, is social. “I want people to walk away having met some really quality people,” she says.