Dykes, Cattivo, Funny. and Yes, Jello Shots

Last night, Ledcat and I volunteered to staff a Steel City Stonewall table at a Dykes on Bikes event at Cattivo.  Also at Cattivo were the Dykes of Hazard comedy troupe. 

The evening was good; we collected 62 signed letters in support of HB 300 and distributed a bunch of Steel City information, plus secured one membership on the spot.  The crowd was really nice: laid back, relaxed and actually interested in what we had to offer — information and opportunity.  A LOT of the women were informed on the issues and even eager to sign a letter.  To me that flies in the face of conventional wisdom that LGBTQ people in bars don't care.  There was a lot of caring going on last night.  Someone even tipped me $1 which I made Ledcat stuff into the bustiere of one of the Dykes on Bikes. 🙂   More than one women came up to me when I was away from the table and told she appreciated me giving up my Friday to help the cause and/or blog.  And I ran into a few readers so shout out to y'all and thanks for introducing yourselves to me. 

The awesome vote for the night goes to the Dykes on Bikes.  They promoted the Dykes of Hazard tour for the owners of Cattivo to pay back the owners for being so good to their organization.  The crowd was not huge, but I haven't been there on a Friday for comparison purposes.  I have to admit that when people complain about there not being anything to do and fail to show up for a queer comedy performance …we have some PR work to do!  (P.S. They are performing Saturday might in Greensburg.)  I'm sure it didn't help that the extremely popular Lez Liquor Hour was scheduled on the same night. 

The Dykes of Hazard are part of the DIY trend and the brainchild of Kristen Becker of Buffalo and Shreveport.  She had me at hello.  She hosted the event and was terrific at playing off the crowd jubilant in a Penguins victory.  Nothing threw her and she had tons of lesbian material, but plenty of universal stuff as well.  Because of my table duties, I didn't get to see the other comedians but they weren't as strong with the off the cuff  comments which seem necessary in a bar filled with drunken lesbian sports fans.  The crowd watching the show sort of ebbed and flowed. but appeared to be having a good time.  The last performer (whose name I missed) I caught a few minutes from and she was getting pretty funny.  If we didn't have plans tonight, I might like to see them again.

It would be great if PrideFest would bring them back for a Pride show. 

The true shout out for the night goes to Dykes on Bikes founder, Miranda.  She was personally responsible for at least 40 of the signed letters.  She approached every person who came into the bar and convinced them why it is important to flex those democracy muscles.  She also had a well thought out response to those who aren't comfortable putting their personal information on a letter — support indirectly.  Buy a shot or a rose or make a donation to Dykes on Bikes so they can continue to subsidize letter writing events.  Donate to Shepherd Wellness or, anonymously, to Steel City Stonewall.  Volunteer at the GLCC.  She was very sincere about the fact that there's no reason every single LGBTQ person shouldn't be involved in something, big or small.  She's very persuasive and sincere.  Do not underestimate what the Dykes in Bikes might accomplish.  They are organized, dedicated and passionate. 

Another big shout out to the DOB membership who also gave up a Friday to support Cattivo and Steel City Stonewall.  Yes, there were breasts and jello shots involved.  Bring on the comments, but if you didn't spend your Friday afternoon preparing 100+ jello shots and baskets of roses to promote equality you really don't have a lot of room to point fingers.  Plus, two experienced political tabling folks both said this is the biggest response they've seen, proportional to the crowd, at a Pittsburgh political bar event.  No one crumpled up the literature on the floor.  There were no slate cards dropped in front of the bar.  The women who came to Cattivo last night cared and part of the reason they got to connect their personal investment in the issues with political action has everything to do with the Dykes on Bikes.
 
All in all, I am glad I went.  I want to see more of Kristen Becker's comedy.  I got to see a lot of belts and boots that were very cool.  I met some nice people and learned a few things from the pool playing crowd.  And we got 62 letters! 

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