The L Stop celebrates first year as lesbian community resource
Thu. May 24, 2012 9:59 AM by Anthony Morgano
The L Stop anniversary party, Saturday, May 26
The idea for The L Stop first came about late in 2009 when Martinez and Gonzalez were chatting over Mexican food and margaritas. At the time, the only way for lesbians in Chicago to connect to their community was to jump from site to site or scour the city's LGBT publications for fragmented coverage of lesbian life. While there was plenty going on in their vibrant and diverse community, the two felt that it lacked a central provider of information.
"We were both talking about how hard it was to find out where all the lesbian parties were at and to know what was going on in the community," Martinez told ChicagoPride.com. "We both have a background in web design, so we just figured that we should build a website that consolidates all of the information about things going on in the community into one place."
A lot of time, patience and hard work later, The L Stop was launched on May 1 of last year, creating an online presence for Chicago's lesbian community. Part editorial content and part blogs, the site covers a wide variety of topics, including community news, politics, sports, events, the queer comedy scene, trans issues and much more. The L Stop's humor blog about harnessing your lesbian gaydar, "Effing Dykes," was even named the Best LGBT Blog by the 2011 Bloggie Awards. Paired with the tagline "helping you spot the ladies faster, so we can all get laid," it is a fun, funny and oftentimes dirty tongue-in-cheek look at the lesbian community.
The L Stop also serves as a gateway, allowing users to explore everything that Chicago has to offer queer women from nightlife to sporting teams to volunteering opportunities. By providing this easy access to information, the website also benefits the city's smaller lesbian organizations that previously lacked the wide outreach made possible by the L Stop.
"When people throw events or fundraisers and they come to us to help promote it or do a feature on it, we can tell that they feel a little bit more confident about their event knowing that we are helping them reach a larger audience," Martinez said. "It's also been nice knowing that we can use the website as a platform for any organization or individual in the community to get important information out there."
Over the last year, The L Stop has has grown and established itself. The website has added writers and made connections with several high-profile organizations including the Human Rights Campaign, the Lesbian Community Care Project, Amigas Latinas and Dykes on Bikes. They've done quite a bit of promoting and are reaping the rewards as they approach becoming something of a household name in Chicago.
"I think the most exciting part has been knowing that the site has been working how we envisioned it," Martinez told ChicagoPride.com. "It's nice to be out and hear people say, ‘oh yeah, I heard about that on The L Stop!'"
The L Stop is throwing a fabulous birthday party this Saturday, May 26, at O'Malley's Liquor Club, located at 3551 N. Sheffield near the intersection of Sheffield and Addison. Starting at 9:30 p.m., the party offers three hours of open bar with General Admission tickets ($35 presale) enjoying call brands like Smirnoff, Bacardi and Cuervo Gold and VIP tickets ($60 presale) getting access to top shelf brands like Ketel One, Maker's Mark and Patron as well as an unlimited buffet and a private show by Chicago's own Red Hot Annie. The night will also feature a fashion show, cake eating contest, performances and beats spun until 3 a.m. by DJ Canvas, Barbara Butch & Unisexy and All The Way K. For more information about the event or to purchase your tickets, please visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/246679.
On the Web: TheLStop.org" target="new">thelstop.org
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