Last weekend, sixteen lesbians from different parts of the world convened at a campsite somewhere in California. We were there to take part in Actualize– a lesbian event that I had spent a year putting together.
Being a lesbian can sometimes be an extremely isolating experience. The purpose of this gathering was to combat that by connecting a group of us to each other, and by using our time spent together to support lesbian artists and celebrate lesbian achievements.
On Friday, we did a thing called “speed-friending”– think speed dating but more fun and with less pressure. After that, we played lesbian trivia which consisted of questions like “Who was the first lesbian in space?” and ” Which holiday did Ellen Page come out on?” Trivia was followed by performances from Dior Williams and Paradigm.
On Saturday, we had five workshops: Feminist Consciousness Raising, Healing Through Poetry, Creative Writing, Radfem Spirituality, and Improv.
In addition to the workshops, we saw a lesbian movie, had both a pool party and a campfire, and took some time to write nice notes to each other.
On Sunday, during the closing ceremony, several women shared how glad they were to be a part of Actualize, and how amazing it felt to spend an entire weekend with other lesbians.
Taking the idea that some friends and I had about creating a lesbian-only gathering and turning it into a real thing wasn’t easy. I struggled to find a venue that was accessible, non-religious, available, affordable, and more. I had to figure out who to invite, who would perform/ host workshops, and how everyone would get there. It took a long time, but it was definitely worth it. And I can’t wait to do it all again next year.
Please note that Actualize is both a lesbian-only and invitation-only event. Tickets are not available to the general public. If you’re a lesbian who wants to attend next year, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.