The expansion of femme & queer+ inclusive spaces in Provincetown.


Over the past few decades lesbian spaces have nearly vanished but recently there has been a Sapphically-energized movement of FLINTA (Female, Lesbian, Intersex, Trans and Agender)-friendly spaces reentering the scene. From La Camionera in London to The Ruby Fruit in LA, The Bush in Brooklyn, Femme Bar in Worcester and Dani’s Queer Bar in Boston, Sapphic spaces are on the rise. And this goes for Provincetown, as well, which is in the midst of a Femme’aissance if you will. New queer+ and female-owned businesses are popping up all along Commercial St., more queer+ and female-identifying performers are commanding the town’s stages and a growing number of events and parties are now offered for the “queer and Sapphically-inclined” to borrow a phrase from new events production duo Babes & Bois

Founded by Provincetown residents Carmen da Silva and Sam Sewell, Babes & Bois launched in 2022 to answer the question, “Where are the women at?” Apart from established events like MEMSDAY, Womxn of Color Weekend, Girl Splash and Women’s Week, Sewell and da Silva would often be among a handful of the only female-presenting folx at any given event or bar in town. Last year alone, Babes & Bois created several new events like a Cubbyhole Bar Pop-up at Porch Bar, a weekly C U Next Tuesday residency at the Provincetown Brewing Company, Sapphic Sip & Draws, a Cliterary Book Club, a Holigay Market, and Poetry Open Mics at a series of rotating venues including Stranger & Saints and the typically-male dominated Crew’s Quarters. After the first Babes & Bois Carnival Pool Party sold out last August, this year’s event, again in partnership with lesbian-owned Seaglass Inn & Spa, plans to increase capacity to help accommodate the palpable demand for female and queer-inclusive events. 

Provincetown’s high season is known for it’s event-filled performance spaces and these stages have been on fire with an amazing lineup of queer+ and female performers, authors and politicians like celesbians Lea DeLaria, Judy Gold, the Indigo Girls, Rachel Maddow and Maura Healey, queer songbirds Boyfriend, Yoli Mayor and Brittany Rolfs (also crowned PBC’s first female Bearded Mistress), and local burlesque beauties Lady Maddness, The Duchess of Sandwich and genderqueer Drag King, Gina Carmela. Expect this summer’s stages to heat up even more with Boston Leather Organization Of Dykes, Jes Tom, and Lexie Peters coming to town in 2024 as well as the return of Crown & Anchor’s weekly pool party, Clam Jam, hosted by DJs J-Boom and C-Weed.

Theme weeks continue to be a magnetic draw for visitors to Ptown and this year marks several significant milestones for the queer, female and trans community. Women’s Week, originally founded by the Women Innkeepers of Provincetown and now produced by Lynette Molnar of Provincetown For Women, celebrates its 40th anniversary this October. Later that month Provincetown will host the 50th anniversary of TransWeek and early June welcomes Womxn of Color Weekend which has expanded to a jam-packed four-day event. Lesbian Visibility Week enjoyed a successful inaugural celebration this past April with events all over town from softball tournaments and play readings, to herstory panels and a drag king show.

There are also a growing number of incredible women-owned and managed businesses in town to support all season long including Beach Babes Butler, a luxury picnic experience, Coast Provincetown for e-scooter rentals, East End Market for fresh bagels, sandwiches, beach snacks or a great bottle of wine, Harbor Lounge for one of the best cocktail menus in town, Liz’s Cafe for crowd-pleasing brunch or a cozy date night, Sole Luna Massage & Meditation Studio for a great Thai Massage and Toys of Eros for all your pleasure needs. The Underground, now under the management of Katie Ledoux and her partner Carol Kambar, owner of the Shell Shop, regularly host events during female-focused theme weeks and a growing number of Sapphic dance parties year-round with DJs like Lizzie Pitch, Frenchy, KT, Sam Sewell and L’Duke on deck. And stand up comedian Kristen Becker is not only a beloved, local comic, but the co-owner of Topless Dune Tours and founder of Summer of Sass, a local non-profit created to transform the lives of LGBTQ+ youth with an opportunity to leave oppressive areas of the US and spend a summer working and living in Provincetown where they are celebrated! 

As more of our LGBTQ+ community is celebrated and given space, the stronger our community will be a whole. This is truly an exciting time to visit and help mold Provincetown into the most LGBTQ+ inclusive travel destination it can be, especially for our queer+ and femme family. Here’s to a femtastic 2024!


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