For more than a decade, the gay scene in Atlanta has been punctuated by classy, upscale parties and other events hosted by Ladies at Play (LAP) founded by Chitan Chandler. On Sunday, Sept. 3 that landscape has been forever changed, as this Labor Day weekend, which was also Atlanta Black Pride, LAP hosted their End of Era final party. The sentiment among the LAP faithfuls in attendance was of understanding along with a bit of anxiety. Exclamations of disbelief were common, and ranged from “Really?” to “What!” to “Wow, who will give the parties now?”
LAP was differentiated from other parties because it has been more like a movement than just about partying. The organization hosted many other events that focused on fellowship, fitness and networking within Black lesbian professional circles. We asked one partygoer what LAP meant to her. “[LAP] was a place where you can go to feel safe. The parties were at nice venues in nice parts of town. It was a place where [gay women] came together and celebrated,” said Polly, who chose only to go by her first name. LAP evolved as its attendees evolved, catering to more mature women.
I have attended many of the LAP parties and have appreciated the class they exuded as well as the caliber of women that were drawn by them. The parties offered of a choice of musical genres and a crowd that was sexy, classy, and mature. The party this past Sunday, hosted at Tongue and Groove, did not disappoint, as the women were fabulous, the music was jumpin’ and the mood was significantly more electric than at previous events. The feeling was likened to attending the very last concert of your favorite musical artist, bittersweet at best. Now, I, (along with the rest of the Black lesbian community in Atlanta) am waiting with bated breath for the next great movement.
LAP has left a positive mark on the Black lesbian community in Atlanta, and in the lesbian community in general, as people often traveled from other states and countries to attend–kim y. burney
See pictures below.