Efforts to inject a little more L power into West Hollywood’s LGBT alphabet have given rise to two local lesbian organizations, both in the early stages of organizing.
Some of those previously involved in The Lesbian Center (TLC) have left that organization to launch a separate organization, dubbed The L Project. Leaders of both groups said that differing priorities led to the split.
The two groups have divided the $5,000 raised at last year’s Wonder Woman party, which was billed as a kickoff event for the Lesbian Center.
“It was a very amicable split, and we’re going to split the money—and there’s plenty of room for lots of lesbian organizations,” said Lauren Costine, who along with Elisabeth Sandberg is involved with the new L Project.
Longtime activists Ivy Bottini and Jeanne Cordova both remain involved with The Lesbian Center. Bottini said that she considers TLC a “feminist-based” group that will be educational and “consciousness-raising.” She envisions “gatherings with a purpose” that are fun but not purely social. She also noted that she wants to offer alcohol-free gathering spaces for people who don’t want to go to bars.
As for the L Project, Costine said that the organization is looking toward offering social, educational and health/fitness programming. But the ideas aren’t solidly formed yet.
“We just continue to brainstorm about what we think lesbians would like in the city,” said Costine, noting that a survey done at the Wonder Woman party offered some ideas from the community.
Both groups plan to eventually use space in the Werle Building at 626 Robertson Blvd. The West Hollywood City Council previously voted for vacant office space in the building to be used as a gathering space for lesbian-oriented events. Bottini told WEHOville last year that she lobbied the council extensively about the need for lesbian space.
“I drove everyone crazy for three years,” she said.
It will be a while before space is available in the Werle Building, which is getting an elevator to make its second floor more accessible.
Although WeHo is often thought of as an LGBT enclave, it is more of a haven for men than for women. Lesbians and bisexual women comprise only about 5 percent of the little city’s population, whereas gay and bisexual men account for 41 percent.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Anne-Marie Williams as part of the L Project.