The lesbian scene in São Paulo may not be so well-publicised as the flamboyant gay scene, and it’s not the easiest world to crack especially if you’re new in town. But if you know where to look, there are plenty of popular places where gay girls can drink and dance. University student Jacqueline Harumie Hora Tanaka, 25, took a while to find her feet in the lesbian scene here: ‘I used to just hang out with gay men. I had little idea about what was going on in the gay scene for girls in São Paulo.’
One of Tanaka’s recent discoveries is the alternative club night Valentina, which rotates between a number of different venues. ‘Twenty- and thirtysomethings come for the indie music’, Tanaka explains. So no Lady Gaga then? No. ‘Gay men are way more into her,’ she says. As for the dress code, Converse trainers, denim shorts, plaid shirts, and trendy glasses are all to the fore, though some opt for dresses and heels. Very democratic.
One of Valentina’s promoters, 30-year-old Alexandra Marcely, explains that the way to get connected is online. Nearly 5,000 people have liked Valentina’s Facebook page (facebook.com/festavalentina), where the dates and venues for the nights are posted.
For student Beatriz Marins, 21, it’s all about the beautiful girls at Oui Oui, a monthly Saturday-night party at Clube Glória. ‘It’s full of fashionistas, with few men. The setting gives it a temple-of-sin vibe,’ she says, referring to Clube Glória’s former incarnation as a church.
Marins also rates the Sunday afternoon samba show (6.15pm) by the all-girl group Samba de Rainha. ‘It draws a varied crowd, with single girls as well as couples from bohemian Vila Madalena and the more hedonistic Rua Augusta.’
Warm up to the weekend
For a pre-weekend warm up, the monthly Thursday-night gathering Bubu Só Para Elas at Bubu Lounge Disco is student Lívia’s choice. ‘There are women for all tastes,’ she says. ‘It’s best to arrive early, though, as the queue gets quite long, but it’s definitely worth the wait’. Girls flit between two rooms; one playing MPB and pop rock, featuring both live bands and DJs, and the other with a harder beat.
Thursday nights are also where it’s at for the ladies further east at Sonique, with the fortnightly Affair para Meninas spinning indie, rock and electronic music for the girls crammed on the club’s slender dancefloor. And the monthly Saturday night Café para Elas, also at Sonique, is a favourite for fans of house and pop.
To fuel up for all that flirting, the nearby Club Flamingo serves some tasty pre-party bites. The recently opened three-storey restaurant and bar boasts a respectable variety of brews, with more than thirty beers on the menu, and staff at the ready to recommend one. To eat, go with the ‘Spice’ hamburger (160 grams of flank steak and mozzarella in a sesame seed bun), for a sure-fire way to add a little heat to your night.
Affair para Meninas is a fortnightly event and Café para Elas is a monthly Saturday event both at Sonique on Rua Bela Cintra 461, Consolação, 2628 8707, soniquebar.com.br
Bubu Só Para Elas is at Bubu Lounge Disco on Rua dos Pinheiros 791, Pinheiros, 3081 9546, bubulounge.com.br
Read more about Bubu Só Para Elas
Club Flamingo is at Rua Antônio Carlos 395, Consolação, 7761 0550, facebook.com/pages/Clube-Flamingo
Oui Oui (pt-br.facebook.com/ouiouiparty) is a monthly Saturday-night party at Clube Glória on Rua 13 de Maio 830, Bela Vista. Read more on Oui Oui
Samba de Rainha is at Vermont Itaim, Rua Pedroso Alvarenga 1192, Itaim Bibi, 3071 1320, vermontitaim.com.
Valentina is an itinerant party. Read more about Valentina or check the Facebook page