as you are.
Help us be Queer to stay.
We need assistance and we're worth it. There have been several obstacles for as you are in the process of opening and staying open. We know that the existence and longevity of spaces like this depend heavily on the building they exist in being affordable. We want to own this building. We want to have a space in this world that can belong to the Queer community and be here to stay. We are traditionally not a community that feels safe in the world's culture. Add to that we are a community that intersects with every other community and it makes many of us even less safe in the world.
As You Are (AYA) has managed to create a space that is a safe haven for so many that aren't safe anywhere else. How did we do this? Together.
AYA was built with the community. It continues to be run in the same way. All of the programming at AYA is produced by our members. Queer people that struggle to find their place in traditional gay/lesbian bars have found a home at As You Are. The name says it all, we want patrons to bring all of themselves to this space just as they are. Here people dress how they want, flirt how they want, participate how they want.
We have created 3 separate spaces that blend together seamlessly. The first level is a cafe offering a chill vibe for reading, conversation and table games. Upstairs is an open floor with a full bar that acts as a dark, sweaty dance floor, a spoken word hall, a drag performance stage, karaoke bar, craft room, and so much more. Off the back of that area we have a lounge with cozy seating, video games and an art gallery. These diverse spaces offer entertainment for so many portions of our community, families enjoy brunch on Saturday morning and remote employees turn it into their office for the day. Upstairs we have the opportunity to let loose and move our bodies without fear of being objectified for who we are. The lounge offers a space to take a break from the excitement, have a conversation with the hottie we've been dancing on all night, and a way to be near the party but avoid over stimulation if our neuro-divergence can't thrive in the mix.
This is a space we deserve, we are grateful for and we need to figure out how to keep.
If you are interested in supporting the LGBTQIA+ community by making As You Are a longstanding staple of the community please reach out using the following contact information.
phone: 202-506-1440 (ask for Jo or Coach)
visit: 500 8th St. SE Washington, DC 20003