The first-ever Queer Girls Movie Night had a covert feel to it.
While a college student at American University, Mary Cristina Wright noticed her friend Rebecca Day referring to her hangout nights with friends as “queer girl movie nights.” Wright liked the sound of it and one day decided to “borrow” the key to one of the school’s conference rooms that had a projector. She put up posters around campus and screened “But I’m a Cheerleader” for about 25 folks who showed up. They didn’t get caught.
Wright says the event “definitely cemented my love for organizing community events.”
After graduating, she missed the sense of community those evenings offered so about two years ago the first post-college Queer Girl Movie Night was held and it’s been going on ever since.
Queer Girl Movie Night and Dyke Bar Takeover D.C. are joining forces for “QGMNxDBT D.C.: Galentines Edition” on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at Comet Ping Pong (5037 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) at 6 p.m. This month’s selection is an episode of “Black Mirror,” which starts at 8 p.m. Look for the group on Facebook for details. Their regular February screening will be Thursday, Feb. 22 at Pansaari. Queer Girl Movie Nights are always free.
Locations vary. They’ve had screenings at Suns Cinema, the Black Cat, Colony Club and Comet Ping Pong since outgrowing home screenings. Usually between 50-100 attend. Wright says the popularity of the event speaks to the need for more gathering spaces for queer D.C. women. Most of the screenings, which Wright selects, are about queer women and usually written and directed by queer women as well.
“It started with the intention to create space for queer women,” Wright, a 25-year-old Panama City native, says. “There’s a definite void in brick-and-mortar spaces but not at all in terms of activity. There are so many organizers in D.C. and every year the amount and diversity of events seems to grow.”
Wright came to Washington for college seven years ago and stayed. She works by day as a videographer at the Kennedy Center and lives in a “super queer” group house in Petworth. She’s single and enjoys movies, skateboarding and supporting other queer events in her free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I didn’t realize I was gay until what feels like late in the game. I fell in love with someone my junior year of college and have gotten gayer every day since. I didn’t technically tell her, but the hardest person to come out to was definitely my mom. She left my college graduation when she found out. Then my girlfriend at the time and I went to Chipotle and I cried.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
My dad, José Badué. He was actually my Spanish professor in college and took me under his wing when my family rejected me after finding out I was gay. He’s also gay and Hispanic and is my chosen family. I learn so much about queer history through him, and I appreciate having such an important and impactful cross-generational relationship with someone I can relate to across so many different areas of my life.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
Suns Cinema! It was the first public space to let me host a Queer Girls Movie Night.
Describe your dream wedding.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Everything is related, so I don’t see issues as “non”-LGBT.
What historical outcome would you change?
I’d rather focus on changing the future, based on historical outcomes, and that’s why I’m so passionate about creating safe, queer spaces for women in my community.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Kristen Stewart saying “I’m so gay” on SNL.
On what do you insist?
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
I posted a song by Reyna Tropical called “Niña.” One of the band members is the founder of She Shreds Mag, a magazine focused on women guitarists.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
I haven’t lived it all yet so I’m not sure.
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Still be gay.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Constantly ask yourself if your movement is truly inclusive and accessible for everyone.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
Nothing. My projector maybe.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
Lesbian bed death. Or more so that people don’t show up and that’s why there are no queer spaces for women.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
Tossup between Cheryl Dunye’s “The Watermelon Woman” and Desiree Akhavan’s “Appropriate Behavior.” Both women wrote, directed and starred in their respective films and I find that vulnerability very brave.
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Happy hours, or just the pressure to go out. Time for yourself is not a waste of a weekend.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
It’s not technically a trophy, but one of my best friends gifted me the box set of “The L Word” and I want to be buried with it.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
That I was super gaaaay (kidding, but not really). I wish I’d known that everyone is insecure and that’s OK.
Why not? D.C. has such an active, creative, queer community that is just as important as its political one.