The Lesbian Side of the Winter Party Festival

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Attendees at ArtScape 2012 (Photo: Silvia Ros)

The Winter Party Festival (WPF) in Miami has an unofficial emblem—the shirtless gay male.

That’s why lesbian, bisexual and transgender women may seem absurdly out of place at the event, lost in a bevy of men without shirts.

However, Her Winter Party 2013, which features women’s events at WPF, directly deals with that entrenched image in their tagline:  “Think Winter Party is all about boys dancing shirtless?  Think again.”

“Whether you want to dance, purchase art, practice your salsa spins, or toast with friends with a mimosa in hand, we have an event for you,” said Marivi Iglesias, Director of Women’s Programming at WPF.

From March 6-11, Winter Party Festival marks its twentieth edition in Miami.  More than 10,500 attendees are expected at the LGBT festival, a six-day celebration that donates much of its proceeds to local nonprofits.

According to the WPF website, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force began managing the Winter Party in 2005, and has contributed close to $1.2 million dollars to The Miami Foundation’s GLBT Community Projects.  Through the Miami Foundation, funding has been provided to Pridelines Youth Services, Equality Florida, Safe Schools of South Florida as well as others.

Although women’s programming for WPF was officially initiated in 2005, each year has brought more visibility to their events.

First on Her Winter Party’s schedule is ArtScape, an art exhibition, Thursday, March 7 at FIFTY, a private lounge at the top of Viceroy Miami.  An open bar, hors d’oeuvres, music by DJ Joseph Anthony and a silent art auction are included in the admission.

The auction will include artwork by women and men artists.

“We have gathered a diverse body of work that includes photography, ceramic, etchings and paintings,” Iglesias said.  “Some highlights include photography on metal from local artist Carolina Bonnelly; a mixed media monoprint from Tolibia & Shelley Leigh; and ceramic installation from Sarah Zaleski.”

Another highlight of ArtScape will be the celebrity guest:  actor Jessica Clark, known for her role as Lilith on HBO’s True Blood.

Openly lesbian and married to her partner, Clark is also “promoting her new movie with Wolfe Video—called A Perfect Ending, which debuted to a sold-out crowd at last year’s Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival,” Iglesias said.

“As an openly gay actress, she’s someone we’re ecstatic to be working with and we know our guests will get a kick out of meeting her.”

On Friday, March 8, Her Winter Party starts out a weekend of women’s dance parties with Icandee Events’ Latin infused, Pa’Ella in the Wynwood District, featuring music by DJ Gigi and South Florida’s acclaimed Afro-Cuban funk band PALO!

Saturday, March 9 brings Pandora Events’ Industry, another dance event, to the Safi Club and Lounge with DJ La Trice’s mix of tech house and disco.

Her Winter Party closes its schedule of events Sunday, March 10 with the Women’s Jazz Brunch at the Shore Club’s Terraza.

Tickets for each event can be purchased separately; however, a women’s event pass includes all of the tickets together at a discounted price.

The women who show up at Her Winter Party are “quite diverse,” Iglesias said.  “We get out-of-towners, local, younger, older, artsy, clubby, you name it.”

As far as the number of attendees, Iglesias estimated that there are about 100-500 women at each event.  Women are also welcome at all of the other events on the Winter Party schedule.  The Beach Party on Sunday is popular with everyone.

And men often attend Her Winter Party events.

“Besides supporting the cause, I think they attend to be with their lesbian friends,” Iglesias said.  “At the end of the day, we are offering social outings for the gay community as a whole. We welcome all of our gay male friends as well as bisexuals and transgendered.”

If you go to Her Winter Party 2013

Thursday, March 7, 2013


7 p.m.-11 p.m.

FIFTY at Viceroy Miami

485 Brickell Ave, Miami


Friday, March 8, 2013


10 p.m.- 3 a.m.

TSL Lounge

167 NW 23rd Street

Wynwood, Miami


Saturday, March 9, 2013


10 p.m. – 3 a.m.

Safi Club and Lounge

20 Biscayne Blvd, Miami


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Women’s Jazz Brunch

11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Terrazza at Shore Club

1901 Collins Avenue


Women’s Pass

Access to all 4 events


For more information & to purchase tickets:

Her Winter Party