GRRRL SCOUT Strong
Now approaching its eighth year of operation, local event company GRRRL SCOUT is the creative force behind some of the best LGBTQ+ events that the Twin Cities has to offer. “We wanted to create event[s] that felt welcoming to all members of the queer community,” explain GRRRL SCOUT founders Kristen and Jac, “and elevated the talented folks within that community.” Now that events can be hosted more safely, GS has begun rekindling the connections they have built with artists, venues and organizations across the Twin Cities, with the goal of once again providing a roster of unique events that are fun, safe and community-building.
“We’ve hosted everything from speed dating/bingo/trivia-style events to large-scale festival-style events,” Jac and Kristen explain. “We push ourselves to continue to evolve, giving the community new and exciting things to attend.” Most recently, GS hosted a Stoplight Party at The Cabooze. Attendees chose a colored wristband upon arrival—green for “Single and Ready To Mingle,” yellow for “I’m an Open Book—Just Ask,” and red for “Just Here To Dance.” The event was packed with entertainment of all kinds: music, food trucks, a dance-off, performances, games, the works.
GS’s commitment to crafting unique experiences and building community means that they’re always ready to build new partnerships. “Perhaps it’s a new band, performer or vendor that [our attendees] otherwise didn’t know about,” say Kristen and Jac. “We try to feature a wide array of talent in each and every event to expose people to something new.”
Bringing people together has always been a central tenant of GS’s philosophy. “Our goal was to create an event [company] that felt more like a ‘collective’ of queer creators, businesses and performers, rather than focusing on the promoters or the company hosting the event itself. The collective is what makes GRRRL SCOUT so great. This includes the beautiful community that attends our events as well.”
One of the ways that GS has built community through their events is by prioritizing the safety of their guests. “We take the safety of our community very seriously,” say Jac and Kristen. “We want all of our guests to feel a sense of belonging. We will not tolerate any racist or homophobic language or actions.” GS accomplishes this by setting clear expectations for attendees and staff alike. Event details include clear messaging about consent and respecting personal boundaries. Security, door staff, and other partners (who are often queer themselves) are trained in nonviolent techniques, as well as “proper pronouns and language use when addressing our attendees.”
GS is committed to creating events that are inclusive and reflect the diversity of the Twin Cities. “Representation matters and we want everyone to feel seen and heard at our events,” say Kristen and Jac. “We use our platform to host several performers, creators, and businesses within BIPOC communities. We are [also] donating 10% of our quarterly profits to local BIPOC organizations throughout the Twin Cities. This quarter we will be donating to MidWest Mixed.”
Given the events of the last year, GS is also keenly aware of public health. The organization takes COVID and all recommended guidelines associated with the pandemic seriously. “We hope that we can continue to hold safe spaces for the queer community throughout the winter months while keeping the threat of the pandemic in mind,” say Kristen and Jac. “Taking a break to recalibrate during the pandemic has really ignited a new love and appreciation for what we have created.”
The future for GS looks as fun and fulfilling as its past. “We are just getting back into the swing of things!” say Kristen and Jac. “We’ll continue to host our monthly events along with our big Queer 90s Party this upcoming September. We are working on a few new things as well, so stay tuned!” GS social media channels, which are listed below, and its website are the best ways to keep track of upcoming events.
The success of GS over the years is directly related to the community it has served and continues to serve. “We feel incredibly fortunate to have received so much love and support from our community over the last several years,” say Jac and Kristen. “It’s been so rewarding to see how joyful folks are to be in a space by and for queer folks. We’re honored to be able to create comfortable and inviting spaces for our community!”
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @gsmpls