E: Silke, you are the head honcho at HIP CHICKS OUT in Denver. Tell us a little about HCO and why you started it.
SR: HipChicksOut started 5 years ago with a Happy Hour in one of Denver’s up and coming neighborhoods at a swanky small bar with about 30 people. The idea was to go to new straight bars to explore, surprise people and have fun together as a group. We make the venue a lesbian bar for the night and hang out with the few straights left in the bar. The ladies love it! Today, 7 years later, we have close to 400 peeps coming out. What I like about it, is that it kind of opens up the conversation with the straight community when their curiousity kills them and asking us who we are, what we do etc. We have a regular Happy Hour once a month and then we also do crashers where we take over a location revealed the day of the Happy Hour without letting the venue know, so guerrilla-style. It’s fun!
E: HCO is teaming up with Dede Frain and Babes around Denver to host SWISH, the parties associated with the women’s basketball Final Four. The Epochalips crew will be on hand and I’m super excited for this series of events. What is that all about?
SR: Wow, what an event. Dede and I have our separate events. We watch out for each other and even though our crowds overlap, we make sure our events don’t. We even team up on Big Events where it makes sense for both of us to combine efforts. So, it started with Dede asking me… “hey Silke, you wanna do a party weekend for the Final Four?” Me: “What’s the Final Four?” Ok, so I’ve been here for 22 years and more and have learned soooo much about the culture and sports and everything and March Madness, but haven’t paid that close attention… But now I know!!!
So I said yes and SWISH was born. 5 days, 6 events – Wooohoooo. It will be a blast and we will have something for everybody, for the die-hard sports fans we offer the Viewing Parties right next door to the Pepsi Center where all the live action is but we’ll also show the Men’s games at our other events. A Kick-Off Party with DJ Sinna-G, a Dance Party with DJ Tatiana, Trip Giveaway from Olivia Travel and Sweet Travel, Comedy Show (Julie Goldman) and Dance Party with Wolfe Video AND a Brunch Fundraiser for one of my favorite charities, NCLR with food by one of my favorite chefs in Denver, Elise Wiggins. It is going to be HUGE and fabulous.
E: Tell us the story of your immigration from Germany.We are lucky to have you. How old were you and did you identify as a lesbian before or after you got here?
SR: My dad was a German Air Force pilot who had the opportunity to take part in a 3-year exchange program with the US Airforce in Wichita Falls, Texas. So… my mom was pregnant when we moved to Texas and I happened to be born on the Shepard’s Air Force Base… I was made in Germany
When I was 18 I decided to come to the States for 1 year as an adventure. It really happened out of a dare with my dad, but then of course I had to go through with it. He had friends in Pittsburgh or Denver and I love the mountains and grew up skiing so I chose Denver. I really didn’t know anything about Denver AND I really didn’t speak a whole lot of English, which made it rough at first. I was not out yet, I didn’t know who I was. I met my first girlfriend at my first job – Falafel King (only place who would hire a non-speaking English chickie). Even though I looked like a little baby dyke I was convinced I liked boys. LOL
E: Whats next for HCO?
HipChicksOut 2nd Friday happy hour is on the menu next in Friday, the lucky 13th of April and the next big party is when HipChicksOut & DJ Tatiana team up for the GIRL PRIDE party, Saturday, June 16 in Denver. It will be our biggest yet and I can’t tell you details yet… it’s a secret but will reveal details as soon we have recovered from the SWISH Mania! Keep up with us via hipchicksout.com and you’ll be the first to know!