Group focused on family-oriented activities empowers women
If you were to suggest to Cheryl Daniel, in days of insouciance only of course, that she is a bitch, she will be happy to correct you. Oh, absolutely.
"That would be Queen Bitch to you," she will reply with a smile.
Her partner, Martha Blackbird, will agree with an infectious laugh: "That’s right, and I’m the Consort to the Queen."
You might say they are a bitch’n royal couple that — like the motto on their kitchen wall inspires — lives, loves and laughs.
Daniel is the progenitor of Bitch N Brunch, a fun-loving group of ladies that enjoys not just dining, but all types of family-oriented activities, from bowling to backyard barbeques. The group started small, with just seven gals at an outing at Enchilada’s on Greenville in December of 2006. But it has now grown to more than 500 members.
Daniel was inspired to begin the brunch group while attending the Dinah Shore Golf Tournament "lesbian fest" in Palm Springs, California a few years ago.
She said, "When I got off the plane, there were lesbians everywhere."
Then when she arrived at the Wyndham Hotel, she prepared to attend a party sponsored by Girl Bar, based out of Los Angeles.
Daniel says that only women were allowed in the hotel, but there was one man remaining who refused to leave. As the crowd grew to nearly a thousand gals, he was finally persuaded to exit the hotel.
Watching this evolve, Daniel realized that "a thousand women’s voices could outdo a man’s." She felt inspired by that to make a change "in my own community" by bringing women together for mutual empowerment.
Daniel says she knew that the local Chick Happy Hour was a successful group already. But she felt there was a need for something else, something centered on dining and other family activities.
According to Daniel, many in the community prefer to get out in the daytime instead of the evening. She jokes, "Lesbians like to go to bed by 9 o’clock.
Daniel says she chose the name Bitch N Brunch because the word "bitch" holds a certain "ultimate" strength and carries the sense of empowerment. Blackbird adds, "When women appear to be strong, they are often called a bitch."
Daniel says not everyone has been comfortable with the name, some relaying they felt awkward asking the restaurant hostess to look for a group, whose name has the word "Bitch" in it.
That said, Bitch N Brunch was born and has grown into to quite a success.
BNB member Lisa Willingham of Frisco says, "I believe the underlying reason for its success is Cheryl, with plenty of Martha’s support along the way. The BNB group fits their personalities perfectly, and because of them, the group is a comfortable place to meet new and not-so-new friends."
Blackbird says BNB is also successful because it gives women a chance to be part of the community without any obligations. She says, "The biggest selling point is that there is no agenda. It is just girls getting together for the chit-chat and for the joy of it."
Daniel says there have also been successes in the romance department: "I have often felt like the surrogate mother to the couples that have met at the brunch."
Willingham encourages new members, and perhaps those looking for a date or perhaps a tennis partner, to feel comfortable coming to a BNB outing.
She says, "Once you meet Cheryl and Martha, you realize they are genuine, down-to-earth, wonderful women who love to laugh and entertain and who always greet you with a big smile."
BNB meets in Dallas on the third Sunday of every month. There is also a North BNB group for those living in McKinney or Denton, and a West BNB group for those living in the Fort Worth area. Join Daniel and Blackbird on Sept. 1h for the Bitch N Barge PRIDE outing on Lake Lewisville. For more information about BNB, contact Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no cost to be a member.
Renee Baker is a licensed massage therapist and transgender diversity consultant and may be found online at www.ReneeBaker.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 4, 2009.