Q&A with GrownGurl Events director Nora Gupton

CLGBT: What do GrownGurls do?

Nora GrownGurl Gumpton: GrownGurls do GrownGurl things! I try to bring an element of fun and ease to all the events to help women connect and socialize in comfort. Let your hair down! Play for a li'l while! Life is too short not to GET YOUR GROWNGURL ON!

CL: How'd you get your start with GrownGurl Events?

NG: First, I must say that this whole endeavor seems like it was placed in my lap! So many of my closest friends led me in this direction and I slowly realized that I had better use my gift of creating ways for people to connect and have fun! I love a good party! (A special thank you is in order for those special people, my favorite GrownGurlz... You all know who you are. With God's blessing and the support of my friends and the community, I plan to keep moving forward.)

GrownGurl Events was brought to life to fulfill a need that was not being met in the Tampa Area. We needed more comfortable social venues designed with the mature lesbian of color in mind, and I strive to find creative ways to provide that to our community. After all, who doesn't love a good get-together? Maybe for you, it's best if it's just a casual, mellow time to chill. Maybe you prefer an all out, get-down extravaganza!

[image-1]But one things for sure, everyone needs to let their hair down once in a while. My goal is to help you connect with other GrownGurlz and do just that!

CL: Where do you hope to go with GrownGurl Events?

NG:  I am always planning upcoming events and functions. I want GrownGurl Events to grow beyond Tampa and make herstory!

CL: If you could do or change one thing in the LGBT community what would it be?

NG: I would love to see more venues for the mature LGBT crowd. I'm working hard on that!

CL: What is one thing you want people to know about you?

NG: I guess that I am easily approachable. If you have an idea or suggestion for GrownGurl Events, by all means, please tell me! I do this for YOU and I love every minute of it! I am your GrownGurl and if you've ever seen me at any of the events or on a GrownGurl Friday, you should know that I am a very approachable person.

CL: About GrownGurlz Fridays [at Valentine's], how did it come about?

NG: I wanted a spot that I could do something more often, more on a regular basis. Needed to do something in addition to the bigger events, such as the December Delights Winter Bash or the BodyPartz Spring Dance. So I approached the owner of Valentine's, promised him a good, mature crowd, and GrownGurlz Fridays was born.

CL: What is it about GrownGurlz Fridays that make people come out every week?

NG: It is always a good crowd of people. I cannot stress that enough! No drama! Just beautiful GrownGurlz having a good time! Plenty of dancing, great music, and did I mention beautiful women! And if that isn't enough, there are always two drag shows, $12 Sink or Swim Well Drinks, and the hottest GrownGurl Go-Go Dancers! What more can you ask for?

CL: Do you serve food every weekend?

NG: I do bring food in for certain nights, certain themes. But there is a vendor who is always ready to serve you on the back patio. Delicious food! Try the chicken fingers!

CL: How do you choose the artists for the drag show?

NG: That is not my doing. DJ Reuben is in charge of the show... I do make suggestions every now and then. And I am always looking for good talent (dancers, drag kings/queens, singers, poets, etc) for other events, so please contact me if you are interested.

CL: Is it hosted by Apple Love every weekend?

NG: No, it changes. But Apple Love is a legend and worth seeing. She is there every Friday along with Desiree DeMornay and others. A show you dont wanna miss!

Contact Ms. Nora GrownGurl Gupton for more information on all the GrownGurl happenings or visit GrownGurlEvents.com, myspace.com/GrownGurlEvents or blackplanet.com/GrownGurlEvents.

Moving from Atlanta, which has a huge, easy to find gay community to Tampa, which has a much harder to find gay community, was really hard for me. Until a friend of mine invited me to a GrownGurl event two years ago. The rest was history. Last Friday I attended GrownGurl's Friday at Valentine's Nightclub to interview Ms. Nora GrownGurl Gupton. 

There was good music, sexy women, handsome men,  perfect drinks, an entertaining drag show and so much more. And of course, best of all, Nora — who actually interacts with her guests, dancing, laughing and greeting everyone as if they were a long lost friend. If you are a GrownGurl, you must try it at least once.

The goal for GrownGurl Events is to provide a socially oriented atmosphere that reinforces unification and empowerment of the Black Lesbian Community throughout Tampa Bay, and all its surrounding areas through promoting "exciting and enlightening social events and dance parties that are not limited to the club scene, positive and productive professional business networking mixers, a stage for artistic performances and other events that promote our culture and herstory and a safe, comfortable space to connect with other mature lesbians of color."

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