Welcome to “Seven Minutes in Heaven” GO Magazine’s brand new interview series that profiles a different queer lady each day, by asking her seven custom (sometimes random) questions. Get to know the thoughts, feelings, and opinions of the groundbreaking, fierce forces-of-nature in the queer community.
Have you attended a queer party in NYC or Brooklyn lately? If so, chances are Simone Davis has either helped in organizing the event, photographing it or performing spoken word poetry at it. She truly does it all, in an aim to provide space for queer and trans folks to have a sense of community.
Today we are proud of publish our “Seven Minutes in Heaven” in Simone Davis—you can catch her tonight at Girl Social Lez Swim if you’re in New York!
GO Magazine: Who are you and what do you do?
Simone Davis: My name is Simone Davis and I am a proud blerd (black nerd)! I work for a finance tech firm by day and I throw queer events in my downtime. I am the Director of NYC events for Girl Social and I am the Marketing Director & Resident Photographer for Queer Abstract, a monthly QTPOC performance series in Bushwick.
GO: How did you get into event organizing?
SD: I’ve been throwing events since my freshman year in college. I was infamous for throwing a kegger in the dorms and getting written up for it. (I guess a sarong wrapped keg in a shopping kart isn’t discreet! lol) Later, I became a slam poet and expanded into hosting a monthly open mic series and organizing showcases with my spoken word collective, SickSpits. After college, I primarily organized corporate events with my finance firm but was looking for something more fulfilling when I found Girl Social. I started by attending an event and fell in love with the brand. Then I volunteered as a host. When the last director Rachel Cohen decided to pursue her MBA at Wharton, I gladly took the reigns.
GO: Why do you feel it’s important to have spaces and events exclusively for queer women?
SD: This is tricky. I feel it is important to have spaces and events that are queer women centered (and POC-centered!) but I do not take an exclusionary approach in my organizing. As a GNC (Gender Non-conforming)/Genderqueer person, I am aware of both the fluidity of gender and the struggles of the trans community. As I continue to expand my understanding of what it means to hold space for those often overlooked, my events provide a few hours of recess from current political climate and everyday woes. Simply, I love bringing people together and encouraging adults to play.
GO: Who are some of your queer lady role models?
SD: I don’t know if I have any role models per se. However, I am definitely inspired by some awesome queer women in my life. My Brooklyn Wolves, a collective of queer women navigating through a complex world. I get so much strength from this close group of friends that lift me and each other up, every day.
My brilliant Aunt Sally, who’s sharp wit and excellent foretelling assessment of people constantly reminds me that I am a warrior with a rich bloodline. She tells me that my main task in this life is to be happy, help others and not to be afraid to put people on the “Too Much Work” list.
I am also inspired by the curator of Queer Abstract, Shannon Matesky. A year ago she told me about her vision for Queer Abstract and her mission-driven, no-cover approach. I was impressed that her ambition was not driven by money or fame but by the desire to create and hold space for QTPOC voices. I have had the ultimate pleasure of working beside her and she has taught me so much about myself, business, and grit. Everyday, I become more amazed by the power she wields for the good of others and every month, I watch and record the joy she extends to the community around her. It’s a beautiful thing.
GO: What music are you listening to right now?
SD: A better question would be what am I not listening to right now. Haha. A trip through my Spotify would be weird wonderland. From old school reggae artists I grew up on like Beres Hammond and Barrington Levy to new school reggae artists like Chronixx and Vybz Kartel. I have a tendency for nostalgia so artists like Mariah, AC/DC, Anita Baker, YellowCard, Paramore, Binary Star, and Sade all get my spins. Contemporary artists include Big KRIT, Mila J, Leikeli47, Cardi B and Vince Staples are also in my headphones.
GO: What’s your favorite Girl Social event?
SD: My favorite Girl Social Event is LezSwim (next one is tonight, August 9th!) because it is body-positive and trans-friendly. I love seeing queers stepping into their light and feeling good about themselves. A little queer playtime right in the heart of the city (Times Square) complete with a sauna, DJ, and a swim-up bar. Come through!
GO: Where can people find you?
SD: I’m usually out and about with my crew, the Brooklyn Wolves. We are planning new events for the fall. I am also looking for a mini-me, so if you’re interested, it goes down in the DMs.