How Lesbians Took Back Buffalo

How an upstate New York upstart managed to corral hundreds of queer women into an "Ambush."



Ambush at Cobblestone

The definition of ambush is a “surprise attack.” But Holdsworth wanted the surprise factor without the so-called attack. Naming her movement “Ambush” was also a creative play on words — something that lesbians would find amusing and fun. With a solid name in place, she set a date, picked a place, and created a Facebook page. On the night of the very first Ambush event, over 100 women showed up. In fact, the evening was such a success that Holdsworth had to reach out to a couple of friends for help in organizing the next one.

“Christina is basically in charge,” laughs Dana Fauth, 48. “But between the three of us we can use our connections and accomplish a lot more.”

“The size of the venue soon became an issue,” adds Tee Fregeaux, 46, who rounds out the Ambush trio. “We had over 200 women at the second event, so we knew that we needed to select venues that could accommodate us.”

The overflow of women attending the Ambush events is evidence that they are thrilled to have a neutral place to go, where they can interact and hang out. “The ages range from 21 to 70,” says Fregeaux. “It’s all different colors and a great mix of women — lesbian, bisexual, asexual, whatever.”

“The reception from the lesbian community has been freaking unreal,” adds Holdsworth. “Everyone has a blast at our events, both old and young women. And we have heard really positive feedback from every bar we’ve been to. We drink and have fun, and we’re polite and friendly. The owners think we are just a good group of people to have around.”

But what about those unsuspecting straight individuals who happen to be at a bar when an Ambush hits? “I personally haven’t run into anyone who has been blatantly blindsided,” says Holdsworth. “But at one place I was standing at the bar and getting a drink. I saw one couple and the woman was clearly annoyed. She turned to her boyfriend and said, ‘Oh, my God, they are everywhere!’ That was the best reaction because we are there in your face, but in a friendly way.”

Tags: Women