It’s Christiana’s World At The Womyn’s Stage At Oakland Pride
Christiana Remington talks about heading up the Womyn’s Stage at Oakland Pride
Oakland has such a strong lesbian community, given the fact that it has one of the highest queer girl populations per capita than any other major American city, according to the Williams Institute, so it is only fitting that Oakland Pride has a strong Womyn’s Stage to support the local community.
The theme of this year’s Womyn’s Stage is “We Run the World.”
Christiana Remington, 45, director of the stage, has an amazing lineup of live female performances and DJs.
Women will be able to put their hands up in the air with performances by local performers Aisha Fukushima, Moon Candy, Breathless (a.k.a. Honey B), Princetonation, Nina Ross, Blu Sugar and get their groove on with spinstresses Durt, Lady Ryan, La Rumorosa, Slum B, Jac A Tac and the legendary Page Hodel.
Women can catch the live performances at 3 p.m. up until Sheila E performs on Franklin Street between 17th and 19th Streets.
“I love the fact that Sheila E is the headliner this year,” says Christiana, who hopes women will come out to see the local entertainment at the stage and enjoy homegirl Sheila E rock the main stage at Oakland Pride on Sunday.
An estimated 5,000 women enjoy the Womyn’s Stage annually, says Christiana, but she hopes that number will continue to grow.
“It’s great for us and is great for the community,” says Christiana, who estimates it costs about $6,000 to produce the stage.
Oakland Pride attracts an estimated 50,000 attendees annually, according to organizers.
Pride in Women
Christiana, a Berkeley and San Leandro native, was ready for her next act when she approached the board of directors at the Oakland Pride Committee to produce the Womyn’s Stage in 2011.
At the time the stage was tucked in a corner of the festival and wasn’t faring very well.
She had just wrapped up a successful run co-producing the Soul of Pride Stage at San Francisco Pride and was a grand marshal of the Pride celebration that same year.
Christiana brought her decade of experience producing women’s parties for nearly a decade and the Soul Pride Stage at San Francisco Pride to the Womyn’s Stage at Oakland Pride.
“She did an amazing job. It was phenomenal,” praises Amber Todd, co-founder and chair of Oakland Pride Committee, which produces Oakland Pride. “That’s one of the most amazing things in our community that Pride is offering a devoted area to the women.”
Always the club kid, Christiana danced for the late Chantal Salkey, queer women party promoter of the popular Mango tea dance parties, Backstreet Lot, among others and for other lesbian promoters throughout the 1990s. Then she took a break from the party scene for a bit only to find that it changed when she returned.
“I realized that there was something missing. I was going to different places and I wasn’t really having the same time that I had,” says Christiana, who works as an at-risk family specialist and birth educator for First 5 Contra Costa and has been a community activist for more than 15 years. “I feel like the women of color were not being really represented at some of these clubs.”
To remedy the situation, Christiana founded Butterfly Productions in 2013 to create parties for queer women and their friends and brought the diverse women’s community together.
She launched Strapped at the former club Cherry Bar, then-owned by famed promoter Mariah Hanson of Club Skirts and The Dinah in Palm Springs, Calif., in San Francisco.
“It was a great way to kind of get my feet wet,” said Remington, about the club that lasted for about a year until Cherry Bar closed its doors.
The club promoter moved on to produce popular tea dances Butta, Mo’ Butta – which became an official San Francisco Pride event in 2005 – Sistah Sundays, and the Mantequilla family of clubs under the moniker Butterfly Productions.
The club overcame challenges of being pigeonholed and stereotyped to become a beloved space for women to come together for a good time until Christiana retired the clubs after a decade in 2013.
“It really became a place for everybody who just really fell in love with it,” says Christiana, who believes it was her biggest community success and gift to queer women until now, “that’s been my real signature.”
Personally, her “biggest success” is being a mother to her four children and two stepdaughters with her fiancee, Venus Jones, 51.
Now all of her focus is on the Womyn’s Stage at Oakland Pride.
Catch women’s events produced in conjunction with other queer women promoters through Butterfly Productions raising money for the Womyn’s Stage throughout the year and catch the Womyn’s Stage at Oakland Pride’s Parade on Sunday.
The Pride Parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. at 14th Street and will march down Broadway to 20th Street right through the festival gates Sunday, August 31. The festival starts at 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., when the After-Pride Block Party gets pumping until midnight.
To contract an original article, purchase reprints or become a media partner, contact .
Your next destintion