The Great Lesbian Club Wars

Ugly accusations. Cutthroat business dealings. Verbal assaults and handguns. South Florida's lesbian nightlife is beginning to look more and more like a combat zone.

Unfazed, Cox responds by vowing she will continue to do business as she sees fit. "This woman is a Johnny-come-lately who poses no threat whatsoever to 'Girls in the Night,'" she says. "The only person who can drive me out of business is me -- and only if I let myself get caught up in all this negativity."

That negativity, limited so far to Cox and Clone's promotions of parties, could soon become entrenched warfare. Clone states that by November she will own the club she has been renting every Friday night for "W.O.W. Bar II." Cox counters by announcing that funding from a silent partner is helping to construct the Orchid, a "women's complex" that will feature a bar and gallery space at a still-undisclosed location on Lincoln Road.

While such ambitious plans reflect the growing self-confidence of Dade County's lesbians, they also elicit a measure of cynicism from some observers. Says one woman who knows both Cox and Clone: "There is no way either of them is going to stop. Lisa's style is more in-your-face on the street. Caroline is more sly and Teflon-coated. But they are both cut from the same cloth, and neither gives a damn about helping women.

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