It all started with a vacation. A then-26-year-old Rae Janae knew that she needed to get away, so she came to Miami to take a break from the hustle of New York. The Bronx native, like many others, quickly fell in love with the culture, the city, and the people around her. Not wasting any time, she set herself up with a plan to become a full-blown Floridian, saving up, getting her license, and making her way to her new life in South Florida.
She describes Lezchic as "an entertainment platform servicing queer women in Miami, New York, and California. We do our own events as well as support and promote events from our friends and sister companies in different places."
However, before it was the platform it is today, Lezchic was meant to be an Instagram page set up to help queer women find events in the area. When settling into South Florida, Janae noticed that there weren't many spaces centered around the lesbian community, so she decided to use social media to help get the word out.
"It was just random things that I found that were queer-centered, and I would post them to that account, use hashtags, [explaining] what to do there, and where to go," she says.
Everything changed for Janae when she was asked via Instagram if Lezchic could throw its own event. At that point, she had been in South Florida for less than a year and had done many jobs, but event curating was not one of them. However, never one to turn down an opportunity, she decided to create her first lesbian-centered event, which turned out to be a massive hit. She sold 700 tickets. Janae went all out, featuring live art, special appearances, and several vendors, ultimately setting Lezchic up to create a name for itself.
Building on the success of her first party, she decided to keep the brand going. She took it to the next level when she created her circus-themed event, the Red Affair, an extravagant night that spotlighted emerging artists, games, and vendors. Janae's favorite memory from the event was when local performer Claudia Sings sang Halsey's "Without You," a song that was very special to her at the time.
"That's when Lezchic really became about putting on all these different [themed] shows," she says. "Years later, we've done the circus annually — besides COVID."
The event opened significant doors for Lezchic.
With a new home secured, she spearheaded two recent events: Uncut Gems, featuring a Broward-based lesbian burlesque troupe, and Playboi Entertainment, with masculine-presenting exotic dancers.
"I didn't want to bring a regular Lezchic thing on a consistent basis [to Hamburger Mary's] just so that I can maintain that originality in different venues," she says. "I buckled down with my [fiancée], and we thought about what the best for that location would be."
With Lezchic taking off since its inception in 2018, the 32-year-old admits that the people who help out at her events are a big part of her success.
"The community has helped so much — everyone does something, or they just know someone," Janae says. "That's really been my black book of sources; people that see what I do want to support. They've really been my staff." She's incredibly grateful for her fiancée Ace who has been pivotal in helping with build-outs and new party concepts.
Still, Janae hopes to continue growing Lezchic, including opening her own venue.
"It would be amazing to have our own venue that I can do all of these amazing things with. I don't know necessarily when that will happen to us," she adds. "Right now, I'm open to whatever opportunities are available. It's very rare for me to turn something down."