The following interview is with Kathy Hernandez, owner of Club Catalina in San Diego, California in America. The interview was done in May 2010.
Coen: Hi Kathy, can you tell us a little about Club Catalina, when you started it, what gave you the idea, and if people were supportive?
Kathy: Club Catalina is San Diego’s BBW/Size Acceptance Night Club and we had our first party on November 3, 2007. I had been to several clubs up north and loved the accepting atmosphere. People from San Diego didn’t want to always have to travel 2 hours to party at a BBW Night Club, so they were very supportive of having a BBW Night Club in San Diego. So Club Catalina was born.
Coen: So what kind of audience typically attends the club? For example what kind of ages and cultures, and do people come just for fun, or also with the intention of finding love? And also, does your club cater for BHM (Big Handsome Men) as well?
Kathy: The majority of men and women come to Club Catalina to have a dance, drink, have a great time and meet new people but I don’t think they are coming to any club thinking they will find love. We have some couples that met at the club and are still going strong. Like two couples I can think of such as Marcus and Gloria and Dave and Cecilia. The majority of women who come to Club Catalina are BBW’s and we have some BHM but it seems like most of the men who are average size are the ones who are attracted to BBW’s. I have a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds of people who come to party with us such as: White, Black, Asian, Samoan, Hawaiian, Hispanic and African.
Coen: Something I hear from many people (both women and men alike) which visit the BBW parties here in my country (Holland), is that they have waited for quite a while before finally taking the step to go to such a party. I can imagine this is similar in America.
Can you tell me if this is the case and if so what do you think are the most important reasons for people to hesitate? For example do you think people hesitate because they are unsure of what to expect, or because they fear the same ridicule as in regular clubs, etc?
Kathy: I’ve heard people are hesitant about going the first time because they don’t know what to expect. Or they can’t find a friend to go with them and they really don’t want to go alone. I answer many emails from men and women asking what the dress attire is, if the people are friendly, what type of music is played, etc. I make sure to answer all their questions and let them know we have a lot of pictures on our web sites. They can see how people dress, what the location looks like, and what the people look like that come on a regular basis. I think this really helps them feel better about coming for the first time.
Coen: What kind of music is played at your club and do many people dance?
Kathy: We mainly play Hip-Hop, R&B, old school and Reggae and my DJ takes requests. The majority of people who come to Club Catalina love to dance so the dance floor is full of people.
Coen: Although size acceptance has become more mainstream in recent years, there is still a lot of size discrimination. We are still facing many of the same problems in modern day society as we did in the past. To what extent can you say that clubs like yours have had on people’s self-esteem?
Kathy: I think the more clubs and BBW outlets such as NAAFA, HAES and the Las Vegas BBW Bash, then the more confidence and self esteem a larger person will have. When you are confident and happy with yourself then it shows and you are able to accomplish more within your life. The BBW Community has said we need stylish and better clothes and we are getting it. We have said we won’t be discriminated against in employment and companies are taking notice and implementing laws against discriminating against people of size. It’s going to take some time but we are getting there!
Coen: Thanks so much for doing this interview Kathy!
Kathy: Thank you very much 🙂 hugs!!
Below are photos in a gallery from Club Catalina.
Last updated: January 10, 2018
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