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By Crystal Rizzo
In the center of downtown Melville nestled between the Melville Cafe, a local eatery, and Eclipse, a small boutique, lies Love & Revolution: Where Change Happens--a vegan-friendly lesbian owned cafe.
Filled with curiosity, a group of Simmons students tiptoes into the café where we are welcomed with a big smile by local gender activist and co-owner, Ishtar Lakhani. With her short dark hair and attractive butch style, Lakhani invites us into the little haven for eclectic, progressive-minded, open-hearted folks.
The walls are covered with archived newspaper headlines--"Boobs and the Economy," "What Would God Tweet," and "Winnie in the Poo." There are comfy couches, too, where visitors snack on vegan brownies amidst lots of laughing and animated conversations.
Lakhani says she was inspired to open Love and Revolution with her TV producer girlfriend Jasmyn Asvat after both women took separate trips--one to New York and the other to Mumbai--where they each frequented local bookstores and cafés that catered to a young, liberal, artsy clientele.
The cafe encourages a myriad of discussions about local social and political issues. Asvat and Lakhani say they are working to create a safe space for people to come to that is free of bigotry, sexism, homophobia, and all other forms of discrimination, and they hope to inspire individuals to go out and make change in their local community.