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Lesbian Histories and Cultures

Garland Refrence Library of the Social Sciences (Vol. 1008)

Advisory Board

Gloria Anzalda Sally R.Munt

Santa Cruz, California University of Brighton, England

Evelyn Blackwood Vivien Ng

Purdue University University at Albany, State University of New York

Ellen Broidy Ruthann Robson

University of California, Irvine City University of New York School of Law

Charlotte Bunch Judith Schuyf

Douglass College, Rutgers University University of Utrecht, Netherlands

Carolyn Dinshaw Barbara Smith

University of California, Berkeley Albany, New York

Oliva M.Espn Verta Taylor

San Diego State University Ohio State University

Lillian Faderman Martha Vicinus

California State University, Fresno University of Michigan
Encyclopedia of Lesbian and Gay Histories and Cultures
Volume I

Lesbian Histories
and Cultures:
An Encyclopedia

Bonnie Zimmerman

Garland Publishing, Inc.

A member of the Taylor & Francis Group
New York and London
Published in 2000 by
Garland Publishing Inc.
A Member of the Taylor & Francis Group
19 Union Square West
New York, NY 10003

This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2004.

Copyright 2000 by Bonnie Zimmerman.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized
in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or here
after invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage
or retrieval system, without written permission from the publishers.

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Lesbian histories and cultures: an encyclopedia/Bonnie Zimmerman, editor.

p. cm.(Encyclopedia of lesbian and gay histories and cultures; v. 1) (Garland
reference library of the social sciences; vol. 1008)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-8153-1920-7 (alk. paper)
1. LesbianismEncyclopedias. 2. LesbiansEncyclopedias. I. Series. II. Zimmerman,

HQ75.5.L4395 1999
306.766303 21dc21 99045010

ISBN 0-203-48788-5 Master e-book ISBN

ISBN 0-203-79612-8 (Adobe eReader Format)

ISBN 0-8153-3354-4 (Print Edition)

ix Introduction

xvii Contributors

xlvii Subject Guide

1 The Encyclopedia

831 Index

This book is dedicated to

Barbara Grier, J.R.Roberts, the founders of the Lesbian Herstory Archives, and the memory
of Jeannette Foster for their pioneering work in creating and promoting lesbian scholarship.

Bonnie Zimmerman and George E.Haggerty

The Encyclopedia of Lesbian and Gay Histories versiona term that signified a range of
and Cultures in two volumes is the latest, and we behaviors and attitudes that would later be
hope the richest, in a long line of publications classed under the term homosexuality. Inversion
that attempt to open up for contemporary read- redefined same-sex desire as an aspect of human
ers the complex history and wide cultural diver- personality or essential being, not a sin-laden act
sity of lesbian and gay life. Unlike earlier against nature. Many of the most prominent fig-
endeavors, however, which tended to limit the ures of early sexologysuch as Richard von
kinds of questions that could be asked about the Krafft-Ebing and Havelock Ellisdescribed the
past, these volumes try to avoid the stigma con- invert, or homosexual, in excruciating and, from
ventionally attached to homosexuality and look the perspective of today, stigmatizing or, as con-
instead at examples of same-sex desire in differ- temporary lesbian scholar Lillian Faderman put
ent cultures at different times. They are the prod- it, morbidifying, detail. A century later, the
uct of an age in which self-definition is challenged prominent French historian and theorist Michel
by cultural urgency of various kinds and when Foucault would point to this construction of the
lesbian and gay concerns have moved out from modern homosexual as a signal moment in the
the shadows into the bright light of national and history of sexuality.
international politics. What better moment to Although homosexuality became known as the
undo the misconceptions of the past and to re- love that dare not speak its name, in fact, even in
claim the histories and cultures that have been the nineteenth century there were many names used
denied us? In doing so, we hope to be seen not as for homosexuality: some, like bugger, sodomite,
appropriating the past but rather as making it and tribade, referring to the specific sexual
available for all sorts of purposes, including but behaviors that men and women performed with
not limited to an increase in present-day aware- members of their own gender, and others, like ho-
ness. Too often we have been told by others who mosexual, invert, and Urning, referring to the iden-
we are or where we came from. It is time not just tities that were being constructed around these
to claim our place in history and culture but also behaviors. The shift from behavior to identity was
to negotiate with the histories and cultures to also to have an unexpected impact: the beginnings
which we might most closely relate. of a political movement based upon that identity.
Among the early generations of sexologists were
several individuals who themselves identified as
History homosexuals and directed their scholarly activity
The study of homosexuality can be said to have toward both the elimination of prejudice and dis-
begun in 1869, when a generation of medical crimination and the demand for equal human
doctors established the profession of sexology, rights. These individualsincluding Karl Maria
the medical and supposedly scientific study of Ulrichs, Edward Carpenter, Magnus Hirschfeld, and
sex. Among its earliest objects of study was in- Anna Rulingwere pioneers in uniting scholarship

and activism, as their descendants would do sev- ably in closets within the ivory towers; however,
eral generations later. the growing gay and lesbian movement impelled
The period between roughly 1900 and 1930 some professors and graduate students to begin
was one of considerable intellectual activity in the to organize within professional institutions and
areas of sexology and literature, particularly. But associations.
economic crisis and political repression in the Gay and lesbian scholars first began to or-
United States and Europe would drive nascent gay ganize caucuses within professional associations
and lesbian communities, with their potential for in the early 1970s. For example, the gay caucus
scholarly research and creative activity, under- of the Modern Language Association first met
ground. Although individuals produced monu- in 1973 and soon organized large and enthusi-
mental work, in general academic institutions gen- astic sessions at the annual MLA meetings
erally avoided and suppressed gay and lesbian throughout the 1970s. Caucuses were also
scholarship. These individuals have become he- formed in 1974 in the American Anthropologi-
roic role models: Alfred Kinsey, for example, with cal Association and the American Sociological
his groundbreaking sexological studies, and Association. The Lesbian and Gay Caucus in the
Jeannette Foster, who self-published an extraor- MLA and its more scholarly counterpart, the Gay
dinary study of lesbianism in literature. With the Studies Division, continue to thrive, as do the
exception of Kinsey, these figures were unable to caucuses of the AAA and the ASA. Similar cau-
generate an ongoing academic movement or pro- cuses and divisions exist within the professional
duce individual scholars to carry on their work. associations of historians, musicologists, art his-
Before lesbian and gay studies could become a torians, psychologists, and so on. These caucuses
reality, something else needed to happen. That and divisions have played an important part in
something else was the gay liberation move- opening up the academic profession to new schol-
ment, which burst into public consciousness in arship and new ways of thinking, thus being di-
1969 when the patrons of the Stonewall Inn in rectly responsible for much of the knowledge
New York Citys Greenwich Village fought back collected in this encyclopedia.
against a police raid. Although political activism A second important source of knowledge
and organizing had existed throughout the 1950s came from outside formal academic institutions.
and 1960s and had accelerated at the end of the From the early 1970s until the present, ground-
latter decade, the three nights of what has become breaking work has been done by scholars and
known as the Stonewall Rebellion galvanized a writers not affiliated with any institutions. These
new generation. Inspired by the civil rights move- independent scholars worked without financial
ment in particular, and with experience in that resources or public recognition, at least until their
movement as well as in the student, antiwar, and books and articles were finally published. For
womens liberation movements, gay and lesbian some, the Gay Academic Union, founded in New
activists organized and mobilized their own move- York City in 1974, provided solidarity and sup-
ment to end the social, political, and cultural op- port. The GAU, while ostensibly open to both
pression of homosexuals. men and women, did, like many other political
Many of these activists were students in uni- groups, became a primarily male organization.
versities. They sought to bring their academic Lesbians turned to other venues, including les-
work to the service of activism and to apply their bian feminist collectives, womens studies pro-
political consciousness to their scholarly work. grams, and feminist newspapers and journals, to
In the same way that African American studies produce their work.
grew out of the civil rights and black power move- By the mid-1970s, both gay men and lesbians
ments, and womens studies out of the womens in the United States had produced a substantial
liberation movement, so did gay and lesbian stud- body of important work. Jonathan Ned Katz had
ies have its beginnings in the gay liberation move- published Gay American History, a collection of
ment. At that time, very few academics had the primary documents that would shape a genera-
psychological and material security to be openly tion of scholars; Beth Hodges had produced two
gay or lesbian and to focus their scholarly work journal issues on lesbian writing and publishing
on the study of homosexuality. Lesbian and gay (one in Margins and the other in the influential
professors had long lived more or less comfort- lesbian feminist journal Sinister Wisdom); and

under the leadership of John deCecco, the Jour- is growing in strength throughout Europe, Aus-
nal of Homosexuality had been established as tralia, and New Zealand.
the first scholarly journal in Gay and Lesbian In the United States, at the turn of the millen-
Studies. By 1981, we would also have seen nium, gay and lesbian scholarship is growing in
Carroll Smith-Rosenbergs paradigm-building all fields of academic endeavor. It is no longer
article, The Female World of Love and Ritual marginal but now occupies a central place in aca-
(published in the first issue of what would be- demic publishing, curricula, and conferences.
come the premier feminist scholarly journal, Not only are lesbian and gay scholars increas-
Signs), John Boswells rewriting of the history ingly able to identify as such in the classroom
of oppression, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and and in scholarly work, but lesbian, gay, bisexual,
Homosexuality, independent scholar and queer ideas and theories are addressed with
J.R.Roberts Black Lesbians: A Bibliography, and respect by heterosexual colleagues. Lesbian and
Lillian Fadermans Surpassing the Love of Men. gay studies programs have emerged at several
Lesbian and gay scholarship was making its mark prominent institutions, and students there are as
on the map. likely to take a course on the homosexual as
This energy emerged in several places at once, on the heterosexual past. Like ethnic studies
not only in the United States. French social and and womens studies previously, lesbian and gay
cultural theorists like Michel Foucault and Guy studies has left an indelible mark on what we
Hocquenghem used the political urgency of the are permitted to know.
student uprisings of 1968 to retheorize gay lib- This encyclopedia offers accounts of the most
eration from a post-Marxist perspective, while important international developments in lesbian
Luce Irigaray and Monique Wittig revised and gay history and attempts to assess the state
Lacanian psychoanalysis in ways that offered new of lesbian and gay culture around the world. This
paradigms for discussing gender and sexuality in makes it possible to see what kinds of issues and
a cultural context. The Australian Dennis Altman concerns lesbian and gay scholars have had in
published Homosexual Liberation and Oppres- common around the world. It also suggest how
sion, which investigated the social and personal deeply varied has been the experience of those
consequences of internalized homophobia. In who are attracted to members of their own gen-
England, Mary McIntosh and Kenneth Plummer der at different times and in different cultures.
considered the ways in which homosexual identi- From one perspective, these differences are so
ties are socially constructed; at the same time, great that no term like gay or queer or even ho-
Jeffrey Weeks traced the emergence of lesbian and mosexual can encompass them. To see sexual
gay identities. All produced foundational work identity as a lens through which to view an im-
that helped to give direction to the early gay lib- possibly broad range of human experience is to
eration movement as well as to academic inquiry risk obscuring specific and very important dif-
in the area of lesbian and gay studies. At the same ferences; but not insisting on this perspective is
time, artists, writers, and filmmakers throughout to be in danger of overlooking profoundly sug-
North America, Europe, and beyond were pro- gestive similarities that make connections across
ducing impressive accounts of lesbian and gay time and space.
experiences, as dozens of entries in these volumes
will attest.
In the 1980s, lesbian and gay scholarship would Methodology
become formalized as a field of study in the United For many readers of these volumes, an immediate
States, Canada, and a number of European coun- question may be raised as to why there are sepa-
tries, most particularly the United Kingdom and rate volumes on lesbian histories and cultures and
the Netherlands. At times Europe has taken the gay histories and cultures. Some encyclopedias and
lead: indeed, the conference Homosexuality, reference works are co-sexual, while others have
Which Homosexuality? held in Amsterdam in focused on either one or the other, most often con-
1987 holds the distinction of being the first inter- centrating on lesbian issues separately from gay
national lesbian and gay academic conference of male. For this publication, the editors chose to
the contemporary era. Gay and lesbian studies is develop separate volumes, edited independently but
thoroughly institutionalized in the Netherlands and with close cooperation and communication.

Why should lesbian and gay histories and cul- alliance that exists in many contexts, especially
tures be organized and written as separate volumes? in North America, between lesbian, gay,
We have done so first because this assures that both bisexual, and transgender identities, or to
histories receive full and unbiased attention. His- the reconditioned umbrella term queer, which has
torically, lesbianism has not always been addressed preoccupied both the academy and many out-
equally within gay studies. It has been assumed that side it over the last ten years? It would be disin-
lesbianism is more difficult to identify historically, genuous for the editors to say that the question
more hidden and silenced, less accessible to the of sexual behavior and self-definitionthat is,
scholar. While it is true that chroniclers and histo- did she or didnt hedid not often influence in-
rians have addressed female lives less thoroughly clusion or that the issue of sexual identity did
in general than male lives, these assumptions may not figure prominently in the entry lists suggested
flow less from what exists than from what we have and reviewed by advisory editors and by special-
looked for and the questions we have asked. Fo- ists in certain fields. But neither editor sees ho-
cusing an entire volume on lesbian histories and mosexuality as a transhistorical or transcultural
cultures assures that full attention be paid to re- condition that can be analyzed in, say, classical
covering and collecting a full range of information Greece, modern Japan, and the last twenty-five
that currently exists. years in this history of the United States in any-
Moreover, as these two volumes will demon- thing like similar terms. In fact, one of the inten-
strate, the difference of gender has always been sig- tions of the entries included is to demonstrate
nificant in the conceptualization and experiences the range of difference within what we loosely
of lesbianism and male homosexuality and in the call lesbian history and culture and gay history
experiences of individuals and communities. Les- and culture.
bians and gay men have shared many aspects of At the same time, none of us can ignore that
lifethose that flow from self-affirmation and we live in a culture in which the past has been
those that flow from resistance to heterosexism and appropriated to various ends. Those of us who
homophobiabut they have also developed in pro- are lesbian and gay have participated in this ap-
foundly different ways. Lesbians are marked as propriation as much or as little as our nonlesbian
female and gay men as male, no matter what the and nongay contemporaries. The effect of this
rhetoric about inversion, and in patriarchal sys- appropriation is that for better or worse we have
tems, gender matters. Feminism, in particular, has a very rich lesbian and gay heritage that itself
been a potent force in lesbian lives from at least needs to be documented in a volume such as this.
the nineteenth century to the present. The more In other words, while there may be no proof that
public presence of male homosexuality has often Alexander the Great or Sor Juana Ins de la Cruz
led to different emphases within legal and political were what we would call gay or lesbian,
movements. The degree to which male lives are gay culture and lesbian culture in the twentieth
recorded while female lives are ignored or sup- century has used such figures in defining itself
pressed affects the historical record. The fields of and it would be a mistake to ignore this rich lay-
lesbian studies and gay studies have, until very re- ering of historical detail. In this sense, the ency-
cently, developed in an independent, though related, clopedia is archaeological: a figure, a movement,
fashion. For these reasons, and many others, we or a sexual practice might be included for its own
believe that at this time readers will be best served sake or an account of its own sexual practice, of
by separate volumes. In the future, editors may course, but it might also be included because it
choose a different strategy. has been central to lesbian or gay history and
mythology. This is not the same dynamic as stra-
tegic essentialism, whereby historical under-
Definitions standing is sacrificed for an urgent political end;
The most difficult question, of course, is that of rather, it is a practical constructionism, which
definition. What do we mean by gay and les- tries to use historical and cultural difference to
bian? Are we only documenting evidence of ho- tell the story of lesbian and gay culture today as
mosexual behavior? Are there rules of inclusion/ well as other stories about other cultures at other
exclusion for different kinds of sexual behavior times.
or identity? How do we relate to the state of For a similar reason we do not call this an

encyclopedia of queer culture. Queer has had tives. In particular, the authors and editors have
an important recent function in challenging the worked hard to pay close attention to the inclusivity
notion of sexual identity and insisting on a coa- of race, class, and ethnicity.
lition between and among lesbian, gay, bisexual, The editors are particularly proud of the excep-
and transgendered subjects, as well as people of tional group of authors who have contributed en-
color, sympathetic straights, and others. At the tries to these volumes. These include some of the
same time, it has created political difficulties of most famous names in the field of lesbian and gay
its own. For some, it suggests that sexual iden- studies as well as junior faculty and graduate stu-
tity is the only basis from which to resist dents who will carry it forth into the future, inde-
hegemonic culture. For others, it seems to dis- pendent scholars and writers like those who initi-
miss the possibility of those gay and lesbian iden- ated this field, and the political and community
tities that have produced a rich intellectual and activists who have maintained the important con-
political culture. Queer theory, which was hailed nection between scholarship and activism. These
as an answer to the seeming dead end of identity authors position themselves everywhere along the
politics, has had to be rethought in light of chal- continuum of sexualities: lesbian, gay, bisexual,
lenges from grassroots activists as well as the rig- heterosexual, transgender, and queer. Readers will
orous self-questioning of the theorists themselves. find both similarities and differences in the selec-
Many of these issues are discussed in entries col- tion and treatment of topics in the two volumes.
lected herein. It seems to us, however, that as In a minority of cases, entries may overlap. The
happy as we might be to queer the past, we editors suggest that in the case of general topics
have not yet reached the point at which the dif- for example, sexology or history or individual
ferences that lesbian and gay imply can be countriesreaders turn to the entries in each vol-
completely ignored. On the other hand, in an- ume for a full treatment. It will prove instructive
swer to queer theorists like Michael Warner and to see how a topic remains similar, or changes sub-
others who argue against the minoritizing stigma tly, depending on who writes the entry and from
of lesbian and gay identity and suggest queer what perspective. Other topics may appear in one
as an alternative identity that can resist institu- volume and not the other: this is not necessarily a
tionalization and various separatist or assimila- sign that an entry is only of interest to one group
tive moves in an aggressively generalizing attempt or the other. The editors found that to limit certain
to challenge the ascendancy of the normal, we topics to one entry allowed them to cover many
offer this encyclopedia. If it does anything, it more topics over the range of two volumes. In every
shows that the normal is nothing more than a case, the editors hope that the two volumes are
fiction that has been challenged in various ways complementary in ways that will benefit users of
in various cultures at various times with varying either volume.
success. In this sense, then, it is an encyclopedia The reader will find that in the places where
of queer histories and cultures after all. topics overlap, the entries together create a quilt
or web of knowledge, one entry bordering on or
leading to many others. For the student who is fo-
How to Use the Encyclopedia cused on one very specific question, each entry gives
This encyclopedia is intended for a wide audience, a general overview; for the browser it will lead to
including students, scholars in all fields, and the many additional topics and questions to be ad-
general public, who is interested in the state of les- dressed in other entries.
bian and gay research. All efforts have been made To assist the reader in seeing the connections
to write entries in user-friendly language, avoid- among the various entries included here, each is
ing jargon and technical language that would place followed by a list of cross-referenced entries that
a barrier between the experts and their readers. At relate to or expand it. In addition, each entry in-
the same time, the authors have maintained a high cludes a bibliography with the most important and
level of scholarship, incorporating both passion- easily accessible titles. In the case of biographies,
ate engagement and scholarly objectivity. The en- these include secondary rather than primary texts.
cyclopedia addresses areas of academic and politi- Complete books are listed where possible; in addi-
cal controversy, attempting always to address mul- tion, major articles are included. It is possible to
tiple points of view and varied theoretical perspec- use the book to study various topics in lesbian and

gay studies. To assist the reader, we include a guide these volumes to codify knowledge in the fields of
to the entries by topic. We also think, however, lesbian and gay history and culture. These are by
that these are volumes in which to browse: what their natures ever-changing, and there will always
better way to spend a few hours than to wend a be debate about what constitutes them as fields
path through a past (or a present) that is both for- and how they are best represented historically. We
eign and familiar. hope that these volumes will participate in these
Readers will note that the encyclopedia does not debates and even provoke them. Of course, we also
insist upon rigid consistency in the use of certain think that the debates will be more informed as
terms. Authors have been free to use lesbian, gay, the result of the wealth of material that is included
homosexual, bisexual, or queer as is appropriate here. There will always be a certain amount of frag-
to the particular requirements of their topics. En- mentation of information and gaps in the knowl-
tries may also use cultural designations interchange- edge of these fields precisely because secrecy re-
ably, either because of personal preference or his- sulting from persecution and ignorance masquer-
torical and political context. Different entries on ading as science have been so strong a part of their
related topics may emphasize different aspects of representation historically. If lesbian and gay his-
the subjects; once again, the editors have insisted tory and culture as told by lesbian and gay sub-
upon factual consistency and accuracy while per- jects (or those who identify with them) has had to
mitting individuality and even a touch of struggle to find its place in contemporary letters,
idiosyncracy. then this encyclopedia represents a new stage, at-
No encyclopedia can be truly comprehensive. tempting as it does to open up questions that pre-
We could not include every topic, survey every his- vious encyclopedias of homosexuality considered
torical period and every region of the world, or closed.
include every individual whose life included same-
sex relationships. Biographical entries, in particu-
lar, needed to be selective, especially since we have Acknowledgments by Bonnie Zimmerman
included living figures. There has been an explo- The editor gratefully acknowledges support from
sion of prominent figures who have come out of research, scholarship, and creative-activity grants
the closet in recent years, and were everyone to and a College of Arts and Letters minigrant, both
be included, this encyclopedia would be seriously at San Diego State University. The Research Com-
imbalanced toward the present. Moreover, it is dif- mittee of the College of Arts and Letters graciously
ficult to know who will have a long-lasting influ- bent its rules to provide support for the entire
ence in the future. In considering these problems, three-year life of this project. I thank them, espe-
the editors have chosen those figures who were the cially the chair, Joanne Ferraro. I also thank the
first in their particular fields, or who have already Department of Womens Studies and its faculty
had unquestionable influence and notoriety. The for the support, resources, and understanding
editors recognize that our choices will be contro- extended to me.
versial, that while anyone will have chosen certain This work could not have been completed with-
figures, in other cases, different choices might have out the assistance of two excellent research assist-
been made. ants, Sue Dunlap and Anna Andrade, whose com-
The entries as a group move across the disci- mitment and diligence were exemplary. I particu-
plines, across historical periods, and across cultures larly thank Anna, who nurtured this volume as her
and nations. Some are general and expansive, oth- own project and who gave selflessly of her time
ers limited and particular. The editors have worked and intelligence.
hard with the members of the advisory board to The editor owes a debt of thanks to many in-
make the selections comprehensive, and both the dividuals for their advice in constructing the en-
range of fields and the entries within various fields try list and identifying and locating contributors.
have been the product of much thought and de- First, thanks is due to the superb scholars who
bate. The contributors have also worked to expand served on the advisory board: Gloria Anzalda,
fields and define areas in a way that has made our Evelyn Blackwood, Ellen Broidy, Charlotte
work easier. We are grateful for the tireless efforts Bunch, Carolyn Dinshaw, Oliva M.Espn, Lillian
of everyone involved with this project. Faderman, Sally R.Munt, Vivien Ng, Ruthann
Neither the editors nor the contributors intend Robson, Judith Schuyf, Barbara Smith, Verta

Taylor, and Martha Vicinus. Their advice was valuable as resources were the E-Directory of
invaluable in every way, from modifying the en- Lesbigay Scholars, maintained by Louie Crew of
try list to counseling me on scholarly and ethical Rutgers University; the Lesac list, maintained by
issues. Amy T.Goodloe; and the WILD-List, maintained
I also thank Wayne Dynes for his work on the by Eva Isaksson. I particularly thank these Internet
Encyclopedia of Homosexuality, which provided pioneers for their contribution to the infrastruc-
a starting point for the current edition. ture of lesbian and gay scholarship.
Many individuals provided advice about dif- To all of the contributors, whose names appear
ferent aspects of the project, from how to organ- in a separate list, I owe a special debt for sharing
ize entries on the sciences or religion to how to their expertise and goodwill. I am also grateful to
locate writers for particularly difficult entries. a number of individuals who helped me in the ed-
Among these distinguished individuals are Judith iting process, including Jane Gurko, Laurie
Mayne, Martha Mockus, Karla Jay, Lepa Hatfield, Anna Andrade, Edith J.Benkov, and Holly
Mladjenovich, Leila J.Rupp, Sandra Harding, Ransom. In addition, a number of students assisted
Susan E.Cayleff, Elizabeth Say, Terry Castle, in locating missing data for various entries, includ-
Estelle Freedman, and Marcia Hermansen. I am ing Anna Andrade, Dawn Comeau, Andrea
particularly grateful to those individuals who Dottolo, Melanie Green, Jennifer Higley, Patricia
helped me locate writers for international entries. R.Hoban, and Claire H. Jackson.
They include Robert Howes, Judith Schuyf, Kati I also thank the translators: Holly Ransom, Jutta
Mustola, and Pere Cruells, as well as the editors Bailey, Pina Sylvers, Robert Garca, Ann Puntch,
of a number of booksincluding Magda Mueller, and Roma Ciesla.
Kate Griffin, Monika Reinfelder, and Peter I have been particularly fortunate to have as a
Druckerwho shared the names and addresses coeditor George Haggerty, University of Califor-
of many of their contributors. nia, Riverside. I am privileged to have worked with
I am fortunate to have worked with the sup- him on a previous project, and his wisdom and
portive staff of Garland Publishing, beginning with collegiality have been inspirational. Although we
my first editor, Gary Kuris (whose departure was prepared our volumes separately, we consulted and
deeply saddening but, fortunately, not disastrous), commiserated with each other in ways that made
and continuing with Marianne Lown, Leo Balk, the production of an encyclopedia a pleasure, as
Richard Steins, and Joanne Daniels. I am also grate- well as a responsibility.
ful for the help I received from Jason Goldfarb and Finally, no acknowledgment would be com-
from another of Garlands encyclopedia editors, plete without a tribute to the thousands of un-
Sally Mitchell. sung heroes in and out of academia and the les-
I received valuable assistance in obtaining il- bian and gay movement whose courageous and
lustrations for this volume from many of my con- often lonely efforts to battle the prevailing taboos
tributors. I also want to thank Tee A.Corinne, against research into, and open discussion of, les-
Morgan Gwenwald, and Lynda Koolish for their bianism have at last succeeded in making this work
generous donations of photographs from their possible.
own collections. In conclusion, I thank my life partner, Berlene
Identifying and locating contributors was made Rice, for her forbearance in enduring my long hours
considerably easier due to the existence of the at the office and equally long hours of obsession
CLAGS Directory of Lesbian and Gay Studies, and anxiety. Without her support and reassurance,
compiled by the Center for Lesbian and Gay Stud- I would not have been able to complete this work,
ies of the City University of New York. Also in- or any other.


Jennifer Abod has trained women in broad- Ilene D.Alexander, while developing essays from
casting, established feminist radio programs her dissertation in American studies at the Uni-
on community radio, and worked as a fea- versity of Iowa, Learning in Other Ways: A
ture reporter, moderator, talk show host, and History of a Feminist Pedagogy in the US, also
news anchor on commercial and public ra- works on Never Say Uncle, a memoir of the life
dio. She is the producer of A Radio Profile and search for her gay uncle, now gone miss-
of Audre Lorde and was cofounder and ing for twenty-five years. She teaches college
singer of the New Haven Womens Libera- writing and literature courses at the University
tion Rock Band (19701976). of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Julie Abraham, an Australian citizen living in Christina Allan is an assignment editor for Out-
the United States, teaches English and womens word.
studies at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.
She is the author of Are Girls Necessary? Les- Davida J.Alperin is an associate professor of po-
bian Writing and Modern Histories (1996), the litical science at the University of Wisconsin,
editor of Diana: A Strange Autobiography River Falls. Her research interests include black-
(1995), and writes reviews for the Nation and Jewish relations, coalitions building, the politi-
the Womens Review of Books. cal significance of collective memory, and gay
and lesbian politics. She lives with her life part-
Kate Adams holds a Ph.D. in American studies ner and their son in St. Paul, Minnesota.
from the University of Texas, Austin, where she
wrote a dissertation entitled Paper Lesbians: Rebecca T.Alpert is the codirector of the Wom-
Feminist Publishing and the Politics of Lesbian ens Studies Program and assistant professor of
Identity, 19501990. Her essays can be found religion and womens studies at Temple Univer-
in Lesbian Texts and Contexts (1990), Tilting sity, Philadelphia. Her most recent book is Like
the Tower (1994), Listening to Silences (1994), Bread on the Seder Plate: Jewish Lesbians and
and the Journal of Homosexuality. the Transformation of Tradition (1997). Alpert
was ordained a rabbi from the Reconstructionist
Lisa Albrecht is associate professor of writing Rabbinical College in 1976.
at the General College of the University of Min-
nesota, Minneapolis, where she teaches under- Meryl Altman, associate professor of English and
prepared students. She also teaches womens womens studies coordinator at DePauw Univer-
studies. She coedited (with Rose M.Brewer) sity, Greencastle, Indiana, was educated at
Bridges of Power: Womens Multicultural Alli- Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and also at-
ances (1990). She is vice chair of the Minneapolis tended Columbia University, New York City. She
Commission on Civil Rights. is working on a book about sexuality and politics
in the work of Simone de Beauvoir, Doris Lessing, Gay, and Transgender Communities (1998), was
and other presecond wave women writers. the founder and director (19881994) of the
Body Image Task Force (BITF), and has pre-
Deborah P.Amory received her Ph.D. in anthro- sented more than one hundred body-image
pology from Stanford University, Stanford, Cali- workshops. She is a Ph.D. candidate in anthro-
fornia, in 1994. Her research explores identity pology at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.
politics in Swahili-speaking societies; popular
culture and lesbian identity in the United States, Rosemary Auchmuty is chair of the Department
and homosexuality in Africa. She teaches at of Academic Legal Studies at the University of
Purchase College, State University of New York. Westminster, London, England. She writes on
lesbian history and lesbian law and has taught
Irene Anderson, M.Ed., is the director of the lesbian studies courses for many years. Among
Oasis Center for Sexual Assault and Relation- her publications is A World of Girls: The Ap-
ship Violence at the University of Arizona, peal of the Girls School Story (1992).
Tucson, and serves as the cochair of the Wing-
span Domestic Violence Project, which provides Paris Await received her B.A. in Italian from
outreach to, and services for, the lesbian, gay, the University of California, Berkeley, and is
bisexual, and transgender community in Tucson. in the Ph.D. program in comparative litera-
ture at the University of California, Los An-
Harriette Andreadis is an associate professor of geles. She teaches English as a second lan-
English at Texas A&M University, College Sta- guage at the American Language Institute at
tion. She has published on the reception of San Diego State University.
Sappho in early modern England and is prepar-
ing an edition of the poems of Katherine Philips Margot Gayle Backuss articles on Ann Sexton,
and completing a book-length study of same- Judy Grahn, and Radclyffe Hall have appeared
sex female erotics in early modern England. in the Journal of Homosexuality, Signs, and
Tulsa Studies in Womens Literature. Her first
Ghazala Anwar was born in Pakistan and re- book is The Gothic Family Romance: Compul-
sides in the United States. She has a Ph.D. in sory Heterosexuality in the Anglo-Irish Settler
comparative religion from Temple University, Colonial Order (forthcoming).
Philadelphia, and has taught at several colleges.
She is the director of education equity at the Holly A.Baggett is an assistant professor at
Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force. Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield.
She is writing a dual biography of Jane Heap
Janni Aragon is a Ph.D. candidate in political sci- and Margaret Anderson, as well as editing the
ence at the University of California, Riverside. letters of Jane Heap.
Aragon is working on her disseration about the
theoretical politics surrounding the second wave Laurie J.Baker graduated from North Dakota
feminist movement. Her areas of interests are femi- State University, Fargo, and works with the
nist theory, popular culture, womens sexuality, Fargo Youth Commission.
Chicana/Latina feminisms, and ethnic studies.
Christie Balka is an activist and scholar who
Katherine Arnup teaches womens studies and directs the Bread and Roses Community Fund
Canadian studies at Carleton University, Ot- in Philadelphia. A Ph.D. candidate in history at
tawa, Ontario. She is the author of Education Temple University, Philadelphia, she is writing
for Motherhood: Advice for Mothers in Twen- her dissertation on Greenwich Village lesbians
tieth Century Canada (1994) and the editor of in the 1920s and 1930s. She coedited (with Andy
Lesbian Parenting: Living with Pride and Preju- Rose) Twice Blessed: On Being Lesbian, Gay,
dice (1995). and Jewish (1989).

Dawn Atkins is the editor of Looking Queer: Jane R.Ballinger, assistant professor of commu-
Body Image and Identity in Lesbian, Bisexual, nication at California State Polytechnic Univer-
sity, Pomona, teaches journalism, public rela- Linda A.Bernhard is associate professor of
tions, and media studies. She received her Ph.D. nursing and womens studies at Ohio State Uni-
in journalism at the University of Texas, Aus- versity, Columbus. She teaches, conducts re-
tin. Her research interests include analysis of the search, and is involved in activist work on
relationships between social movements and the womens health. She and her partner enjoy sing-
mainstream news media. ing in the Columbus Womens Chorus and
watching womens basketball.
Ian Barnard teaches in the Department of Rheto-
ric and Writing Studies and the Department of Robin Bernstein coedited (with Seth Clark
English and Comparative Literature at San Di- Silberman) Generation Q (1996), an anthology
ego State University. He is completing a book, of essays by young queers. She is an editor of
Queer Race: Cultural Interventions in the Ra- Bridges, a biannual journal of Jewish feminist
cial Politics of Queer Theory. His articles have culture and politics.
appeared in the journals Womens Studies, Femi-
nist Teacher, Genders, and Socialist Review. Corinne E.Blackmer teaches American and gay
and lesbian literature at Southern Connecticut
Nan Bauer-Maglin is academic director of the State University, New Haven. Coeditor with
City University of New York (CUNY) Bacca- Patricia Juliana Smith of En Travesti: Women,
laureate Program of the Graduate School and Opera, Gender Subversion (1995), she recently
University Center, CUNY. She has written more completed her first book, African/Mother: Cul-
than thirty articles on womens writing and tural Origins in theAmericas (1998), and is
teaching and coedited two books: (with Donna writing a book of essays on sexuality, class, and
Perry) Bad Girls/Good Girls: Women, Sex, identity politics.
and Power in the Nineties (1996) and Women
and Stepfamilies: Voices, Anger, and Love Evelyn Blackwood is assistant professor of wom-
(1989). ens studies and anthropology at Purdue Uni-
versity, West Lafayette, Indiana. Her publica-
Evelyn Torton Beck is a professor of womens tions include work on Native American female
studies and an affiliate of comparative litera- two-spirits, tomboys in Indonesia, and essays
ture and Jewish studies at the University of on culture and female same-sex sexuality and
Maryland, College Park. Among her books are transgender practices. She is the editor of The
Nice Jewish Girls: A Lesbian Anthology (1982/ Many Faces of Homosexuality: Anthropology
1989), The Prism of Sex: Essays in the Sociol- and Homosexual Behavior (1986).
ogy of Knowledge (1979), and Kafka and the
Yiddish Theater (1971). She is at work on psy- Lucy Bland is a senior lecturer in womens stud-
choanalytic perspectives on the writings of ies at the University of North London. She is
Franz Kafka and the art of Frida Kahlo. the author of Banishing the Beast: English
Feminism and Sexual Morality, 18851918
Edith J.Benkov is professor of French at San Di- (1995) and coeditor (with Laura Doan) of Sex-
ego State University. She has published on me- ology in Culture: Labelling Bodies and Desires
dieval theater, Chrtien de Troyes, women and (1998) and Sexology Uncensored: The Docu-
language, cross-dressing, Christine de Pizan, and ments of Sexual Science (1998).
Louise Lab. She is completing a monograph
on Lab and is researching lesbians and the law. Elyse Blankley is professor of English and wom-
ens studies at California State University, Long
Rhona J.Berenstein is an associate professor and Beach. Her scholarly publications have included
director of film studies at the University of Cali- studies of modernist literature and contempo-
fornia, Irvine. She is the author of Attack of the rary American fiction and poetry.
Leading Ladies: Gender, Sexuality, and
Spectatorship in Classic Horror Cinema (1996) Richmod Bollinger earned her Ph.D. in Japa-
and is producing a video documentary entitled nese studies at Freie Universitaet Berlin in 1997.
100 to Infinity. She has published on the Japanese modern girl
during the 1920s and 1930s, as well as on Japa- Virginia Woolf, and the Working of Common
nese women writers. She has also done research Land (1991) and Keepers of History: The
on the phenomenon of assumed gender in Japa- Novels of Maureen Duffy (1990).
nese literature.
Christina Brinkley, applied social scientist and
Marie-Jo Bonnet is the author of Un choix sans demographer-sociologist, is chair of the De-
quivoque, a study of love between women in partment of African American and African
France, which was her Ph.D. thesis in history at American Womens Studies at Simmons Col-
the Universit de Paris VII. An activist in the lege, Boston. Her research includes feminist/
womens and gay liberation movements since womanist theory and activism, gendered rac-
1971, she is extending her study of lesbians in ism in higher education, U.S. women of color
cultural history. in the military, and public policy and quanti-
tative/qualitative research methods.
Miriam Bottassi, born in So Paulo, Brazil, is
a librarian and documentalist and has been a Kendal L.Broad has a Ph.D. in sociology from
lesbian feminist activist since 1976. She was a Washington State University, Pullman. She has
member of the Center for Womens Informa- done research on hate crimes, the lesbian and
tion (CIM), the only feminist documentation gay movement, the contemporary U.S. wom-
center in Brazil, from its founding in 1979 un- ens movement, and the transgender move-
til 1995. ment. She holds a joint appointment in the
Center for Womens Studies and Gender Re-
Angela Bowen is an assistant professor of wom- search in the Department of Sociology at the
ens studies and English at California State Uni- University of Florida, Gaines ville.
versity, Long Beach. She emphasizes the lives and
writing of people of color in both areas of her Ellen Broidy is a librarian at the University of
teaching; in her research, she focuses on the lives California, Irvine, and a lecturer in UCIs Pro-
of black lesbian feminists, past and present. gram in Womens Studies. Her research and
teaching focus on the impact of new informa-
Nan Alamilla Boyd has a Ph.D. from Brown tion technologies on women and womens
University, Providence, Rhode Island. She studies and the related issues of gender and
teaches queer studies, Latina studies, and U.S. the politics of information.
womens history in the Womens Studies Pro-
gram at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Carellin Brooks lives in Vancouver, British Co-
where she also chairs the Program in Lesbian, lumbia.
Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies. She is
the author of Wide Open Town: San Francis- Bernadette J.Brooten is the Robert and Myra
cos Lesbian and Gay History (forthcoming). Kraft and Jacob Hiatt Professor of Christian
Studies at Brandeis University, Waltham, Mas-
Kathryn A.Brandt graduated from Bermington sachusetts. Her publications include Women
College, Bennington, Vermont, then pursued her Leaders in the Ancient Synagogue: Inscriptional
activist leanings in New York City. Academi- Evidence and Background Issues (1982) and
cally, she is inclined toward postmodernism, Love Between Women: Early Christian Re-
queer and feminist theory, and civil rights work. sponses to Female Homoeroticism (1996).
She is a television writer and producer and takes
graduate courses in American studies at the Jayne Relaford Brown is a poet and writer
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. who teaches writing courses in Pennsylvania.
Her work has appeared in a number of an-
Lyndie Brimstone is a senior lecturer at thologies, including Tomboys! Tales of Dyke
Roehampton Institute, London, where she Derring-Do (1995).
convenes the multidisciplinary Womens Stud-
ies Programme. Her publications include To- Victoria Bissell Brown received her Ph.D. in
wards a New Cartography: Radclyffe Hall, American history from the University of
California, San Diego, in 1985. She taught in Francesca Canad Sautman is a professor at
the Womens Studies Department at San Diego Hunter College and the Graduate School of the
State University from 1981 to 1989. She is an City University of New York, teaching in sev-
associate professor of history and chair of gen- eral fields. She has published on medieval and
der and womens studies at Grinnell College, modern folk culture and on womens cultural
Grinnell, Iowa, and is writing a biography of history in France, Italy, the Maghreb, and the
Jane Addams. United States. She is completing a book on les-
bian working-class culture in France, 1880
Diana L.Burgin is a professor of Russian at the 1930.
University of Massachusetts, Boston, and an
associate of the Russian Research Center at Jane Caputi is the author of The Age of Sex
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachu- Crime (1987) and Gossips, Gorgons, and
setts. Crones: The Fates of the Earth (1993). She col-
laborated with Mary Daly on Websters First
Kate Burns is a Ph.D. candidate in literature New Intergalactic Wickedary of the English
and culture studies at the University of Cali- Language (1987).
fornia, San Diego. Her dissertation traces a
genealogy of the woman outlaw from the early Claudia Card, a Fully Revolting Hag with ten-
republic to the twentieth century in U.S. litera- ure in the Department of Philosophy at the Uni-
ture and culture. She also writes and teaches versity of Madison, Wisconsin, is the author of
about lesbian and queer studies, zines, comic The Unnatural Lottery: Character and Moral
books, and cyberspace culture. Luck (1996) and Lesbian Choices (1995) and
the editor of Adventures in Lesbian Philosophy
Stephanie Byrd has written reviews in the Les- (1994) and Feminist Ethics (1991).
bian Review of Books, the Harvard Gay and
Lesbian Review, the Lambda Book Report, and Erin Carlston received her Ph.D. in modern
Sojourner and poetry in Whiskey Island, thought and literature from Stanford Univer-
Kenyon Review, Common Lives/Lesbian Lives, sity, Stanford, California. She teaches in
Sinister Wisdom, and American Voice. She is Stanfords Introduction to the Humanities and
an M.A. candidate in English at Cleveland State Continuing Studies programs and has written
University in Ohio. on topics in comparative literature, fascist cul-
tural studies, and the history of sexuality. She
Karen Cadora received her Ph.D. from Stanford is the author of Thinking Fascism: Sapphic
University, Stanford, California. She has an M.S. Modernism and Fascist Modernity (1998).
in astrophysics and works as a software engi-
neer. Her short fiction has been published in Glynis Carr is an associate professor of English
Yellow Silk (1993), her critical work in Science at Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylva-
Fiction Studies (1995), and her first novel, Star- nia. She has written essays on U.S. women writ-
dust Bound (1994), by Firebrand. ers and edited a volume of feminist theory,
Turning the Century (Bucknell Review 36[2],
Elizabeth Cahn is a lesbian architect and art 1992). She is working on a second edited vol-
therapist who works with women, lesbians, and ume of ecofeminist literary criticism.
other members of the sexual-minority commu-
nity. Susan E.Cayleff is a professor and chair of the
Department of Womens Studies at San Diego
Luz Calvo is a Ph.D candidate in the History of State University. She is the author of Wash and
Consciousness Program at the University of Cali- Be Healed: The Water-Cure Movement and
fornia, Santa Cruz. She is working on her dis- Womens Health (1987) and Babe: The Life and
sertation, Border Fantasies: Sexual Anxieties Legend of Babe Didrikson Zaharias (1995) and
and Political Passions in the Mexico-US. Bor- coeditor (with Barbara Bair) of Wings of
der. Her academic interests include psychoa- Gauze: Women of Color and the Experience
nalysis, queer theory, and critical race studies. of Health andIllness (1993).
Line Chamberland has been active in the les- Love (1993), and is completing her fifth manu-
bian and feminist movements since the 1970s script, entitled Corridors of Nostalgia.
and teaches sociology at Maisonneuve College,
Montreal, Qubec, where she works on lesbian Diana Collecott grew up near London and
history in Qubec. She directed a special issue teaches British and American literature at Dur-
of the French periodical Sociologie et socits: ham University in northeast England. She has
Homosexualities: Scientific and Activist Is- traveled widely and held research fellowships
sues (29[1], 1997). in Japan and the United States. She broadcasts
on poetry for the British Broadcasting Corpo-
Wendy Chapkis is an associate professor of so- ration (BBC) and is the author of H.D. and
ciology and womens studies at the University Sapphic Modernism (1999).
of Southern Maine, Portland. She is the author
of two books: Beauty Secrets: Women and the Elizabeth Colwill, an associate professor of his-
Politics of Appearance (1986) and Live Sex Acts: tory at San Diego State University, specializes in
Women Performing Erotic Labor (1997). the history of gender, sexuality, and colonial-
ism. Her publications include articles on female
Anne Charles teaches English and womens stud- authorship, pornography, and the political cul-
ies at the University of New Orleans. She is com- ture of the French and Haitian revolutions. She
pleting a manuscript on Sapphic modernism and is working on a book entitled Sex, Savagery, and
the novels of Djuna Barnes. Slavery in the French and Haitian Revolutions.

Mary C.Churchill is an assistant professor of Nerida M.Cook has undertaken several peri-
womens studies at the University of Colorado, ods of research in Thailand as part of her so-
Boulder. She received her Ph.D. degree in reli- cial anthropological training. She is engaged
gious studies from the University of California, in funded fieldwork on womens sexual sub-
Santa Barbara, specializing in the study of Na- cultures in Thailand, centered in Bangkok. She
will incorporate the findings in publications
tive American religious traditions.
and in her teaching in a course on love and
sexuality cross-culturally.
Nan Cinnater has an M.A. in American wom-
ens history from Sarah Lawrence College,
Tee A.Corinne has been involved with the visual
Bronxsville, New York. Formerly public edu-
arts all of her life but often writes for a living.
cation coordinator of Senior Action in a Gay
She loves to review art books. Her own books
Environment (SAGE), she is co-owner of Now
include The Cunt Coloring Book (1975), Yantras
Voyager, the lesbian and gay bookstore in
of Womanlove (1982), Dreams of the Woman
Provincetown, Massachusetts. She has never
Who Loved Sex (1988), and Mama, Rattle-
hopped a freight in her life.
snakes, and Key Lime Pi (1995).
Bev Clark was a part of the first lesbian sup-
Becca Cragin is a Ph.D. candidate at the Insti-
port group in Harare, Zimbabwe, and was ac-
tute for Womens Studies at Emory University,
tively involved in Gays and Lesbians of Zim-
Atlanta. She has had articles published on femi-
babwe (GALZ) from 1989 to 1997. With her
nist cultural studies and on representations of
longtime partner, Brenda Burrell, she has been lesbian feminism in academic and popular me-
instrumental in the fight for gay and lesbian dia. She is writing a dissertation on gay and les-
equality in Zimbabwe. bian viewers of daytime talk shows.

Cheryl Clarke, black lesbian feminist poet, has Julie Crawford received her Ph.D. in English lit-
been a student of African American literature erature from the University of Pennsylvania,
since 1968. She is the author of four books of Philadelphia. Her dissertation is on early mod-
poetry, Narratives: Poems in the Tradition of ern popular literature. She is also interested in
Black Women (1982), Living as a Lesbian the history of female homosociality and lesbi-
(1986), Humid Pitch (1989), and Experimental anism and the history of cross-dressing and other
gender-subversive women. She is an assistant Ann David is a historian and lesbian activist,
professor of English and comparative literature who knows the Belgian situation through expe-
at Columbia University, New York City. rience and studies. She is a volunteer in an oral-
history project on older lesbians in Belgium.
Jason Cromwell, Ph.D., is a cultural anthropolo-
gist and the author of numerous articles and a Nancy D.Davis, M.D., is a retired psychiatrist.
forthcoming book on Transmen/FTM (female to
male). A longtime member of the transcommunity, Gwendolyn Alden Dean lives in Atlanta and is
he has served on the boards of several organiza- an adjunct professor of liberal arts at the At-
tions and is a cofounder of the FTM Conference lanta College of Art and a Ph.D. student at the
and Education Project/ Spectrum. Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts at Emory
University, Atlanta. She completed a B.A. in
Diane Griffin Crowder is a professor of French drama and an M.F.A. in studio art/performance
and womens studies at Cornell College, art at the University of California, Irvine.
Mount Vernon, Iowa. She has published ex-
tensively on the works of Monique Wittig, les- Juanita Daz-Cotto, a black, Puerto Rican, lesbian
bian and feminist theory, lesbian and feminist feminist socialist, is editor of Compaeras: Latina
Utopian literature, lesbian body presentation, Lesbians (An Anthology) (1987) under the
and the works of Colette. She is also inter- psuedonym Juanita Ramos. Author of Gender, Eth-
ested in weaving and fiber arts. nicity, and the State: Latina and Latino Prison Poli-
tics (1996), she is an associate professor of sociol-
Margaret Cruikshank teaches womens studies ogy, womens studies, and Caribbean studies at the
at the University of Maine, Orono. She is the au- State University of New York, Binghamton.
thor of The Gay and Lesbian Liberation Move-
ment (1992) and the editor of The Lesbian Path Mildred Dickemann, who received her Ph.D.
(1980), New Lesbian Writing (1984), Lesbian in anthropology from the University of Cali-
Studies (1982), and Fierce with Reality: An An- fornia, Berkeley, has taught at Merritt Col-
thology of Literature About Aging (1995). lege, the University of Kansas, and Sonoma
State University. She has published on educa-
Cynthia Cruz is a Ph.D. student in education at tional anthropology, biosocial anthropology,
the University of California, Los Angeles. Her gender, and homosexuality. She is also politi-
research interests focus on queer theory, cally active in racial justice, environmental,
postcolonial pedagogies, writing and autobiog- and gay and transgender areas.
raphy, and Chicana lesbian feminism. Her pub-
lished work appears in the International Jour- Judy Dlugacz is president and founder of Olivia
nal of Qualitative Studies in Education. Cruises and Resorts. She was instrumental in
the creation of the cultural phenomenon called
Paisley Currah teaches political science at womens music and later developed exclusive
Brooklyn College of the City University of New vacations for women. She also manages actor/
York, and is working on a book on identity comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer.
fundamentalisms and the rights of sexual mi-
norities in the United States. Laura Doan, a professor of English at the State
University of New York, Geneseo, has edited The
Ann Cvetkovich is an associate professor of Eng- Lesbian Postmodern (1994), and coedited (with
lish at the University of Texas, Austin. She is the Lucy Bland) Sexology Uncensored: The Docu-
author of Mixed Feelings: Feminism, Mass Cul- ments of Sexual Science (1998) and Sexology in
ture, and Victorian Sensationalism (1992). She Culture: Labeling Bodies and Desires (1998). She
has published articles on lesbian culture in a is working on Fashioning Sapphism: The Ori-
number of collections and in the journal GLQ. gins of a Modern English Lesbian Culture.

Violetta Cywicka is an activist with the Asso- Gunilla Domellf, D.Ph., is director of the De-
ciation of Lambda Groups in Krakow, Poland. partment of Information and Culture at Ume
University, Sweden. Her thesis is on Karin Boye ate School and taught her first womens stud-
as a critic and modernist prose writer. Through ies course in 1972. She lives in Manhattan and
her publications, she is engaged in reevaluating the Catskills with Brenda Goodman, a painter,
Karin Boyes authorship. and their Australian shepherd.

Emma Donoghue is a novelist, playwright, and Cathie Dunsford, Ph.D., teaches writing and
historian. Her first play, I Know My Own Heart publishing at Auckland University in New Zea-
(1993), was based on Anne Listers diaries. She land and is director of Dunsford Publishing Con-
followed up Passions Between Women: British sultants (160 authors published, including
Lesbian Culture, 16681801 (1993) with the an- twenty-eight Pacific lesbian authors). She is the
thology Poems Between Women: Four Centu- editor of five Pacific womens anthologies, the
ries of Love, Romantic Friendship, and Desire author of three novelsCowrie (1994), The
(1997) and a biography of two lesbian poets, Journey Home (1997), and Heart Warrior
We Are Michael Field (1998). (1999)and on the editorial board of the Les-
bian Review of Books.
Julie Dorf is the founder and executive director
of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Elana Dykewomon has written Riverfinger
Rights Commission (IGLHRC), a nonprofit, Women (as Elana Nachman, 1974), Nothing
U.S.-based organization that monitors human Will Be as Sweet as the Taste (1995), and the
rights violations based on sexual orientation, Jewish lesbian historical novel Beyond the Pale
gender identity, and HIV status. She worked with (1997). She was an editor of Sinister Wisdom, a
dissident movements in the former Soviet Un- journal of arts and politics for the lesbian im-
ion for more than eight years before launching agination, from 1987 to 1995.
Vicki L.Eaklor is a professor of history at Al-
Christine Downing, professor emerita of re- fred University, Alfred, New York, where she
ligious studies at San Diego State University, teaches courses in American history and wom-
teaches in the Mythological Studies Program ens studies, including gay American history. She
at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa also is cochair of the Committee on Lesbian and
Barbara, California. Her nine books include Gay History, a national affiliate of the Ameri-
The Goddess (1981) and Myths and Myster- can Historical Association.
ies of Same-Sex Love (1989).
Deborah A.Elliston holds a Ph.D. in anthro-
Jennifer Doyle received her Ph.D. in literature pology from New York University. Her re-
from Duke University, Durham, North Caro- search in the Society Islands of French Poly-
lina. She is coeditor (with Jonathan Flatley and nesia provides the ground for her analyses of
Jos Esteban Muoz) of Pop Out: Queer female same-sex sexuality among these
Warhol (1996). Polynesians, as well as for her dissertation.
Her article Erotic Anthropology: Ritualized
Kimberly Dugan is a Ph.D. candidate in sociol- Homosexuality in Melanesia and Beyond
ogy at Ohio State University, Columbus, com- appeared in American Ethnologist (1995).
pleting her dissertation on the dynamics between
the Religious Right and the gay, lesbian, and Oliva M.Espn is a professor of womens stud-
bisexual movement. Her research interests in- ies at San Diego State University. She is a past
clude social movements, sexuality politics, gen- president of the Society for the Psychological
der, and race. Studies of Lesbian and Gay Issues, a division of
the American Psychological Association. She is
Linda Dunne, director of the Bachelor of Arts the author ofLatina Realities: Essays on Heal-
Program at the New School for Social Re- ing, Migration, and Sexuality (1997) and
search, New York City, earned her Ph.D. in Women Crossing Boundaries: A Psychology of
literature and a certificate in womens studies Immigration and Transformations of Sexuality
from the City University of New York Gradu- (1999).
Kristin G.Esterberg is an assistant professor of Women Regionalists, 18501910 (1992). She is
sociology at the University of Massachusetts, working on a critical study of the writers in-
Lowell. She is the author of Lesbian and Bisexual cluded in that anthology.
Identities: Constructing Communities, Con-
structing Selves (1997). Heather Findlay received her B.A. in womens
studies from Brown University, Providence,
Paula L.Ettelbrick is the legislative counsel for Rhode Island, in 1986 and her Ph.D. in English
the Empire State Pride Agenda and cochairs a from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, in
national network of lesbian and gay statewide 1992. She edited A Movement of Eros: Twenty
political groups. As an adjunct professor of Years of Lesbian Erotica (1996), and her most
law, she teaches sexuality and the law at the recent academic publication is Queer Dora,
University of Michigan Law School, Ann Ar- in GLQ (Winter 1994). She is the editor in chief
bor, and New York University Law School, of Girlfriends magazine.
New York City. She lives with her partner and
son in Manhattan. Mary Margaret Fonow is an assistant professor
of womens studies at Ohio State University,
Leyla Ezdinli has taught French at Smith Col- Columbus. Her research and teaching interests
lege, Northampton, Massachusetts. She works are feminist methodology, theorizing diversity,
on French and Francophone women writers and political economy. She is coauthor (with
and is completing a manuscript, Prefatory Judith A.Cook) of Beyond Methodology: Femi-
Transgressions: The Cultural Politics of Ro- nist Scholarship as Lived Research (1991) and
mantic Authorship. the editor of Reading Womens Lives: An Intro-
duction to Womens Studies (1996).
Lillian Faderman is the author of several pub-
lications in lesbian studies, including Odd Girls Jacqueline Francis is a Ph.D. candidate in art
and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life history at Emory University, Atlanta, and the
in Twentieth-Century America (1991) and Sur- 19971999 Andrew Wyeth Fellow in American
passing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendship Art at the Center for Advanced Study in the
and Love between Women from the Renaissance Visual Arts, Washington, D.C.
to the Present (1981). She is a professor of Eng-
lish at California State University, Fresno. Liz Frank is an educator by profession and a
writer and photographer by passion. Her motto
Marilyn R.Farwell is a professor of English at is to undermine patriarchy through laughter. She
the University of Oregon, Eugene. Her areas of has lived and traveled in many countries, but
specialization are women writers, feminist and her lesbian feminist heart and mind, body and
lesbian theory, and narrative theory. She has soul are now firmly settled in Namibia, where
written articles on Virginia Woolf, Adrienne she lives a fulfilled, if sometimes too full, life
Rich, and John Milton and a book, Heterosexual with her partner and her son.
Plots and Lesbian Narratives (1996). Her most
recent work is on opera and lesbian writers. Miriam Frank is Master Teacher of Humanities
in New York Universitys General Studies Pro-
Marisa Fernandes of So Paulo, Brazil, a histo- gram. She has worked in Detroit, the Bay Area,
rian, activist, and lesbian feminist since 1978, is and New York City as a labor educator. Since
coordinator of the Collective of Lesbian Femi- 1995, she has been developing Out in the Un-
nists in So Paulo. ion, an oral history of lesbian and gay union
Judith Fetterley, a professor of English and wom-
ens studies at the University at Albany, State Trisha Franzen is the director of the Anna
University of New York, is the author of The Howard Shaw Center for Womens Studies and
Resisting Reader and Provisions: A Reader from Programs at Albion College, Albion, Michigan.
19th-century American Women (1978) and co- She is the author of Spinsters and Lesbians: In-
editor (with Marjorie Pryse) of American dependent Womanhood in the United States
(1996) and is working on a biography of Anna 1982 and conducting a national longitudinal
Howard Shaw. Along with other community lesbian family study since 1986. She is the edi-
involvements, she serves on the Albion Board tor of Bringing Ethics Alive: Feminist Ethics for
of Education. Psychotherapy Practice (1994).

Susan K.Freeman is completing her Ph.D in his- Alicia Gaspar de Alba, a first-generation
tory at Ohio State University, Columbus. She Chicana, is an assistant professor of Chicana/o
has done research on the lesbian community in studies at the University of California, Los An-
Cincinnati, Ohio, and is studying how girls have geles, and holds a Ph.D. in American studies.
been taught about their bodies and sexuality Her most recent publication is Chicano Art In-
through sex education in U.S. public schools dur- side/Outside the Masters House: Cultural Poli-
ing the twentieth century. tics and the CARA Exhibition (1998), and she
has completed a historical novel on Sor Juana
Constance M.Fulmer is a professor of English Ins de la Cruz entitled Sor Juanas Second
at Pepperdine University, Malibu, California. Dream (1999).
She enjoys living, walking, reading, and camp-
ing on the beach. She was born in Alabama and Barbara W.Gerber is a Distinguished Service Pro-
has taught in Tennessee and Kentucky and re- fessor Emerita at the State University of New
ceived her Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University, Nash- York, Oswego, and the 19971998 president of
ville, Tennessee, where her lifelong interest in the National Womens Studies Association. She
George Eliot began. is a counselor, educator, and sometime adminis-
trator who loves to canoe, camp in the wilder-
Greta Gaard is the author of Ecological Poli- ness, and be exploring.
tics: Ecofeminists and the Greens (1998), the
editor of Ecofeminism: Women, Animals, Na- Zsa Zsa Gershick works as a writer and an edi-
ture (1993) and coeditor (with Patrick tor for the University of Southern California,
D.Murphy) of Ecofeminist Literary Criticism Los Angeles, and teaches writing at Pasadena
(1998). She is a professor of humanities at City College. She is a former journalist and the
Fairhaven College/ Western Washington Univer- author of Gay Old Girls: Lesbians over 60 Dis-
sity, Bellingham. cuss Their Lives (1998).

Carolyn Gage is a lesbian feminist playwright, Masha Gessen, Moscow journalist and activist,
author, and activist. She toured nationally in her is the author of Dead Again: The Russian Intel-
one-woman show, The Second Coming of Joan ligentsia After Communism (1997) and The
of Arc, and has written the first manual on les- Rights of Lesbians and Gay Men in the Russian
bian theater, Take Stage! How to Direct and Federation (1994) and the editor and translator
Produce a Lesbian Play (1997). of Half a Revolution: Short Fiction by Contem-
porary Russian Women (1995) and other books.
Linda Garber is the author of Identity Poetics:
Lesbian Feminism, Diversity, and the Rise of Margaret Gibson is an independent scholar in the
Queer Theory (forthcoming) and Lesbian history of medicine and sexuality. She graduated
Sources: A Bibliography of Periodical Articles, from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachu-
19701990 (1993) and the editor of Tilting the setts, with a B.A. in the history of science and has
Tower: Lesbians/Teaching/Queer Subjects (1994). published several works on the medical construc-
She is an assistant professor of womens studies tion of lesbian bodies. She is researching a book
at California State University, Fresno. on American medical writing about lesbianism.

Nanette K.Gartrell, M.D., the first out lesbian Amy Gilley specializes in theater, dramatic lit-
on the Harvard Medical School faculty, is asso- erature, and popular culture.
ciate clinical professor of psychiatry at the Uni-
versity of California, San Francisco. She has been Margaret Rose Gladney, a native of Homer,
documenting sexual abuse by physicians since Louisiana, is an associate professor of Ameri-
can studies at the University of Alabama, Amy T.Goodloe created and maintains the
Tuscaloosa, where she teaches courses on Web site and manages five les-
women in the South and the civil rights move- bian discussion lists. She has written and spo-
ment. She and her partner, Marcia Winter, ken about lesbian visibility on the Internet in a
cofounded the Tuscaloosa Lesbian Coalition. number of venues over the past several years.

Elena Glasberg is an assistant professor of lib- Debbie Gould was a member of ACT UP/ Chi-
eral studies at California State University, Los cago and has been involved in a number of ac-
Angeles. She has essays in Political and Legal tivist groups. She is a Ph.D. student in political
Anthropological Review (1998) and the collec- science at the University of Chicago and is writ-
tion The Postcolonial U.S. (1999). She is writ- ing her dissertation on the emergence and de-
ing a manuscript on the study of Antarctica and cline of ACT UP, focusing on the relationship
the geopolitical imagination. between shifting understandings of the AIDS
epidemic and political mobilization.
Judith Glassgold, Psy.D., is a psychologist in
New Jersey specializing in the psychology of Jaime M.Grant is a writer-activist who has been
women; lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues; and involved in feminist, antiracist, and queer lib-
abuse survivors. She is a contributing faculty eration work since the 1980s. She directs the
member at the Graduate School of Applied and Union Institute Center for Women, an academic
Professional Psychology at Rutgers University. womens center in Washington, D.C., dedicated
Glassgold is coeditor (with Suzanne Iasenza) of to coalition work. She is a recovering addict who
Lesbians and Psychoanalysis: Revolutions in frequently writes about feminism, racism, and
Theory and Practice (1995). sex.

Barbara Godard, teaches English and womens Mary Jean Green is Edward Tuck Professor of
studies at York University, North York, Ontario. French at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New
She has translated fiction by Qubec feminists, Hampshire, where she has directed the Wom-
including Nicole Brossard. Her books include ens Studies Program. She has written extensively
Talking About Ourselves: The Cultural Produc- on women writers of the francophone world and
tions of Canadian Native Women (1985) and edited Postcolonial Subjects (1996) and critures
Audrey Thomas: Her Life and Work (1989). In de femmes (1996). She is the author of Marie-
addition to editing several collections, she is a Claire Blais (1995) and is completing a study of
founding coeditor of Tessera, a feminist literary womens writing in Qubec.
theory periodical.
Beverly Greene is a professor of psychology at
Susan Gonda completed her Ph.D. in U.S. his- St. Johns University, Jamaica, New York, and
tory, womens history, and the history of law a clinical psychologist in private practice. A fel-
and sexuality at the University of California, Los low of the American Psychological Association,
Angeles. She teaches at San Diego State Univer- she is the recipient of numerous national awards
sity and Grossmont College, El Cajon, Califor- for publications and pioneering contributions
nia. Her dissertation is entitled Strumpets and to the psychological literature and for distin-
Angels: Rape, Seduction, and the Criminal guished professional contributions to teaching,
Boundaries of Sexuality in the Nineteenth-Cen- training, and clinical practice.
tury Northeastern U.S.
Pat Griffin teaches in the Social Justice Edu-
Mara C.Gonzlez is an associate professor of cation Program at the University of Massa-
English at the University of Houston in Texas, chusetts, Amherst. Her research and writing
where she teaches Mexican American literature interests focus on education and athletics, with
and feminism. She is the author of Contempo- a particular interest in womens sports. She is
rary Mexican American Women Novelists: To- coeditor (with Maurianne Adams and Lee
ward a Feminist Identity (1997) and is working Anne Bell) of Teaching for Diversity and So-
on Chicana queer theory. cial Justice: A Sourcebook for Teachers and
Trainers (1997) and the author of Strong stitute, an arts-community networking initiative,
Women, Deep Closets: Lesbian and Homo- and manages an e-mail list for Korean Ameri-
phobia in Sports, Human Kinetics (1998). can dykes.

Hanna Hacker lives mostly in Austria. She is a Lisa Handler is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology
sociologist and a historian, a university lecturer, and womens studies at the State University of
and a cofounder of the Feminist Archives in Vi- New York, Stony Brook. She is finishing her dis-
enna. She has published several studies on the sertation, which explores young womens friend-
construction of female homosexualities in fin de ships as a site of resistance to, and reproduction
sicle Europe; on gender, violence, and trans- of, gender and sexuality.
gression; and on Austrias womens movements.
Gillian Hanscombe has written Figments of a
Judith Halberstam is an associate professor of Murder (1995), which is set in the lesbian femi-
literature at the University of California, San Di- nist community of London in the 1970s and
ego. She is the author of Skin Shows: Gothic 1980s and was recently translated into German.
Horror and the Technology of Monsters (1995), She is director of the Centre for Womens Stud-
Female Masculinity (1998), and (with Monika ies at the University of Exeter, England.
Treut) The Drag King Book (1999).
Nancy A.Hardesty is an associate professor of
Marny Hall is the author of The Lavender Couch: religion at Clemson University, Clemson, South
A Consumers Guide to Psychotherapy for Les- Carolina. She is the author of Inclusive Lan-
bians and Gay Men (1985) and The Lesbian Love guage in the Church (1987) and Women Called
Companion: How to Survive Everything from to Witness: Evangelical Feminism in the Nine-
Heartthrob to Heartbreak (1998). Since the teenth Century (1984) and coauthor (with Letha
1970s, she has worked as a lesbian couples Dawson Scanzoni) of All Were Meant to Be:
counselor in the San Francisco Bay Area. Biblical Feminism forToday (1974, 1994). She
is active in the Metropolitan Community Church
Ruth Hall, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and of Greenville, South Carolina.
an associate professor in the Department of Psy-
chology at The College of New Jersey, Ewing. Sabine Hark is a sociologist by training and de-
She maintains a private practice and consults gree and a lesbian theorist by passion. She
for various organizations. Her research interests teaches at University of Potsdam, Germany. She
include women of color and athletes. She is the is widely published on issues of lesbian identity
author of Friendships between African Ameri- politics and on the history of German lesbian
can and White Lesbians (1996), which exam- feminism. She is working on a book tentatively
ines cross-racial experiences within the lesbian entitled Contested Territories of Knowledge:
community. Feminism Meets Queer Theory.

Harmony Hammond, a pioneer of the feminist Laura Alexandra Harris is an assistant profes-
art movement, cofounded A.I.R., the first wom- sor of English and black studies at Pitzer Col-
ens cooperative gallery, and Heresies magazine. lege, Claremont, California. She is the editor
Her work has been exhibited internationally and of the collection Femme: Feminists, Lesbians,
is represented in many museum collections. A and Bad Girls (1997) and is conducting re-
professor at the University of Arizona, Tucson, search on literature and writers of the Harlem
Hammond is the author of Lesbian Art in Renaissance.
America: A Contemporary History (1999). She
lives and works in Galisteo, New Mexico. Nett Hart is a former academic with a wild at-
tention span who found her calling as a farmer
Ju Hui Judy Han has done research in queer who writes, publishes, designs and builds eco-
Korean American issues, labor, feminism, and logically, grows sustainably, and researches and
activism. She serves on various boards for the prepares medicinal plants. She founded the
Los Angeles Culture Net/Getty Information In- nonprofit Lesbian Natural Resources to promote
and sustain landyke culture and Word Weavers anthologies and is on the editorial board of the
Lesbian Publishing. Lesbian Review of Books.

Susan Hawthorne is a writer, publisher, academic, Melissa S.Herbert is an assistant professor of

and aerialist Her recent work focuses on issues sociology at Hamline University, Saint Paul,
as diverse as lesbian culture, hypertext, poetry, Minnesota, where she teaches gender, sexuality,
and economics. She is the author of a novel, The and social psychology. She is the author of Cam-
Falling Woman (1992), and the coeditor (with ouflage Isnt Only for Combat: The Manage-
Cathie Dunsford and Susan Sayer) of Car Main- ment of Gender and Sexuality Among Women
tenance, Explosives and Love (1997), and other in the Military (1998).
contemporary lesbian writings.
Carter Heyward, a lesbian feminist theologian
Shevy Healey, Ph.D., is a retired psychologist and Episcopal priest, is a professor of theol-
with a clinical practice specializing in women, ogy at the Episcopal Divinity School, Cam-
lesbians, and people with disabilities. She is a bridge, Massachusetts. An author of numer-
founding member of both the First West Coast ous books on theology, ethics, and social
Conference by and for old lesbians and Old Les- change, Heyward is also a poet and a found-
bians Organizing for Change (OLOC). She ing member of a writers and activists com-
writes, speaks, and does workshops on ageism, munity in the mountains of North Carolina.
aging, homophobia, and sexism.
Kathleen Hickok is an associate professor of
Eloise Klein Healy is the author of four books English and womens studies at Iowa State Uni-
of poetry and associate editor of the Lesbian versity, Ames. Her book Representations of
Review of Books. Her collection Artemis in Women: Nineteenth-Century British Womens
Echo Park (1991) is also available on CD and Poetry (1984) helped revive interest in many
audiotape. She directs the low-residency Victorian women poets. Hickok teaches Victo-
M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program at rian literature, womens literature, and woman-
Antioch University, Los Angeles. identified literature. She and her partner have
two children.
Michelle Heffner Hayes is the artistic director of
the Colorado Dance Festival in Boulder, Colo- Liz Highleyman is editor of Cuir Underground
rado. She received her Ph.D. in dance history and newspaper and associate editor of Bisexual
theory University of California, Riverside. She Politics: Theories, Queries and Visions (1995).
lectures and writes about feminist issues in fla- Her work has appeared in the anthologies Bi
menco history and contemporary dance perform- Any Other Name (1990), The Second Com-
ance. She danced with choreographers Susan ing (1996), and Whores and Other Feminists
Rose and Stephanie Gilliand, among others. (1997). She has been active in the bisexual
movement since the 1980s.
Dana Heller is an associate professor of English
at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia. Claudia Hinojosa is one of the first voices of the
She is the author of The Femination of Quest- lesbian feminist movement in Mexico. Her early
Romance: Radical Departures (1990) and Fam- activism led her to many years of journalisn and
ily Plots: The De-Oedipalization of Popular independent scholarship. Mother of one son, she
Culture (1995) and the editor of Cross Purposes: is involved in a project of cultural translation, on
Lesbians, Feminists, and the Limits of Alliance the topic of womens human rights, for the Center
(1997). for Womens Global Leadership at Rutgers Uni-
versity, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Lois Rita Helmbold, an intellectual, political
activist, teacher, martial artist, writer, lover, his- Lisa Maria Hogeland is an associate professor
torian, and quilter, coordinates the Womens of English at the University of Cincinnati, where
Studies Program at San Jose State University. she also teaches in the Womens Studies M.A.
She has published in numerous journals and Program. She is the author of Feminism and Its
Fictions: The Consciousness-Raising Novel and courses. She has written in the areas of femi-
the Womens Liberation Movement (1995). nism and the death penalty, race and innocence,
and lesbian legal history.
Sharon P.Holland is a native of Washington,
D.C., and an assistant professor of English at Lynne Huffer is an associate professor of French
Stanford University, Stanford, California. She at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
recently finished a book manuscript entitled She is the author of Another Colette: The Ques-
Raising the Dead: Death and (Black) Subjectiv- tion of Gendered Writing (1992) and Mater-
ity in Twentieth Century American Literature nal Pasts, Feminist Futures: Nostalgia, Ethics,
and Culture and is working on a novel entitled and the Question of Difference (1998). She is
How Bubba the Socrates Got to Be Neither. also the editor of a special issue of Yale French
Studies entitled Another Look, Another
Alice Y.Hom, a Ph.D. candidate in history at Woman: Retranslations of French Feminism
Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, Cali- (1995).
fornia, is completing her dissertation on a com-
parative history of activism and organizing by Mary E.Hunt, Ph.D., is a feminist theologian
lesbians of color in Los Angeles and New York who teaches in the womens studies program at
from 1969 to the present. She coedited (with Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. She
David L. Eng) Q & A: Queer in Asian America is codirector of the Womens Alliance for The-
(1998). ology, Ethics, and Ritual in Silver Spring, Mary-
land, and the author of Fierce Tenderness: A
rene c.hoogland is an assistant professor of Feminist Theology of Friendship (1991).
lesbian studies at the University of Nijmegen,
the Netherlands. She is the author of Elizabeth Karla Hynkov is a graduate of the Faculty of
Bowen: A Reputation in Writing (1994) and Philosophy, Charles University, Prague, Czech
Lesbian Configurations (1997). She has pub- Republic. After the November 1989 revolution,
lished extensively on feminist theory, she became a cofounder and activist in the les-
postmodernism, psychoanalysis, sexuality, and bian club Lambda and a member of the Czech
representation and is researching fantasy and homosexual organization, SOHO, and of the
embodiment. International Lesbian and Gay Association
(ILGA). She works as a freelance translator of
Elizabeth Rosa Horan has published on Gabriela computer-related materials.
Mistral, Emily Dickinson, Marjorie Agosin, Car-
men Lyra, and other women writers of the Prue Hyman is the only English-born Jewish
Americas. She is an associate professor of Eng- lesbian feminist academic economist in
lish and womens studies at Arizona State Uni- Aotearoa/ New Zealand (and could drop sev-
versity, Tempe, where she directs the Compara- eral components and still be the only one!).
tive Studies in Literature program. She is the author of Women and Economics:
A New Zealand Feminist Perspective (1994)
Judith A.Howard is a professor of sociology at and the coeditor (with Lee Badgett) of a les-
the University of Washington, Seattle. She is also bian and gay economics symposium for the
coeditor of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture journal Feminist Economicsas well as en-
and Society and of the Gender Lens book series joying her beach, animals, and friends.
for Sage Publications. She teaches and studies
how cognitionsstereotypes, attitudes, attribu- Sherrie A.Inness is the author of Intimate Com-
tionsshape and are constrained by social in- munities: Representation and Social Transfor-
teractions and institutions. mation in Womens College Fiction, 18951910
(1995); The Lesbian Menace: Ideology, Iden-
Joan W.Howarth is a law professor at Golden tity, and the Representation of Lesbian Life
Gate University, San Francisco, where she (1997); and Tough Girls: Women, Popular Cul-
teaches constitutional law, women and the law, ture, and the Gendering of Toughness (1998),
and sexual orientation and the law, among other as well as the editor of several collections.
Janice M.Irvine is on the sociology faculty at the Christine Jenkins is a member of the faculty
University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has of the Graduate School of Library and Infor-
written in various areas of sexuality studies. mation Science, University of Illinois, Urbana-
Champaign, where she teaches courses in
Eva Isaksson is a Finnish writer and works as youth services, young adult (YA) literature,
an astronomy librarian at the University of Hel- and gender issues. Her research on gay and
sinki Observatory. Her writings include a his- lesbian content in YA fiction has appeared in
torical study (in Finnish) of womens work in several library publications. She also was a
the exact sciences. She has also done research school library media specialist with the Ann
in the history of physics. As a lesbian activist, Arbor, Michigan, public schools.
she has been involved with the International
Lesbian Information Service (ILIS) and lately Valerie Jenness is an assistant professor in the
with networking through the Internet. Department of Criminology, Law, and Society
and the Department of Sociology at the Univer-
Peter Jackson, Ph.D., is Research Fellow in sity of California, Irvine. She has published
Thai History at the Australian National Uni- books and articles on the politics of prostitu-
versity, Canberra, where he is writing a book tion, AIDS and civil liberties, hate crimes and
on gay and lesbian history in Bangkok. His hate-crime law, and the gay and lesbian and
book Dear Uncle Go: Male Homosexuality womens movements in the United States.
in Thailand (1995) was the first major study
of male homoeroticism in the Southeast Asian Karleen Pendleton Jimnez is a Chicana lesbian
kingdom, and his novel The Intrinsic Quality writer from Rosemead, California. She was a
of Skin (1994) deals with interracial gay rela- lecturer in Chicana/o studies at San Diego State
tionships. University and the director of Queer Players, a
creative writing and performance group for
Huda Jadallah is a Palestinian lesbian, born and queer youth in the San Diego community. She
raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a currently resides in Toronto, Canada.
graduate student in sociology at the University
of California, Santa Barbara. Her current re- Mary M.Johnson is an M.A. candidate in lib-
search is tentatively titled Hidden Families: eral arts emphasizing womens studies at San
Arab Lesbians in the U.S. Speak. She is editing Diego State University, from which she received
an anthology of writings by and about Arab les- her B.A. in liberal studies. Her primary areas of
bian and bisexual women. research and interest are women in sports and
women and HIV/AIDS.
Janet R.Jakobsen is an assistant professor of
womens studies and religious studies and Sonya Jones is professor of English at Allegheny
cocoordinator of the Committee for Lesbian, College, Meadville, Pennsylvania. She is the au-
Gay, and Bisexual Studies at the University of thor of History and Memory: Gay and Lesbian
Arizona, Tucson. She is the author of Working Literature Since World War II (1998) and is
Alliances and the Politics of Difference: Diver- editing A Sea of Stories: The Shaping Power of
sity and Feminist Ethics (1997) and has worked Narrative in Gay and Lesbian Cultures. A long-
as a policy analyst, lobbyist, and organizer in time activist, she was instrumental in shaping
Washington, D.C. Alleghenys lesbigay minor.

Karla Jay has written, edited, and translated nine Miranda Joseph is an assistant professor of
books, the most recent of which are Dyke Life womens studies and comparative cultural and
(1995) and Lesbian Erotics (1995). She is the literary studies at the University of Arizona,
editor of New York University Presss series The Tucson. Her article The Perfect Moment: Gays,
Cutting Edge: Lesbian Life and Literature and Christians, and the National Endowment for the
has written for many publications, including Ms Arts appears in Socialist Review (1998), and
magazine, the New York Times Book Review, The Performance of Production and Consump-
and the village voice. tion is in Social Text (1998).
Tuula Juvonen is a Ph.D. candidate in social theory, feminist theory, canonical American writ-
policy at the University of Tampere, Finland. Her ers, Latina/Chicana writers, multiculturalism,
thesis, Shadow Lives and Public Secrets, will and pedagogy.
study how the silence around female and male
homosexuality was broken in a Finnish town Anne B.Keating teaches at New York Univer-
during the 1950s and 1960s. sity. She holds a Ph.D. in American studies from
the University of Maryland, College Park.
Ruti Kadish is an Israeli American Ph.D. stu-
dent in the Department of Near Eastern Studies Rosemary Keefe (formerly Curb) has a Ph.D. in
at the University of California, Berkeley. She is English from the University of Arkansas,
writing her dissertation on Israeli queer identity Fayetteville. She is professor of English and has
and community. articles, reviews, and essays in books and jour-
nals. She edited Amazon All Stars: Thirteen Les-
Mary C.Kalfatovic is a writer in the Washing- bian Plays (1996), a finalist for Lambda Liter-
ton, D.C., area specializing in the performing ary Award, and coedited (with Nancy Manahan)
arts. She is the author of numerous articles and Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence (1985), which
reviews and of the book Montgomery Clift: A was translated into seven languages.
Bio-Bibliography (1994).
Kendall earned her Ph.D. in drama from the Uni-
Elizabeth Kaminski is a Ph.D. student in the versity of Texas, Austin, in 1986 with a disserta-
Department of Sociology at Ohio State Uni- tion on the Queen Anne period and subsequently
versity, Columbus. Her research interests in- taught at Smith College, Northampton, Massachu-
clude lesbian health (the subject of her M.A. setts. She was a Fulbright Scholar at the National
thesis), social movements, and the construc- University of Lesotho and in 1995 moved to South
tion of lesbian identities. Africa, where she heads the Drama Department at
the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg.
Venetia Kantsa is a Ph.D. candidate in social
anthropology at the London School of Econom- Jean E.Kennard is a professor of English and
ics, University of London. Her research focuses womens studies at the University of New Hamp-
on the articulation of female homosexual dis- shire, Durham. She is the author of Number and
courses in contemporary Greece. She has pub- Nightmare (1975), Victims of Convention
lished articles on the construction of a lesbian (1978), and Vera Brittain and Winifred Holtby
community in Eressos Lesvos and the expres- (1989). She is working on a book on Virginia
sion of politicized lesbian discourse in early Woolf, sexuality, and narrative.
Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy was a founder
J.Kehaulani Kauanui is a Ph.D. candidate in the of womens studies at the State University of
history of consciousness at the University of Cali- New York, Buffalo, and is a professor of
fornia, Santa Cruz. Her dissertation examines the womens studies at the University of Arizona,
connection between U.S. federal blood quanta Tucson. She is the coauthor (with Ellen Carol
policies and biometric studies on Hawaiian hy- D u b o i s , G a i l P a r a d i s e K e l l y, C a r o l y n
brids in defining Hawaiian indigeneity and the W.Korsmeyer, and Lillian S.Robinson) of
legal practices of land dispossession, race classi- Feminist Scholarship: Kindling in the Groves
fication, and property status. of Academe (1985) and (with Madeline
Davis) of Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold:
AnaLouise Keating is an associate professor of The History of a Lesbian Community (1993),
English at Eastern New Mexico University, as well as the author of numerous articles.
Portales, where she teaches U.S./American lit-
erature and womens studies. She is author of Didi Khayatt is the author of Lesbian Teachers:
Women Reading Women Writing: Self-Invention An Invisible Presence (1992), in addition to a
in Paula Gunn Allen, Gloria Anzalda, number of articles dealing with sexuality. She
andAudre Lorde (1996) and essays on queer has been engaged for several years in research
in Egypt. She lives in Toronto and teaches at the mother, a social activist, and a former profes-
Faculty of Education at York University, North sor of womens studies.
York, Ontario.
Dorelies Kraakman is a lecturer in gay and les-
Celia Kitzinger is director of womens studies bian studies with the Department of Sociology
and reader in lesbian and feminist psychology at the University of Amsterdam in the Nether-
in the Department of Social Sciences, Lough- lands. She has degrees in international law and
borough University, Great Britain. She has pub- in ancient history. Since 1987, she has special-
lished eight books and nearly one hundred ized in historical and theoretical problems of
chapters and articles on lesbian and feminist sexuality. Her dissertation is on various aspects
issues, including The Social Construction of of sexual difference in eighteenth- and nine-
Lesbianism (1987), Changing Our Minds teenth-century French erotic literature.
(1993), and Heterosexuality (1993).
Karen Christel Krahulik is a Ph.D. candidate in
Alisa Klinger is an assistant professor of Eng- American history at New York University. Her
lish at York University, North York, Ontario. dissertation, Queering the Cape: Gender and
She specializes in cultural and gender studies and the Politics of Race, Sex, and Class in
has published pieces on lesbian-movement poli- Provincetown, Massachusetts, 18981998, will
tics, multiethnic lesbian print culture, lesbian eth- be finished in 1999. She lives in Boston and Prov-
nography, and queer campus organizing. She is ince-town.
completing a book on North American lesbian
print activism and cultural formation. Victoria Krane is an associate professor at the
School of Human Movement, Sport, and Lei-
Marcy Jane Knopf is a Ph.D. candidate at Mi- sure Studies at Bowling Green State University,
ami University, Oxford, Ohio. She is the editor Bowling Green, Ohio. Her area of specializa-
of The Sleeper Wakes: Harlem Renaissance Sto- tion is sport psychology, and her primary re-
ries by Women (1993) and Jessie Fausets The search focus is lesbians in sport, particularly the
Chinaberry Tree (1995). impact of homophobia and coping with homo-
Judith C.Kohl, professor emeritus of English
and humanities at Dutchess Community Col- Linda A.Krikos is the head of the Womens Stud-
lege, Poughkeepsie, New York, and visiting ies Library and an assistant professor of library
p ro f e s s o r a t Vassar Col l e ge , al so i n science at Ohio State University, Columbus. Her
Poughkeepsie, has taught contemporary work has been published in Reference Services
drama, recent American literature, interna- Review, Serials Review, and Research Strategies.
tional literature, and autobiographies of She is coediting (with Cindy Ingold) an update
marginalized Americans. Her current work of the book Womens Studies: A Recommended
includes a study of Ezra Pound and Venice. Core Bibliography, 19801985 (1987).

Ilse Kokula has worked for the lesbian and gay Juliana M.Kubala received her Ph.D. from the
and womens liberation movements for more Institute of the Liberal Arts at Emory Univer-
than twenty years. She has published books and sity, Atlanta.
articles on history and the current situation of
lesbians. She received her Ph.D. at the Univer- Marie J.Kuda is an independent scholar, free-
sity of Bremen in Germany and in 19851986 lance writer and reviewer, lecturer, and archi-
was a professor at the University of Utrecht in vist.
the Netherlands, teaching socialization and so-
cial history of lesbians. Colleen Lamos is an associate professor of Eng-
lish at Rice University, Houston, Texas. Her
Gina Kozik-Rosabal is the assistant director of book, Modernism Astray: Sexual Errancy in T.S.
the Womens Resource Center, University of Eliot, James Joyce, and Marcel Proust, was pub-
Colorado, Boulder. She is a Latina lesbian lished in 1998. Her articles have appeared in
Novel, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and munity for women on the World Wide Web.
Society, Contemporary Literature, the James WWWomen has been featured in publications
Joyce Quarterly, the NWSA Journal, the Les- such as U.S. News and World Report, the San
bian and Gay Studies Newsletter, and in The Francisco Chronicle, and Glamour magazine as
Lesbian Postmodern (1994), Lesbian Erotics one of the top destinations for women on the
(1995), and Quare Joyce (1998). Web.

Cassandra Langer has a Ph.D. in art history Ellen Lewin is an associate professor of wom-
and criticism from New York University and ens studies and anthropology at the University
more than twenty years experience as a uni- of Iowa, Iowa City. She is the author of Recog-
versity professor. Her most recent book is A nizing Ourselves: Ceremonies of Lesbian and
Feminist Critique (1996); she also founded Gay Commitment (1998) and Lesbian Moth-
(with her partner, Irene Javors) Private Eye: ers: Accounts of Gender in American Culture
Noir Arts Ltd., New York Citys only gallery (1993), the editor of Inventing Lesbian Cultures
dedicated to a noir aesthetic. in America (1996), and coeditor (with William
L.Leap) of Out in the Field: Reflections of Les-
Ruth Largay, managing editor of Signs: Jour- bian and Gay Anthropologists (1996).
nal of Women in Culture and Society, is a Ph.D.
candidate in mass communication at the Uni- Reina Lewis is senior lecturer in the Department
versity of Georgia, Athens. Prior to returning of Cultural Studies at the University of East Lon-
to academia, she worked as a writer and an don, England. She is the author of Gendering
editor in news media and public relations for Orientalism: Race, Femininity and Representa-
more than fifteen years. tion (1996) and coeditor (with Peter Horne) of
Outlooks: Lesbian and Gay Sexualities and
Alison J.Laurie, senior lecturer in womens stud- Visual Culture (1996). She is working on Ori-
ies at Victoria University of Wellington, ental women writers and on queer aesthetics.
Aotearoa/New Zealand, has been involved in
lesbian, gay, and feminist politics as an activist, Yolanda Chavez Leyva is a Chicana historian in
writer, and broadcaster since the 1960s. She the Division of Behavioral and Cultural Sciences
started the first A/NZ lesbian studies courses and at the University of Texas, San Antonio. Her
was a founder of the first lesbian magazine and research interests include the creation of ethnic
radio program and lesbian studies conferences. identities and the ways in which ethnicity and
sexuality intersect.
NTanya R.Lee received her B.A. from Brown
University, Providence, Rhode Island, magna Karin Lindeqvist has been part of the feminist
cum laude. As a Ph.D. student in American and lesbian movement in Sweden since the early
studies at Yale University, New Haven, Con- 1980s. She has a degree in law, and she lives
necticut, she has focused her research prima- and works in Stockholm with her longtime lover
rily on the politics of black sexuality. Her pub- and favorite author, Anna-Karin Granberg, and
lications include Transforming the Nation: their stunningly beautiful Neapolitan mastiff.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered US
Histories, 19451995 (1998). Anna Livia is the author of four novels and two
collections of short stories and coeditor (with
Gary Lehring is an assistant professor of politi- Kira Hall) of Queerly Phrased: Language, Gen-
cal theory in the Department of Government at der, and Sexuality (1997). Her most recent novel
Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts. is Bruised Fruit (1999). Born in Dublin, Ireland,
His book Officially Gay: Politics and the Pub- she moved to the United States in 1990 and
lic Construction of Sexuality is forthcoming in makes her home in Berkeley, California.
the Utopian socialist future.
Christoph Lorey, a professor of German at the
Sue Levin is president of WWWomen Incorpo- University of New Brunswick, Fredericton,
rated, a leading developer of content and com- Canada, is the editor of the International
Fiction Review and coeditor (with John L.Plews) Jeanne M.Marrazzo is an assistant professor
of Queering the Canon: Defying Sights in Ger- in infectious diseases at the University of
man Literature and Culture (1998). His recent Washington, Seattle. She is the medical direc-
book publications include Lessings Familienbild tor of the Seattle STD/HIV Prevention and
(1992) and Die Ehe im klassischen Werk Training Center and the principal investiga-
Goethes (1995). tor of a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-
funded study of sexually transmitted diseases
Dana Luciano received her Ph.D. from the De- and cervical neoplasia in lesbian and bisexual
partment of English at Cornell University, women.
Ithaca, New York, in 1999. Her teaching and
research interests include American literatures, Yvonne Marshall is an archaeologist and femi-
public health, feminism, and queer theory. She nist. She is engaged in a research project that
has published work on seduction and discipline investigates how the study of nonhuman primate
in early American fiction and is working on a behavior can contribute to the development of
study of illness and authority in the nineteenth less mechanistic and more feminist models of
century. human evolution.

Judy MacLean is a writer and editor in San Fran- Madeleine Marti, D.Phil., Zurich, Switzerland,
cisco, freelancing with progressive nonprofit or- wrote her dissertation about lesbians in German
ganizations. Her fiction has appeared in antholo- literature from 1945 to 1990 (Hinterlegte
gies, including Lesbian Love Stories II (1991), Botschaften). She is coeditor (with Marianne
Queer View Mirror (1995), and Pillow Talk Ulmi) of a literary anthology about lesbians in
(1998). Her humor has appeared in the San Europe, Sappho ksstEuropa (1997), and works
Francisco Chronicle., the Washington Post, The as a teacher for adults.
Best Contemporary Womens Humor (1994),
and other publications. Elena M.Martnez is an associate professor of
Spanish at Baruch College, City University of
Harriet Malinowitz is an associate professor of New York. She is the author of Lesbian Voices
English and director of womens studies at Long from Latin America: Breaking Ground (1996).
Island University, Brooklyn. She is the chief Her articles and book reviews have appeared in
writer of standup comic Sara Cytrons shows A the United States, Latin America, and Spain.
Dyke Grows in Brooklyn and Take My Domes-
tic PartnerPlease!, which have been performed Jacqueline M.Martinez is an assistant profes-
extensively across the country. sor of communication and womens studies at
Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana,
Nancy Manahan, Ph.D., coedited (with Rose- where she teaches courses in semiotics, phe-
mary Curb) Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence nomenology, feminist theory, and intercultural
(1985). Her writing has also appeared in communication. Her primary interests concern
Mother Jones, Womens Studies Quarterly, and persons lived experience of race, class, and
Common Lives/Lesbian Lives and in the an- sexuality as they emerge in particular social,
thologies American Notes and Queries, The historical, and cultural contexts.
Lesbian Path (1980), and Lesbian Studies
(1982). She teaches writing and literature at Elizabeth L.Massiah has been involved in social
Minneapolis Community and Technical Col- and political action within the lesbian and gay
lege in Minnesota. community since the 1980s. As a clinical social
worker, she has a private practice as a therapist.
Phyllis F.Mannocchi teaches English, womens She is an active member of the Edmonton, Al-
studies, and lesbian and gay studies at Colby berta, Canada, community at large, participat-
College, Waterville, Maine. She is preparing an ing as a consultant to Corrections Canada, and
edition of the letters of Vernon Lee and hopes is involved in the funding allocation process of
next to write Lees critical biography. the local United Way.

Sidney Matrix is a Ph.D. candidate in compara- Lisa Merrill is a professor of speech communi-
tive studies in discourse and society at the Uni- cation and performance studies at Hofstra Uni-
versity of Minnesota, Minneapolis. versity, Hempstead, New York. Her research
focuses on the construction and performance of
Judith Mayne teaches French and womens stud- notions of gender and sexuality on the nine-
ies at Ohio State University, Columbus. She is teenth-century stage. Her latest book is When
the author of several books on film, including Romeo Was a Woman: Charlotte Cushman and
The Woman at the Keyhole: Feminism and Her Circle of Female Spectators (1998).
Womens Cinema (1990) and Directed by
Dorothy Arzner (1994). Melinda R.Michels is a Ph.D. student in anthro-
pology at American University, Washington,
Jodee M.McCaw is a psychotherapist in Toronto, D.C. She is writing her dissertation on the geog-
Canada. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psy- raphy of lesbian experience in Washington, D.C.,
chology from the University of Windsor; her dis- during the 1970s, especially in relation to grass-
sertation research explored the variety of means roots activism and race. She also coordinates
by which people of all sexual orientations become the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and
queer-positive in a queer-negative society. Ally Resource Center at American University.

Judith McDaniel is a poet and activist who lives Nerina Milletti was born in Florence, Italy,
in Tucson, Arizona. Her recent publications in- where she lives and where she received her
clude an edited book of Barbara Demings po- Ph.D. in systematic botany. Active from the
etry, I Change, I Change (1996); a novel, Yes I mid-1970s in the feminist movement, she
Said Yes I Will (1996); and The Lesbian Cou- started a bibliographic research project (and
ples Guide (1995). She teaches womens studies wrote papers) on lesbian Italian history. She
at the University of Arizona, Tucson, and is ac- now maintains a lesbian Web page.
tive in feminist issues connected to immigration
and welfare. Lepa Mladjenovic, a radical feminist lesbian liv-
ing in Belgrade, Serbia, has been active in femi-
Toni A.H.McNaron is a professor of English and nist groups, Women in Black Against War, and
womens studies at the University of Minnesota. a lesbian rights group, Labris. She works as a
Her publications include Voices in the Night: feminist counselor and a lecturer in womens
Women Speaking About Incest (1982), I Dwell studies. In 1994, she received the Felipa De Souze
in Possibility: A Memoir (1991), Poisoned Ivy: Award from the International Gay and Lesbian
Lesbian and Gay Academics Confronting Human Rights Commission.
Homophobia (1997), and The New Lesbian
Studies: Into the 21st Century (1996), coedited Martha Mockus earned her Ph.D. in compara-
with Bonnie Zimmerman. tive studies in discourse and society at the Uni-
versity of Minnesota, Minneapolis. She is a pro-
Denise McVea is a freelance writer living in fessional pianist and has published essays and
Dallas, Texas. A graduate of Texas Womans book reviews on lesbians in country music, op-
University, Denton, McVea has written for nu- era, and popular music.
merous publications, including the Oregonian,
the Dallas Morning News, Our Texas magazine, Akilah Monifa is a lesbian of African descent
and ONYX magazine. She is conducting re- who is a professor of law at New College of
search in the area of Texas myth. California, San Francisco. She is also a freelance
Deborah T.Meem is a professor of English and
womens studies at the University of Cincinnati Irene Monroe is a Ford Foundation Fellow and
in Ohio. Her current research interests are the Ph.D. candidate in the Religion, Gender, and
rise of lesbian consciousness during the last half Culture program at Harvard Divinity School,
of the nineteenth century and contemporary les- Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of
bian popular culture. Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, and
Union Theological Seminary, New York City, Brighton, England. She is the author of Heroic
and the author of Louis Farrakhans Ministry Desire: Lesbian Identity and Cultural Space
of Misogyny and Homophobia in The (1997), the editor of Butch/Femme: Inside Les-
Farrakhan Factor (1998). bian Gender (1997), and coeditor (with Andy
Medhurst) of Lesbian and Gay Studies: A Criti-
Lisa Moore, an associate professor of English cal Introduction (1997).
at the University of Texas, Austin, is the author
of Dangerous Intimacies: Toward a Sapphic His- Suniti Namjoshi has written Building Babel, which
tory of the British Novel (1997). has a building site on the Internet. She suggests
that you check it out and contribute to it if you
Dee Mosbacher, M.D., Ph.D., is a psychiatric feel like it. The URL is
consultant, lesbian activist, and filmmaker. Her ~spinifex/babelbuildingsite.html.
award-winning films include Out for a Change:
Homophobia in Womens Sports, All Gods Nancy A.Naples is an associate professor of
Children, and the Academy Award-nominated sociology and womens studies at the Univer-
film Straight from the Heart. Her next film is sity of California, Irvine. She is the author of
on the history of lesbian/womens music. Grassroots Warriors: Activist Mothering,
Community Work, and the War on Poverty
Manuela Mouro is an assistant professor of (1998) and the editor of Community Activ-
English at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, ism and Feminist Politics: Organizing Across
Virginia. She has published essays on Anne Race, Class, and Gender (1998).
Thackeray Ritchie, Portuguese women writers,
the representation of female desire in early-mod- Joan Nestle is an essayist, editor, poet, histo-
ern pornography, and nuns in Gothic fiction. rian, teacher, and cofounder (with Deborah Edel)
She has completed Altered Habits: (Re)Figuring of the Lesbian Herstory Archives in New York
the Nun in Fiction, a book-length study of the City. Her anthologized essays in A Restricted
representation of nuns in European literature. Country (1987) and edited collection of femme-
butch writings in The Persistent Desire (1992)
Marie Marmo Mullaney earned her Ph.D. in are crucial texts in lesbian history.
history from Rutgers University, New Bruns-
wick, New Jersey. She is a professor of history Caryn E.Neumann is a Ph.D. candidate in his-
and chair of the Department of History and tory at The Ohio State University, Columbus. A
Political Science at Caldwell College, Caldwell, former managing editor of the Journal of Wom-
New Jersey, and the author of Revolutionary ens History, she is completing a study of the
Women: Gender and the Socialist Revolution- responses of traditional womens groups to the
ary Role (1983), as well as numerous articles rise of feminism in the United States.
in the area of womens history.
Esther Newton is professor of anthropology at
Marcia Munson has been a sex educator since Purchase College, State University of New York,
1987. Her articles have appeared in the antholo- and a founder of queer studies in the mid-1960s.
gies Dyke Life (1995), Sexualities (1996), and She is author of Mother Camp (1979). Her cur-
Lesbian Friendships (1996), and she is coeditor rent projects are a collection of essays (Too
(with Judith Stelboum) of The Lesbian Queer for College) and a memoir (My Butch
Polyamory Reader: Non-Monogamy, Open Career).
Relationships, and Casual Sex (1999). She has
a B.S. in biology and is certified as a sexological Vivien Ng is an associate professor and chair of
instructor/advisor of AIDS/STD prevention by the Department of Womens Studies at the Uni-
the Institute for Advanced Study of Human versity at Albany, State University of New York.
Sexuality. She was president of the National Womens
Studies Association in 19931994 and served
Sally R.Munt is a senior lecturer in media rep- on the board of the Center for Lesbian and Gay
resentation and analysis at the University of Studies at the City University of New York.
Kathleen E.Nuccio, M.S.W., Ph.D., is an asso- writing, and she is writing her dissertation on
ciate professor and the coordinator of the Child new women writers in Ireland and Britain.
Welfare Training Project, in the Graduate Pro-
gram in Social Work at the University of Min- Dorothy (Dottie) Painter received her Ph.D. in
nesota, Duluth. Nuccio received her doctorate communication and her J.D. from The Ohio
in social work from Bryn Mawr College, Bryn State University, Columbus. She practices law
Mawr, Pennsylvania, where her dissertation was in Columbus and teaches part-time for the De-
awarded the Susan B.Anthony Prize. partment of Womens Studies at OSU.

Jodi OBrien is an associate professor of soci- Connie (Concetta) Panzarino was born in
ology at Seattle University in Washington Brooklyn, New York. She is a lesbian with spinal
state. Her teaching and research interests in- muscular atrophy type II. She holds an M.A. in
clude communities, inequalities, sexual poli- art therapy from New York University. She wrote
tics, and social psychology. She is the coau- her autobiography, The Me in the Mirror (1994),
thor (with Peter Kollock) of Production of and has also written three childrens books.
Reality (1997), coeditor (with Judith Howard)
of Everyday Inequalities: Critical Inquiries Charlotte J.Patterson, professor of psychology at
(1998), and author of Social Prisms (1999). the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, is a de-
velopmental psychologist who has conducted re-
Robyn Ochs is a teacher, writer, activist, and search with lesbian mothers and their children.
speaker who has taughtat MIT, Cambridge,
Massachusetts, and at Tufts University, Medford, JoAnn Pavletich is an assistant professor of
Massachusettscourses on bisexual identity and English at the University of Houston, Down-
on the emergence of gay, lesbian, and bisexual town. Her areas of research and teaching in-
cultures in the United States and Canada. She is clude late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-cen-
the editor of the Bisexual Resource Guide (3rd tury U.S. culture, with an emphasis on Afri-
ed., 1999) and the International Directory of can American literature.
Bisexual Groups (11th ed., 1994).
Rosa Mara Pegueros is an assistant professor
Karen Lee Osborne is the author of the novels of Latin American history at the University of
Carlyle Simpson (1986) and Hawkwings (1991), Rhode Island, Kingston, with a joint appoint-
the editor of The Country of Herself: Short Fic- ment in womens studies. Her lesbian writings
tion by Chicago Women (1993), and coeditor have appeared in Common Lives/Lesbian Lives
(with William J.Spurlin) of Reclaiming the and in the Lesbian News (Los Angeles).
Heartland: Lesbian and Gay Voices from the
Midwest (1996). Ann Pellegrini is an assistant professor of
English and American literature and language
Nancy Seale Osborne is a librarian emerita and at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massa-
archivist at the State University of New York, chusetts. She is the author of Performance
Oswego. She was coordinator of special collec- Anxieties: Staging Psychoanalysis, Staging
tions and library instruction and served as li- Race (1997) and coeditor (with Daniel
brary liaison to the Department of Art and to Boyarin and Daniel Hzkovitz) of Queer
the womens studies program minor. She is a Theory and the Jewish Question (2000).
mother, grandmother, canoeist, and fiction Once upon a time, she was a classicist.
Julia Penelope lives in Lubbock, Texas, and is
Tina OToole, received her M.A. in womens self-employed as a freelance lexicographer and
studies at University College, Dublin, Ireland. copy editor.
She is a tutor in the English Department at Uni-
versity College, Cork, where she is a Ph.D. stu- Andrea L.T.Peterson is a freelance writer based
dent and also teaches in the womens studies in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. Her
program. Her research area is Irish womens work has appeared in Gay and Lesbian Litera-
ture (1998), Gay and Lesbian Biographies of the coordinators of queer studies at the Uni-
(1997), vol. 2, and dozens of publications in the versity of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
United States and abroad, including Lesbian
Review of Books, Harvard Gay and Lesbian Nicole C.Raeburn is a Ph.D. candidate in soci-
Review, Update, Front Page, the Advocate, and ology at The Ohio State University. Her disser-
Curve. tation is entitled The Rise of Lesbian, Gay,
and Bisexual Rights in the Workplace. Com-
Shane Phelan is director of womens studies and bining institutional and social-movement theo-
an associate professor of political science at the ries, her study of Fortune 1000 companies ex-
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. amines the adoption of gay-inclusive policies,
Among her most recent publications are Play- such as nondiscrimination protection, diversity
ing with Fire: Queer Politics, Queer Theories training that includes sexual orientation, and
(1997) and We Are Everywhere: A Historical domestic-partner benefits.
Sourcebook of Gay and Lesbian Politics
(1997). Jo Reger received her Ph.D. in sociology at Ohio
State University, Columbus. She is affiliated with
Anne Marie Pois is an instructor in the wom- the University of Albany, State University of New
ens studies program and the history department York. She is the coauthor (with Abigail Halcli)
at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She of an article on the gendered experiences of
teaches courses on the history of U.S. womens women politicians in Britain and the United
social activism and focuses on womens peace States and recently completed a study examin-
history in her research. She is working on a bi- ing the continuity of chapters of the National
ography of Emily Greene Balch. Organization for Women.

Nancy Polikoff is a professor of law at Ameri- Renate Reimann received her Ph.D. in sociol-
can University Washington College of Law, ogy from the Graduate School of the City Uni-
Washington, D.C. Since the 1970s, she has liti- versity of New York and holds graduate de-
gated, written about, and taught about cases in- grees in sociology and Protestant theology
volving lesbian and gay parenting. from the University of Hamburg, Germany.
She is visiting assistant professor of sociology
Christy M.Ponticelli is an assistant professor at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York.
of sociology at the University of South Florida, Her coedited volume (with Mary Bernstein)
Tampa. She is the author of Gateways to Im- will be published by Columbia University
proving Lesbian Health and Health Care Press in 2000.
(1998) and articles on conducting field re-
search and the construction of identities within Kristen A.Renn received her Ph.D. in higher edu-
religious communities. cation at Boston College in Massachusetts and
is an associate dean of student life at Brown Uni-
Marjorie Pryse is a professor of English and versity, Providence, Rhode Island, where she
womens studies at the University at Albany, oversaw programs and services for lesbian, gay,
State University of New York. Her recent publi- bisexual, and transgender students. She received
cation on Sarah Orne Jewett, Sex, Class, and her bachelors degree in music from Mount
Category Crisis: Reading Jewetts Transitivity, Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts.
is in American Literature (1998). She is coedi-
tor (with Judith Fetterley) of American Women Yolanda Retter is a lesbian history and visibility
Regionalists (1992), a Norton anthology. activist of Peruvian and German descent and a
lifelong lesbian. She received her Ph.D. in Ameri-
Mara Rachid is a lesbian feminist activist in Bue- can studies at the University of New Mexico,
nos Aires, Argentina, and a member of the Albuquerque. She manages a lesbian archive in
groups Musas de Papel, Amenaza Lsbica, and Los Angeles and compiled the Lesbian History
COFEM (Feminist Communication). She is the Project Web site, URL:
editor of the lesbian magazine La Rara and one ~retter/main.html.
Lisa Rhodes is a Ph.D. candidate in American of Reproductions: Imaging Symbolic Change
studies at the University of Texas, Austin. She is (1996), and A Lure of Knowledge: Lesbian
an associate professor of cultural, social, and Sexuality and Theory (1991) and coeditor (with
literary studies at National University, La Jolla, Robyn Wiegman) of Who Can Speak? Author-
California. ity and Critical Identity and (with Richard
Feldstein) Feminism and Psychoanalysis
Molly Rae Rhodes received her Ph.D. from the (1989).
Department of Literature at the University of
California, San Diego. Suzanna Rose, Ph.D., is a professor of psychol-
ogy and womens studies at the University of
Consuelo Rivera Fuentes is a Chilean poet, femi- Missouri, St. Louis. Her research interests con-
nist lesbian, and founder and member of the Chil- cern how gender, sexual orientation, and race
ean lesbian group LEA. Her recent publications affect friendship and romantic relationships,
include Two Stories, Three Lovers, and the Crea- with a special emphasis on lesbian love scripts
tion of Meaning in a Black Lesbian Autobiogra- and how lesbians and gay men cope with hate
phy: A Diary in Black British Feminism: A Reader crimes and same-sex domestic violence.
(1997) and The Bra Collection, a book of short
stories about womens clothes (forthcoming). Becki L.Ross teaches sociology and womens
studies at the University of British Columbia,
Jennifer E.Robertson is a professor of anthro- Vancouver, Canada. Her recent publications in-
pology at the University of Michigan, Ann Ar- clude The House That Jill Built: A Lesbian Na-
bor. Among her publications are Native and tion in Formation (1995) and a chapter in Bad
Newcomer: Making and Remaking a Japanese Attitude/s on Trial: Feminism, Pornography,
City (1991) and Takarazuka: Sexual Politics and and the Butler Decision (1997). She is research-
Popular Culture in Modern Japan (1998). She ing the world of sexual entertainment (bur-
is writing a book on Japanese colonial cultures. lesque, go-go, striptease) in post-World War II
Christine Robinson is a Ph.D. student and gradu-
ate instructor in the Department of Sociology at Sue V.Rosser received her Ph.D. in zoology from
the University of Kansas, Lawrence. She has pub- the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1973.
lished articles on social control, sexuality, and She is director of the Center for Womens Stud-
social inequality. ies and Gender Research at the University of
Florida, Gainesville, where she is also a profes-
Ruthann Robson is a professor of law at the sor of anthropology. She has edited collections
City University of New York (CUNY) School and written more than sixty journal articles on
of Law, one of the very few progressive law women and science and womens health and six
schools in North America. She is the author of books.
Lesbian (Out)Law: Survival Under the Rule of
Law (1990) and Sappho Goes to Law School Rebecca Ann Rugg is a student in the drama-
(1998), as well as two volumes of short stories turgy and dramatic criticism program at the
and two novels. Yale University School of Drama, New Ha-
ven, Connecticut.
Catherine Roma, D.M.A., became one of the
founding mothers of the womens choral move- Maria Angeles Ruiz Torralba has worked in
ment when she started Anna Crusis Womens Spain with the federation of associations known
Choir in her native Philadelphia in 1975. She is as Coordinadora Gai-Lesbiana and was a
founder and director of MUSE Cincinnatis Wom- founder member of its womens group (Group
ens Choir and is an assistant professor of music Lesbos).
at Wilmington College, Wilmington, Ohio.
Leila J.Rupp teaches womens history and the
Judith Roof is the author of Come As You Are: history of same-sex sexuality at The Ohio State
Sexuality and Narrative (1996), Reproductions University, Columbus. Among her recent books
are Worlds of Women: The Making of an Inter- Explosives, and Love (1997), the latter coed-
national Womens Movement (1998) and A ited with Cathie Dunsford and Susan
Desired Past: Same-Sex Love and Sexuality in Hawthorne. A Ph.D. candidate in anthropol-
the United States (1999). ogy at the University of Waikato, New Zea-
land, she wrote her dissertation on The
Paula C.Rust, Ph.D. sociology, studies sexual Postcolonial Lesbian Text: Readings of Four
identities and politics, with an emphasis on bi- Novels by Rene.
sexuality. She is an associate professor at Ham-
ilton College, Clinton, New York. She reached Claudia Schaefer is a professor of Hispanic lit-
political consciousness during the height of erature and culture at the University of Rochester
1970s lesbian feminism, identifies as a garden- in New York. She is the author of numerous
variety lesbian, and lives with her partner, studies on twentieth-century Spain and Latin
Lorna, and their two chidren. America; among her recent books is Danger
Zones: Homosexuality, National Identity, and
Montserrat Sagot, a Costa Rican sociologist Mexican Culture (1996).
and anthropologist, has a Ph.D in sociology
from American University, Washington, D.C. Susan Schibanoff has published numerous stud-
She was a founding member of the antiviolence- ies of medieval and early-modern literature that
against-women movement in Costa Rica. She use feminist and gay and lesbian approaches.
is an associate professor of sociology at the She has completed articles on same-sex desire
Universidad de Costa Rica, San Jose, and chair in Hildegard of Bingen and Richardis of Stade
of the Regional Masters Program in Womens and on poetry and male sodomy in twelfth-cen-
Studies. tury literature. She is working on a book on
Chaucers queer poetics. She teaches at the Uni-
Nancy San Martn is a Ph.D. candidate in the versity of New Hampshire, Durham.
history of consciousness at the University of Cali-
fornia, Santa Cruz. Her work focuses on popu- Claudia Schoppmann, a historian, lives in Ber-
lar cultural narratives of nationalisms and same- lin, Germany. Her dissertation on Nazi politics
sex sexualities in the United States. and female homosexuality was published in
1991. She has written and coedited several books
Ronni L.Sanlo, Ed.D., is the director of the Uni- on German womens history, including Jewish
versity of California, Los Angeles, Lesbian Gay women, lesbians, and women in exile.
Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Campus Resource
Center. She is a founding member of the Na- Marilyn R.Schuster received her Ph.D. from Yale
tional Consortium of LGBT Campus Resource University, New Haven, Connecticut. She is a
Center Directors and the national chair of the professor of French and womens studies at
Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Issues Net- Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts.
work of the National Association of Student Her major publications are Womens Place in
Personnel Administrators (NASPA). the Academy: Transforming the Liberal Arts
Curriculum (1985) (with Susan Van Dyne),
Alejandra Sarda is an activist out of passion and Marguerite Duras Revisited (1993), and Passion-
a clinical pyschologist for a living. She is com- ate Communities: Reading Lesbian Resistance
mitted to ending binary thinking and fundamen- in Jane Rules Fiction (1999).
talism in all of its manifestations, even in les-
bian, gay, transgender, and bisexual circles. She Judith Schuyf received her Ph.D. in history from
is polyamorous, glad to be alive, and proudly the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. She
Latin American. is a founding member of the Lesbian and Gay
Studies Centre of Utrecht University in the Neth-
Susan Sayer writes fiction and nonfiction. Her erlands. She has written about lesbian history,
short stories appear in The Exploding Frangi- political culture, and senior gays and lesbians,
pani (1990), Subversive Acts (1991), Me and and is a senior researcher at the National Dutch
Marilyn Monroe (1993), and Car Maintenance, Institute for War Victims.
Dana R.Shugar is an associate professor of Eng- 1982. She teaches U.S. and Canadian womens
lish and womens studies at the University of history and the history of sexuality at the Uni-
Rhode Island, Kingston. She teaches Roman- versity of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada,
tic and Victorian literature, leftist womens lit- where she lives with her partner and two sons.
erature, Utopian fiction, lesbian studies, and
studies in race, gender, class, and sexuality. Her Caroline Chung Simpson received a Ph.D. in
research interests include lesbian separatism, American studies from the University of Texas,
queer theory, lesbian literature, and Austin, and teaches courses in Asian American
ecofeminism. studies and postwar culture in the English de-
partment at the University of Washington,
Patricia Sieber has a Ph.D. in Chinese from the Seattle. She is completing a book on the rela-
University of California, Berkeley. She is an as- tionship between popular discourses on Japa-
sistant professor in the Department of East Asian nese and Japanese American culture and iden-
Languages and Literatures at Ohio State Uni- tity and definitions of the postwar U.S. nation.
versity, Columbus. Her research focuses on is-
sues of print, performance, gender, and sexual- Patricia Juliana Smith is visiting assistant pro-
ity in Chinese drama and fiction from the six- fessor of English at the University of California,
teenth through the twentieth centuries. Los Angeles. She is the author of Lesbian Panic:
Homoeroticism in Modern British Womens Fic-
Gina M.Siesing completed her Ph.D. in Women, tion (1997) and coeditor (with Corinne
Gender, and Literature in the English department Blackmer) of En Travesti: Women, Gender Sub-
at the University of Texas, Austin. Her disserta- version, Opera (1995).
tion is entitled Fictional Democracies: The For-
mation of Lesbian Literary Publics. Carroll Smith-Rosenberg is the author of the es-
say The Female World of Love and Ritual
Maria Josefina Silva is coeditor of the Portuguese (1975), one of the first efforts to historically
magazine Lils. She is a specialist in lesbian cul- contextualize love among women. Her Disorderly
ture in Portugal in the twentieth century. Conduct (1985) examines women sexual reform-
ers, medical representations of women, and the
Noenoe K.Silva, a Kanaka Maoli (native Ha- emergence of independent women. She is explor-
waiian), has a B.A. in Hawaiian language ing the interface of race, gender, and colonialism.
and a masters in library and information
studies. She is a Ph.D. candidate in political Cherry Smyth is a writer, journalist, and cura-
science at University of Hawaii, Manoa; her tor. She is an active member of the Irish diaspora,
dissertation, using Hawaiian language living between London and her love interest in
sources, focuses on Kanaka Maoli womens America. She is the author of Queer Notions
forms of resistance to colonialism. (1992) and Damn Fine Art by New Lesbian
Artists (1996), the first international collection
Sharon Silverstein graduated from Stanford Uni- of its kind.
versity, Stanford, California, with a B.A. in femi-
nist studies, and from Harvard Business School, Jane McIntosh Snyder is professor emeritus of
Cambridge, Massachusetts, with an M.B.A. She classics at The Ohio State University, Columbus.
and Annette Friskopp celebrated a ceremony of Her books include The Woman and the Lyre:
commitment in 1992 and coauthored the book Women Writers in Classical Greece and Rome
Straight Jobs, Gay Lives (1995). Sharon gave (1989) and Lesbian Desire in the Lyrics of
birth to their son in 1996. Sappho (1997). She is a professional violinist
with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of
Christina Simmons grew up in Indiana, gradu- Columbus and the Chamber Orchestra of
ated from Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Mas- Albuquerque.
sachusetts, became a feminist in 1970, and re-
ceived a Ph.D. in American civilization from Birgitte Soland teaches European womens his-
Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, in tory at The Ohio State University, Columbus.
She holds a cand.mag. degree from the Univer- Non-Monogamy, Open Relationships, and
sity of Aarhus, Denmark, and a Ph.D. in his- Casual Sex (1999).
tory from the University of Minnesota,
Minneapolis. She has conducted research on gay Lisbeth Stenberg, a Ph.D. candidate in the De-
and lesbian history and published A Queer partment of Literature at the University of
Nation? The Passage of the Gay and Lesbian Gothenburg, Sweden, is writing a dissertation
Partnership Legislation in Denmark, 1989 in on Selma Lagerlfs early work, focusing on the
Social Politics (1998). thematics of gender and creativity analyzed from
a contextual perspective.
Alisa Solomon is an associate professor of Eng-
lish at Baruch College, City University of New Linnea A.Stenson is a visiting assistant profes-
York (CUNY), and of English and theater at the sor of womens and gender studies at Macalester
CUNY Graduate Center. She is a staff writer at College, St. Paul, Minnesota. She is working on
the Village Voice and the author of Re-Dressing a book-length manuscript about pulp novels.
the Canon: Essays on Theater and Gender
(1997). Christy Stevens received an M.A. in womens
studies at San Diego State University and is a
Bonnie B.Spanier received her Ph.D. in micro- Ph.D. student in English at University of Cali-
fornia, Irvine. Her thesis constructs a lesbian
biology and molecular genetics from Harvard
intertextual analysis of Jeanette Wintersons
University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her re-
1992 novel, Written on the Body.
cent publications include Im/partial Science:
Gender Ideology in Molecular Biology (1995),
Arlene M.Stiebel earned her Ph.D. in English
and Biological Determination of Homosexu-
and comparative literature from Columbia
ality in the NWSA Journal (1995). She is an
University, New York City. Formerly an ad-
associate professor in the womens studies de-
ministrator at Brown University, Providence,
partment at the University at Albany, State Uni-
Rhode Island, and editor of the Huntington
versity of New York.
Library Quarterly, she has most recently been
a professor of English at California State Uni-
Arlene Stein is an assistant professor of soci- versity, Northridge. Her publications include
ology at the University of Oregon, Eugene. She articles in the Gay and Lesbian Literary Her-
is the editor of Sisters, Sexperts, Queers: Be- itage (1994) and in Homosexuality in Renais-
yond the Lesbian Nation (1993) and the au- sance and Enlightenment England (1992).
thor of Sex and Sensibility: Stories of a Les-
bian Nation (1997). Elizabeth Stuart holds the chair of Christian
theology at King Alfreds College, Winchester,
Marc Stein received his Ph.D. from the Uni- United Kingdom. She is the editor of the aca-
versity of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, taught demic journal Theology and Sexuality and the
at Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsyl- author of a number of books on Christianity
vania, and Colby College, Waterville, Maine, and sexuality, including Just Good Friends:
and is an assistant professor of history at York Towards a Lesbian and Gay Theology of Re-
University in Toronto, Canada. A former edi- lationships (1995), People of Passion (1996),
tor of Gay Community News, he is complet- and Religion Is a Queer Thing (1997).
ing City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves: The
Making of Lesbian and Gay Communities in Darlene M.Suarez is a Ph.D. student in cultural
Greater Philadelphia, 194572. anthropology at the University of California,
Riverside. Her research interests focus on Na-
Judith P.Stelboum teaches English, womens tive American political culture, concepts of co-
studies, and lesbian studies at the College of lonialism and nationalism, and the politics of
Staten Island, City University of New York. Her sovereignty, identity, and Indian nationhood.
essays, fiction, and poetry have appeared in sev-
eral anthologies. She is coeditor (with Marcia Susan Talburt teaches curricular, poststructural,
Munson) of The Lesbian Polyamory Reader: and feminist theories, social and cultural

foundations of education, and anthropology of Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, is a
education in the Department of Educational study of feminism, welfare rights, civil rights,
Policy Studies at Georgia State University, At- and lesbian feminism in Washington, D.C., in
lanta. She is writing a book about lesbian fac- the 1960s and 1970s. Her scholarly and teach-
ulty in higher education. ing interests include oral and public history, so-
cial movements, and African American commu-
Bette S.Tallen is a Jewish lesbian feminist work- nities in the segregated South.
ing with the office of University Initiatives at
the University of Central Florida, Orlando. She Annette Van Dyke is an assistant professor of
also develops community workshops on Teach- interdisciplinary studies and womens studies at
ing Diversity as a Skill. the University of Illinois, Springfield, where she
directs the individual option and liberal studies
Verta Taylor is a professor of sociology at Ohio programs. She is the author of The Search for a
State University, Columbus. She is the coauthor Woman-Centered Spirituality (1992), Hooded
(with Leila J.Rupp) of Survival in the Doldrums: Murder (1996), and essays in SAIL and MELUS,
The American Womens Rights Movement, 1945 among others.
to the 1960s (1987), the coeditor (with Laurel
Richardson and Nancy Whittier) of Feminist Linda Van Leuven is a Ph.D. candidate in soci-
Frontiers (4th ed., 1997), and the author of ology at the University of California, Los Ange-
Rock-a-By Baby: Feminism, Self-Help, and Post- les. She studies sexualized interactions and how
partum Depression (1996). people manage relational boundaries in body-
and image-oriented service occupations. Her
Giti Thadani is a founding member and coordi- dissertation is titled When Frames Collide: Per-
nator of Sakhi, the Lesbian Resource Centre in sonal Service Work and the Negotiation of Re-
New Delhi, India. She is a writer and photogra- lational Boundaries.
pher who travels extensively in India, document-
ing archetypes of the cosmic Feminine, and the Marieke Van Willigen is an assistant professor
author of Sakhiyani: Lesbian Desire in Ancient at East Carolina University, Greenville, North
and Modern India (1996). Carolina. Her research investigates the effect of
activism and self-help activities on individuals
Polly Thistlethwaite is a reference librarian at well-being. She is also examining the differen-
Colorado State University, Fort Collins. She tial effects of education on well-being for men
worked with the Lesbian Herstory Archives col- and women. Her interests cut across social move-
lective in New York City from 1987 to 1997, ments, gender, and medical sociology.
actively participating in the effort to establish
the collection in its Brooklyn townhouse. Paul L.Vasey received his Ph.D. in anthropol-
ogy from the University of Montreal, in 1997.
Suzana Tratnik is a sociologist and writer, in He has studied female homosexual behavior in
Ljubljana, Slovenia, where she focuses on so- Japanese macaques since the early 1990s. His
ciological aspects of gay, lesbian, feminist, and research focuses on nonreproductive sexual
minority movements and subcultures. behavior in animals.

Valerie Traub teaches English and womens stud- Blakey Vermeule writes on eighteenth-century
ies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. British literature and moral psychology. She
She is the author of Desire and Anxiety: Circu- teaches in the English department at Yale Uni-
lations of Sexuality in Shakespearean Drama versity, New Haven, Connecticut.
(1992) and The Renaissance of Lesbianism
in Early Modern England (forthcoming). Giney Villar is the chair of the Womyn Support-
ing Womyn Centre, a lesbian organization based
Anne M.Valk is an assistant professor of his- in the Philippines. She coauthored (with Aida F.
torical studies at Southern Illinois University, Santos) the first out Filipina lesbian book,
Edwardsville. Her dissertation, completed at Woman to Woman: Essays, Poetry, and Fiction
(1994). She was born in Manila, has a B.S. in Saskia E.Wieringa is a senior lecturer in wom-
psychology, and is an M.A. student in humani- ens studies at the Institute of Social Studies,
ties and womens studies at St. Scholasticas The Hague, Netherlands. She has published a
College, Manila. lesbian travelog and written on womens or-
ganizations in Indonesia, sustainable develop-
Elizabeth Wahl received her Ph.D. in compara- ment, feminist politics, and womens same-sex
tive literature from Stanford University, relations. She is involved in a research project
Stanford, California, where she teaches litera- on cross-cultural gender indicators.
ture courses. She is the author of Invisible
Relations: Idealized and Sexualized Represen- Maxine Wolfe is a coordinator at the Lesbian
tations of Female Intimacy in England and Herstory Archives, New York City, a cofounder
France, 16001760 (1999). of the Lesbian Avengers, a member of ACT-UP
New York since 1987 and cofounder of its Wom-
Linda D.Wayne is a Ph.D. candidate in com- ens Committee, and a professor emerita of en-
parative studies in discourse and society at the vironmental psychology at the City University
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. She has of New York Graduate School.
published in Women and Language, RFR/DRF,
and Transforms. Susan J.Wolfe is a professor and chair of the
English department at the University of South
Alice R.Wexler is the author of three books; Dakota, Vermillion. Her research and teaching
Emma Goldman in America (1984), Emma interests include work in historical linguistics,
Goldman in Exile (1989), and Mapping Fate: A stylistics, and lesbian studies. With Julia
Memoir of Family, Risk, and Genetic Research Penelope, she coedited The Original Coming
(1995). She is a research scholar at the Center Out Stories (1980), Lesbian Culture: An Anthol-
for the Study of Women at the University of Cali- ogy (1993), and Sexual Practice/Textual Theory:
fornia, Los Angeles. Lesbian Cultural Criticism (1993).

Vera Whisman is an assistant professor of so- Merle Woo is a socialist feminist activist, edu-
ciology at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, cator, and writer. She is the education coordina-
Geneva, New York. She studies the social con- tor for Bay Area Radical Women (San Francisco,
struction of lesbian, gay, and bisexual identi- California), an international Trotskyist feminist
ties and is the author of Queer By Choice organization.
Mary E.Wood is an associate professor of Eng-
Gillian Whitlock is an associate professor of lish at the University of Oregon, Eugene.
humanities at Griffith University, Nathan,
Australia. She is author of The Intimate Em- Yvonne Yarbro-Bejarano is a professor of Span-
pire: Reading Womens Autobiography ish and chair of Chicana/o studies in the Center
(1999), a study of autobiography and coloni- for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity
alism. She has edited a number of books in Program at Stanford University, Stanford, Cali-
Australian studies and womens writing, in- fornia. She is the author of Feminism and the
cluding Autographs: Contemporary Austral- Honor Plays of Lope de Vega (1994) and coedi-
ian Autobiography (1996). tor (with Richard Griswold del Castillo and
Teresa McKenna) of Chicano Art: Resistance
Robyn Wiegman teaches feminist theory, with a and Affirmation (1991), and a forthcoming col-
special emphasis on race and sexuality, at the lection of essays on Cherre Moraga.
University of California, Irvine, where she di-
rects the Program in Womens Studies. She is Willa Young is director of Student Gender and
the author of American Anatomies: Theorizing Sexuality Services at Ohio State University,
Race and Gender (1995) and the editor of three Columbus. A lecturer in the Department of Wom-
anthologies, including AIDS and the National ens Studies, she teaches courses on American
Body: Essays by Thomas Yingling (1997). womens movements and feminist perspectives
on women and violence. She also facilitates a Jacqueline N.Zita holds a Ph.D. in philosophy
course on violence in society for physicians in and is chair of the womens studies department
the College of Medicine. at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. She
has published widely in the areas of sexuality,
Yvonne Zipter is the author of Ransacking the gender, corporeal philosophy, and feminist epis-
Closet (1995; essays), The Patience of Metal temology and pedagogies. Her latest book is
(1990; poems), Diamonds Are a Dykes Best Body Talk: Philosophical Essays on Sex and
Friend (1988; nonfiction study), and the na- Gender (1998), which explores social construc-
tion-ally syndicated column Inside Out. She tions of the body across race, class, gender, and
holds an M.F.A. in writing from Vermont Col- sexuality.
lege, Montpelier, and received a Sprague-Todes
Literary Award in 1997.

Subject Guide

Anthropology Girl Scouts

International Organizations
Anthropology Lesbian Avengers
Balkan Sworn Virgins National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF)
Benedict, Ruth National Organization for Women (NOW)
Queer Nation
Evolution and Human Origins
Indigenous Cultures
Oral History Biography

Addams, Jane
Allan, Maud
Art Allen, Paula Gunn
Anderson, Margaret Carolyn
Anne, Queen of England
Art, Contemporary European
Anthony, Susan B.
Art, Contemporary North American
Art, Mainstream Anzalda, Gloria E.
Austen, Alice Arnold, June
Bonheur, Rosa Arzner, Dorothy
Brooks, Romaine Austen, Alice
Cartoons and Comic Books Bannon, Ann
Gluck (Hannah Gluckstein) Barnes, Djuna Chappell
Kahlo, Frida Barney, Natalie Clifford
Lee, Vernon Bates, Katharine Lee
Lewis, Mary Edmonia Beach, Sylvia
Millett, Kate Beauvoir, Simone de
Photography Behn, Aphra
Benedict, Ruth
Bentley, Gladys
Associations and Organizations Bishop, Elizabeth
Blais, Marie-Claire
Asian Lesbian Network
Blaman, Anna
Associations and Organizations
Combahee River Collective Bonheur, Rosa
Daughters of Bilitis Bowen, Elizabeth
Encuentros de Lesbianas Bowles, Jane Auer
Furies, The Boye, Karin


Brittain, Vera Mary Ladies of Llangollen
Brooks, Romaine Lagerlf, Selma
Brossard, Nicole Landowska, Wanda
Brown, Rita Mae lang, k.d. (Kathryn Dawn)
Bryher Leduc, Violette
Gather, Willa Lee, Vernon
Chambers, Jane Lewis, Mary Edmonia
Charke, Charlotte Lister, Anne
Christina of Sweden Lorde, Audre
Colette Lowell, Amy Lawrence
Compton-Burnett, Ivy Mansfield, Katherine
Cornwell, Anita Marie Antoinette
Cruikshank, Margaret Louise Martin, Del, and Lyon, Phyllis
Cushman, Charlotte McCullers, Carson
Davis, Katherine Bement Mew, Charlotte
Delarus-Mardrus, Lucie Michel, Louise
Deming, Barbara Millay, Edna St. Vincent
Dickinson, Emily Millett, Kate
Didrikson, Mildred Ella Babe (Zaharias) Mistral, Gabriela
Dietrich, Marlene Mitchell, Alice
Duffy, Maureen Patricia Miyamoto Yuriko
Dunbar-Nelson, Alice Moraga, Cherre
Erauso, Catalina de Navratilova, Martina
Faderman, Lillian Nestle, Joan
Field, Michael Nin, Anais
Planner, Janet Noble, Elaine
Foster, Jeannette Howard OBrien, Kate
Fuller, Margaret Parker, Pat
Garbo, Greta Parnok, Sophia
Gidlow, Elsa Parra, Teresa de la
Gittings, Barbara Penelope, Julia
Gluck (Hannah Gluckstein) Philips, Katherine
Goldman, Emma Pirie, Jane, and Woods, Marianne
Grahn, Judy Rainey, Gertrude Ma
Grier, Barbara Raucourt, Franoise
Grimk, Angelina Weld Renault, Mary
Hall, Radclyffe Rich, Adrienne
Hamilton, Edith Roosevelt, Anna Eleanor
Hampton, Mabel Routsong, Alma
Hansberry, Lorraine (Vivian) Rukeyser, Muriel
H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) Rule, Jane Vance
Hildegard of Bingen, Saint Ruling, Anna
Holtby, Winifred Sackville-West, Vita
James, Alice Sand, George
Jay, Karla Sappho
Jewett, Sarah Orne Sarton, May
Jewsbury, Geraldine Scudder, Vida Dutton
Joan of Arc (Jeanne dArc) Shockley, Ann Allen
Johnston, Jill Simcox, Edith Jemima
Juana Ins de la Cruz, Sor Smith, Barbara
Kahlo, Frida Smith, Bessie
King, Billie Jean Moffitt Smith, Lillian Eugenia


Smyth, Dame Ethel Mary Bookstores
Solanas, Valerie Businesses, Lesbian
Stein, Gertrude Class
Taylor, Valerie Collectives
Teresa of Avila Colonialism
Thomas, M.Carey Demography
Toklas, Alice B. Domestic Partnership
Tsvetaeva, Marina Ivanovna Economics
Vargas, Chavela Labor Movement
Vivien, Rene
Walker, Alelia
Walker, Mary Edwards
Sex Work
Warner, Sylvia Townsend
Sexual Harassment
Weirauch, Anna Elisabet
Wilhelm, Gale
Winsloe, Christa Tourism and Guidebooks
Wittig, Monique Work
Wolff, Charlotte
Woolf, Virginia
WuZao Geography
Yosano Akiko Argentina
Yoshiya Nobuko Australia
Yourcenar, Marguerite Austria
Cultural Identities Brazil
African Americans Buffalo, New York
Arab Americans Canada
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Caribbean
Balkan Sworn Virgins Central America
Bisexuality Cherry Grove, New York
Butch-Femme Chicago, Illinois
Disability Chile
Drag Kings China
Fat Liberation Czech Republic
Identity Politics
Native Americans Greece
Passing Women Greenwich Village
Sadomasochism Harlem
Situational Lesbianism Hawaii
Subculture Immigration
Transgender India
Women of Color Indonesia
Economics Italy
Advertising and Consumerism Japan
Bars Korea, South


Lesbos, Island of Scholars
Lesotho Sex Education
London Sororities
Los Angeles, California Students
Mexico Teachers
Namibia Thomas, M.Carey
Netherlands Womens Studies
New Zealand
Pacific Islands
Paris Health
Philippines AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency
Poland Syndrome)
Portugal Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Provincetown, Massachusetts Body Image
Qubec Health Medicine
Russia Nursing
San Francisco, California Recovery Movement
Slovenia Safer Sex
Small Towns and Rural Areas Self-Help
South Africa Sex Education
Spain Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sweden Suicide
Switzerland Vegetarianism
Taiwan Walker, Mary Edwards
United Kingdom
United States
Washington, D.C.
Addams, Jane
Yugoslavia, Former
Anne, Queen of England
Anthony, Susan B.
Archives and Libraries
Boston Marriage
Athletics, Collegiate
Brittain, Vera Mary
Bibliographies and Reference Works
Christina of Sweden
Boarding Schools
Colleges, Womens
Companionate Marriage
Computer Networks and Services
Deming, Barbara
Cruikshank, Margaret Louise
Diaries and Letters
Davis, Katherine Bement
Faderman, Lillian Enlightenment, European
Foster, Jeannette Howard Erauso, Catalina de
Gittings, Barbara Europe, Early Modern
Hamilton, Edith Female Support Networks
High Schools, Lesbian and Gay Fuller, Margaret
Jay, Karla Gay Liberation Movement
Lesbian Herstory Archives Goldman, Emma
Lesbian Studies History
Librarians Hoboes
Physical Education Joan of Arc (Jeanne dArc)

Ladies of Llangollen Ideology
Lister, Anne Invisibility
Marie Antoinette Labeling
Michel, Louise Language
Middle Ages, European Lesbian
Mitchell, Alice Lesbian Continuum
Nazism Lesbian Feminism
New Left Lesbian Nation
New Right Liberalism
New Woman Literary Images
Norton Sound Incident Mestizaje
Oral History Misogyny
Parker-Hulme Murder Case Oppression
Passing Women Patriarchy
Passionlessness Performativity
Peace Movement Phallus
Pirie, Jane, and Woods, Marianne Postmodernism
Raucourt, Franoise Prejudice
Romantic Friendship Queer Theory
Roosevelt, Anna Eleanor Race and Racism
Ruling, Anna Separatism
Sapphic Tradition Sexism
Scudder, Vida Dutton Sexual Orientation and Preference
Smashes, Crushes, Spoons Sisterhood
Spinsters Situational Lesbianism
Suffrage Movement Slang
Walker, ALelia Social-Construction Theory
Walker, Mary Edwards Stereotypes
Witches, Persecution of Stigma
Yoshiya Nobuko Subculture
Language, Terms, and Concepts Woman-Identified Woman
Androgyny Womanist
Bulldagger Women of Color
Closet Law
Coming Out Adoption
Compulsory Heterosexuality Censorship
Consciousness Raising Crime and Criminology
Dyke Custody Litigation
Essentialism Discrimination
Feminism Domestic Partnership
Gender Donor Insemination
Gossip Human Rights
Heroes Immigration
Heterosexism Law and Legal Institutions
Heterosexuality Legal Theory, Lesbian
Homophobia Lesbian Impunity, Myth of
Homosexuality Mitchell, Alice
Identity Norton Sound Incident

Parker-Hulme Murder Case Penelope, Julia
Pirie, Jane, and Woods, Marianne Race and Racism
Prisons and Prisoners Radicalesbians
Privacy Rich, Adrienne
Rights Self-Defense
Sexual Harassment Separatism
Witches, Persecution of Sex Wars
Smith, Barbara
Solanas, Valerie
Lesbian Movement Transgender
Activism Vegetarianism
Ageism Woman-Identified Woman
Anzalda, Gloria Literature
Asian Lesbian Network African American Literature
Bars Allen, Paula Gunn
Bisexual Movement American Literature, Nineteenth Century
Black Feminism American Literature, Twentieth Century
Butch-Femme Anderson, Margaret Carolyn
Class Anthologies
Collectives Anzalda, Gloria
Combahee River Collective Arab Literature, Modern
Community Centers Arnold, June
Consciousness Raising Bannon, Ann
Cornwell, Anita
Barnes, Djuna Chappell
Cruikshank, Margaret Louise
Barney, Natalie Clifford
Daughters of Bilitis
Bates, Katharine Lee
Deming, Barbara
Beach, Sylvia
Demonstrations and Actions
Behn, Aphra
Encuentros de Lesbianas
Bishop, Elizabeth
Fat Liberation
Blais, Marie-Claire
Furies, The Blaman, Anna
Gay Liberation Movement Bowen, Elizabeth
Gittings, Barbara Bowles, Jane Auer
Grier, Barbara Boye, Karin
Hampton, Mabel Brossard, Nicole
Identity Politics Brown, Rita Mae
Invisibility Bryher
Jay, Karla Gather, Willa
Johnston, Jill Chinese Literature
Ladder, The Classical Literature
Leather Colette
Lesbian Avengers Coming Out Stories
Lesbian Feminism Compton-Burnett, Ivy
Lesbian Nation Delarue-Mardrus, Lucie
Lorde, Audre Diaries and Letters
Marches and Parades Dickinson, Emily
Martin, Del, and Lyon, Phyllis Duffy, Maureen Patricia
Moraga, Cherre Dunbar-Nelson, Alice
Nestle, Joan English Literature, Eighteenth Century


English Literature, Nineteenth Century Rule, Jane Vance
English Literature, Twentieth Century Sackville-West, Vita
Fiction Sand, George
Field, Michael Sapphic Tradition
Foster, Jeannette Howard Sappho
French Literature Sarton, May
German Literature Science Fiction
Gothic Shockley, Ann Allen
Grahn, Judy Smith, Lillian Eugenia
Grimk, Angelina Weld Spanish Literature
Hall, Radclyffe Stein, Gertrude
Hansberry, Lorraine (Vivian) Taylor, Valerie
Harlem Renaissance Toklas, Alice B.
H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) Tsvetaeva, Marina Ivanovna
Holtby, Winifred Utopian Literature
James, Alice Vivien, Rene
Jewett, Sarah Orne Warner, Sylvia Townsend
Jewsbury, Geraldine Weirauch, Anna Elisabet
Johnston, Jill Wilhelm, Gale
Juana Ins de la Cruz, Sor Winsloe, Christa
Lagerlf, Selma Wittig, Monique
Latin American Literature Woolf, Virginia
Latina Literature WuZao
Leduc, Violette Yosano Akiko
Literary Criticism Yourcenar, Marguerite
Literary Images
Lorde, Audre
Lowell, Amy Lawrence Media and Popular Culture
Mansfield, Katherine Advertising and Consumerism
McCullers, Carson Amazons
Mew, Charlotte Camp
Millay, Edna St. Vincent Cartoons and Comic Books
Millett, Kate Comedy, Standup
Mistral, Gabriela Cultural Studies
Miyamoto Yuriko Drag Kings
Modernism Planner, Janet
Moraga, Cherre Furies, The
Mystery and Detective Fiction Heroes Humor
Nin, Anais Johnston, Jill
OBrien, Kate Journalism
Pacific Literature Ladder, The
Parker, Pat Lesbian Connection
Parnok, Sophia Mystery and Detective Fiction
Parra, Teresa de la Naiad Press
Philips, Katherine Periodicals
Poetry Publishing, Lesbian
Pulp Paperbacks Pulp Paperbacks
Renault, Mary Radio
Rich, Adrienne Recreation
Routsong, Alma Science Fiction
Rukeyser, Muriel Slang


Style Immigration
Television Labor Movement
Tourism and Guidebooks Liberalism
Vampires Marches and Parades
Zines Military
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF)
National Organization for Women (NOW)
Music and Dance New Left
New Right
Allan, Maud
Noble, Elaine
Bentley, Gladys
Peace Movement
Blues Singers
Political Theory
Choruses, Womens
Roosevelt, Anna Eleanor
Rling, Anna
Hampton, Mabel Scudder, Vida Dutton
Hildegard of Bingen, Saint Simcox, Edith Jemima
Johnston, Jill Socialism
Landowska, Wanda Suffrage Movement
lang, k.d. (Kathryn Dawn) Womens Liberation Movement
Music, Classical
Music Festivals
Music, Popular Psychology
Music, Womens Adolescence
Opera Androgyny
Rainey, Gertrude Ma Body Image
Smith, Bessie Children
Smyth, Dame Ethel Mary Coming Out
Vargas, Chavela Friendship
Politics Immigration
Activism Invisibility
Anthony, Susan B. Love
Bisexual Movement Phallus
Black Feminism Psychiatry
Censorship Psychoanalysis
Class Psychology
Coalition Politics Psychotherapy
Recovery Movement
Relationship Violence
Community Organizing
Deming, Barbara
Sexual Orientation and Preference
Demonstrations and Actions
Domestic Partnership
Wolff, Charlotte
Electoral Politics
Fat Liberation
Gay Liberation Movement Relationships
Goldman, Emma Boston Marriage
Human Rights Butch-Femme
Identity Politics Children
Ideology Companionate Marriage
Domestic Partnership Science
Donor Insemination Sexology
Family Technology
Female Support Networks
Gossip Sexuality
Love Bisexualiry
Marriage Ceremonies Clitoris
Monogamy and Nonmonogamy Erotica and Pornography
Mothers, Lesbian Heterosexuality
Relationship Violence Homosexuality
Romantic Friendship Incest
Sadomasochism Kinsey Institute
Safer Sex Leather
Sex Practices Libertinism
Sexually Transmitted Diseases Masturbation
Singles Passionlessness
Smashes, Crushes, Spoons Phallus
Safer Sex
Religion Sex Education
Antisemitism Sex Practices
Black Church, The Sex Toys
Catholicism Sex Wars
Christianity, Early Sex Work
Churches, Lesbian and Gay Sexology
Goddess Religion Sexuality
Hildegard of Bingen, Saint Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Islam Tribade
Juana Ins de la Cruz, Sor
Mythology, Classical Sociology
Mythology, Nonclassical Adolescence
Protestantism Ageism
Religious Communities Aging
Saints and Mystics Body Image
Spirituality Children
Synagogues Class
Teresa of Avila Coming Out
Two-Spirit Community
Womanist Couples
Science Discrimination
Animal Studies Family
Biological Determinism Food
Computer Networks and Services Friendship
Ecology and Ecofeminism Gender
Evolution and Human Origins
Homosexuality Homophobia
Kinsey Institute Identity

Immigration Dietrich, Marlene
Labeling Documentaries
Love Drag Kings
Military Film, Alternative
Oppression Film, Mainstream
Patriarchy Garbo, Greta
Prejudice Hansberry, Lorraine (Vivian)
Prisons and Prisoners Hollywood
Race and Racism Moraga, Cherre
Recreation Performance Art
Relationship Violence Raucourt, Franoise
Sexism Theater and Drama, Contemporary
Singles Theater and Drama, History of
Situational Lesbianism Video
Social Work
Theory and Philosophy
Anzalda, Gloria
Beauvoir, Simone de
Black Feminism
Combahee River Collective
Critical Theory
Ecology and Ecofeminism
Enlightenment, European
Violence Feminism
Fuller, Margaret
Sport Legal Theory, Lesbian
Athletics, Collegiate Lesbian Feminism
Didrikson, Mildred Ella Babe (Zaharias) Liberalism
Gay Games Lorde, Audre
King, Billie Jean Moffitt Moraga, Cherre
Navratilova, Martina Nestle, Joan
Physical Education Penelope, Julia
Recreation Philosophy
Sports, Professional Political Theory
Tomboy Postmodernism
Queer Theory
Theater and Film Rich, Adrienne
All-Female Reviews (Japan) Separatism
Arzner, Dorothy Smith, Barbara
Behn, Aphra Social-Construction Theory
Chambers, Jane Solanas, Valerie
Charke, Charlotte Wittig, Monique
Cross-Dressing Womanist
Cushman, Charlotte


Activism works and organizational skills developed through
Participation in a wide array of political actions participation in churches and social clubs to pro-
designed to support a social movement or a par- mote and support the U.S. civil rights movement,
ticular political cause, which may include, but is among other campaigns for social justice and eco-
not limited to, participation in political parties (as nomic security. Women of color in the United States
in political party activism). Activism, or doing have a long tradition of activism designed to pro-
politics, can be defined as any struggle to gain tect and improve the lives of their communities.
control over definitions of self and community, to Working-class women of all racial-ethnic back-
augment personal and communal empowerment, grounds have played significant roles in labor or-
to create alternative institutions and organizational ganizing that only recently has received sustained
processes, and to increase the power and resources attention.
of ones variously defined community. Womens activism in womens movements has
Feminist analyses of womens political partici- included reform-oriented political work to gain
pation have expanded the definition of the term passage of womens right to vote, reproductive-
politics to include a diversity of activities that rights legislation, protection for battered women,
are frequently rendered invisible when only par- pay equity, and laws against sexual harassment and
ticipation in traditional political parties is counted. sex-discrimination policies, among other legal
For example, since womens political actions were measures. Womens movement activists of the
frequently tied to their role as mothers or to their 1970s in the United States were not always in agree-
identities as community caretakers, their political ment about what constitutes the primary target and
participation was often seen as a normal extension the most effective strategies for political action.
of their gender identities. In addition, some women Splits occurred over pornography legislation, sexu-
drew upon their gendered identities to justify pub- alities, working in separate or gender-integrated
lic roles in advocating for social welfare and social organizations, and working within the existing
justice, thereby differentiating their civic work political system.
or social housekeeping from politics. How- Many women of color and working-class
ever, as a result of feminist theorizing and analysis women did not think that the 1970s U.S. womens
of womens activism, womens community-based movement represented their interests and formed
struggles to improve their childrens education or racial-, ethnic-, or class-specific feminist organiza-
health and safety and to fight police harassment tions and networks. As in other political move-
and toxic waste are now understood as significant ments, the diversity of womens activism reflects a
forms of political behavior. broad spectrum of political perspectives, social
With this broadened view of activism, feminist experiences, and class divisions. Womens class,
social historians have also demonstrated the sig- race, ethnicity, country of origin, sexuality, and
nificance of womens central roles in diverse social geographic location intersect to produce a vantage
movements and labor struggles. For example, Af- point, a site from which women experience
rican American women drew upon their social net- different social problems in different ways. This,

in turn, creates diverse grounds for the develop- Lesbians in countries around the world have
A ment of womens activism.
Social-movement theorists were particularly in-
joined to counter homophobia and discrimination
in their communities. In many countries, lesbian
terested in explaining what contributes to the conti- activists who speak out risk public censure and im-
nuity of radical political activism. This has been a prisonment. A turning point in bringing worldwide
central thread in the literature on lesbian feminist attention to the issues of concern to lesbians oc-
activism. Taylor and Rupp (1988) discuss the ways curred during the 1995 Nongovernmental Organi-
in which womens-movement activists reproduce zations (NGO) Conference on Women held in
political identities through their everyday lives and, Hairou, China, alongside the United Nations Con-
by extension, help sustain social-movement goals ference on Women in Beijing, China. Women from
and analyses when a social movement is in a period different countries marched in support of lesbian
of abeyance. Arguing against constructions of so- rights and against anti-gay violence, and the ses-
called cultural feminism (a political perspective that sions on lesbian concerns were well attended by a
emphasizes the creation of an alternative womens diversity of women. Despite the concerted efforts
culture) as apolitical, they demonstrate the political of activists at these meetings, a resolution on les-
significance of female values, separatism, the pri- bian and gay rights was not included in the final
macy of women relationships, and feminist ritual. Platform for Action passed by the representatives
Through private rituals and creation of sepa- at the U.N.conference. Nancy A.Naples
rate social spaces and fictive kin networks, lesbi-
ans in varying regional contexts have established Bibliography
the sense of community and solidarity needed for Echols, Alice. Daring To Be Bad: Radical Femi-
collective action. Antigay violence, discrimination nism in America, 19671975. Minneapolis:
in employment and housing, denial of parental and University of Minnesota Press, 1989.
adoption rights, antigay legislation, and AIDS have Naples, Nancy A. Activist Mothering: Cross-
mobilized lesbian activists to join forces with gay Generational Continuity in the Community Work
men in local organizing efforts in cities and towns of Women from Low Income Neighborhoods.
across the United States. From another perspec- Gender and Society 6:3 (1992), 44163.
tive, Stein (1992) worries that the development of Phelan, Shane. (Be) Coming Out: Lesbian Iden-
numerous groups and organizations, such as sup- tity and Politics. Signs: Journal of Women in
port groups for lesbian mothers and women fac- Culture and Society 18:4 (1993), 764790.
ing life-threatening diseases and organizations for Schulman, Sarah. The Lesbian Avenger Handbook:
lesbian professionals, among other projects, frag- A Handy Guide to Homemade Revolution. New
ments lesbian activism. York: Self-Published, 1993.
In keeping alive a more radical tradition of or- Stein, Arlene. Sisters and Queers: The Decentering
ganizing, the Lesbian Avengers, established in 1992 of Lesbian Feminism. Socialist Review 22
by activists in New York City, have waged campaigns (1992), 3355.
against violence against gays and lesbians, homo- Taylor, Verta, and Leila Rupp. Womens Culture and
phobia in education and housing, and heterosexism Lesbian Feminist Activism: A Reconsideration of
in public spaces. Contemporary lesbian activism has Cultural Feminism. Signs: Journal of Women in
also been influenced by the critique of identity poli- Culture and Society 19:1 (1988), 3261.
tics, namely, that the bipolar gay/ straight or homo-
sexual/heterosexual designation only reproduces See also Coalition Politics; Electoral Politics; In-
dominant social relations both within and across ternational Organizations; Lesbian Avengers;
identity categories. Some lesbian activists involved Womens Liberation Movement
in radical political activism during the 1990s have
adopted the term queer to refer to a broad array
of identities and sexualities. Phelan (1993) rec- Addams, Jane (18601935)
ognizes the dilemma of identity politics but argues Born Laura Jane Addams, she was the founder of
that one can draw upon constructed identity cat- Hull House Settlement in Chicago, Illinois, and the
egories in strategic ways to enhance political mobi- Womens International League for Peace and Free-
lization and build more effective coalitions that are dom, and the first American woman to be awarded
not based on social identities. the Nobel Peace Prize.
As the favored, youngest daughter of a promi-
tige came easily to Addams, and she did not enjoy it
in saintly solitude. From the time of her girlhood at
Rockford Female Seminary until her death, Addams
was the charismatic center of a circle of female
friends. Though Addamss temperamental reserve
made her disdainful of the sentimental smashes
common among college girls of the day, she did form
a close bond with Starr. Starr was Addamss key
confidante during her twenties. Starrs vision of a
future in which the two would work well together
emboldened Addams to extricate herself from fam-
ily demands and serve, instead, as the head resident
of an urban settlement. Within just a few years at
Hull House, Addams had created an extended fam-
ily of extraordinary women whose primary bonds
were to one another and to their common political
purpose. They shared the daily burdens of health
and family and finances as naturally as they shared
their writing, lobbying, and convictions.
Addams never treated her bond with Starr as a
romantic one. It was not until she met the young
and beautiful Mary Rozet Smith (18681934) in
1890 that Addams could declare she had been vis-
ited by delivering love. While she and Starr drifted
apart emotionally and politically, Addams and Smith
Jane Addams. Jane Addams Memorial Collection,
grew ever closer. Addams had her own room at
Special Collections, The University Library, The
University of Illinois at Chicago. Smiths Chicago mansion; they bought a vacation
home together in Bar Harbor, Maine; and when the
nent Republican businessman and state senator two women took trips together, Addams wired ahead
from Cedarville, Illinois, Jane Addams was part of for one room with two double beds. Smiths wealth
the elite, first generation of college women in made possible much of the physical and program-
America. Like thousands of her cohorts, Addams matic expansion of Hull House and funded the ex-
had the wealth and the education to live outside tensive travel that positioned Addams for leader-
the bonds of Victorian matrimony. She created both ship in the international peace movement. At the
a career and a home for herself when, in 1881, she same time, Smiths unflagging emotional support
joined with her close friend, Ellen Gates Starr was vital to Jane Addamss tireless public endeavor.
(18591940), in opening Hull House, the second Over the course of their forty-year partnership,
settlement house in the United States. A settle- Smith became the fierce guardian of Addamss
ment was a house in a working-class neighborhood health and privacy. When Smith died in 1934,
where middle-class residents lived and provided a friends wrote poignant letters about the couples
variety of educational, health, recreational, and beautiful friendship and worried openly about
cultural programs for their neighbors. Settlement whether Addams, in frail health, could survive the
houses were often a neighborhoods locus for po- loss. She could not. Addams died fifteen months
litical, ethnic, and union activity as well. Addams later, but not before destroying more than half of
quickly rose to national prominence as a leading her correspondence with Smith because, as she put
figure in the Progressive Eras movements for eco- it, the letters were much too intimate to be used
nomic, sexual, and racial justice and, for the next in a biography. What remains from that corre-
half-century, enjoyed greater influence than any spondence, and from Addamss correspondence
other American woman of her day. One popular with her other female friends, paints a clear pic-
magazine in 1909 called Addams the first saint ture of female-centered love and devotion lived out
America has produced. in historic dimensions. Victoria Bissell Brown
Contrary to myth, none of this glory and pres-

Bibliography for financial support. That can, in the case of some
A Addams, Jane. The Second Twenty Years at
HullHouse. New York: Macmillan, 1930.
educational experiences (medical or law school fol-
lowing college, for example), extend adolescence well
. Twenty Years at Hull-House with Autobio- into what has been defined as young adulthood.
graphical Notes. New York: Macmillan, 1910. There is little contentiousness among social and
Linn, James Weber. Jane Addams: A Biography. behavioral scientists about the fact that adolescence
New York: Appleton-Century, 1935. is a period of dramatic change. Making the transi-
Sklar, Kathryn Kish. Hull House in the 1890s: A tion from childhood to young adulthood involves
Community of Women Reformers. Signs: Jour- physiological, cognitive, emotional, social, moral,
nal of Women in Culture and Society 10 (1985), and vocational experiences and issues. Individuals
658677. in the adolescent age range are typically represented
as immature and incapable of making adult deci-
See also Female Support Networks; Peace Move- sions, and these assertions are often accepted as
ment; Social Work true by the adolescents themselves. Schools and
parents alike expect and tolerate the adolescents
immature behavior and raise strong proscriptions
Adolescence against adultlike behaviors, especially in the sexual
The concept of adolescence is relatively new in realm. In U.S. culture sexual behavior is reserved
human history. Before the Industrial Revolution for heterosexual, married adults; adolescents dis-
in Europe and North America in the nineteenth playing such behaviors are sanctioned by the adult
century, one was accorded the status of adulthood world up to, and including, involvement in the le-
at the time of physical maturity. Individual transi- gal system in attempts to control such practice.
tions from childhood to adulthood were relatively Precocious sexual behavior, especially among fe-
quick and accompanied by differential behavioral males, has been treated harshly (resulting in insti-
expectations. Clearly, while adolescence may be tutionalization, for example), most likely because
concretely defined in terms of chronological age females are assumed to be under their familys con-
and physiology, it is of social construction and, as trol until marriage. Girls who participate in any
such, must be regarded as intimately tied to the sexual activities with males or females are looked
culture, as distinguished from being a condition upon as deviant, out of control, and, therefore,
that exists across time and geography. This ap- subject to increased behavioral supervision.
proach to understanding human behavior is known Adolescents recognize and define themselves as
as developmental-stage theory. Social and different from, sometimes the opposite of, adults,
behavioral scientists have described a series of tasks appearing to some parents as purposefully contrary.
that are appropriate to each stage, against which This extends particularly into the arena of sexual
people are assessed as normal, delayed, or, on oc- behavior, in which young people assess themselves
casion, precocious in developmental age. as ready to participate long before the adult world
In the twentieth century, adolescence is defined would agree. However, proscriptions against homo-
by Western social scientists as the transition time sexuality remain strong in the adolescent world, es-
during which individuals are expected to adapt the pecially for early adolescence. Adolescent lesbians,
behaviors of childhood into adult ways acceptable who recognize their affectional/sexual orientation,
to the culture in which they live. Often, this period often have intense conflicts with parents, siblings,
is assumed to begin at puberty and end with sec- and peers in their home and school environment;
ondary-school completion, but, because the age those who hide the fact from others expend enor-
range at which puberty begins is between eight and mous amounts of energy monitoring their behavior
eighteen, the specific age at which adolescence be- in public. In many instances of conflicts with par-
gins or ends for anyone remains problematic. It is ents, in the past, as well as now, adolescent lesbians
safe to assert at the end of the twentieth century in have been summarily placed in psychiatric institu-
North America that there is general acceptance of tions for treatment as if they were actually psychotic,
adolescence as corresponding roughly with grades rather than simply not living up to their parents
seven through twelve, although, for some, the pe- expectations of appropriate behavior.
riod extends into the college years. This is due to Research on lesbian life-span development, of
the dependence of young people on their families which adolescence is but one area, has a relatively

short history; the first reports have publication dates possible differences within those categories. There
in the 1980s. Very few studies have been conducted may have been an assumption made that the expe-
on issues associated with puberty and lesbianism, riences and needs of lesbians are not significantly
and the majority of those were combined studies of different from the general female population. At this
both males and females. It is likely that the ethical point, the topic of lesbians and work is largely un-
issues associated with conducting research on chil- explored. Data are sparse and hard to obtain. Re-
dren and teenagers, the need for informed consent searchers must depend upon the willingness of adult
of subjects being the major one, has steered research- lesbians to self-identify and to be receptive to par-
ers into the adult population for subjects. Informed ticipation in their study. As more data become avail-
consent in the case of minors must be given by a able, making informed educational and vocational
parent or guardian; in a homophobic society, such choices will be made more specific for lesbians.
consent is difficult to obtain. Teenagers seldom wish Barbara W.Gerber
to discuss sexual issues of any sort with parents,
and issues of affectional/sexual orientation, due to Bibliography
societal and internalized homophobia, are even more Fassinger, Ruth. Adolescence: Options and Opti-
likely to be avoided. Therefore, most data regard- mization. Counseling Psychologist 24:3
ing female adolescents sexuality, level of informa- (1996), 49197.
tion, or practices are gathered retrospectively, after Gonsiorek, John C. Mental Health Issues of Gay
the age of eighteen, when one is assumed to be able and Lesbian Adolescents. In Psychological Per-
to give informed consent. spectives on Lesbian and Gay Male Experiences.
Among lesbian teenagers, there may be a reluc- Ed. Linda D.Garnets and Douglas C. Kimmel.
tance to participate actively in social experiences, New York: Columbia University Press, 1993,
parties, and dating in particular. Opposite-, as well pp. 469485.
as same-sex, socializing may be fraught with ten- Morgan, Kris S., and Laura S.Brown. Lesbian
sion and anxiety due to heterosexist expectations Career Development, Work Behavior, and Vo-
and both societal and internalized homophobia. cational Counseling. Counseling Psychologist
This reluctance would best be described as normal 19:2 (1991), 273291.
in U.S. culture, as distinguished from evidencing
what mental-health practitioners as early as the See also High Schools, Lesbian and Gay; Students
1920s labeled delayed sexual development. Some
adolescent lesbians may focus their attention on
sports, the arts, clubs, or community organizations Adoption
for social support; others may concentrate on do- The legal procedure for creating the relationship
ing well in school or holding a part-time job and of parent and child between the adopter and the
ignore peer socializing. adoptee. In the United States, adoption law and
The issue of personal civil rights became a facet procedure are established by individual states and
of the youth movement in the early 1990s. This can vary dramatically from one state to another.
movement is more clearly articulated than was ei- Although the term adoption usually calls to mind
ther the drug or the antiwar movement, with which the addition of a minor child to a family, adoption
older people were equally strongly allied. This historically served the principal purpose of facili-
youth movement is focused, fueled, and run by tating the descent of property when a man would
youth, almost exclusively. For all youth, the issue otherwise die without an heir. In those instances, a
of self-determination is central and includes an in- person would adopt an adult who would carry on
sistence on being free of arbitrary parental con- the family name.
trol. An example of arbitrariness is the young les-
bian who has been involuntarily placed in an insti- Adoption of Adults
tution by parents who disapprove of her actions. Adult adoption remains available today and has
Adolescence is, for all, a time to give serious con- played a distinctive role among gay men and lesbi-
sideration to both educational and vocational ans. Because marriage has not been available to gay
choices for the future. While there is general con- men or lesbians, some couples have used adult adop-
sensus that career development for males and fe- tion to create a legally recognized relationship be-
males is different, little notice has been made of the tween them. The creation of such a relationship

was thought especially important when one part- intact the childs relationship with the biological
A ner had sufficient assets that his or her family mem-
bers would be expected to challenge a will leaving
parent. Lesbian couples seeking second-parent
adoption must convince a court to treat their re-
those assets to his or her surviving partner. An quest as a stepparent adoption, even though the
adoption of one partner by the other would assure partners are not married to each other.
not only property distribution, but also the ability Both joint adoptions and second-parent adop-
to make decisions concerning such matters as health tions have been granted to lesbian couples in some
care and burial that are customarily within the jurisdictions. As of 1998, appellate courts had ap-
authority of the next of kin. Although some courts proved one or both of these types of adoptions in
have approved adoptions, knowing that the cou- the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Massa-
ple was in a gay or lesbian relationship, others have chusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Vermont. In
determined that such a relationship was not a more than a dozen other states, trial court judges
proper use of adoption statutes. Attorneys have had granted such adoptions, but no appeals court
cautioned couples considering this approach that, had ruled on the issue. In two states, Colorado and
unlike marriage, an adoption cannot be terminated Wisconsin, appeals courts had ruled that such
or revoked if the partners later separate. adoptions are not permissible.
Without a joint or second-parent adoption, the
Adoption of Children child being raised by a lesbian couple has only one
An unmarried adult is permitted to adopt a child in legally recognized parent. This can have serious
every American jurisdiction. As of 1998, only two ramifications. If the couple separates, the legally
states, Florida and New Hampshire, had statutes recognized parent has the right to custody of the
that prohibit a lesbian or a gay man from adopting child and, in most states, can cut off all contact
a child. An adoption decree must be signed by a between the child and her former partner. If the
judge and customarily requires an investigation by legally recognized parent dies, her parents or other
a social worker or other professional to determine relatives may be able to remove the child from the
the suitability of the adoptive placement. Social surviving partner. If the legally unrecognized par-
workers often do not ask a prospective adoptive ent dies, the child will be denied survivors benefits
parent about her sexual orientation. When they do, or the right to inherit in the absence of a will. Thus,
attorneys caution applicants not to lie. At least one joint and second-parent adoptions are an impor-
court has revoked an adoption after discovering that tant component of building secure lesbian fami-
the parent had lied about his sexual orientation. lies. Nancy Polikoff
Because adoption records are sealed and adoption
proceedings vary both from state to state and from Bibliography
county to county, no one knows how many lesbi- Achtenberg, Roberta, and Karen Moulding, eds.
ans have adopted children, or been denied the abil- Adult Adoption. In Sexual Orientation and
ity to adopt children, as single adults. the Law. Deerfield, 111.: Clark, Boardman,
Lesbian couples who wish to jointly parent a Callaghan, 1994, 186192.8.
child face distinctive adoption issues. They may Martin, April. The Lesbian and Gay Parenting
wish to adopt a child as a couple, a practice com- Book. New York: Harper Perennial, 1993.
monly referred to as joint adoption. In the alter- Ricketts, Wendell, and Roberta Achtenberg.
native, one partner may give birth to a child, and Adoption and Foster Parenting for Lesbians
the other partner may then seek to become the and Gay Men: Creating New Traditions in Fam-
childs adoptive parent. This practice is commonly ily. In Homosexuality and Family Relations.
referred to as second-parent adoption. The le- Ed. Frederick W.Bozett and Marvin B.Sussman.
gal issue faced by lesbian couples seeking joint New York: Harrington Park, 1990, 83118.
adoption is whether any unmarried couple may
adopt a child together in that state. Second-parent See also Custody Litigation; Law and Legal Insti-
adoption raises a different legal issue. Adoption tutions
customarily extinguishes the legal relationship be-
tween a child and her biological parents. Often,
the only statutory exception to this rule is a Advertising and Consumerism
stepparent adoption, in which a biological parents Lesbian (and gay) community as a consumer mar-
husband or wife may adopt the child while leaving ket. In a capitalist market economy, lesbians

produce and consume commodities, defined as has argued, in describing the emergence of the Tav-
products made to be exchanged in a marketplace ern Guild, a self-protection and -promotion organi-
for a profit. Businesses, such as bars and book- zation of gay and lesbian bar owners and bartend-
stores, catering to lesbian and gay consumers have ers in San Francisco in the 1960s, that a gay mar-
historically been, and continue to be, the sites of ketplace can generate, as well as result from, a so-
gay community and social activism. A vast array cial/political movement. Gays and lesbians have
of businesses, including media, merchandise since expanded beyond bars to many other sorts
catalogs, and travel, legal, medical, financial, and of businessesbookstores, travel agencies, cloth-
communications services, target lesbians as an iden- ing stores, arts organizationsaimed at lesbian and
tifiable, distinct consumer market (market, in this gay consumers, located in gay ghettos, serving pri-
sense, meaning a field of potential buyers, rather marily gay clientele, providing services or products
than a space of exchange). of particular interest to gay consumers and ben-
The particular attention paid to gays and lesbi- efiting gay and lesbian entrepreneurs. Freeman
ans as a target market has been part of a larger (1995) has pointed out that the development of
trend in late-twentieth-century capitalism toward print capitalism and, more recently, electronic me-
target, or niche, marketing. Attention to the gay diathe circulation of gay newspapers, magazines,
market has been described as both resulting from and direct-marketing materials such as catalogs and
the gay and lesbian movement, which has given card packshas generated a nonlocal space with
gays and lesbians visibility as a potential market which gays and lesbians can identify.
segment, and producing gay and lesbian commu-
nity and identity through its imaging and address- Advertising to Lesbians
ing of gays and lesbians. There is much debate in Print media have been extremely important organs
the gay and lesbian community over the political for advertising aimed at gays and lesbians. The most
value of such market recognition; while positively important recent development in advertising ad-
valued for giving gays and lesbians a sense of so- dressed to gays and lesbians has been the partici-
cial legitimacy and recognition and presenting posi- pation of mainstream corporations selling main-
tive images of gays and lesbians to a mainstream stream products. Gay and lesbian media, as well
audience, it is criticized for erasing those segments as Gay Pride parades, sporting events, and resorts,
of the community that do not have as much money have deliberately tried to attract mainstream ad-
to spend (women, lesbians, and gays of color) or vertisers. It has been argued that, while many gay
are less appealing to the mainstream (practitioners magazines, especially those aimed at men, were
of sadomasochism or drag queens). Pealoza once filled with personal and sex ads, in order to
(1996) states that in the contemporary U.S. con- attract mainstream advertisers some have given up
sumer culture, the marketplace is an important both the ads and the editorial discussion of sex,
arena in which lesbians and other groups can strug- especially leather and sadomasochistic sex, choos-
gle for social and political inclusion. ing instead to portray gays and lesbians as normal,
family oriented, and politically moderate, seeking
Capitalism Enables Lesbian Community only to be treated like straights.
Social space for groups of people to live as gay or National gay magazines (the Advocate and Out)
lesbian was created by the development of indus- and some gay marketing and research firms (Over-
trial capitalism, which enabled individuals to live looked Opinions, Simmons Market Research Bu-
outside of family units. The cultural space for les- reau, Mulryan/Nash, Yankelovich) have done sur-
bians to existeconomic freedom from depend- veys showing the consuming abilities of gays and
ence on menis, in part, the result of the war-based lesbians and promoting gays and lesbians as a po-
economy of the first half of the twentieth century, tent market niche with higher-than-average dispos-
during which time women replaced men in indus- able income. There is tremendous debate over the
trial production. As a result of the freeing of labor accuracy of the figures generated and the claims
from its familial and rural contexts, gays and les- made by various groups. These surveys frequently
bians were able to create communities in urban generate their income and consumption statistics
areas. These communities were often communities based on the readership of a particular magazine
of consumers, in that much of the life of the com- or on the voluntary participation of self-identified
munity frequently took place in bars. Boyd (1975) gays and lesbians. Such methods of creating the


survey sample have been criticized as producing a ers about the gay market, seeing it as at once lucra-
A picture of gays and lesbians as significantly more
affluent and more white than a more accurate pic-
tive and dangerous.) To avoid these dangers a third
approach is quite popular: Advertisers create ads
ture of a gay and lesbian population would. Those that allow or encourage gay identification but do so
who purchase gay and lesbian magazines and those in a coded form that straights will not recognize.
who self-identify as gay or lesbian are likely to feel For example, Clark (1991) describes a fashion lay-
able to do so because they have a degree of eco- out that appeared in Elle magazine, a mainstream
nomic and social security not experienced by other fashion magazine, featuring a short-haired model
people (poor, non-white, female) who express or dressed in man-style attire (jacket and tie), leaning
experience homosexual desire in some form. The on a motorcycle. Clark points out that this image
surveys describing gays and lesbians as more can be read by lesbians as the image of a butch les-
wealthy than straights have been used by right- bian; the swaggering recommended in the ad copy
wing, antigay forces to argue that gay people do and enacted by the model can likewise be seen as
not need civil rights protection such as protection, the cruising dyke.
from employment discrimination, since gays and
lesbians are apparently already an economically Implications for Lesbian and
privileged group. Recent studies by academics, as Gay Rights Movements
well as the Yankelovich survey, tell a different story: Both the second and third approaches assume that
They show that gays and lesbians earn less than gays and lesbians constitute a distinct culture, with
their heterosexual counterparts. However, it is pre- its own codes, sets of meanings, and concerns. The
cisely those white, wealthy, and, to a large extent, covert use of lesbian and gay codes in mainstream
male gay consumers who are of primary interest to adsa style may be marketed to straights as sim-
advertisers, though, as women, in general, become ply the new fashionmay be experienced by gays
wealthier, lesbians become a more attractive mar- and lesbians not as an appeal, but rather as ex-
ket segment. And so in advertising that features ploitative. As Freeman and Berlant (1993) point
gays and lesbians, they are likely to appear to be out, while the advertisements erotic or exotic
exclusively white and wealthy, making it harder charge depends on its unacknowledged roots in
for those who are neither to feel that gay or les- lesbian and gay culture, the lesbian and gay cul-
bian identity and community are relevant to them. tural creativity that produced such a style is erased
Mainstream advertisers have taken three ap- and the lesbian- and gay-specific meaning of the
proaches to reaching the gay and lesbian market. style is eroded.
First, they have placed ads that are part of their regu- Advertisers also assume that those communal
lar campaign in gay media; Absolut Vodka is a well- codes and concerns can be used to create individual
known example of a company that has placed simi- consumer desires; hence, they address gays and les-
lar ads in gay and nongay publications. Second, they bians as individual consumers. Clark argues that
have developed special ad campaigns for gay out- such an individual address may undermine the com-
lets that explicitly invite gay identification; an ex- munal and political aspects of gay and lesbian iden-
ample of an advertisement geared to the lesbian con- tification. Oppositional political rhetoric is trans-
sumerplaying on one self-stereotype current formed into a slogan for a product. Chasin (1995)
among lesbiansis a 1996 Subaru of America ad suggests that, in place of an identification with a
that states: It loves camping, dogs, and long-term lesbian and gay political movement, both the adver-
commitment. Too bad its only a car. Some com- tisements and the survey techniques invite identifi-
panies, notably, K-Mart and Ikea, have placed such cation with U.S. nationalism. The treatment of the
gay-oriented advertisements on television. However, lesbian and gay community as a market niche may,
many companies are wary of doing this, and even as Chasin argues, undermine the movement for civil
of placing ads in gay publications, for fear that their rights for sexual minorities. Miranda Joseph
products will become identified as gay or lesbian
and, therefore, not be appealing to the heterosexual Bibliography
market or even draw a boycott from antigay forces Boyd, Nan Alamilla. Shopping for Rights: Gays,
such as the Religious Right. (A number of articles in Lesbians and Visibility Politics. Denver Uni-
marketing and business publications in the mid- versity Law Review 75:4 (Fall 1998), 1361
1990s have described the ambivalence of advertis- 1373.


Chasin, Alexandra. Selling Out: The Gay/Lesbian Copeland (1970), Toni Morrisons The Bluest Eye
Market and the Construction of Gender. (1970), and Toni Cade (Bambara)s anthology The
Sojourner 22 (1997), 1415. Black Woman (1970)challenged the predomi-
Clark, Danae. Commodity Lesbianism. Camera nantly male canon and critical establishments, both
Obscura 2526 (1991), 180201. Reprinted in black and white.
The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader. Ed. Henry In Toward a Black Feminist Criticism (1977),
Abelove, Michle Aina Barale, and David black lesbian feminist Barbara Smith (1946)af-
Halperin. New York: Routledge, 1993, 186201. ter taking white female, white male, and black male
Freeman, Elizabeth. Queer Bonds. Paper pre- critics to task for their insensitivity to the literary
sented at a meeting of the American Studies strivings of black women writerscalled for a black
Association, Pittsburgh, October 1995. feminist criticism embodying the daring spirit
Freeman, Elizabeth, and Lauren Berlant. Queer of the literary works themselves. Smiths notion of
Nationality. In Fear of a Queer Planet. Ed. daring included the lesbian as a category of
Michael Warner. Minneapolis: University of analysis, as a subject of inquiry, as an object of
Minnesota Press, 1993, pp. 193229. desire, and as a political entity. Smiths hallmark
Lukenbill, Grant. Untold Millions: Positioning Your article inspired an entire school of black feminist
Business for the Gay and Lesbian Consumer critics to chart new trajectories for reading the lit-
Market. New York: Harper Collins, 1995. erary expression of African American women, in-
Pealoza, Lisa. Were Here, Were Queer, and cluding searching for the meaning of lesbian in
Were Going Shopping: A Critical Perspective the African American literary tradition.
on the Accommodation of Gays and Lesbians
into the U.S. Marketplace. Journal of Homo- History
sexuality 31:12 (Summer 1996), 941. Prior to the 1970s, black lesbian writers had been
silent since the demise of the New Negro Renais-
See also Bars; Bookstores; Businesses, Lesbian; sance, which claimed Harlem, in New York City,
Community; Demography; Economics; Journalism as its home. During this period (19171935), Af-
rican Americans were able, for the first time, to
reflect upon their contributions to American life
African American Literature and culture. One of its leaders, Alain Leroy Locke
Creative writing by African American lesbians, in- (18861954), was decidedly homosexual and ex-
cluding poetry, fiction, and drama. Also referred ercised a profound and perturbing influence on the
to as Afro-American, black, and Negro literature. cultural production of African Americans when the
In the 1960s, African American literature oc- Negro was in vogue. Love between women
cupied a place of quaint honor in historically black the sapphic cult of love, as Locke termed lesbi-
institutions of higher learning. One course would anismwas celebrated in life and poetry during
be offered once a year, usually during summer the New Negro Renaissance.
school sessions; and that one course would survey Because they validated sexuality, resistance, and
the whole tradition, from Lucy Terry (1730?) to autonomy, performers like Ma Rainey (1886
Amiri Baraka (1934). By the end of the twentieth 1939) and Bessie Smith (1894?1937) assumed
century, African American literature has become a legendary status within black poor, working-class,
vibrant and contested field of study, its texts occu- and bohemian and avant garde communities; both
pying whole sections of bookstores, winning ma- were lesbian or bisexual. Raineys Prove It on Me
jor literary honors, and changing the way readers Blues, recorded in 1928, is one example of the
understand the world. Black male writers, schol- bold lesbianism of black women in the so-called
ars, and social activistssuch as Malcolm X (1925 Jazz Age. Mae V.Cowdery (19091953) was an
1965), Frederick Douglass (18171895), Martin open lesbian, said to wear suits and ties, cut her
Delany (18121885), W.E.B.DuBois (18681863), hair short, smoke cigarettes publicly, and frequent
and Eldridge Cleaver (19351998)became cul- Greenwich Village rather than Harlem. Before com-
tural icons who embodied the aspirations and pas- mitting suicide at the age of forty-two, she wrote a
sions of the whole race, or so it was said. But in number of poems whose love object was female.
the 1970s, writing by African American women The coded lesbian lyrics of Angelina Weld Grimk
such as Alice Walkers The Third Life of Grange (18801958) were not deciphered until 1979, when

A F R I C A N A M E R I C A N L I T E R AT U R E 9
critic Gloria (Akasha) Hull speculated about lesbianism in an African context, explore the Afri-
A Grimks secret sapphic desire. Critic Deborah
McDowell has also discussed the lesbian subtext
can sources of what is called lesbianism in West.
In her poetry and nonfiction, Lorde draws upon
of Nella Larsens (18911964) Passing (1927). mythic and historical figures like the Coniagui
In his eulogy to the great American writer James Women, the Women of Dan, Yemanja, the
Baldwin (19241987), Amiri Baraka said Baldwins Amazon legions of Dahomey and the Zamis
Blues for Mister Charlie (1964), a stark play that [a] Carriacou name for women who work together
reimagines the lynching of Emmet Till, announced as friends and lovers. Lordes evocations of a black
the Black Arts Movement. However, others claim (non-European) lesbian past served to establish a
that Barakas own short-lived project, the Black lesbian or woman-loving-woman mythos of the
Arts Repertory, ushered in this new era in the tra- African diaspora, linking Africa, the Caribbean,
dition of black letters. The Black arts movement and North America.
was certainly emboldened by people like Baraka Lorde, influenced by the Black Arts movement
and Baldwin and was initiated in public venues, of the 1960s, understood writing as instrumental
including the theater, the jazz set, and the poetry to liberation and the writer as agent of change. This
reading. More important, the Black arts movement daring established Lorde as a signal black lesbian
was the angry offspring of what came to be seen as feminist, whose poetry, fiction, journals, speeches,
the assimilationist civil rights movement. The Black and essays continue to illuminate the work to be
arts movement was also the cultural kin of the Black done by black lesbian feminist writers.
Power movement, which came into being in 1966 Pat Parker (19441989), a native Texan and
with the concept Black Power, propounded by migrant to California, spoke in a different poetic
leaders of organizations such as the Student Non- voice than the first-generation, Caribbean New
violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Yorker Lorde. Parkers lesbian voice was decidedly
Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). The Black street, butch, and oral. Her first three books of
arts movement rejected Western models, reified poetry, Child of Myself (1971), Pit Stop (1973), and
black folk culture, and renounced, as would the Womanslaughter (1978), explored a range of iden-
Black Power movement, integrationist themes. Both tity and relationship issues, including autonomy and
movements nodded to Malcolm X as the exemplar self-definition as a black lesbian feminist. The poem
of black integrity and resistance. Manhood, het- Womanslaughter, from the volume of the same
erosexuality, and militancy characterized the Black name, is a raw indictment of violence against women
Arts Movement, and black women played a vital and the systems that aid and abet it, not least of all
role in the perpetuation of race ideology and race the criminal justice system, which in its language,
mythology. manslaughter, makes women invisible victims (or
perpetrators). Her performance poem Movement
Major Figures in Black is a historical excursion into the lives of
Although African American literary expression in African women in the New World; while Where
the 1960s was dominated by heterosexual longing Will You Be ironically addresses the questions of
and nostalgic nationalism, in the 1970s black les- who will be allies of those oppressed by racist, sex-
bian voices began to emerge. Philadelphian Anita ist, and heterosexist systems.
Cornwell (1923), black lesbian polemicist and Although poetry was the most influential genre
writer for The Ladder (est. 1956), published arti- of the 1970s, one novelist did emerge: Ann Allen
cles in lesbian feminist journals and anthologies. Shockley (1927), whose Loving Her (1974), The
Cornwell claims that racism and sexism made her Black and the White of It (short stories, 1980),
a feminist, from which vantage point she critiques and Say Jesus and Come to Me (1981) were among
racism in the white lesbian community and homo- the first conscious fictional ventures to place black
phobia and heterosexism in the black community. lesbian characters at the center of the narrative,
By the late 1970s and early 1980s, Audre Lorde although some consider her characterizations nei-
(19341992), black, lesbian, feminist poet, mother, ther artful nor credible.
socialist, and author of more than ten books of
poetry, had written The Black Unicorn (1978) and The Emergence of a Movement
her self-styled biomythography Zami: A New In 1979, Barbara Smith and Lorraine Bethel, two
Spelling of My Name (1982). Both texts historicize prominent black lesbian feminists, guest-edited

10 A F R I C A N A M E R I C A N L I T E R AT U R E
Conditions: Five, The Black Womens Issue, for black writers. This attitude also can be seen in
which showcased the writings of contemporary several works by ostensibly heterosexual writers
black feminists. This issue was a road map for black Ed Bullins Claras Ole Man (1968), Gayl Joness
feminists who wanted to be lesbians, just as Toni Evas Man (1976), and Paule Marshalls The Cho-
Cade (Bambara)s The Black Woman was for het- sen Place, Timeless People (1969)which present
erosexual black women who wanted to be femi- lesbianism as having a marginal place in, and some-
nists. It was widely and favorably reviewed, by none what corrupting effect on, black communities. On
other than Alice Walker (1944) in one case. In the other hand, works such as Rosa Guys Ruby
keeping with the editorial practice of Conditions (1976), Gloria Naylors The Women of Brewster
(founded in 1976) to be a magazine of writing Place (1982), and, most celebrated of all, Alice
for women with an emphasis on writing by lesbi- Walkers The Color Purple (1982) portray lesbi-
ans, this issue was the first publication in the Af- anism with more complexity and empathy.
rican American tradition and in the tradition of
lesbian writing to emphasize black lesbian writ- From Margin to Mainstream
ers. Conditions: Five also represented a new era in The deaths from cancer of Pat Parker in 1989 and
womens political organizing. The lesbian feminist Audre Lorde in 1992 were sadly emblematic of an
movement was in the process of self-criticism for era capped by untimely deaths from cancer and
the evident whiteness of its leadership, its subtle AIDS of many in the black and queer communi-
and not so subtle elitism, and its social and eco- ties. Black lesbian writers, like all whose work was
nomic privilege. Lesbian feminist organizations, as embraced by radical political movements and al-
well as journals (like Conditions), and newspapers, ternative presses, faced new challenges regarding
magazines, and newsletters, committed themselves the publication of their work. The closing of alter-
to producing a multiracial, multicultural leadership. native presses, the flagging of book sales, the cor-
Indeed, the women-in-print movement began to porate takeovers of publishing companies, the chain
capitalize on the writings and the bodies of black bookstores conquests of independent womens and
lesbian feminists in the United States and interna- gay bookstores more open to stocking alternative-
tional communities. The literary reading took on a press publications, and the changing tastes of au-
particular significance in lesbian communities across diences all threatened lesbian writers with erasure.
the country as it had during the Black Arts move- On the other hand, Michelle Cliff (1946) and
ment, with poets playing key roles in educating, en- Sapphire, both self-identified black lesbian writers
lightening, and politicizing the lesbian public. Older and both mentored by the black lesbian literary
and more seasoned writers like Parker and Lorde movement, succeeded in the 1990s in reaching be-
were joined by newer voices, including Cheryl Clarke yond lesbian audiences via major-press publication.
(1947), Jewelle Gomez (1948), and Terri Jewell Cliff, along with Adrienne Rich (1929), was at
(19541995), as well as by fiction writers Sapphire one time an editor of Sinister Wisdom, a lesbian
(1950), Evelynn Hammonds (1953), Becky Birtha feminist journal established in 1976, and had pub-
(1948), Barbara Banks (1948), and Shay lished two books with an alternative press before
Youngblood (1959). Their work was published in Dutton published second and third novels, No
numerous literary journals and anthologies, as well Telephone to Heaven (1987) and Free Enterprise
as in local lesbian and feminist newspapers. (1993). Sapphire, a performance poet and writer,
Even writers who did not identify with the poli- published two books of poetry, one under her own
tics of lesbianism were influenced by its new open- imprint and the second for an alternative press,
ness. Alexis De Veaux (1948), author of a cryptic before her novel Push was published by Knopf in
1974 novel, Spirits in the Street, became more ex- 1996. Although both writers maintained their in-
plicitly woman centered, if not necessarily lesbian, tegrity as lesbians, their later work was not directed
in her 1981 play, No, a political, erotic-romantic, at lesbian audiences specifically, and their former
woman-identified poetic evocation of negritude. lesbian feminist affiliations not acknowledged by
Despite her reticence, a reviewer for the Amster- the promotional apparatus of their publishers.
dam News, a black publication in New York City, The publication of Does Your Mama Know? An
noted for its homophobic commentary, attacked Anthology of Coming Out Stories (1997), edited
DeVeauxs work for its use of lesbian themes, by Lisa C.Moore, and Afrekete: An Anthology of
which, according to the review, was not a fit topic Black Lesbian Writings (1995), edited by Catherine

A F R I C A N A M E R I C A N L I T E R AT U R E 11
E.McKinley and L.Joyce DeLaney, both by alterna- has not been monolithic or historically constant, a
A tive presses, is a further sign of the continuing vital-
ity of black lesbian writing, writers, and readership.
few generalizations can be made that place African
American lesbian history in its appropriate context.
The study of writing by lesbian feminists, black femi- Since African American womens arrival in the New
nists, and women of color in literature and wom- World as slaves, their lives have been primarily
ens studies programs in colleges and universities shaped by the forces of racial and class oppression,
across the United States and elsewhere is another by African American peoples strategies of survival
signal of the perpetuation of black lesbian writing. and resistance, and by the particular values and in-
On the other hand, few African American studies stitutions of African American communities. Sur-
programs integrate the writings of black lesbians vival needs, gender inequality, and an ethic of col-
and black gay men into their curricula. lective responsibility have required almost all Afri-
Black lesbian writers and writing continue to can American women to prioritize their economic
engage and instruct their audiences into the new and caregiving responsibilities within kin networks
millennium. As Adrienne Rich, an inveterate pro- over their personal needs for the time, liberty, and
moter of the work of women of color, claimed, the private space to explore passions considered uncon-
meaning of love between women must ever be ex- ventional. Thus, while some African American
panded. Black lesbian writers, like black women women have identified themselves as sexually dif-
writers throughout the literary diaspora, are ex- ferent and formed alternative lesbian communities,
panding those boundaries. Cheryl Clarke the majority have maintained traditional identities
as married or unmarried family caregivers and pro-
Bibliography viders and have loved women in ways as yet unrec-
Bethel, Lorraine, and Barbara Smith, eds. Condi- ognized by late-twentieth-century historians.
tions: Five, The Black Womens Issue 2:2 Historians have documented African American
(1979) (Special Issue). womens same-sex relationships since the mid-nine-
Cornwell, Anita. Black Lesbian in White America. teenth century and urban African American les-
Tallahassee, Fla.: Naiad, 1983. bian communities in the North since the Great
Gates, Henry Louis Jr., and Nellie Y.McKay, eds. Migration (19151940), particularly in Jazz Age
The Norton Anthology of African American Harlem. Those communities grew in numbers and
Literature. New York: Norton, 1997. complexity in the post-World War II decades. The
Guy-Sheftall, Beverly, ed. Introduction. Words movement sparked by the Stonewall Rebellion
of Fire: An Anthology of African American (1969) followed the black liberation struggle, and,
Feminist Thought. New York: New Press, 1995, together, both fundamentally changed African
pp. 122. American lesbian life, forging new identities and
Hull, Gloria T. Color, Sex, and Poetry: Three identity politics. Yet large gaps remain in our
Women Writers of the Harlem Renaissance. knowledge of African American lesbian history; for
Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987. example, despite the fact that, until the mid-twen-
Smith, Barbara. Toward a Black Feminist Criti- tieth century, the center of African American cul-
cism. Conditions: Two 1:2 (1977), 2543. ture was in the rural South, almost nothing is
Walker, Alice. In Search of Our Mothers Gardens: known of African American homosexuality there.
Womanist Prose. New York: Harcourt Brace These gaps are largely the result of persistent ne-
Jovanovich, 1983. glect by scholars of lesbian and gay and African
American history. In addition, lack of time, literacy,
See also African Americans; Black Feminism; Blues or inclination has prevented most poor and work-
Singers; Cornwell, Anita; Grimk, Angelina Weld; ing-class African American women from keeping
Harlem Renaissance; Lorde, Audre; Parker, Pat; written records of their life in diaries or letters, lead-
Rainey, Gertrude Ma; Shockley, Ann Allen; Smith, ing to a paucity of sources that illuminate their daily
Barbara; Smith, Bessie; Womanist thoughts and experience; documents that explic-
itly record lesbian relationships are even more
scarce. These difficulties are especially acute for the
African Americans documentation of slave life; slave narratives, slave
While the experience of African American women owners accounts, and white Northerners obser-
who have expressed erotic interest in other women vations each pose their own interpretive problems.

12 A F R I C A N A M E R I C A N L I T E R AT U R E
The Civil War to the Great Migration ily bounds. As a new African American urban
Before the Great Migration, African American working class emerged in the North, women expe-
women were involved in same-sex relationships in rienced greater personal freedom than at any other
a number of settings, although the evidence lacks time, and a small but significant number of mi-
broader historical context. The letters between grants found jobs that gave them financial inde-
Rebecca Primus (18361932) and Addie Brown pendence from men and kin and the personal lib-
(1841?), two free women living in Connecticut erty to fashion a lesbian life. In the 1920s, urban
(Primus was a schoolteacher, Brown was a domes- African American lesbian networks and commu-
tic worker), between 1859 and 1869, are a rare his- nities emerged out of these unique historical forces.
torical record of nineteenth-century same-sex pas- Along with the politics and high culture of
sion by African American women. According to the New Negro movement and the Harlem Ren-
Hansen (1996), a historian, Brown and Primuss aissance, African American women occupied center
bond surpassed that of a romantic friendship, for stage in the African American entertainment in-
their letters reveal a long-term, loving friendship and dustry. Women who sought sexual autonomy were
sisterhood that also involved explicitly sexual rela- especially attracted to the wages and freedom of
tions that Hansen termed bosom sex. While the show business life, and lesbian relationships de-
Brown-Primus relationship was well known within veloped among the dancers, musicians, comics,
their family and social networks, the letters make actresses, and blues singers as they traveled
clear that they were, nonetheless, expected to marry, throughout the country performing in musicals,
and both eventually saw it socially and economi- cabarets, speakeasies, and minstrel and vaudeville
cally necessary to do so. Another nineteenth-cen- shows. Despite their marriages and heterosexual
tury example is the Wichita Tribunes report (Sep- public images, some of the finest and most promi-
tember 17, 1898) of a Queer Love Affair between nent performers had lesbian relationships, includ-
Adele Densmore and Ruth Latham, two African ing Gertrude Ma Rainey (18861939), Bessie
American women living in St. Joseph, Missouri. Due Smith (1894?1937), Ethel Waters (18961977),
to a lovers quarrel, Densmore was threatening Alberta Hunter (18951984), Gladys Bentley
to enlist as a man in the United States Army. The (19071960), and Jackie Moms Mabley (1897
two were said to be deeply in love, and Densmore 1975). Mabel Hampton (19021989), a working-
play[ed] the part of the man. The Tribune found class lesbian from the South who was a dancer and
their love strange yet admired the tenderness and an actress in New York City, recalls that Jackie
grace with which [Densmore] imprints on the cheeks Mabley was known to throw large parties to which
and lips of her girl sweetheart seals of affection. all the girls in the show would go in the 1920s.
Finally, African American womens involvement in Hampton also recalls meeting lesbians in the room-
same-sex relationships in all-female reform schools ing house where she lived and going to African
and prisons have been documented as well. In 1913, American lesbian rent parties and pay parties
Margaret Otis published an article in the Journal of independent of the entertainment industry.
Abnormal Psychology alerting readers to the pas- The degree to which a few African American les-
sionate and sometimes intensely sexual homo- bians self-consciously disregarded respectable fe-
sexual relations between young African American male behavior reveals what became possible during
and white women in a Northern reform school. this time, if not what came to be the norm. Gladys
Bentley, for example, gained international fame in
The Jazz Age, the Harlem Renaissance, the 1920s as a male impersonator who cultivated
and the New African American Working an image as a bulldagger; she wore mens clothes
Class up North on stage and on the street and had a female wife.
African American lesbians were among the hun- In a similarly bold move, Ma Rainey sang Prove
dreds of thousands of Southern men and women It on Me Blues for a landmark 1928 recording that
who moved north during the Great Migration. In defiantly stated her sexual preference for women.
addition to powerful economic and racial motives Black lesbians were visible in the lyrics of various
for quitting the South, many lesbians were also flee- BD blues (bulldagger blues) song recordings of
ing sexual and physical abuse from white men and this period. Male impersonation and gender inver-
African American men and from community norms sion were prominent cultural images of lesbianism
that frowned upon women who lived outside fam- during the 1920s and early 1930s; drag balls

featuring hundreds of male and female impersona- alone or with a lover. In mid-to large-sized cities,
A tors drew thousands of spectators and extensive
coverage from the African American press.
African American lesbians increased the number,
quality, and scope of lesbian-only settings in which
Internationally acclaimed classic blues singer they could gather. They held open-house parties,
Alberta Hunter was perhaps more typical of those formed social clubs, organized formal dances and
who sought middle-class status and acceptance other social functions, joined softball leagues, and
from the mainstream African American commu- began patronizing formerly all-white bars. African
nityshe took great care to conceal her lesbian American butch-femme couples (studs, papas,
relationships. Similarly, Angelina Weld Grimk or lady-lovers, with their ladies mamas, or
(18801958) was an elite poet of the Harlem Ren- wives) braved city streets together despite ram-
aissance and was presumed to be heterosexual, yet pant police violence in black neighborhoods. Afri-
she wrote love poetry that addressed women and can American lesbians fought to defend and expand
had at least one clearly lesbian relationship. Lit- their lesbian-only social territory in many ways; this
erary scholar Gloria (Akasha) Hulls research on sometimes involved preventing straight men from
writer and community activist Alice Dunbar-Nel- entering a party or a bar, through physical force
son (18751935) revealed that, along with Dunbar- when necessary. At the same time, considerable so-
Nelsons heterosexual relationships, including cial pressure was placed on African American
marriage to poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar (1872 women (through the pages of Ebony magazine, for
1906), her passionate life also included affairs with example) to help legitimize African American de-
several other prominent African American women. mands for equality by conforming to the ideal
For the most part, African Americans have been middle-class American woman: heterosexual, femi-
ambivalent about homosexual behavior that does nine, committed to the nuclear family and the
not threaten family survival or kin networks, re- American way of life. Finally, narratives of life in
garding that behavior as odd, funny, or even sin- Buffalo, New York, San Francisco, and New York
ful but not a basis for exclusion from community City suggest that government discrimination, police
life. Yet women who have dared to establish un- raids, and harassment of lesbians and gays increased
married and childless lives outside of family bounds during this period.
have been harshly judged as selfish, immoral, and Most African American lesbians living in urban
decadent. During the 1920s and throughout sub- areas in the 1950s and 1960s preferred to socialize
sequent decades, one space in which homosexual at house parties held in apartments or homes in
behavior seems to have been tolerated was in the African American neighborhoods and advertised by
underground economy and subculture of sex work- word of mouth. After paying a small cover at the
ers, hustlers, pimps, and gamblers. This primarily door, one could socialize with friends, dance, drink,
heterosexual sporting life included all of those and eat plenty of home-cooked food. Because same-
who resisted dominant norms and laws about sex, sex dancing was illegal in public places, dancing was
gender, work, and family responsibility. especially important. Thorpe (1996) reports that
How the Depression specifically affected black Ruth Ellis and her partners Detroit home was
lesbian life is unclear; economics may have required known as the gay spot throughout the 1950s;
more women to live with kin or encouraged more dozens of African American women and some gay
couples to live together. Unlike white women, very men traveled from as far away as Cleveland and
few African American women served in the mili- Dayton, Ohio, to attend. (Ellis had also attended
tary or received the temporary well-paying jobs gatherings of African American lesbians and gays
created by World War II industrial production. By in her native Springfield, Illinois, in the 1930s.) By
1949, a full 40 percent of African American work- the late 1960s, some women were able to turn host-
ing women still labored in domestic-service jobs. ing parties into a profitable business venture.
For African American women involved in les- Public bar life was not as prominent in African
bian relationships and community life, the time be- American lesbian communities as it was for work-
tween World War II and the Stonewall Rebellion of ing-class white lesbians. In part, this was because,
1969 was a contradictory period of significant until the late 1960s, there were few bars or clubs
progress and repression. Racial barriers in employ- that welcomed African American lesbian patronage.
ment were slowly broken, and more African Ameri- Most white lesbian bars were either alienating or
can women earned enough to maintain a residence notoriously racist. Few African American lesbians

had the capital or political connections to have their Homophile Organizations controversial picketing
own liquor licenses and establish their own bars. of federal buildings and the White House in 1965.
There were, however, some clubs that catered solely The gay liberation movement that began with the
to African American lesbians at separate times or in Stonewall Rebellion in 1969 affected the conscious-
separate spaces. In the 1950s, for example, the ness of thousands of African American lesbians,
Wellsworth in Harlem was a straight bar in front although few formally joined organizations;
and a lesbian bar in back. Yet bars carried the risk Candice Boyce, for example, was attracted to New
of legal trouble, public exposure, and harassment Yorks Gay Activist Alliance (GAA) but left because
from straight men, so many women avoided them. she found the daily survival needs of African Ameri-
During this and later periods, African Ameri- can lesbians more urgent than the concerns of
can lesbians also participated in mainstream insti- GAAs white male members.
tutions of the African American community. For Deeply affected by African American and Third
example, lesbians attended church despite its con- World liberation politics, and committed to lesbian
demnation of homosexuality because the church and feminist organizing, African American lesbians
was the central social, spiritual, and political insti- like Anita Cornwell, Margaret Sloan, Joan Gibbs,
tution of African American life. Church could also and Gwendolyn Rogers organized during the 1970s
provide a covert opportunity to meet women; against pervasive racism in the predominantly white
Debra, for example, recalls meeting her first les- womens movement. At the same time, African
bians in Buffalo at church after migrating from the American lesbians struggled within the emerging
South in 1938. African American feminist movement in efforts like
the National Black Feminist Organization (NBFO).
The Civil Rights Movement
The sexual identity of the thousands of lesbian par- Independent Politics
ticipants in the African American civil rights move- As a result of womens experiences in these move-
ment was invisible to that movement and remains ments, autonomous African American lesbian and
so to most historians. In the years before gay libera- lesbian of color organizations were founded in the
tion made coming out a conscious political act, 1970s and early 1980s. Elandria Hendersons 1971
many African American lesbians took their invis- statement on The Black Lesbian in Chicagos
ibility for granted, despite the personal discomfort Lavender Woman was one early articulation of the
and alienation they felt in their relations with move- frustration, disappointment, rage, and sense of
ment activists and organizations. Yvonne Flowers betrayal that led to the formation of separate
(1932) was one of 250,000 at the landmark 1963 groups. The Combahee River Collective was
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and founded by Boston-based lesbians in 1974 as a radi-
was active in the struggle for African American com- cal, African American feminist group whose multi-
munity control of schools in Brooklyn, New York, issue organizing included lesbian and gay politics.
but she refrained from greater involvement because Salsa Soul Sisters, which began in New York City
she was not willing to pass as straight, which she in 1976 under the leadership of the Reverend
saw as a requirement for a publicly visible leader- Delores Jackson, seems to have been the first inde-
ship role. The noted playwright Lorraine Hansberry pendent African American or Latina lesbian organi-
(19301965) was a prominent activist in civil rights zation, followed by groups in almost every major
and left-wing causes; yet the fact that Hansberry city by 1981. Several African American lesbian
wrote a series of letters anonymously to the lesbian conferences in the early 1980s grew out of the first
magazine The Ladder in 1957 indicates that she was National Conference of Third World Lesbians and
concerned about public exposure. Gays in Washington, D.C., in 1979, including the
First Black Lesbian Conference of the Western
Gay, Lesbian, and Womens Liberation Regional States held in San Francisco in 1980.
Ernestine Eckstein (pseud.) was one of the few Af- As authors and critics, African American les-
rican American women involved in the pre-Stone- bian writers such as Cheryl Clarke (1947), Jewelle
wall lesbian and gay homophile movement. Al- Gomez (1948), Audre Lorde (19341992), and
ready involved in civil rights politics, Eckstein be- Barbara Smith (1946) have played a particularly
came a leader within Daughters of Bilitis (New York central role in the development of African Ameri-
chapter) and helped organize the East Coast can feminist theory and literature and of a collective

identity among African American lesbians. They During this period, African American lesbians also
A established independent women of color writing
collectives, conferences, publications, and publish-
became more active in lesbian and gay and AIDS
politics, which significantly heightened their vis-
ing institutions, including Azalea collective and ibility in local and national media. Together, these
magazine (fl. 1977); Kitchen Table: Women of developments helped make it possible for many
Color Press (fl. 1981); Conditions: Five, The Black more young and old African American women to
Womens Issue (1979); the Aint I a Woman come out proudly as lesbians, even as they organ-
issue of off our backs (1979); and Home Girls: A ized against antigay political forces that threatened
Black Feminist Anthology (1983). At the same time, their civil and human rights. NTanya R.Lee
many of these women were raising the issues of
sexism and homophobia in broader African Ameri- Bibliography
can community contexts such as the pages of Black Carby, Hazel. It Just Bes Dat Way Sometime: The
Scholar and Essence. Sexual Politics of Womens Blues. In Unequal
Sisters: A Multicultural Reader in U.S. Womens
A National Movement and National Visibility History. 2nd ed. Ed. Vicki L.Ruiz and Ellen Carol
A number of themes characterize the late 1980s Dubois. New York: Routledge, 1994, 330341.
and the 1990s. First, coalitions of African Ameri- Garber, Eric. A Spectacle in Color: The Lesbian
can lesbians and gay men emerged, including the and Gay Subculture of Jazz Age Harlem. In
National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays, Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and
the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Lesbian Past. Eds. Martin Duberman, Martha
Forum, local groups like Detroits James Baldwin Vicinus, and George Chauncey, Jr. New York:
and Pat Parker Society, and the 1995 Black Na- Meridian, 1990, pp. 318331.
tions?/Queer Nations? conference in New York Hansen, Karen V. No Kisses Is Like Youres: An
City. Second, the number of African American les- Erotic Friendship Between Two African Ameri-
bian organizations grew, often moving away from can Women During the Mid-Nineteenth Cen-
the ideological liberation politics of the 1970s and tury. In Lesbian Subjects: A Feminist Studies
putting greater focus on support for coming out. Reader. Ed. Martha Vicinus. Bloomington: In-
Third, the cultural work of African American les- diana University Press, 1996, pp. 178207.
bian and bisexual musicians, poets, African drum- Hine, Darlene Clark, Wilma King, and Linda Reed.
mers, singers, video/filmmakers, and artists flour- We Specialize in the Wholly Impossible: A
ished, helping to strengthen local African Ameri- Reader in Black Womens History. Brooklyn:
can lesbian communities, national networks, and Carlson, 1995.
pride. Fourth, growing political, cultural, regional, Kennedy, Elizabeth Lapovsky, and Madeline D.
and class differences among African American peo- Davis. Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The
ple led to a wider range of African American les- History of a Lesbian Community. New York:
bian communities with their own traditions, insti- Routledge, 1993; Penguin, 1994.
tutions, and notions of lesbian identity. On the West Lorde, Audre. Zami: A New Spelling of My Name.
Coast, the Bay Areas NIA collective instituted an Watertown, Mass.: Persephone, 1982; Freedom,
annual African American lesbian retreat; on the Calif.: Crossing, 1994.
East Coast, many young African American lesbi- Robert, J.R. Black Lesbians: An Annotated Bibli-
ans established and embraced new pro-sex public ography. Tallahassee, Fla.: Naiad, 1981.
spaces for lesbian night life like the Clit Club in Thorpe, Rochella. A House Where Queers Go:
New York City. Finally, the growing national vis- African American Lesbian Nightlife in Detroit,
ibility of individual African American lesbians (and 19401975. In Inventing Lesbian Culture in
gay men) opened up space in the 1980s and 1990s America. Ed. Ellen Lewin. Boston: Beacon,
for the legitimate discussion of homosexuality and 1996, pp. 4061.
homophobia in the African American community.
These individuals include the poet and activist See also Bentley, Gladys; Black Feminism; Blues
Audre Lorde, Essence magazine Executive Editor Singers; Buffalo, New York; Bulldagger; Combahee
Linda Villarosa, musician Meshell Ndegeocello, River Collective; Cornwell, Anita; Dunbar-Nelson,
and Seattle City Council member Sherry Harris (the Alice; Grimk, Angelina Weld; Hampton, Mabel;
first out African American lesbian elected official). Hansberry, Lorraine (Vivian); Harlem; Harlemi

Renaissance; Lorde, Audre; Rainey, Gertrude ter a lifetime of sexism, women receive fewer Social
Ma; Smith, Barbara; Smith, Bessie Security and pension funds than men, or none at
all. They are subject to discriminatory and rationed
medical care (a cutoff age for some services) designed
Ageism to save money. They may be abused both at home
Term coined by Robert Butler, M.D. (1975), a noted and in institutions as government money pours into
geriatric psychiatrist, when referring to discrimina- nursing homes instead of into independent living.
tion by younger people against older people. Old An old man in heterosexual circles can be respected
people are categorized as senile, rigid in thought and for his life experience and sought as a sexual part-
manner, old fashioned in morality and skills. ner. An old woman, no longer useful as a repro-
Ageism allows the younger generations to see older ducer or a sexual object to men, has no further value.
people as different from themselves; thus they sub- Old women also threaten younger women by show-
tly cease to identify their elders as human beings. ing them their future, for, as they become the old
This sets the stage for the systematic and institu- women they so dread, they, too, face the same ageist
tionalized oppression of, and discrimination against, battering to their self-esteem.
the old, which is even more rampant at the end of Old women especially arent allowed the sense
the twentieth century than thirty years before. of individuality, dignity, and respect to which their
As the numbers of old grow larger and the per- life experience and accomplishments should enti-
ceived economic burden of their care grows, the tle them. This occurs in subtle ways, from address-
younger population increasingly believes that care ing them as children to complimenting them on
of the elderly is a luxury it cannot afford. With the not looking their age. The ageist slings in birthday
greatest disparity between rich and poor in history, cards, magazine ads, and television commercials
intergenerational conflict and scapegoating the old are supposed to be borne without comment to
have become a prime way to distract the young avoid being labeled an old witch. To grow old
from the bleak economic realities of their lives. graciously, women must not challenge the ageist
Negative attitudes toward the old also serve to status quo. For lesbians, there is the additional risk
avoid disturbing thoughts of ones own aging and of provoking homophobic reprisals by speaking
dying. Contemporary culture seeks to nullify even- out against ageism. It is small wonder that most
tual death by refusing to look at anything connected old women feel invisible and powerless.
to death or even to use the word. People do not die; In some respects, old lesbians fare better than
they pass on or away. The faces of the old serve old heterosexual women, who are used to depend-
as a fearful reminder that aging is the prelude to ing upon their men. Old lesbians suffer the same
debilitation and death. Growing old is dreaded as devaluation by the society that all women do, but,
the bleak season of perpetual loss, sickness, and never having relied on men in the first place and
depression with only death ahead; this, despite cur- having had to negotiate life in a homophobic world,
rent medical research and personal testimonies show- they have had to learn to be resourceful and self-
ing the increasing likelihood of good health and an reliant, coping skills that have made them true sur-
active, even vigorous, life until shortly before death. vivors. Both old and young lesbians, by their very
Both science and culture focus on the physical as- existence, challenge the power of the patriarchy
pects of aging while ignoring the attributes that can and are, therefore, reviled, but when old lesbians
come with life experience: maturity, wisdom, spir- experience ageism from their own community, that
ituality, and freedom from earlier life constraints. is particularly painful.
The fact that most old people enjoy their independ- Younger lesbians, subject to the same ageist ide-
ent lives with loving and often sexual relationships ology as the rest of society, may share the patriar-
seems to have escaped the notice of most, or, if no- chal view about old women and collude with the
ticed, is seen as the exception. patriarchy to marginalize old lesbians within femi-
In the United States, youth is revered and en- nist and lesbian circles. Macdonald and Rich (1991)
dowed with admired and desirable qualities, while first called attention to this phenomenon of invis-
the old are denigrated and relegated to inferior sta- ibility. Macdonald tells about being ignored in her
tus. While this affects all old people, men are less old age by the same lesbian and feminist groups
affected than women because they have always been who called her sister when she was younger. She
considered more valuable in patriarchal society. Af- deplores the fact that social workers who are dedi

cated to helping the old are themselves rampantly on the effects of aging on lesbians. Some research
A ageist. Playing the role of expert, they frequently
treat their clients as children.
has been done in the United States and in the Neth-
erlands, but samples have been small and tend not
Copper (1988) also addresses the shunning of to show much social or racial variation. Results
the old within the society of women. She tells her demonstrate, however, that the position of aging
personal story of how it feels to be ignored by lesbians is, to a large extent, determined by the
younger women, including lesbians and feminists, position of women and of homosexuality within
and speaks to the difficulty of getting them to see society at large.
the ageist nature of their words and actions. She
contends that this is a result of age passing, which Demographic Factors
promotes denial about their own ageism. The The process of biological aging runs along a prede-
young and middle aged cannot accept that they termined course, although the interval of time be-
are ageist and seek to explain it all away by saying, tween different stages depends on the general level
I didnt mean it that way! of health in the societies concerned. In many coun-
Contemporary society is becoming increasingly tries, the official retirement or pension age of
ageist and homophobic, and this is becoming more sixtyfive marks the onset of socially recognized old
of a problem to old lesbians. Macdonald and Cop- age. In some societies, women over fifty-five are re-
per call attention to this and call for confronting garded as young old. In Western societies, seri-
ageism in all of its subtleties as the only viable ous health problems usually start at about seventy-
course of action for old lesbians. five to eighty years, leaving pensioners, in theory,
Taking the lead in this struggle is Old Lesbians about ten years of relative good health. From sev-
Organizing for Change (OLOC), a national organi- enty-five to eighty, the old old start to get health
zation of lesbians over sixty whose mission is to afflictions, such as mobility problems, that tend to
confront ageism wherever it exists as it strives to affect their normal functioning adversely. Women
empower old lesbians to become a visible, vocal tend to have more chronic diseases than men.
force. Nancy D.Davis Many Western societies have experienced a dra-
Shevy Healey matic increase in the number of individuals who
survive to old age. In most countries, for a variety
Bibliography of reasons, men die a few years earlier than women,
Butler, Robert. Why Survive: The Old in America. which makes for an unequal male/female ratio that
New York: Harper and Row, 1975. can rise as high as 1:4 for the eighties age group.
Copper, Baba. Over the Hill: Reflections on Ageism The result of this is that there are probably more
Between Women. Freedom, Calif.: Crossing, old lesbians than old gay men, although old lesbi-
1988. ans tend to be more invisible. Nevertheless, even
Friedan, Betty. The Fountain of Age. New York: populous countries may have a low density of les-
Simon and Schuster, 1993. bians, which makes it difficult to organize regular
Macdonald, Barbara, with Cynthia Rich. Look Me neighborhood meetings in many places.
in the Eye: Old Women Aging and Ageism. San Each generation of people experiences different
Francisco: Spinster Ink, 1991. events that greatly affect the life history. These co-
Old Lesbians Organizing for Change (OLOC), PO hort effects are similar for many people within that
Box 980422, Houston, TX 77098, an organi- generation and different for people of other genera-
zation for lesbians sixty and older. tions. Some of these events affect all people of that
generation; others are peculiar to lesbians and gays
See also Aging only. For example, the generation of people reach-
ing old age at the end of the twentieth century was
born between 1910 and 1930. They experienced
Aging economic crises in their adolescence, World War II
Biological process of maturation that affects eve- in their early adulthood, and the beginning of the
ryone sooner or later. Aging involves many differ- liberation of homosexuality in their early middle age.
ent factors, some of which are the same for every- In the 1950s, the United States went through a pe-
one regardless of sexual orientation, while others riod dominated by the reactionary politics of Sena-
are specific to lesbians. Little research has been done tor Joseph McCarthy, which made homosexuality

an un-American activity. In European countries, mitment to a dyadic relationship have been shown
the conservative backlash after the war and its re- to be the happiest and best adjusted.
turn to traditional values meant the forced re- Many women of this generation have been mar-
turn of women into the home under strong social ried and have children (and grandchildren). Many
pressure to marry. In countries such as the Nether- have been through a divorce, while others are wid-
lands, participation of women in the labor market ows. They came in mid-life to lesbianism through
was very low, leaving only low-paid part-time jobs feminism in the 1970s. Although many women still
with no pension scheme for many women. recognize some difference in role between partners,
There have been great changes in the social posi- strict butch-femme roles seem to have gone out of
tion of homosexuality during the life course of many fashion. Age differences between partners are com-
people. In experiencing these changes, they differ mon, however.
both from the generation before them, who lived all Many aging lesbians live alone or have living-
of their lives in total invisibility about their lesbian- apart relationships. Living alone affects their lives
ism, and from the generation after them, who were to a large extent: in the amount of care they might
confronted with more openness about sexuality in need and in their financial and mental-health situ-
general and the possibility of coming out. ation. These women usually lived a life of serial
Early research into the position of aging lesbians monogamy, which has now come to an end. In con-
portrayed them stereotypically as lonely and pa- trast to gay men, lesbians tend to establish their
thetic freakish figures, rejected by their families and sexuality through a love relationship and change
hiding out of shame (Kehoe 1988). The emphasis partners every four to seven years; gay men tend to
on youth culture supposedly produced a process of separate sex from intimacy and emotional attrac-
accelerated aging when youth could no longer be tion and are usually in long-term, nonmonogamous
maintained. In fact, many researchers since have relationships.
stressed that life development is not affected by There is not much literature available on the sexu-
sexual orientation per se but by social stigma. Cop- ality of aging women, and what is available is by no
ing with stigma seems a good predictor for success- means unequivocal about the influence of the aging
ful aging. Furthermore, most literature suggests that process on sexuality of women. According to some
gender exerts a greater influence on behavior than authors, sexuality increases after menopause; accord-
does sexual orientation. In other words, the salient ing to others, it diminishes. Probably some changes
factor in the aging of lesbians may be that they are do occur as the result of physiological changes, but
women, not that they are homosexual. factual changes are the result of social circumstances
and gender-specific life patterns. Those who always
Aging Lesbians in Contemporary Societies have been sexually active will probably continue to
Research done on aging lesbians in the United States be so. The fact that many aging lesbians are not able
suggests that most lesbians have been highly edu- to find a partner, however, is instrumental in them
cated and were, therefore, employed mainly in pro- not having sex. Kehoe found that 53 percent of her
fessional jobs with concomitant incomes. This may research group had not had any sexual contact dur-
be, in part, a research bias since those who are more ing the previous yearmost of them unwillingly
highly educated tend to be more organized and out- against only 6 percent of a gay male sample.
spoken in surveys. In many countries, the socioeco- Although many aging lesbians believe that they
nomic position of women throughout the twentieth have lived active lives, in the Netherlands many
century was such that, although they might have also reported feeling restless and depressed. This
been self-supporting for most of their lives, in fact reflects the fact that they have difficulty in adjust-
single women have a substantially lower income than ing to living alone with little money rather than
men or married women. Women typically earned not being able to cope with old age as such.
30 percent less than men; pension schemes were The reduction of loneliness and isolation, there-
usually not geared toward single women, who lack fore, seems of prime concern for aging lesbians.
the husbands pension that married women have. Much importance must be attached to friendships
In the Netherlands, 25 percent of aging lesbians live and support networks, which usually serve as sub-
on or under the social minimum. stitutes for traditional families. Many lesbians do
Elderly lesbians and elderly gay men tend to not get on very well with their families nor with
associate mainly with others like themselves. their heterosexual surroundings. They are not in-
Closed-coupled homosexuals with a strong com- terested in senior programs. Although most lesbians

rely heavily on their personal networks of (lesbian) Thorp Tully, C. What Do Midlife Lesbians View
A friends for emotional, social, and instrumental sup-
port, these networks can be small and one sided
as Important? Journal of Gay and Lesbian
Psychotherapy 1 (1989), 87103.
and are, therefore, vulnerable.
The invisibility of old lesbians also leads to prob- See also Ageism
lems when care is needed. In the United States, old
lesbians indicated that they wanted more recogni-
tion and support from official organizations, espe- AIDS (Acquired Immune
cially medical institutions. Most women rely on care Deficiency Syndrome)
provided by their closest friends, when available. An incurable disease that first appeared in the
Shifts in the national care systems from institutional United States in 1978 and killed more than 400,000
care to care by friends and neighbors and back again Americans during the next twenty years.
affect their ability to cope to a large extent. AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency
When asked about their housing preferences in virus (HIV), which destroys the bodys defense sys-
later life, many lesbians will suggest some form of tem against bacteria, viruses, and cancers. A per-
communal housing. Experiments with this have not son infected with HIV usually develops antibodies
proved very successful. Differences in money and within six months; a positive HIV test means that
antibodies to HIV are present. An HIV-positive
the effects of official regulations on housing all seem
person can remain healthy for many years before
to thwart initiatives.
developing any of the numerous opportunistic in-
fections, tumors, or neurological diseases that lead
Successful Aging
to a diagnosis of having AIDS.
The term successful aging refers to those proc-
At first, Karposis sarcoma (KS) and Pneumo-
esses of adaptation that contribute to optimal de-
cystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) were the primary
velopment in later life. Successful aging is de-
indicators of AIDS, but, by the late 1980s, dozens
pendent upon acceptance of homosexuality. The
of other infections were associated with AIDS. Be-
more positively homosexuality is integrated into cause AIDS first appeared in the United States in
the lifestyle, the more successful aging usually is. intravenous-drug users and gay and bisexual men,
Most researches show a general acceptance of the conditions that most commonly affected men were
aging process by lesbians. Flexibility of sex roles is first recognized. Lesbian pressure led the Centers
regarded as an asset in the process of coping with for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, to
aging. In the United States, a high level of involve- recognize infections common in HIV-positive
ment in the gay community is seen as instrumental women as indicators of AIDS.
in this process. Judith Schuyf Early in the AIDS epidemic, a positive HIV test
was considered a nearly certain prediction of de-
Bibliography veloping AIDS and dying within ten to fifteen years.
Kehoe, Monika. Lesbians over 60 Speak for Them- By the late 1990s, protease-inhibiting drugs and
selves. New York and London: Harrington, 1988. other treatments significantly extended the life ex-
Lee, John Alan, ed. Gay Midlife and Maturity. pectancy of some HIV-positive people, to the point
Journal of Homosexuality 20:34 (1990) (Spe- that AIDS was no longer considered necessarily
cial Issue). fatal. However, these drugs were very expensive,
Reid, James D. Development in Late Life: Older not universally available, and not always effective.
Lesbian and Gay Lives. In Lesbian, Gay, and Research late in the 1990s suggested that a vaccine
Bisexual Identities Over the Lifespan: Psycho- against HIV infection might someday be developed.
logical Perspectives. Ed. Anthony R. dAugelli
and Charlotte J.Patterson. New York: Oxford HIV Transmission
University Press, 1995, pp. 215240. HIV is present in certain body fluids (blood, semen,
Rossi, Alice S., ed. Sexuality Across the Life Course. and vaginal fluid) of an infected person in sufficient
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994. quantities to spread the disease if this body fluid
Schuyf, J. Oud Roze: Homoseksuele Ouderen in gets into the bloodstream of another person. (Also,
Nederland (Old Rose: The Position of Aging breast milk plays a role in transmitting HIV from
Gays and Lesbians in Dutch Society). Utrecht: an infected mother to her baby.) HIV can travel
Homostudies Utrecht, 1996. through intact mucous membranes and through cuts

in the skin. It dies quickly when exposed to air or and sex with bisexual men. (However, many lesbi-
temperature changes, and immunoglobulin A in sa- ans were skeptical of the CDC studies on woman-
liva has a neutralizing effect on HIV. Anal intercourse to-woman HIV transmission because, in its first
and sharing of injection-drug needles are the most four studies, the CDC defined lesbian as a
common methods of spreading HIV infection. woman who had sex only with women since 1978.
Penisvagina intercourse also poses high risk for While this was an important distinction for scien-
spreading HIV. (AIDS is more easily sexually trans- tific purposes, it did not match the common, much
mitted from a man to a woman than from a woman broader, definition of lesbian.)
to a man.) Other sexual activities that might get body In the 1990s, AIDS was no longer tightly clus-
fluid from an HIV-infected person into the body of tered in subgroups of the U.S. population, and in-
a partner can also be risky. Some health-care work- creasing numbers of women had a friend, lover, co-
ers have been infected with HIV through accidental worker, client, child, or parent infected with HIV
needle pricks. A few cases of HIV transmission There was no longer division in the lesbian commu-
through cuts, scratches, and bloody fistfights have nity between those involved with AIDS and those
been documented, and a few cases of suspected not, because the epidemic touched everyones life.
woman-to-woman sexual transmission of HIV have Many early AIDS activists moved on to other work,
also been reported but not proven. while many lesbians who had previously avoided
To prevent the spread of AIDS, safe-sex cam- AIDS work found that their career paths or personal
paigns in the 1980s encouraged gay men and oth- lives were affected by the epidemic in the 1990s.
ers to use condoms, and injection-drug users were Some lesbians say that working with gay men
taught to use bleach to clean shared needles. By on AIDS issues improved lesbians sex lives, be-
the 1990s, safer-sex messages included awareness cause mens uninhibited, playful, and abundant
of other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexual energy was a welcome contrast to the mor-
various safer-sex behaviors, but latex condoms re- alistic just say no message that dominated the
mained the most important tool for preventing the American response to STDs in the 1980s. Safer-
spread of AIDS. sex education encouraged women and men to talk
explicitly about sexual activity and to experiment
Lesbians and AIDS with new sexual styles. However, fear of AIDS put
Since early in the AIDS epidemic, many lesbians a damper on many womens sex lives, particularly
contributed strong leadership in providing services those confused about how transmission might oc-
to AIDS patients, doing political organizing to se- cur. Sexologists note that the beginning of the AIDS
cure funding for research and education, and build- epidemic marked the end of the sexual revolution
ing coalitions among gay men, injection-drug us- of the 1960s and 1970s, that brief period in hu-
ers, people of color, prisoners, and other groups man history when all common STDs were curable,
heavily affected by the disease. or at least treatable, with modern medicine.
Noting early research that indicated that HIV AIDS activism had a unifying effect on the gay
was unlikely to be spread by woman-to-woman community late in the twentieth century. In the
sex, other lesbians saw AIDS as primarily a gay 1970s, most lesbians and gay men existed in very
male concern and focused their energies on issues different political and social circles. Gay rights ac-
more directly affecting women, such as breast can- tivism after the Stonewall Rebellion (1969) was
cer, ecofeminism, equal employment opportunity, dominated by men, while 1970s political lesbians
and ending violence against women. In the 1980s were primarily immersed in feminist causes. By the
and 1990s, many more women became involved late 1990s, many gay organizations had gender-bal-
in gay politics and culture, partly as a result of the anced memberships and leadership. This was partly
gaps left by gay men who were dying from or fight- the result of gay women and men learning to work
ing AIDS. together during the first two decades of the AIDS
In the 1990s, research confirmed that woman- epidemic, and the feminist consciousness that many
to-woman sex was not a common way of spread- lesbians brought to that work. Marcia Munson
ing HIV, but other research showed that certain
groups of women who have sex with women Bibliography
(WSW) were at risk of HIV infection because of McIlvenna, Ted, ed. The Complete Guide to Safer
their high rates of injection-drug use, sex for money, Sex. Fort Lee: Barricade, 1992.


Merrifield, Margaret, M.D. Come Sit by Me. To- rather than from the population at large. This fact,
A ronto, Ont.: Womens Press, 1990.
Schneider, Beth, and Nancy Stoller. Women Resist-
together with the often very small sample used in
such studies, has skewed research results in certain
ing AIDS. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, predictable ways.
1995. Hughes and Wilsnack cite a 1989 study by D.J.
Shilts, Randy. And the Band Played On: Politics, McKirnan and P.L.Peterson in which 748 lesbians
People, and the AIDS Epidemic. New York: St. and 2,652 gay men took part. Their findings point
Martins, 1987. to three possible generalizations. First, while lesbi-
Stoller, Nancy. Lessons from the Damned. New ans and gay men were not overrepresented among
York: Routledge, 1998. heavy drinkers in general, they reported rates of
alcohol problems that were almost twice as high
See also Activism; Community Organizing; Health; as those reported by the general population. (One
Safer Sex; Sexually Transmitted Diseases might speculate that at least one reason for this
high level of reporting might come from the gen-
eral support within lesbian and gay communities
Alcohol and Substance Abuse for recovery of all sorts. Such an atmosphere might
Generally understood to be a state of uncontrollable well facilitate a persons self-definition of various
dependency on liquor. Some of the most common problematic behaviors.) Second, levels of alcohol
characteristics of an alcoholic are use of alcohol to problems among homosexuals were similar across
blunt negative feelings and to heighten positive feel- sexes. Third, alcohol problems for lesbians and gay
ings; a gradual but inevitable increase in amounts men did not decline with age, a finding similar to
drunk and frequency of use; loss of concentration; the pattern described in the National Lesbian
depression; inability to form intimate relationships Health Care Survey conducted by Caitlin Ryan and
with people (because ones intimate relationship is Judith Bradford and published in 1987 by the
with ones bottle); blackouts or failures of memory National Gay and Lesbian Health Foundation.
for periods of time; and general loss of interest in Hughes and Wilsnack argue that future research
usual social and recreational activities. The same char- on the subject of lesbians and alcoholism (or drug
acteristics are used to describe individuals whose de- abuse) could be strengthened by including ques-
pendency is on drugs rather than alcohol. tions about sexual orientation in all health surveys
for women to determine similarities and differences
Research on Lesbians and Alcoholism between lesbians and heterosexual women. Addi-
The most common understanding about lesbians tionally, future studies must be based on larger,
and alcoholism is that a disproportionate percent- more representative samples of lesbians (for exam-
age of lesbians in the United States have histories ple, different age groups, income and education
of abusing alcohol (and other drugs). This fact of- levels, and ethnic minorities). Finally, such studies
ten adds grist to the mills of those who disapprove should explore lesbians patterns of alcohol use
of lesbianism as a way of life. They conclude either over time so as to detect any apparent differences
that lesbianism is so debilitating that it drives its in drinking patterns between older lesbians and
practitioners to drink or that the high incidence of older heterosexual women.
alcoholism and drug dependence within lesbian What this list of historically unaddressed research
communities signals the immorality of such a life. variables makes clear is just how little is truly known
In an article entitled Research on Lesbians and about lesbians use and abuse of alcohol and other
Alcohol: Gaps and Implications, Hughes and drugs. But, even allowing for the dubiety currently
Wilsnack (1994) argue that such data are ques- associated with pronouncements that as many as
tionable. Not only have almost all studies focusing one-third of lesbians studied drink heavily or are
on women and alcoholism until very recently used outright alcoholics, it remains the case that the
male alcoholics as the basis for interpreting data, societal context within which women discover their
but virtually no such studies distinguish between lesbianism remains critical, if not dangerously re-
heterosexual and lesbian women with histories of pressive. It also remains the case that large numbers
alcohol and/or drug abuse. Furthermore, women of such women hide their lesbianism from self and
surveyed for such studies most often have been others out of well-grounded fears, ignorance, and
drawn from populations in drug treatment centers uncertainties. Therefore, attention must be paid to


the psychosocial and historical realities faced by itself than with whether the people involved are
women dealing with issues of lesbian identity. lesbian or heterosexual. Comparable research deal-
ing with heterosexual battery yields similar or even
Cultural Context higher degrees of correlation between the abuse of
Rather than take such an individualistic approach, alcohol and other drugs and the abuse of ones
which inevitably blames the victim, one might partner, girlfriend, or spouse.
analyze this perception systemically, looking to the In the 1970s, with the emphasis on lesbian cul-
social and cultural context within which lesbians ture and pride, much emphasis began to be placed
attempt to make lives and careers. Many people lead- on recovery from alcoholism. Special treatment
ing a secret life, hiding integral aspects of their emo- programs in which lesbian sexuality, history, and
tional and/or sexual identities, resort to some kind achievements were celebrated sprang up across the
of numbing device to manage the pain of such country; lesbian meetings of Alcoholics Anony-
choices. For many lesbians, historically, this numb- mous (AA) began to flower in most metropolitan
ing process has involved an overuse of alcohol (and, centers; and lesbian communities themselves sought
more recently, other drugs as well). In U.S. culture, alternative locations to the bars for social contact.
alcoholism in the general population has reached A pioneering center for this recovery movement
alarming proportions. Available at every turn, alco- was Minneapolis, Minnesota, which in 1972
hol seems almost required as part of usual social opened one of the first lesbian and gay treatment
contact. The dangers of this tacit sanction of drink- centers (Christopher Street by name) and which
ing for women trying to handle homoerotic feelings still operates a private agency, Pride Institute, to
is obvious. If the individual lesbian is out to herself which lesbians from all over the United States come
but to no one else, alcohol is an easily available route to sober up. Similar programs elsewhere remain
to feeling less torn and frightened about her se- viable sites within which lesbians can begin the long
cret. If she is not out to herselfthat is, if she de- and painful process of detachment, first from al-
nies her feelings for women out of a need to behave cohol and other addictive chemicals and, eventu-
as all of the institutions in her world expect her to ally, from the harmful internalized messages about
alcohol supplies the fog within which to continue themselves as human beings.
her living her heterosexual charade. Alcohol also In conclusion, while it is clear that many re-
can make it easier for her to engage in heterosexual search findings are unrealiable, it is equally clear
relationships, since having a few drinks can blunt that discovering and living out a lesbian sexuality
feelings enough to permit the requisite interactions and politics are fraught with enough social stigma
between her and her latest male partner. and disapprobation to make numbing ones feel-
A measure of the place of alcohol within lesbian ings through the use of alcohol a genuine option
life can be found through a study of lesbian fiction for too many women. Toni A.H.McNaron
since 1940. In a majority of such novels, lesbians
drink (and smoke) with regularity and frequency. Bibliography
The beverage of choice and the locations in which Hall, Joanne M. Lesbians and Alcohol: Patterns
they are consumed vary according to the class and and Paradoxes in Medical Notions and Lesbian
personality of the characters involved. At times, the Beliefs. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 25:2
scene is a dark, smoke-filled bar owned often by (1993), 109119.
voyeuristic and prejudiced men. At other times, les- Hughes, Tonda L., and Sharon C.Wilsnack. Re-
bian characters dressed in tailored slacks and open- search on Lesbians and Alcohol: Gaps and Im-
necked silk shirts sip cocktails or mixed drinks in plications. Alcohol Health and Research World
one anothers homes. If people find role models in 18:3 (1994), 202205.
the literature they read, then women certainly are Nicholoff, Lee K., and Eloise A.Stiglitz. Lesbian
encouraged to take up a glass, a bottle, or a can of Alcoholism: Etiology, Treatment, and Recovery.
something alcoholic as part of becoming a lesbian. In Lesbian Psychologies. Urbana and Chicago:
Researchers studying battery and other forms University of Illinois Press, 1987, pp. 283293.
of physical abuse within lesbian relationships find Schilit, Rebecca, Gwat-Yong Lie, and Marilyn
a high degree of correlation between violence and Montagne. Substance Use as a Correlate of
the overuse of alcohol. Once again, however, this Violence in Lesbian Relationships. Journal of
statistic has more to do with the nature of violence Homosexuality 19:3 (1990), 5165.

A L C O H O L A N D S U B S TA N C E A B U S E 23
Underbill, Brenda L. Recovery Needs of Lesbian be enormously popular from the beginning, with
A Alcoholics in Treatment. In Feminist Perspec-
tives on Addiction. Ed. Nan Van Den Bergh.
annual audiences totaling in the millions, although
only the former continues to stage year-round re-
New York: Springer, 1991, pp. 7386. vues. All-female revues have stimulated the organi-
Weathers, B. Alcoholism and the Lesbian Com- zation of hundreds of fan clubs, most of which are
munity. In Alternative Services for Women. Ed. segregated by sex. Contrary to the prevailing view,
Naomi Gottlieb. New York: Columbia Univer- male fans make up a significant percentage of the
sity Press, 1980, pp. 158169. adoring audience, although the majority of, and
the most visible and problematic, fans are fe-
See also Recovery Movement males, from teenagers to senior citizens. Many all-
male fan clubs double as powerful business net-
works. Fan clubs often stage their own revues
All-Female Revues (Japan) modeled after Takarazuka and, in this capacity,
Eclectic type of musical-theater performance charac- provide members with an opportunity to experi-
terized by montage, or the linkage of apparently un- ment freely with different gender roles without any
sexual or political strings attached.
related events and phenomena. The public spectacle
Takarazuka productions include Japanese-style
of all-female revues has simultaneously disturbed and
classical dramas and historical subjects, such as the
reinforced the dominant sex-gender system across
Tale of Genji; European-style and Broadway-based
cultural areas since the late nineteenth century. In
performances, such as Mon Paris and West Side
Japan, the all-female Takarazuka Revue has fueled
Story; and folk dances from all over the world. In
the heated debate concerning the relationship among
their roles as men and women, the actors both up-
sex, gender, and sexuality since its first performance
hold the dominant ideal of heterosexuality and in-
in 1914, and continues to mediate the tension be-
form a lesbian (butch-femme-like) subcultural style.
tween a normative (hetero)sexual text and an uncon-
The revue continues to attract the attention of the
ventional (homo)sexual subtext. Inspired at home by mass media, although the charges leveled at the ac-
the nearly four-hundred-year-old all-male Kabuki tors of moral depravity and abnormal sexual
theater and the girls and boys bands that entertained desire are much more muted than they were in the
customers at the larger department stores, Takarazuka first half of the twentieth century, reflecting not a
founder Kobayashi Ichiz (18731957) was also in- greater acceptance of lesbianism, but the revues
fluenced by the chorus girls in Europe and the stricter conditions for media coverage. Takarazuka
United States. These included the English burlesque has influenced the emergence and popularity of vari-
pantomimes, with their cross-dressed cast of young ous all-female performing-arts groups active in Ja-
women, and the Gaiety Girl, who flourished between pan today, including drumming ensembles, Kabuki
the late 1860s and 1910 and who was joined by the troupes, alternative and feminist theaters, and
Tiller Girls and the Bluebell Girls, two long-lasting palanquin-shrine (mikoshi) bearers. Most of these
troupes that specialized in vigorous, tightly coordi- groups are able to challenge the status quo more
nated line dances. The French can-can dancers and consciously than did or does the revue itself.
risqu performers of the Folies Bergre also influenced Jennifer E.Robertson
the Japanese impresario. They, along with the
Hoffman Girls and the Blackbirds, a troupe of black Bibliography
artistes in France, added to the cachet of naughti- Robertson, Jennifer E. Takarazuka: Sexual Poli-
ness attached to all-female stage shows. Kobayashis tics and Popular Culture in Modern Japan.
familiarity with Western theater extended to the Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.
American Ziegfeld Follies, whose opulent revues
opened in July 1907, and today comparisons are See also Cross-Dressing; Japan
drawn between Takarazuka and the high-kicking
Radio City Rockettes, formed in 1925.
Takarazuka, Japans premier all-female revue, Allan, Maud (18731956)
spawned more than a dozen copycat troupes, most Modern dance pioneer. Born Maud Durrant in
notably the Shchiku Revue, founded in 1928, Canada, she moved with her family to California
which quickly became Takarazukas main rival in six years later. In the early twentieth century, she
every respect. Takarazuka and Shchiku proved to danced throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and

24 A L C O H O L A N D S U B S TA N C E A B U S E
North America, but with greatest success in Eng- Verna Aldrich (ca. 1890s1970), her secretary/com-
land. In 1908, she gave more than 250 perform- panion, with whom she lived for at least ten years.
ances in London, including her Vision of Salome. In 1941, she returned to the United States, where
Her fame briefly exceeded that of Isadora Duncan the New York Times identified her as the dancer
(18781927), to whom she was compared fre- whose Salome was once considered sensational.
quently. She was patronized by high society, in- Lucy Bland
cluding royalty, Prime Minister Herbert Asquith
(18521928), and his wife, Margot (18641945). Bibliography
Margot Asquith had a close relationship with Bland, Lucy. Trial by Sexology? Maud Allan,
Maud Allan, paying for her expensive London Salome, and the 1918 Cult of the Clitoris
apartment for many years. Case. In Sexology in Culture: Labelling Bod-
In 1918, Allan brought a libel case against the ies and Desires. Ed. Lucy Bland and Laura
independent Member of Parliament Noel Pemerton- Doan. London: Polity, 1998, pp. 183198.
Billing (18811948). In January of that year, with Cherniavsky, Felix. The Salome Dancer: The Life
World War I still under way, his newspaper had and Times of Maud Allan. Toronto: McClelland
announced that the Germans held a Black Book
and Stewart, 1991.
containing the names of 47,000 British citizens who,
Hoare, Philip. Wildes Last Stand: Decadence,
as sexual perverts, were open to blackmail. In
Conspiracy, and the First World War. London:
February, he printed an article headed The Cult of
Duckworth, 1997.
the Clitoris that suggested that many of those would
Kettle, Michael. Salomes Last Veil: The Libel Case
be attending a forthcoming private performance of
of the Century. London and New York: Gre-
Oscar Wildes (18541900) play Salome and that
nada, 1977.
named Allan as the central performer. Allan took
Travis, Jennifer. Clits in Court: Salome, Sodomy,
the reference to the clitoris as implying that she
and the Lesbian Sadist. In Lesbian Erotics.
was a lesbian.
During the trial, Allan was discredited in a Ed. Karla Jay. New York: New York University
number of ways. A history of two sexual murders Press, 1995, pp. 147163.
committed by her brother more than twenty years
earlier was presented as evidence of hereditary See also Clitoris; Sadomasochism
sadism. Moreover, since the play involves Salomes
unrequited obsession with the imprisoned John the
Baptist (called Johannan in Wildes version) and her Allen, Paula Gunn (1939)
demand for his head, it was argued that any woman Native American scholar, poet, and novelist. Allen
acting the part of Salome would have to be a sadist. is one of the most important American Indian intel-
Allans knowledge of certain terms, in particu- lectuals and writers of the twentieth century. Her
lar clitoris and sadism, further discredited her, scholarship on Native American understandings of
since possession of such knowledge was taken as a two-spirits (American Indians who are lesbian,
sure sign of sexual perversion. Although the rela- gay, bisexual, or transgendered) represents some of
tionship between the clitoris and lesbianism was the most significant work on the subject, laying the
never made explicit, one defense witness described groundwork for more accurate and culturally rel-
the clitoris as a superficial organ that, when un- evant research in this area. Her poetry and fiction
duly excited or overdeveloped, possessed the most occasionally feature gay and lesbian themes as well.
dreadful influence on any woman. By implication, Born Paula Marie Francis in Cubero, New
lesbianism or sadism could be the result. Mexico, Allen is of Laguna, Lakota, Scottish, and
Toward the end of the trial, Pemberton-Billing Lebanese heritages. At the University of Oregon,
suddenly denied that he had called Allan a lesbian. she earned a B.A. in literature in 1966 and an
He now claimed that all he had meant was that M.F.A. in creative writing two years later. She went
she consorted with sexual perverts. The jury voted on to attain a Ph.D. in American studies from the
in Pemberton-Billings favor, and Allan was con- University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, in 1975.
demned not as a lesbian, but as a sadist. The trial A professor of Native American studies, womens
did not advance the British publics understanding studies, and English, she has taught at several uni-
of lesbianism. versities, most notably, the University of Califor-
In the late 1920s, Allan became the lover of nia at Berkeley and at Los Angeles.


tion in gay and lesbian communities on the West
A Coast, where she has lived on and off for many
years. That Allen has been married to both men
and women is not surprising in light of the cul-
tural understandings of many Native communities.
As she herself has written, in Intricate Passions: I
am not especially defined by my sex life, nor com-
plete without it. Mary C.Churchill

Donovan, Kathleen M. Feminist Readings of Na-
tive American Literature: Coming to Voice.
Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1998.
Hansen, Elizabeth. Paula Gunn Allen. Boise, Idaho:
Boise State University Press, 1990.
Holford, Vanessa. Re-Membering Ephanie: A
Womans Re-Creation of Self in Paula Gunn
Allens The Woman Who Owned the Shadows,
Studies in American Indian Literatures 61
(Spring 1994), 99113.
Keating, AnaLouise. Women Reading Women
Paula Gunn Allen. Photo by Tama Rothschild. Used Writing: Self-Invention in Paula Gunn Allen,
with permission of Paula Gunn Allen.
Gloria Anzalda, andAudre Lorde. Philadel-
phia: Temple University Press, 1996.
As a scholar, Allen is probably most well known
Van Dyke, Annette. The Journey Back to Female
for two groundbreaking books: Studies in Ameri-
Roots: A Laguna Pueblo Model. In Lesbian
can Indian Literature: Critical Essays and Course
Texts and Contexts: Radical Revisions. Ed.
Designs (1983), which she edited, and The Sacred
Karla Jay and Joanne Glasgow. New York: New
Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian
York University Press, 1990, pp. 339354.
Traditions (1986). Her work as a creative writer in-
cludes one novel, The Woman Who Owned the See also Native Americans; Two-Spirit
Shadows (1983), and seven collections of poetry.
In both nonfiction and fiction, Allen has ad-
dressed Native American lesbian and gay ways of Amazons
life. Her essay Hwame, Koshkalaka, and the Rest: A matriarchal tribe of warrior women first repre-
Lesbians in American Indian Cultures published sented in ancient Greek myth and rewritten in the
in The Sacred Hoop remains an important contri- contemporary era by feminists and lesbians as an
bution to the field. She also has written several po- identity opposed to patriarchy and an original sepa-
ems with lesbian and gay themes, including ratist culture. The historical status of Amazons
Koshkalaka, Ceremonial Dyke and Never Cry whether they existed as real women in the ancient
Uncle, Some Like Indians Endure, and Beloved Greek world or were a fantastic patriarchal crea-
Women. Ravens Road, a novel in progress, also tionremains a point of scholarly and feminist
features a Native American lesbian character. Chap- contention. This has not prevented strong identifi-
ters of this novel have appeared as Deep Purple cations within lesbian feminist circles.
(Spider Womans Granddaughters: Traditional First named in Homers Iliad (ca. 750700
Tales and Contemporary Writing by Native Ameri- B.C.E.), Amazons proliferated in the official histo-
can Women [1989]), Selections from Ravens ries and geographies of the ancient Athenian city-
Road (Living the Spirit: A Gay American Indian state, as well as in its poetry, vase painting, and
Anthology [1989]), and The Medicine Song of architecture. Feminist scholars read these myths as
Allie Hawker (Intricate Passions: A Collection of serving a patriarchal project of the colonial expan-
Erotic Short Fiction [1988]). sion of ancient Athens. They managed citizen-mens
Allen is important not only because of her writ- fears of potential uprisings among their women
ing on two-spirits, but also because of her participa- and slaves, by showing the Athenian male hero


always killing or marrying the barbarian, sexu- Healy, Eloise Klein. This Place Named for
ally deviant Amazons. Similarly motivated Califia. In Artemis in Echo Park. Ithaca, N.Y.:
regenerations of Amazon myths appear through- Firebrand, 1991, p. 37.
out Western history, especially during European Johnston, Jill. Lesbian Nation: The Feminist Solu-
discoveries of the New World. Small (1991) tion. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1973.
writes of Amazons spotted by Christopher Montrose, Louis. The Work of Gender in the
Columbus (14511506) and other Spanish explor- Discourse of Discovery. Representations 33
ers, and Montrose (1991) examines how and why (Winter 1991), 141.
the British Empire had explorers mapping Ama- Salmonson, Jessica Amanda. The Encyclopedia of
zons during Queen Elizabeth Is reign (15581603). Amazons: Woman Warriors from Antiquity to
Despite scholarly historical alignment of Ama- the Modern Era. New York: Doubleday, 1991.
zons with patriarchal myth, contemporary lesbi- Small, Deborah with Maggie Jaffe. 1492: Whats
ans have identified with the Amazon. Hers is a fe- It Like to Be Discovered? New York: Monthly
male body that suggests distinctly different quali- Review Press, 1991.
ties from the dominant cultures insistence on wom- Zeitlin, Froma. The Dynamics of Misogyny: Myth
ens natural dependence on men and the hetero- and Myth Making in the Oresteia. In Women in
sexual family. Seen as a strong, independent war- the Ancient World: The Arethusa Papers. Ed. John
rior, the Amazon counters the traditional, passive Peradotto and J.P.Sullivan. Albany: State Univer-
feminine body, often being depicted as an athletic sity of New York Press, 1984, pp. 159194.
or androgynous figure.
The tribal, nationalist aspect of classical Ama- See also Brossard, Nicole; Johnston, Jill; Wittig,
zons has well suited separatist arrangements of Monique
woman-identified culture set apart from men. The
phrase Amazon nation has broadly circulated
since the mid-1970s to describe lesbian subculture, American Literature, Nineteenth Century
as the woman-only culture of the Amazons is seen Because open expression of lesbian emotion was
as an original example of lesbian separatism. even less acceptable in the nineteenth century than
Johnston (1973) suggests the need for a return to it has been in the twentieth, affecting not only what
the harmony of statehood and biology through the could be published but censoring presumably pri-
remembered majesties of women, in her last chap- vate documents such as letters and diaries, ques-
ter, Archdykes and Amazons. Writers often ex- tions of evidence surround any discussion of the
press this separatist vision through the mythic link imaginative record of its representation. While the
between Amazons and islands, mapping the neces- work of sexologists such as Richard von Krafft-
sity of separation from dominant culture. Qubec Ebing (18401902) and Havelock Ellis (1859
author Nicole Brossard (1943) and French novel- 1939), by creating the category of the homosexual,
ist Monique Wittig (1935) favor the island meta- may have produced a certain self-consciousness in
phor in their important poetic fictions. And in This the portrayal of relations between women in the
Place Named for Califia, poet Healy (1991) takes last quarter of the nineteenth century, one must
over the Spanish and American mythology that first remember that they aimed at codifying and
imagined California as ruled by a black Amazonian analyzing identities and behaviors understood to
queen, Califia: that island, floating like the leg- be already in existence. Thus, though the record is
ends ahead of an exploring army./The story of the clearer for the second half of the century than for
women beyond/the river, the fall, or like this/ place, the first, if one invokes aggressive reading strate-
the island of women/living without men just beyond/ gies as a justifiable approach to decoding the se-
the mist, beyond this weatheran island real enough verely censored, it is possible to trace a lesbian pres-
to be necessary, a kind of woman/necessary enough ence throughout nineteenth-century American lit-
to be real. Molly Rae Rhodes erature.

Bibliography Early Expressions of Attachments

DuBois, Page. Centaurs and Amazons: Women and Between Women
the Pre-History of the Great Chain of Being. Charles Brockden Browns Ormond (1798) provides
Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1982. an early treatment of passionate attachment between

A M E R I C A N L I T E R AT U R E , N I N E T E E N T H C E N T U RY 27
women. Written in reaction to Samuel Richardsons passionate attachment to an older English lady
A Clarissa (17471748), Ormond replaces Richard-
sons plot of seduction, rape, and suicide with
whose departure left her in a depression that she
recognized to be out of thenatural course. In
Constantias successful, and lethal, repulse of 1842, Fuller published her translation of the Corre-
Ormond and ends happily with her reunion with spondence of Fraulein Gunderode with Bettine Von
her beloved Sophia who has traveled twenty-four Arnim and her meditations on the significance of
miles, the last three on foot, to rescue her. Brown their passionate attachment. Later, Fuller would
(17711810) contextualizes the nature of their re- write about George Sand (18041876), flamboy-
lationship through his portrait of the cross-dressing ant symbol of the sexually deviant woman, whom
and androgynous Martinette, who shows that it is she insisted on meeting when she went to Paris in
possible to be imbued with a soul that was a 1846. In the story of Marianna, included in Sum-
stranger to the sexual distinction. An early femi- mer on the Lakes (1843), Fuller offers a portrait of
nist, Brown offers Constantia as a model for the the emotionally charged environment of the female
woman of the new American republic and links her boarding school, one of the more likely settings in
independence and self-love to her relation to Sophia. American (and continental) literature for the repre-
Unfortunately, Browns interest in the radical sentation of passions between women.
potential of love between women was not immedi-
ately pursued. Instead, writers such as James Lesbian Texts and Authors
Fenimore Cooper (17891851) chose to present love Specifically lesbian texts and authors, as well as
between women in the context of the relationship modes of writing conducive to the representation
of sistersCora and Alice in The Last of the of lesbian emotion, begin to appear in the second
Mohicans (1826); Judith and Hetty in The half of the nineteenth century. As Terry Castle has
Deerslayer (1841). Catherine Sedgwicks Hope argued in The Apparitional Lesbian (1993), the
Leslie (1827) is radical in its creation of an inde- ghost story in which the beloved is dead offered
pendent, aggressive heroine who defies patriarchal women writers a safe way to represent the haunt-
efforts to imprison her in a conventional marriage, ingly intense passion of women for women. Eliza-
but it follows Coopers model for presenting attach- beth Stuart Phelps (18441911), whose Since I
ment between women. Hopes passionate search for Died (1873) is included in Susan Koppelmans Two
her biological sister, from whom she has been sepa- Friends (1994), a collection of nineteenth-century
rated since childhood, parallels her search for her American lesbian stories, deserves mention for con-
Indian sister, Magawisca, and both attachments structing a significant variation of the ghosting
are thus conventionally acceptable. Though Hope of lesbian emotion. In The Story of Avis (1876),
Leslie contains a cross-dressing woman whose Phelps locates emotional intensity in the passionate
strange encounters with Hope provide the texts sole attachment of narrator for character, expressed
erotic element, Sedgwick (17891867) presents pas- through the erotics of watching. This strategy al-
sion of any kind as dangerous to women. lows her novel to serve as a public space in which it
In The Blithedale Romance (1852), Nathaniel is possible for one woman to openly admire another
Hawthorne (18041864) adopts a similar strategy because the eroticism is disembodied. Phelpss una-
when he reveals the mysterious relationship between bashed adoration of the extraordinarily sensual Avis
Priscilla and Zenobia to be that of half-sisters, has disturbed readers, as has her uncompromisingly
though, until this revelation, he allows some specu- negative treatment of Philip, the lover turned hus-
lation about the nature of Priscillas adoration of band turned cad who dies by novels end. If, as Cas-
the older, erotic Zenobia. Zenobia, whose suicide tle has also suggested, the lesbian novel requires a
reinstates the theme of seduced and abandoned man who has been sacrificed, then both the narra-
as preferable to any hint of deviant sexuality, has tors attachment to Avis and her hostility to Philip
reminded many readers of Margaret Fuller (1810 mark this text as lesbian.
1850), herself a feminist who had intense romantic Another mode of writing that emerged in the
relations with other women. In her brief autobio- second half of the nineteenth century and proved
graphical memoir, originally published in 1852, and conducive to the expression of lesbian emotion is
subsequently reprinted as Autobiographical literary regionalism. Two Friends contains fiction
Sketch in The Portable Margaret Fuller (1994), by several regionalists, including Rose Terry Cooke
Fuller provides an account of her first feeling, a (18271892), Sarah Orne Jewett (18491909),

28 A M E R I C A N L I T E R AT U R E , N I N E T E E N T H C E N T U RY
Mary Wilkins Freeman (18521930), Kate Chopin ment in favor of girls and against compulsory het-
(18511904), and Alice Brown (18561948). With erosexuality.
its focus on the self-consciously marginal woman, Freeman, who lived for twenty years with her
odd and even deviant, frequently living in a pre- friend, Mary John Wales (d. 1916), and married
dominantly female community, regionalism presents only late in life, exhibits an awareness of deviance
characters who are free to say they dont like boys that makes her perhaps even more recognizable as
and free to say they do like girls. The potential of a lesbian to twentieth-century readers than Jewett.
regionalism to create a space for the odd woman In The Long Arm (1895), Phoebe Dole murders
can be seen as early as Catherine Sedgwicks Red- the man who plans to marry Maria Wood, the
wood (1824), in which the regional character, woman with whom she has lived for more than
Deborah Lenox, is described as a six-foot Amazon forty years, and she justifies her act by claiming
who might be mistaken for a grenadier. Possibly that there are other ties as strong as the marriage
based on the historical figure of Deborah Sampson one. Phoebes unusually long arm, the key to
(17601827), who cross-dressed to fight in the unraveling the mystery, signals her deviance and
American Revolution and had relations with other places her within a category recognizably lesbian
women, Sedgwicks Deborah is a self-avowed spin- to late-nineteenth-century readers, that of the mas-
ster who successfully rescues a younger woman from culine woman. By The Light of the Soul (1906)
rape. Similarly, Harriet Beecher Stowe (18111896), deserves particular mention among Freemans later
in The Pearl of Orrs Island (1862), creates the ec- novels, which frequently focus on obsessive rela-
centric Aunt Roxy, who, on hearing of the proposed tionships between women, for its re-eroticizing of
marriage between Mara and Moses that others be- the relation between half-sisters, as well as for the
lieve will be the salvation of Moses, declares that explicit decision of one sister to choose life with
she is not one of the sort that wants to be a-usin another woman over marriage. In her earlier short
up girls for the salvation of fellers. fiction, Freeman treated the passionate attachment
Jewett, who traced her origins as a writer to of women to each other more positively, though
Stowes Pearl, must figure prominently in any treat- still acknowledging that it falls outside the norm.
ment of lesbianism in nineteenth-century American In Two Friends (1887), Sarahs love for Abby
literature. Deephaven (1877), the first text since exceeds that of men for women and, as the storys
Ormond to present love between women as the ba- conclusion makes clear, marks the lesbian choice
sis for a story, describes the experience of Helen and as superior to the heterosexual alternative.
Kate, who spend a summer in a small town in Maine Perhaps the most open portrayal of a lesbian
and set up housekeeping together, the region pro- relationship in nineteenth-century American litera-
viding a space in which such choices are at least ture occurs in Henry Jamess (18431916) The
temporarily possible. Imagining such a relationship Bostonians (1886). A classic treatment of one kind
in fiction may have made it possible for Jewett to of lesbian triangle, The Bostonians records the
form her own Boston Marriage with Annie Fields struggle of Olive Chancellor and Basil Ransom for
(18341915). Jewetts stories take up such issues as possession of Verena Tarrant, a struggle Basil
cross-dressing (An Autumn Holiday [1880]) role wins not so much because he possesses phallic
reversal (Toms Husband [1882]) and the love of force as because Olive doubts the legitimacy of her
one woman for another across class and time and claim on Verena. Despite the suggestion that her
space (Marthas Lady [1897]). A White Heron attraction to feminism stems from her rivalry with
(1886) records a young girls rejection of aggressive men over women, Olive emerges as a heroic fig-
male sexuality in favor of a life with nature in which ure. Yet Verena, whose future with Ransom James
birds are not killed, stuffed, and studied but allowed, acknowledges to be grim, is no less a lesbian than
like herself, to fly free. In the context of the bad Olive for, as Emma Donaghue, in Passions Between
boy literature of the 1870s and 1880s, which idol- Women (1993), asks, How can there be a female
ized boys and licensed their behavior particularly as husband without a female husbands wife? By
it disrupted feminine spaces (e.g., Mark Twains Tom acknowledging Verenas attachment to Olive as
Sawyer [1876]), fiction such as A White Heron well as Olives to Verena, James counters the idea
and Cookes Miss Beulahs Bonnet (1880), whose that only the masculine woman is a true lesbian.
character finally declares herself free to say I never No account of lesbianism in nineteenth-century
did like boys, may be read as an alternative argu- American literature would be complete without

A M E R I C A N L I T E R AT U R E , N I N E T E E N T H C E N T U RY 29
reference to Louisa May Alcotts Little Women Barker and poetry by such writers as Celia Thaxter
A (1868), for Jo March has offered generations of
readers a compelling model of the adolescent tom-
(18351894), Annie Fields, and Sophie Jewett
(n.d.), part of an intimate circle at Wellesley Col-
boy. Unable to get over her disappointment at not lege that included Katharine Lee Bates (1859
being a boy, Jo hates visits and being nice to old 1929), author of America, the Beautiful, and
ladies and prefers a run in the fields or, like Full- Florence Converse (18711967), whose Diana
ers Marianna, those amateur theatrics that give Victrix (1897) Faderman (1981) has labeled a les-
her a chance to dress up in doublet and hose and bian novel. Faderman would add to this list Adah
play suitor to the sisters she wishes she could marry. Isaacs Menken (18351868), cross-dressing friend
Though Alcott (18321888) capitulated to public of George Sand, although, as Foster (1975) notes,
pressure for a happy heterosexual ending, she little of what might be called lesbian finds its way
refused to marry Jo to Laurie, insisting that the into the poetry collected in Infelicia (1868).
charm of the relationship for Jo lies in its lack of Among African American writers, identifiably les-
erotic content. By resisting this particular hetero- bian texts and authors do not appear until the twen-
sexual plot and by marrying her to a man more a tieth century, though Hansen (1996) has recovered
father than a lover, Alcott preserves Jos tomboy
the record of lesbian emotion in the nineteenth cen-
identity into adulthood. In Alcotts Work (1872),
tury through letters. According to Gilman (1985), by
Christie Devon forms her first and most lasting
the eighteenth century the sexuality of black women
emotional relationship with a woman who turns
(and men) was an icon for deviant sexuality in gen-
out to be the sister of the man she marries just
eral; and Donoghue (1993) notes the pornography
hours before he leaves for the Civil War. Davids
of a 1745 medical treatise which features a hugh
death shortly thereafter leaves Christie and Letty
centrefold-style engraving of the vulva of a hermaph-
to make a life together that is also the center of a
roditical Angolan woman sold into slavery in
female and feminist community.
America. The pathologizing of black womens sexu-
Though critics have searched for evidence of a
failed heterosexual romance to explain the work ality was intensified in the nineteenth century through
of Emily Dickinson (18301886), her letters pro- the figure of the Hottentot Venus, whose abnor-
vide ample evidence of her passionate attachment mal and deviant genitalia and body shape pro-
to Sue Gilbert, the woman who would later marry vided the central image for the period. Given this his-
her brother, Austin. While Dickinson wrote poetry tory, in which racism, sexism, and homophobia rein-
that explores the psychological effect on women of forced and justified one another, it is not surprising
heterosexual passion, according to Bennett (1990), that nineteenth-century African American writers
her most important and characteristic erotic po- sought to portray women in terms that would be rec-
etry is written in a homoerotic mode and cel- ognized as unmistakably normal. However, since
ebrates the pleasures and pains of a passion recog- there obviously were African American lesbians in
nizably lesbian to twentieth-century readers. Addi- the nineteenth century, it is quite likely that further
tionally, one can read Dickinsons fascination with research will produce literary texts that reflect their
the tiny tale, the form her poetry takes and the experience more directly.
theme of many of her poems (It would have starved Judith Fetterley
a Gnat/To live so small as I), as a mode of lesbian
eroticism in which the ironic exaggeration of the Bibliography
small serves to celebrate the explosive force of a fe- Bennett, Paula. Emily Dickinson, Woman Poet.
male sexuality conventionally seen as insignificant. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1990.
In any discussion of Dickinson, it is important Castle, Terry. The Apparitional Lesbian: Female
to remember that her poetry was unpublished dur- Homosexuality and Modern Culture. New
ing her lifetime. As Bennett has noted, Generally York: Columbia University Press, 1993.
speaking, poetry was more conservative than fic- Donoghue, Emma. Passions Between Women: Brit-
tion in the period, and, indeed, the poetry pub- ish Lesbian Culture, 16681801. London: Scar-
lished by American women during the nineteenth let Press, 1993.
century provides little record of lesbian experience. Faderman, Lillian. Surpassing the Love of Men:
Still, Bennett has begun the work of recovering Romantic Friendship and Love between Women
nineteenth-century American lesbian poetry, a tra- from the Sixteenth Century to the Present. New
dition that would include Fullers verses to Anna York: William Morrow, 1981.

30 A M E R I C A N L I T E R AT U R E , N I N E T E E N T H C E N T U RY
Foster, Jeannette. Sex Variant Women in Litera- lesbian and nonlesbian writing. Stein, too, may be
ture. [n.p.]: Vantage, 1956. 2nd ed. Baltimore: most familiar through her public persona, especially
Diana, 1975. as expressed through her most accessible work, The
Gilman, Sander. Black Bodies, White Bodies: To- Autobiography of Alice B.Toklas (1932). Stein and
ward an Iconography of Female Sexuality in Toklas (18771967) form an iconic lesbian couple,
Late Nineteenth-Century Art, Medicine, and and Steins relationships with such visual artists as
Literature. In Race, Writing, and Difference. Paul Cezanne (18391906), Henri Matisse (1869
Ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Chicago: University 1954), and Pablo Picasso (18811973), and her in-
of Chicago Press, 1985, pp. 223261. fluence on younger American writers, especially
Hansen, Karen V. (No Kisses Is Like Youres): An Ernest Hemingway (18991961), are well known.
Erotic Friendship Between Two African Ameri- But she should also be credited as a major figure in
can Women During the Mid-Nineteenth Cen- the reinvention of literary language now called
tury. In Lesbian Subjects. Ed. Martha Vicinus. modernism. Her most serious and experimental
Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996, writing presents a challenge to conventional realist
pp. 178207. narrative, a questioning of the very ability of words
Koppelman, Susan, ed. Two Friends. New York: and sentences to represent the world. Much of her
Penguin, 1994. writing is highly demandingthe reader must make
meaning as the viewer of a Cubist painting does.
See also Bates, Katharine Lee; Boarding Schools; Such works as As a Wife Has a Cow: A Love Story
Boston Marriage; Cross-Dressing; Dickinson, and Lifting Belly (19151917) have been inter-
Emily; Fuller, Margaret; Jewett, Sarah Orne; Liter- preted as coding lesbian sexuality, but they never
ary Images do so through simple allegories or one-to-one cor-
respondences. The term code can only hint at
Steins ambitious attempt to address the inadequacy
American Literature, Twentieth Century of literary convention for expressing lesbian exist-
Like the story of twentieth-century American lit- ence by exploding and reinventing language entirely.
erature generally, the story of twentieth-century (One early realist novel, Q.E.D.; or, Things as They
lesbian American literature begins in Paris, with Are, about a lesbian love triangle, was written in
the salon of Natalie Barney (18761972), who 1903 but remained unpublished until 1950.)
gathered important French and expatriate writers Because of the hunger for clear and positive rep-
and formed the nucleus of an unabashed lesbian resentation in an economy of scarcity, it has some-
community. Barney is also remembered for her times been hard for lesbian readers to value Steins
many intense and operatic erotic activities (the work. The same has been true for Djuna Barnes,
word is Karla Jays), especially her love affairs with whose best novel, Nightwood (1936), displays the
painter Romaine Brooks (18741970) and Eng- devastating end of a love between two women
lish-born poet Rene Vivien (Pauline Mary Tarn against the nightmarish background of a Paris full
[18771909]). Few now read the formally con- of deviance, desire, and grotesque beauty.
servative verse (often based on fragments from Nightwood is more open and direct about the sexu-
Sappho) of Barney and Vivien, or Barneys epigram- ality of its characters than Steins experimental
matic memoirs, partly because both chose to write work, but some readers find its torrent of images
in French. Novelist Djuna Barnes (18921982) unmanageable, and some critics also find Barness
immortalized this community, and particularly work unacceptably dark or lurid or too depend-
Barneys larger-than-life sexual persona, in The ent on sexological stereotypes of perversion. More
Ladies Almanack (1928). recently, critics have seen her as writing in produc-
tive tension with those stereotypes and have re-
Expatriate Writing valued her other novel, Ryder (1928), and her play,
While the writings of the Paris group may be for- The Antiphon (1958), which deal strongly with the
gotten, they became lesbian icons (as Sappho was sexual exploitation of women and girls. Barnes
for them) for later generations, based upon their greatly influenced some later lesbian writers, such
elegant style and visibility, more than for anything as novelist Bertha Harris, who have continued to
they ever wrote. On the other hand, the richer work explode the confines of narrative in search of a
of three expatriates, Barnes, H.D. (18861961), and new language to express a lesbian world. Writers
Gertrude Stein (18741946), continued to inspire more concerned with reaching a broad audience

A M E R I C A N L I T E R AT U R E , T W E N T I E T H C E N T U RY 31
and/or providing positive images have tended in- features as an interest in male homosocial couples
A stead to follow the conventionally realist path of
British novelist Radclyffe Hall (18801943), au-
and homoerotic bonds between men; decentering
or refusal of heterosexual plots; and an erotic gaze
thor of The Well of Loneliness (1928), who is cred- directed at a female character by the author and im-
ited with introducing the butch character to litera- plicitly by the female reader. Like the question of
ture and inventing the coming out story. Steins codes, Cathers work raises interesting
Hilda Doolittle (18861961), who wrote un- theoretical issues about naming and secrecy: Who
der the name H.D., was a prolific and experimen- is a lesbian writer? What does lesbian writing mean?
tal writer in many genres, including poetry, fiction,
drama, and autobiographical memoir, the distinc- Varieties of Lesbian Writing
tion among these genres often being blurry. As a As these examples show, a wide variety of style
poet, she was a founding member of the Imagist and approach characterizes early-twentieth-century
group, which emphasized clarity and concreteness, lesbian writing: There was (and, indeed, still is) no
hated sentimentality, andin the words of Ezra one way of writing lesbian. Lesbian literature
Pound (18851972), to whom H.D. was at one was not isolated from the main currents of mod-
time engagedbroke the pentameter, establish- ernist writing, nor did it simply imitate or react to
ing free verse as the literary norm and, in a sense, those innovations and trends; lesbian writing was
inventing modernism. (Amy Lowell [18741925], central and formative to the mainstream tradition.
poet and wealthy patron, was also for some time a Also, the history of American literature would be
member of this group, though less formally inven- incomplete without mention of the portrayal of
tive: A few of her poems have explicit lesbian con- lesbianism in the fiction of nonlesbian writers, and
tent.) Unsurprisingly, the fiction that remained un- particularly such mainstream male modernist writ-
published until after H.D.s death in 1961 is the ers as Hemingway, William Faulkner (18971962),
most explicitly lesbian, recounting her important John Dos Passes (18961970), and William Carlos
attachments to women throughout her life. The Williams (18831963). Lesbian characters or
work she chose to publish gives a much more het- themes could function as scapegoats to counter
erosexual impression, both through the autobio- mens fear of women writers or simply as a daring
graphical elements and the large-scale religious sym- sign of the modern, white male writers of various
bolism of her later works. sexualities particularly invoked the exotic, freer,
H.D. shared with Barney and Vivien the use of and sexually ambiguous atmosphere of Harlem in
classical material and a particular veneration for this way. Finally, modernism generally would look
ancient Greece. Her gift was greater, and so her quite different without the crucial contributions
use of this material ranged from straight transla- of such lesbians as bookseller and publisher Sylvia
tion to adaptation to historical novel to the crea- Beach (18871962), whose English-language book-
tion of a spiritual symbol system that dovetailed shop in Paris was an important gathering place for
with Freudian analysis (she was analyzed by the expatriate community, or Margaret Anderson
Sigmund Freud [18561939] himself in the 1930s). (18861973) and Jane Heap (18871964), editors
In the 1970s, feminist criticism rescued H.D.s work of the Little Review, an early little magazine in
from undeserved oblivion, and she is now recog- which many key texts first appeared.
nized as a major modernist writer. Later lesbian Ironically, however, the experimental nature of
writers, especially Adrienne Rich (1929), honor work by Stein, Barnes, and H.D., and Cathers self-
H.D. as a forebear. protective privacy, meant that their lesbian con-
One writer of that generation who never expa- text was not discovered until the advent of femi-
triated herself was Willa Gather (18731947), a re- nist and lesbian criticism in the 1970s. That para-
alist novelist with a commitment to history. Often digm shift has also led to rereadings of other im-
marginalized unfairly as a regionalist writer (some portant and innovative American writingsuch as
of her work deals with her native Nebraska), she is the novels and stories of Carson McCullers (1917
better seen as a moralist concerned with the preser- 1967) and Jane Bowles (19171973) and the po-
vation of enduring human values in diverse local etry of Elizabeth Bishop (19111979) and Muriel
settings. Gather lived a lesbian life (though very pri- Rukeyser (19131980)with attention to the les-
vately); in her work, however, one must trace lesbi- bian aspects of their lives and their creative visions.
anism more delicately and indirectly through such The critical rewriting of the Harlem Renaissance

32 A M E R I C A N L I T E R AT U R E , T W E N T I E T H C E N T U RY
has also enabled us to recognize and value lesbian ferent layerings of narrative in Confessions of
experience in largely unpublished work by such Cherubino (1972) and Lover (1976), and June
well-respected writers as Angelina Weld Grimk Arnold (19261982), through the invention of a
(18801958) and Alice Dunbar-Nelson (1875 nongendered pronoun and other suspensions of
1935) and to identify lesbian themes and subtexts realist conventions, in The Cook and the Carpen-
in important, complex works like Nella Larsens ter (1973) and Sister Gin (1975). Others seemed
(18911964) Passing (1929). But recognizably les- more concerned to find, imagine, or reinvent a
bian fiction tended to follow a more convention- safe space for lesbian community, whether through
ally narrative path. a mythologized past, a science-fiction alternative
future, or political struggle in the present: Patience
The 1950s and Sarah (1972) by Isabel Miller (Alma
During the 1950s, representation of lesbians was Routsong), first self-published as A Place for Us
hard to come by outside of pulp paperback fic- in 1969; Sally Gearharts The Wanderground
tion. Often written by men to titillate a presump- (1978); Joanna Russs The Female Man (1975);
tively male audience, with loud and lurid covers and Riverfinger Woman (1974) by Elana
and tortured prose, these cheap novels came with Nachmann (later Elana Dykewomon). Still oth-
endings designed to reassure the normal reader ers examined the complexities of lesbian identity
(and distract the censor): the suicide of the real discovered against the background of racial, eth-
lesbian and/or the conversion by marriage of the nic, or class differences, as in Alice Blochs The
more feminine lesbian. Sometimes they were pack- Law of Return (1983) (Judaism and Zionism),
aged as medical literature, with an authenticating Paula Gunn Allens The Woman Who Owned the
doctors preface or afterword to reiterate that the Shadows (1983) (Native American), Ann Allen
deviant behavior inside was not being advocated. Shockley Loving Her (1974) and Say Jesus and
Still, in a time of scarcity and censorship, many Come to Me (1982) (African American), and
lesbian readers and some lesbian writers turned to Maureen Bradys Folly (1982) (set among work-
this genre for images of desire between women and ers in a Southern textile mill). Rita Mae Brown
female strength, reading (or writing) against the broke through to a large mainstream audience
grain. The work of Valerie Taylor (19131997) and with her comic picaresque Rubyfruit Jungle
Ann Bannon (1937) was reprinted by feminist (1973).
presses in the 1970s (though with plain covers!). Much 1970s writing was inspired by a political
The pulps have also had an afterlife in the responses impulse to break silence and tell the truth
of younger lesbian writers and visual artists. about lesbian existence. Even when the truth was
As Abraham (1996) writes, The Price of Salt complicated or unprettyas, for example, in Kate
(1952) by Patricia Highsmith (19211995) writ- Milletts free-form autobiographies, Flying (1974)
ing as Clare Morgan is often referred to as a break- and Sita (1977)it seemed important to tell as
through text because of its happy ending. Another much of it as possible. No life was too ordinary to
early pioneer was Canadian writer Jane Rule become literature. The title of Michelle Cliffs 1980
(1931), best known for Desert of the Heart poetic meditation, Claiming an Identity They
(1964). Rules well-made realist stories and nov- Taught Me To Despise, could stand for this whole
els, which testify that lesbians are complex, real, generation. No one had more to do with these de-
and moral creatures, began appearing when these velopments than two poets, Adrienne Rich and
were brave assertions. But it took the political Audre Lorde (19341992).
breakthroughs of feminism and the Stonewall Re- Rich and Lorde defined an aesthetic of honesty,
bellion (1969) and the creation of women-owned openness, and commitment, and set the highest lit-
and lesbian-owned presses and bookstores (now erary standards, both in their poems and in such
mostly gone) to enable a true burgeoning of overtly essays as Richs When We Dead Awaken: Writ-
lesbian feminist literature in many genres and styles. ing as Re-Vision (1971) and Women and Honor:
Some Notes on Lying (1975) and Lordes Cancer
Lesbian Feminist Literature and Beyond Journals (1980) and The Uses of the Erotic
Within fiction, some writers continued to push (1978). Their writing helped inspire parallel move-
the limits of what could be said: Bertha Harris ments in literary criticism as women and lesbians
(1937), through a rich intertextuality and dif- moved into the academy in greater numbers and

A M E R I C A N L I T E R AT U R E , T W E N T I E T H C E N T U RY 33
with greater visibility. Richs call, in her Tran- sciously crafted to evoke the readers desire and
A scendent Etude (1978), for a whole new poetry
beginning here, was, in a way, answered by a co-
deliberately written by lesbians for lesbians, though
some of it works with conventions familiar from
hort of poets beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, male pornography; science fiction and fantasy. The
including Pat Parker, Judy Grahn, Robin Morgan, use of lesbian characters in fiction by women not
June Jordan, Olga Broumas, Minnie Bruce Pratt, publicly identified as lesbians, ranging from Alice
Irena Klepfisz, Joy Harjo, Cheryl Clarke, Cherre Walkers The Color Purple (1982) to the most ex-
Moraga, and countless others in movement jour- ploitive versions of lesbian chic, has also risen stead-
nals, workshops, and anthologies. Most of these ily. As encouraging developments, one might sig-
poets wrote in a free-form wayRich saw her own nal the publication of serious lesbian fiction, such
breaking free from patriarchal standards going as Margaret Erharts Unusual Company (1987),
along with her liberation from traditional verse by mainstream publishing houses; increasing study
formsbut the work of Marilyn Hacker and oth- of lesbian literature within the academy, especially
ers to transform more formal verse from within in womens studies classes; and a continuing inter-
shows this connection was not inevitable. Richs est in the 1990s in experimental fiction by such
essay Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian writers as Sarah Schulman and Rebecca Brown.
Existence (1980) and Lordes biomythography, Meryl Altman
Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (1982), would
capture both the power and the pain of struggles Bibliography
over lesbian, feminist, and racial identity politics Abraham, Julie. Are Girls Necessary? Lesbian
through the 1980s, and both became cornerstones Writing and Modern Histories. New York and
of womens studies teaching. London: Routledge, 1996.
During the 1980s, specifically sexual self-expres- Hull, Gloria T.Color, Sex, and Poetry: Three
sion became an explosive issue. Some writers, in- Women Writers of the Harlem Renaissance.
cluding some who consciously identified as bisexual Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987.
or as members of sadomasochist (S/M) subcultures, Jay, Karla, and Joanne Glasgow, eds. Lesbian Texts
reacted against what they saw as feminist censor- and Contexts: Radical Revisions. New York:
ship, with, for example, such explicitly confronta- New York University Press, 1990.
tional S/M writing as that contained in the anthol- Munt, Sally, R. ed. New Lesbian Criticism: Liter-
ogy Coming to Power (1982) and the magazines ary and Cultural Readings. New York: Colum-
Bad Attitude and On Our Backs and the work of bia University Press, 1993.
Pat Califia, Artemis Oakgrove, and Susie Bright. Smith, Barbara. Toward a Black Feminist Criti-
Other writers, such as Andrea Dworkin, reaffirmed cism. In The New Feminist Criticism: Women,
combating violence against women as a prior, and Literature, and Theory. Ed. Elaine Showalter.
deeper, lesbian and feminist commitment. While New York: Pantheon, 1985, pp. 168185.
much of this debate focused on visual images, fic- Stimpson, Catharine R. Zero Degree Deviancy:
tion also mattered: The status of fantasy and the The Lesbian Novel in English. In Where the
nature of authentic experience were put into ques- Meanings Are: Feminism and Cultural Spaces.
tion, as was the responsibility of the writer to her- New York: Methuen, 1988, pp. 97110.
self and her community within a wider world still Wolfe, Susan J., and Julia Penelope, eds. Sexual
hostile to lesbians and still prone to stereotype. A Practice, Textual Theory: Lesbian Cultural
related resurgence of interest in butch-femme lives, Criticism. Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.
which 1970s lesbian feminism had downplayed, Zimmerman, Bonnie. The Safe Sea of Women: Les-
gave rise to such novels as Leslie Feinbergs Stone bian Fiction, 19691989. Boston: Beacon,
Butch Blues (1993) and the work of Lee Lynch. 1990.
Important writers to whom these debates gave voice
included Joan Nestle and Dorothy Allison, whose See also African American Literature; Allen, Paula
1992 novel, Bastard Out of Carolina, was nomi- Gunn; Anderson, Margaret Carolyn; Arnold, June;
nated for a National Book Award. Asian American Literature; Bannon, Ann; Barnes,
In sheer number, the 1990s seem dominated by Djuna Chappel; Barney, Natalie Clifford; Beach,
several sorts of genre fiction: formulaic romances; Sylvia; Bishop, Elizabeth; Bowles, Jane Auer;
detective stories; erotically stimulating stories, con- Brown, Rita Mae; Cather, Willa; Grahn, Judy;

34 A M E R I C A N L I T E R AT U R E , T W E N T I E T H C E N T U RY
Harlem Renaissance; H.D. (Hilda Doolittle); Latina 1941, Anderson returned to America, where she
Literature; Lorde, Audre; McCullers, Carson; began a ten-year relationship with Dorothy Caruso
Millett, Kate; Moraga, Cherre; Parker, Pat; Pulp (18931955), widow of Enrico. In her post-Little
Paperbacks; Rich, Adrienne; Routsong, Alma; Review years, Anderson wrote three autobiographies
Rukeyser, Muriel; Rule, Jane Vance; Shockley, Ann and a lesbian novel entitled Forbidden Fires, which
Allen; Stein, Gertrude she failed to have published in her lifetime. Anderson
died in France in 1973. Holly A.Baggett

Anderson, Margaret Carolyn (18861973) Bibliography

A publisher and editor, Margaret Anderson was the Baggett, Holly A. Aloof from Natural Laws:
founder of the Little Review (19141929), one of Margaret C.Anderson and the Little Review,
the most prominent literary journals of the twenti- 19141929. Ph.D. diss., University of Dela-
eth century, and was in the vanguard of artistic ware, 1992.
modernism and sexual radicalism. Born to middle- Bryer, Jackson. A Trial-Track for Racers: Margaret
class parents in Indiana, Anderson rebelled early in C.Anderson and the Little Review Ph.D. diss.,
life and moved to Chicago in 1909. There she sup- University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1965.
ported herself as a book reviewer and an assistant
on the Dial. Starting her own magazine, the Little See also Barnes, Djuna Chappell; Stein, Gertrude
Review, in 1914, Anderson engaged controversy by
promoting anarchism, imagism, psychoanalysis,
feminism, and sexual liberation. During this period, Androgyny
she published the early works of T.S.Eliot (1888 A term for the union of male and female qualities
1965), H.D. (18861961), Sherwood Anderson psychological, literary, or physicalthat at times has
(18761941), and Amy Lowell (18741925). Her been equated with homosexuality. Androgyny is a
1915 editorial attacking intolerance toward inver- classic term that denotes the union of male (andro)
sion has been deemed the earliest defense of ho- and female (gyne) characteristics. This union has
mosexuality by a lesbian in the United States. been described in a number of ways, usually Uto-
In 1916, Anderson met Jane Heap (18871964), pian. In psychology, it may be the balance of reason
a cross-dressing artist who became her lover and and emotion or assertion and vulnerability in one
coeditor. The following year, the two women moved person; in literature, it may be the writer or the char-
to New York City, where they published Ezra acter accessing her or his opposite-gendered side.
Pound (18851972), Djuna Barnes (18921982), Physical androgyny most often means cross-dress-
Gertrude Stein (18741946), Dorothy Richardson ing, for, while an androgyne may display both male
(18731957), and Mina Loy (18821966), among and female bodily characteristics, one who does so
others. Many of the short stories and prose pieces is usually termed a hermaphrodite. The term an-
contributed by women during this period contained drogyny is also associated with, and sometimes
homoerotic themes. By the 1920s, the Little Re- equated with, homosexuality because both positive
view became increasingly experimental, turning to and negative definitions of the homosexual have
surrealism, dada, Machine Age aesthetics, and assumed that the lesbian or gay man crosses the gen-
avant-garde theater. Andersons most daring effort der norms of her or his culture.
was the serialization of James Joyces Ulysses. She Androgyny is an ancient, although not always
and Heap were convicted in 1921 on obscenity a neutral, concept in both Eastern and Western cul-
charges and fined. tures. The Chinese principles of yin and yang have
The trial led to both financial and personal strains been considered a version of androgyny.
for Anderson. She became enthralled by the teach- Aristophanes (448?380? B.C.E.) in Platos (427?
ings of George Gurdjieff (18721949), a Russian 347? B.C.E.) Symposium defines love through a
mystic who had a small following among New York myth in which the first humans become divided
intellectuals and the expatriate community in Paris. parts of a whole, each seeking the other: males seek-
She left Heap and the Little Review and traveled to ing males, females seeking females, and men and
France to study with Gurdjieff. Accompanying women seeking each other. Iconoclastic views of bib-
Anderson was her new lover, opera singer Georgette lical creation assume that Adam was an androgyne
Leblanc (18691941), with whom she would live before the fall. Although Platos myth allows for
for the next twenty years. When LeBlanc died in homosexual desire, many symbolic versions of

androgyny emphasize the heterosexual model of Heilbrun, Carolyn G. Toward a Recognition of
A male-female union, such as the theory of creativity
that idealizes the artist accessing his or her psy-
Androgyny. New York: Harper Colophon, 1973.
Weil, Kari. Androgyny and the Denial of Differ-
chologically opposite-gendered side in order to ence. Charlottesville: University Press of Vir-
birth a work of art (Carl Jung [18751961]). ginia, 1992.
Because both the Wests and the Easts symbolic
systems associate male with light and reason and See also Anzalda, Gloria; Butch-Femme; Cross-
female with dark and body, and because most theo- Dressing; Grahn, Judy; Queer Theory; Rich,
ries presuppose the essential nature of male and Adrienne; Two-Spirit; Woolf, Virginia
female characteristics, the combination often re-
sults in a hierarchical and heterosexual model.
Androgyny is also closely bound up with homo- Animal Studies
sexuality and feminism. Sexologists of the late nine- It is probably incorrect to speak of lesbian animals
teenth century, such as Richard von Krafft-Ebing because virtually nothing is known about the cog-
(18401902), described homosexuality as a pathol- nitive aspects of sexuality in nonhuman species (here-
ogy of crossing social and physical gender bounda- after, animals). In contrast, female homosexual
ries. Virginia Woolf (18821941) used the term behavior involving courtship, pair bonding, mount-
positively in her version of female creativity in A ing, and other forms of genital contact has been
Room of Ones Own (1929). Woolfs ideal artist is noted in many animal species. Isolated anecdotes
the person in whom neither male nor female char- concerning female homosexual behavior exist for
acteristics predominate, and, if read as a code word numerous species, but very few studies have focused
for the homosexual, Woolfs androgyny is a happy on this behavior and attempted to place it within a
revision of the sexologists theories. In the 1970s, larger constellation of social and sexual behaviors.
literary and psychological feminist theories ideal- As of the late 1990s, the most detailed studies of
ized androgyny as a means to go beyond stereotypi- female homosexual behavior in animals had been
cal gender roles. Lesbians have exhibited conflict- on birds, primates, and domestic livestock.
ing responses to this concept. In the 1970s, lesbian There is a long history of interest in female ho-
feminists Adrienne Rich (1929) and Mary Daly mosexual behavior in animals dating back to, at
(1928) first hailed this term as Utopian but, shortly least, the Middle Ages, when zoologists equated
after, denounced it as male dominated and hetero- natural sexual behavior with reproduction. Mud-
sexual. Other feminist and lesbian writers, such as dled notions about homosexual behavior in animals
Judy Grahn (1940) and Gloria Anzalda (1942), such as pigeons were used by medieval zoologists to
implied androgyny in their descriptions of early cast lesbianism as anathema. While the logic that
Native American cultures that honored as spiritu- equates all that is natural with all that is socially
ally superior cross-dressing (and, likely, homosexual) desirable is flawed, its popular appeal is undeniable,
males or females. In the 1990s, postmodern queer even in the late twentieth century.
theory redefined androgyny as an image of Some of the first systematic studies of female
undecidability. In queer theory, the privileged ho- homosexual behavior in animals were conducted
mosexual figure, such as the butch-femme couple, in the late Victorian era. The use of caged subjects
enacts an androgyny that questions the naturalness was prevalent and meant that these interactions
and essentialism of gender categories. were invariably characterized as abnormal prod-
Depending on its definition, then, androgyny ucts of captivity, unlikely to be found in nature.
has been a useful or a problematic concept for les- During the 1890s, research on pigeons argued that
bians. Marilyn R.Farwell an absence of opposite-sex partners and artificial
confinement could force females to choose same-
Bibliography sex mates. Thus, female choice of same-sex mates
Anzalda, Gloria. Borderlands/La Frontera: The was seen as a Hobsons choicethat is, a choice
New Mestiza. San Francisco: Aunt Lute, 1987. made for want of any male alternatives. This per-
Bazin, Nancy. Virginia Woolf and the Androgy- spective is still common.
nous Vision. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers Later studies of domestic livestock argued that
University Press, 1973. artificial effects of domestication produced fe-
Grahn, Judy. Another Mother Tongue: Gay Words, male homosexual behavior. The economic benefits
Gay Worlds. Boston: Beacon, 1984. associated with livestock reproduction may have

further promoted the view of female homosexual presence of courting males. In Ugandan kobs (an
behavior as an undesirable problem. For exam- African ungulate) and Japanese macaques, females
ple, a 1948 study of mounting between domestic engage in aggressive competition with males for
hens (one of the first to treat this subject as worthy female mates. Although many zoologists resort to
of investigation in its own right) concluded that elaborate and speculative explanations for the pres-
the behavior was aberrant. This study and oth- ence of female homosexual behavior, in numerous
ers focusing on domestic livestock were clearly instances it appears that it is simply sexual stimu-
undertaken to eliminate female homosexual lation that motivates animals to engage in the
behavior rather than attempt to understand it as behavior. Paul L.Vasey
an integral part of the species repertoire.
By the beginning of the 1960s, a link between Bibliography
hormonal imbalances and homosexual mount- Boswell, J. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Ho-
ing was sought, using female rodents and macaques. mosexuality. Chicago: University of Chicago
Where previous research had focused on the envi- Press, 1980.
ronmental context in which homosexual behavior Dagg, Anne I. Homosexual Behaviour and Fe-
occurred, hormonal studies emphasized a biologi-
male-Male Mounting in Mammals: A First Sur-
cal basis for the behavior. Once again, this perspec-
vey. Mammal Review 14 (1984), 155185.
tive echoed the notion of homosexual behavior as
Vasey, Paul L. Homosexual Behavior in Primates:
an abnormality.
A Review of Evidence and Theory. International
With the emergence of sociobiology in the late
Journal of Primatology 16 (1995), 173204.
1970s, a paradigmatic shift occurred, which resulted
in female homosexual behavior being viewed not as
See also Biological Determinism
an abnormality, but as an adaptation that could in-
directly facilitate reproductive success. For exam-
ple, some researchers suggest that cows engage in
homosexual behavior in order to attract bulls to Anne, Queen of England (16651714)
copulate with them. Other researchers studying gulls, Member of the house of Stuart and queen of Eng-
terns, and snow geese argue that, if females are land (17021714). During her lifetime, it was fash-
abandoned by their male mates, they form ho- ionable for upper- and upper-middle-class British,
mosexual pair-bonds and help brood and raise each Scottish, and Irish women to form, as she did, close
others young. It is noteworthy that the notion of romantic and sometimes erotic relationships with
female homosexual behavior as abnormal was dis- other women. Feminism flourished in the writings
carded only when a paradigm emerged that indi- of Mary Astell (16661731), Judith Drake (n.d.),
rectly linked the behavior with reproduction. and a host of women poets, many of whom praise
The perspective that homosexual behavior has Queen Anne as a model of womanly excellence,
some adaptive function may have promoted the reason, and leadership. There was also a move-
view that it serves various social roles. For exam- ment of women playwrights, and, in most of their
ple, homosexual behavior appears to be a tension- plays, some dedicated to the queen and many oth-
reduction mechanism that female pygmy chimpan- ers dedicated to The Ladies, loving relationships
zees employ during feeding competition. In Euro- between women feature centrally.
pean rabbits, homosexual mounting seems to con- A tomboy in her youth, Anne was more inter-
tribute to the establishment and maintenance of ested in politics and history than in needlework.
the dominance hierarchy. Social functions are of- She played the guitar, was a capable horsewoman,
ten interpreted by zoologists as the primary reason had an unusually low speaking voice, and was in-
for homosexual interactions, thus negating any different to male suitors. Her mother, aunt, and
sexual component to this behavior. grandmother had all died by the time she was six,
A number of observations suggest that female and she detested her father, King James II (1633
homosexual behavior in animals is sexual. For ex- 1701), who separated her from her sister and
ample, in domestic hens, bonobo chimpanzees, and moved her about through her youth in an effort to
pukekos (a New Zealand swamp bird), female ho- thwart her rise to leadership.
mosexual behavior can involve genital contact and But Anne developed passionate attachments to
stimulation. In species such as cows and pigeons, girls. She conducted a love affair through letters with
females will remain with female mates, despite the Frances Apsley (n.d.) before falling deeply in love at


thirteen with Sarah Jennings (16601744), later such as poetry, the novel, and essay writing, contin-
A Churchill and Marlborough. The attachment of
Anne and Sarah continued into their adult lives and
ued among women, an age of fashionable feminism
and lesbianism seems to have ended by the time the
was disturbing to members of the royal family, who queen died in 1714.
found it an immoderate passion and demanded It must be noted that despite the queens incli-
it be cut off. Anne refused to end her relationship nations, one of her primary jobs as monarch was
with Sarah, and once she became queen, she elevated to bear an heir to the Stuart line. She was married
Sarah to the post of first lady of the bedchamber, at the appropriate time to a suitably pedigreed but
which allowed them to share adjoining bedrooms. dull-witted man with syphilis. Not realizing that
The queen bestowed many gifts on her beloved and his disease rendered the possibility of bearing a
her beloveds husband, John Churchill, the first duke healthy child impossible, poor Queen Anne, as
of Marlborough (16501722), the most extravagant she was often called, spent her entire adult life preg-
being Blenheim Palace. nant or recovering from childbirth. She bore about
Catharine Trotter (16791749) was one of the twenty children (counts vary, according to whether
successful women playwrights of Queen Annes time. early miscarriages are included or not), only one
Trotter had a passionate relationship with Lady of whom survived infancy, only to die at the age of
Sarah Piers and wrote what is arguably the first les- eleven. Thus, Anne was the last of the Stuart mon-
bian play in English, Agnes de Castro (1695), dedi- archs.
cated to Piers. Another playwright, Delarivier Kendall
Manley (1671?1724), voraciously heterosexual by
her own accounts, wrote several novels that ridi- Bibliography
cule lesbianism in general and openly attack the Cotton, Nancy. Women Playwrights in England,
queens favourite, Sarah Churchill. Manleys Se- c. 13631750. Lewisburg, Penn.: Bucknell Uni-
cret Memoirsfrom the New Atalantis (1709) in- versity Press, 1980.
cludes a scurrilous account of what Manley called a Green, David. Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough.
cabal of fashionable lesbians and makes vicious New York: Scribner, 1967.
fun of Catharine Trotter and a number of other Gregg, Edward. Queen Anne. London: Routledge,
prominent women for their relationships with each 1980.
other. However, in some of Manleys plays written Kendall. Finding the Good Parts: Sexuality in
just before and during Queen Annes reign, as in Womens Tragedies in the Time of Queen
popular plays by five other women, loving relation- Anne. In Curtain Calls: British and American
ships between women feature centrally. Women and the Theatre, 16601820. Ed. Mary
After about twenty-five years of intimacy, the Anne Schofield and Cecilia Macheski. Athens:
queen and Sarah Churchill began to disagree, espe- Ohio University Press, 1991, pp. 165176.
cially about politics, and, by 17051708, their rela- Morgan, Fidelis. A Woman of No Character: An
tionship had soured. The queen developed a new Autobiography of Mrs Manley. London: Faber
relationship with a young relative of Sarahs named and Faber, 1986.
Abigail Hill (d. 1734), later Masham. Sarah, enraged
by the queens new attachment and insecure regard-
ing her own political power, asserted to the queen, Anthologies
and to the public, her belief that Annes intimacy Any compilation of writings by and about lesbi-
with Abigail amounted to an obsessive passion ans, on a more or less cohesive theme; sometimes
unbefitting a monarch. Cruel pamphlets and songs collectively undertaken, most often edited by a few,
were published, accusing Queen Anne of being a frequently published by womens presses. In many
female Edward II and Abigail her Gaveston. Sarah anthologies, significant lesbian content appears
castigated Anne for having no inclenation [sic] for under a broader feminist, queer, or lesbian,
any but of ones own sex. The scandal coincided gay (male), bisexual, and transgender rubric.
with a decrease in production of plays by women
and a sudden disappearance of female-friendship Characteristics
themes in womens plays that were produced. No Since the 1960s, there has been an explosion of les-
plays by women were staged in 17071708, when bian and feminist expression in all areas and taking
the scandal peaked, and, though less public genres, myriad forms, from womens studies departments


to zines, from film and performance art to public Farmer (1976), edited by Sherry Thomas, which
policy challenges and direct-action tactics. Impelled chronicled the development of the womens land
by these changes, anthologies have proliferated, be- movement. Equally significant were works such Our
coming a staple product of mainstream and alter- Right to Love: A Lesbian Resource Book (1978,
native publishers and finding a secure place on les- rev. 1996), edited by Ginny Vida, and The Lesbian
bian bookshelves. The broad spectrum of opinion Path (1980), edited by Margaret Cruikshank. In
to which an anthology can give voice provides a 1972, Karla Jay and Allan Young edited Out of the
powerful lens for investigating and, indeed, defin- Closets, the first of several anthologies to bring to-
ing lesbian cultural expression across changing times, gether essays on lesbian and gay male life. Such writ-
politics, and cultures. Collections of short personal ings have empowered lesbians to speak from previ-
narratives arose, posits Zimmerman (1984), out of ously silenced locations on the margins of main-
the consciousness-raising groups of the 1960s and stream culture, both debunking conventional wis-
early 1970s; grouping many short pieces in anthol- dom and creating community and solidarity through
ogy form may have arisen to reflect a democratic shared experience and growing consciousness.
impulse toward publishing nonprofessional writers,
as well as the prevalence of journalistic writing in Varieties of Anthologies
the early years of the modern womens movement. Among the most popular anthologies are those that
Anthologies also provide a conversational space that collect personal narratives, often focusing on lesbian
tends to support the idea of coming out as a con- coming out stories. The earliest of these is the classic
tinual process. In their foregrounding of identity is- collection, The Coming Out Stories (1980), edited
sues, lesbian personal narratives wield historical and by Susan Wolfe and Julia Penelope Stanley. Through
political significance, suggests Zimmerman, who each funny, painful story, it built community one les-
notes also that, in terms of the lesbian feminist move- bian at a time and subsequently was widely emulated.
ment, they have charted individual as well as collec- The coming out genre now encompasses general col-
tive development. And, over the years, they have lections, as well as those focused around specific iden-
embodied the tension between claims for unity and tities, experiences, or cultures.
for diversity in lesbian feminist politics, the ambiva- Most of the early coming out anthologies had a
lence between conceptions of a monolithic lesbian predominantly white, middle-class focus, reflect-
identity and claims of specificity from groups ing the makeup of second wave feminism and
marginalized even within lesbianism, such as lesbi- its writings. In response, lesbians of color addressed
ans of color or working-class lesbians. their invisibility and the contradictions in their
experience as members of diverse communities in
Early Anthologies the pivotal This Bridge Called My Back: Writings
Before the 1970s, lesbians could publish their writ- by Radical Women of Color (1981), edited by
ing in nonspecific collective volumes, but not until Cherre Moraga and Gloria Anzalda. This attempt
1973, with the publication of Amazon Expedition: to redress a significant cultural lack through pro-
A Lesbian Feminist Anthology, edited by Phyllis ducing new texts and a new politics, and through
Birkby, was the lesbian anthology in its own right claiming multiple marginal identities, was a
born. In 1976, The Lesbians Home Journal: Stories transformative event in lesbian culture. Home Girls:
from The Ladder, edited by Barbara Grier and A Black Feminist Anthology (1983), edited by
Coletta Reid, collected fiction written for the pio- Barbara Smith, was another important collection
neering lesbian journal since 1956. Lesbian separa- published by Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press.
tism, as well as awareness of classism and racism Later, Anzalda edited Making Face, Making Soul/
within the womens movement, were espoused by Haciendo Caras /Creative and Critical Perspectives
the Furies, who published several anthologies of by Feminists of Color (1990). In addition to nu-
articles from their newspaper of the same name, in- merous other anthologies on African American,
cluding Class and Feminism (1974) and Lesbian- Latina, Asian, Native American, and Jewish lesbi-
ism and the Womens Movement (1975), all with ans, international anthologies bring together con-
Diana Press. Other pivotal works include The Les- tributions from lesbians of many nationalities,
bian Reader: An Amazon Quarterly Anthology ethnicities, and religious backgrounds.
(1975), edited by Gina Covina and Laurel Galana, In the 1980s and 1990s, the lesbian anthology
and Country Women: A Handbook for the New as a genre gained momentum and popularity and

established an important place in lesbian move- attempted to define the parameters of lesbian stud-
A ments and communities. Thematic anthologies ex-
pressed the blossoming of lesbian culture in all di-
ies was Tilting the Tower (1994), edited by Linda
Garber. In addition, numerous anthologies of les-
rections, including sexuality and erotica, poetry and bian, gay, and queer scholarship have appeared since
fiction, politics, families, and academic scholarship. 1990, some providing an overview of the field, and
The anthologies produced by the end of the 1990s others specific to lesbian, gay, and queer studies in
are far too numerous to be listed here. history, literature, anthropology, political theory,
Erotica has proved to be one of the most popu- social theory, and other fields.
lar anthology types, ranging from the controver- In the late 1990s, anthologies engaged questions
sial collection of writings on sadomasochism, Com- of identity and community for lesbians who are
ing to Power, edited by the Samois collective (1982), sisters, mothers, daughters, poets, rebels, Jewish,
to widely read collections of soft-core stories, Christian, Canadian, Australian, Israeli, differently
poems, and graphics. As the varieties of sexual ex- abled, transgendered, vampires, and lovers of
pression and experience became more public in les- Southern cooking. Writings on commitment cer-
bian communities, anthologies captured those re- emonies, religion, and parenting gather together
alities, including bisexuality and butch-femme iden-
various perspectives on lifes milestones, while other
tities. Other anthologies provide a place for spe-
collections help define and create the varieties of
cific communities of lesbians, such as women with
lesbian communities.
disabilities or survivors of violence, to collect a di-
Lesbian writing and publishing efforts are as vi-
verse body of personal narratives and analyses.
tal to the creation and recording of lesbian culture
Literary anthologies have played a significant
as are activism, art, and policy. In their increasingly
role in the development of lesbian culture since
varied scope, lesbian anthologies are uniquely able
1975, with the publication of a slim volume titled
to express the sweeping range of opinion held by
Amazon Poetry, edited by Elly Bulkin and Joan
lesbians about the issues important to their lives and
Larkin. This became the nucleus of Lesbian Po-
etry (1981), also edited by Bulkin and Larkin, survival. And, as Zimmerman argues, collections of
which was published with a companion volume, multiple voices can inform a politics that, rather than
Lesbian Fiction, edited by Bulkin. Subsequently, limit itself to either individual or collective lesbian
collections of lesbian short stories became a staple identities, can grapple with the need for unity as
with alternative presses, and, by the 1990s, main- well as diversity and effect concrete changes in les-
stream publishers realized the marketing potential bian lives. Kathryn A.Brandt
of such anthologies. Penguin has been a leader in
this field, with a series of short-story anthologies Bibliography
edited by Joan Nestle and Naomi Holoch under Zimmerman, Bonnie. The Politics of Translitera-
the title Women on Women, the first one appear- tion: Lesbian Personal Narratives. Signs: Jour-
ing in 1990. Subsequent anthologies include The nal of Women in Culture and Society 9:4 (1984),
Penguin Book of Lesbian Short Stories (1993), pp. 663682.
edited by Margaret Reynolds, and Chloe Plus
Olivia: An Anthology of Lesbian Literature from See also Coming Out Stories; Lesbian Studies; Pub-
the Seventeenth Century to the Present (1994), lishing, Lesbian
edited by Lillian Faderman.
From university course offerings to conferences
and journals, lesbianism became an important field Anthony, Susan B. (18201906)
of study in the academy, and scholarly anthologies American feminist and womens rights advocate.
played an important role in the development of les- Born February 15, 1820, in a small rural town in
bian studies within programs of womens studies Massachusetts, Susan Brownell Anthony became one
and queer studies. The first anthology to articulate of the most famous and enduring champions of
the premises of the field was Lesbian Studies: Present equal rights for women in U.S. history. Anthony grew
and Future (1982), edited by Margaret Cruikshank; up in a plain, hardworking Quaker family, whose
this groundbreaking anthology was revised and ex- patriarch, Daniel Anthony, opposed taxes and slav-
panded in 1996 as The New Lesbian Studies: Into ery and ardently believed in the education of females.
the 21st Century, edited by Bonnie Zimmerman and After receiving a good education, Anthony felt
Toni McNaron. Another collection of essays that compelled to teach and, in 1845, went off to teach

in the Academy in Canandaigua, New York. In lasted fifty years. In 1892, she became president of
1849, she gave up teaching to work in the temper- the NAWSA and held office until she was eighty
ance movement, at which time she became inter- years old. She died in 1906 at the age of eighty-six.
ested in the abolition of slavery and the advance- Denise McVea
ment of womens rights. She fostered friendships
with several prominent womens rights advocates Bibliography
of the time, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815 Barry, Kathleen. Susan B.Anthony: A Biography
1902), Lucretia Mott (17931880), and Lucy Stone of a Singular Feminist. New York: New York
(18181893). Stanton had called the first American University Press, 1988.
womens rights convention in 1848 in Seneca Falls, Harper, Ida Husted. Life and Works of Susan
where she had demanded the right to vote. By 1852, B.Anthony. New York: Arno, 1969.
Anthony had joined Stanton, and the two became Katz, Jonathan. Gay American History. New York:
intimate and enduring friends. Biographer Barry Harper and Row, 1976.
(1988) called Stanton and Anthony one of the Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, and Susan B.Anthony.
greatest couples of the nineteenth century. History of Woman Suffrage. New York: Fowler
By 1869, Anthony had organized the National and Wells, 1881.
Womens Suffrage Association. In 1890, this group Wheeler, Marjorie Spruill. One Woman, One Vote.
joined the American Woman Suffrage Association Troutdale, Oreg.: New Sage, 1995.
to form the National American Woman Suffrage
Association (NAWSA). The white suffragist group, See also Suffrage Movement
however, largely excluded black women suffragists.
Anthony, who needed the support of the Southern
states in pushing for woman suffrage, capitulated Anthropology
under the racism of her white compatriots. At one Social science devoted to the study of culture, or
point, Anthony asked her longtime friend, black whole ways of life of people around the world.
abolitionist and feminist Frederick Douglass The discipline is defined by its central methodol-
(18171895), not to attend the 1895 NAWSA con- ogy, known as fieldwork, which involves living
vention in Atlanta, Georgia, believing his presence with, studying, and observing a group of people,
would offend the Southerners. typically in the developing world. The published
When the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amend- result of an anthropologists fieldwork, the ethnog-
ments to the Constitution were proposed to ex- raphy, consists of a detailed account of the lives
tend the vote to African American males, Anthony and the culture of the people so studied.
demanded the same rights for women. She was
unsuccessful, and, in 1872, she voted anyway, in Characteristics and Critiques
an election for U.S. representatives. Anthony was The academic discipline of anthropology has been
indicted after posting the ballot. Hoping to get ar- described by many, including some anthropologists,
rested so that she could test her tactic in the courts, as fundamentally masculinist and white. That is,
she was instead fined $100. She never paid it. the anthropologists quest for knowledge is (some-
One of Anthonys most passionate friendships was times consciously) styled after nineteenth-century
with fellow suffragist Anna Dickinson (18421932). Euro-American explorers adventures of discov-
Although recognizing her affections for Dickinson as ery in the primitive wilderness of Africa or the
elderly sister love, Anthony nonetheless invited Pacific islands. Not surprisingly, early anthropo-
Dickinson to share her bed and ardently urged her logical research often reflected only the points of
not to marry a man. Anthony had several similar re- view of men in other cultures. As a science, it was
lationships with other women. A woman sharing such also often financially supported by, or useful to,
a friendship with Anthony would invariably refer to colonial governments.
herself as Anthonys niece. Since the 1960s, various critiques of anthropol-
When Anthony first began her crusade, women ogy have emerged, all with important consequences
had few legal rights. Due to her work and the ef- for the anthropology of lesbians and lesbian anthro-
forts of her associates, women now have opportu- pologists. The imperialism of white Euro-American
nities for higher education, property rights, the right anthropology has been criticized by postcolonial
to hold office, and the right to vote. Her campaign scholars. With the rise of 1970s feminism in the

United States, feminist anthropology emerged as a and, largely because there is so little information
A powerful critique of anthropology and as a source
of theoretical insight. Studies of lesbians and gay
available on the topic, fail to adequately theorize
womens sexualities and lives.
men also started to emerge at that time, due partly There are several reasons for the absence of cross-
to the growth of the post-Stonewall (1969) gay lib- cultural studies of womens sexualities. Two of the
eration movement and partly to the success of femi- most important sources of historical information for
nist anthropology. By the 1990s, lesbian studies nonliterate societies, nineteenth-century (and earlier)
within anthropology began to make important con- travelers accounts and colonial records, rarely dis-
tributions to the discipline as a whole, notwithstand- cuss womens lives. In literate non-Western socie-
ing the continued marginalization of lesbians and ties (such as Japanese or Muslim societies), literacy
other women and the dismissal of community-based also often remained a male prerogative. Most im-
studies in the United States as unimportant and portant, the category of lesbian is a historically
not real anthropology. specific, Euro-American term, which means it may
There is a clear connection between the silencing not reflect categories used in non-Western societies,
and marginalization of women within professional although women in those same societies might re-
anthropology, lesbian invisibility in society at large port important erotic and/or sexual ties with each
and particularly within professional settings, and the other. Typically, they also marry and bear children,
history of lesbian anthropology and lesbian anthro- and, perhaps most important, their identities are sim-
pologists. The great irony is that the two most fa- ply not defined by their sexual behaviors in the
mous American anthropologists of the twentieth Western sense of the term lesbian.
century were Margaret Mead (19011978) and An important exception to this rule of womens
Ruth Benedict (18871948), who were also some- invisibility in lesbian and gay anthropology lies in
times lovers. This fact is still rarely recognized in descriptions of women who cross-dressed. Evidence
the discipline and has yet to be critically explored. of female transvestites, or cross-dressers, who also
It also provides evidence that the problems of homo- inhabited different social roles than other women,
phobia and discrimination plague anthropology as exists in several Native American societies and in
any other profession. But lesbians have been active the nineteenth-century Balkans, for example. The
(and successful) anthropologists throughout the question of these cross-dressing womens sexuality
twentieth century, although they typically have been is more ambiguous, for the reasons outlined above.
denied important academic jobs. And, beginning in More recently, some women in postcolonial con-
the 1980s, compelling ethnographies of lesbian com- texts reject the label of lesbian precisely because
munities were being written, often (and unusually of its genesis in Western, imperialist cultures. Thus,
for anthropology) focusing on communities in the some Native American women identify as two-
United States. The remainder of this entry addresses spirit, emphasizing an indigenous tradition for
both of these distinct, but related, issues: lesbian an- cross-dressing women in their societies.
thropologythat is, anthropological studies that These difficulties of naming and interpretation
focus on lesbiansand the professional lives of les- also arise in several classic ethnographies that men-
bian anthropologists. tion or address the phenomenon of woman-woman
marriage in Africa. Such marriages are reported in
The Anthropology of Lesbians more than thirty African ethnic groups, from Ni-
Relatively little has been written about lesbians cross- geria in the west, to Kenya and the Sudan in the
culturally, as Blackwood (1986) noted in an impor- east, and in southern Africa. Most anthropologists
tant and early discussion of how anthropological in the first half of the twentieth century simply as-
research constructs lesbianism. Almost ten years sumed that, in these cases, women became hus-
later, Westons (1993) review of lesbian and gay an- bandsthat is, married other womenin an at-
thropology highlights the discrepancy between cross- tempt to establish political and economic ties be-
cultural studies of homosexuality and anthropologi- tween groups of people; they evidently never won-
cal research conducted in U.S. lesbian communities. dered, or asked, if the marriages also might have
As these authors note, there is an important branch included erotic and/or emotional dimensions. By
of gay and lesbian studies within anthropology that the 1990s, scholars were only beginning to research
specifically seeks to document the range of sexual how women in Africa describe and understand the
behaviors and identities around the world. How- important emotional, and sometimes sexual, ties
ever, most of these studies focus on mens sexuality that they share with other women.

In distinct contrast to the lack of cross-cultural Color (1983), edited by Cherre Moraga and Gloria
studies, some important ethnographic studies of Anzalda. For many radical women of color, the
lesbians in the United States have been published, effects of racism and economic oppression and the
beginning in the 1980s. There are several answers centrality of their cultural, racial, and class identi-
to the question of why the anthropology of lesbi- ties make it impossible to identify primarily or solely
ans has been far more successful in the United States as lesbian. It was not until the late 1990s that
than overseas. Critiques of anthropology as a anthropologists began to explore these issues in their
colonialist and imperialist project, and demands research. Kath Westons Render Me, Gender Me
by marginalized communities to document their (1996) provides a rare example of how lesbians of
own lives, have led to a growing commitment color and white lesbians describe (and theorize) the
among some anthropologists to conduct research complexity of their multifaceted identities.
in their home communities. The 1980s boom in
publishing for lesbian and gay markets has also The Lesbian as Anthropologist
certainly provided an outlet for these studies, which Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead were the found-
otherwise would receive little formal academic vali- ing mothers of American anthropology, and, al-
dation. Finally, organizing within the discipline of though they never explicitly wrote about lesbians,
anthropologythrough the Society of Lesbian and much of their work can be read as a plea for toler-
Gay Anthropologists (SOLGA)has helped pro- ance of alternative sex/gender arrangements. Ben-
vide some support for scholarship on lesbian is- edicts pioneering work in psychological anthro-
sues and for lesbian scholars. pology, in particular, reflects the growing domi-
Anthropological studies of lesbians in the United nance of psychoanalysis in the United States be-
States explore a number of different topics. For ex- tween the world wars, even as that discipline
ample, Weston (1991) considers the ways in which pathologized homosexuality. In her writings, and
gays and lesbians in San Francisco bend the rules in lectures delivered throughout the country, Mead
of kinship to establish their own families that in- often tried to demonstrate that alternative gender
clude both biological and nonbiological kin or rela- arrangements were possible by invoking the classi-
tives. Lewin (1993) explores how lesbians in the cal anthropological rhetoric of cultural relativism.
Bay Area negotiated meanings of motherhood dur- The difficulties facing lesbian anthropologists are
ing the beginnings of the lesbian baby boom in the many. In the 1980s, anthropology students were
early 1980s. Kennedy and Davis (1993) develop a discouraged from conducting research on lesbian
detailed and compelling portrait of lesbian lives in topics because of the difficulty of finding a job, as
Buffalo, New York, from the 1930s through the an employment crisis in the academic job market
1950s. Based on oral histories of women in Buf- intensified and particularly affected women. Sexual
falo, this work offers a much deeper understanding harassment, homophobia, racism, and antisemitism
of 1950s butch-femme than was previously possi- form a central part of academic life and life in the
ble and suggests that the political origins of the gay field, as anywhere else. But a few lesbian anthro-
liberation movement also lie in working-class cul- pologists have been out in the discipline and have
tures. These three ethnographies, in particular, rep- written important anthropological studies. In addi-
resent the promise of lesbian anthropology that is tion to the authors and studies mentioned above,
also demonstrated in Lewins 1996 volume, Invent- Esther Newton published the earliest full-length eth-
ing Lesbian Cultures in America. nography of a gay subculture, Mother Camp (1972),
Although each of the studies mentioned above exploring the lives of pre-Stonewall drag queens.
contains important information about the lives of Newtons later work considers the historical devel-
lesbians of color, there is a noticeable lack of an- opment of the gay resort of Cherry Grove on Fire
thropological studies that focus on lesbians of color Island, including the role that lesbians played there.
in the United States. Instead, lesbian anthropology Following feminist anthropology and critiques
and feminist anthropology have relied importantly of the objective, neutral stance of the anthro-
on the literary and cultural work of radical women pological observer, anthropologists have begun to
of color whose analyses center on the inextricable examine how ones personal identity is related to
ties among race, class, gender, and sexuality such as the work one does. This question is particularly
demonstrated by the landmark volume This Bridge important because of anthropologists experiences
Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of of fieldwork. The 1996 volume Out in the Field:

Reflections of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists Jewish lesbians experience antisemitism in all
A marks an important point in the coming out of
gays and lesbians in anthropology, as authors wrote
of the ways nonlesbians do; however, antisemitism
particularly affects lesbians in two additional ways.
about their experiences during fieldwork and in First, lesbians encounter antisemitism within les-
the discipline as a whole. This volume challenges, bian communities. Second, antisemitism overlaps
for the first time, the widespread invisibility of les- and connects with lesbophobia.
bians and gay men in anthropology and demon- Lesbian feminism espouses a commitment to
strates the complex interactions among anthropolo- ending all oppressions; when listing particular op-
gists personal identities, professional lives, and pressions, however, lesbian feminists often omit
choices of research topics. Deborah P.Amory antisemitism. Many lesbian feminists do not rec-
ognize antisemitism because they believe it does
Bibliography not exist, or no longer exists, or exists but is less
Blackwood, Evelyn. Breaking the Mirror: The Con- important or serious than racism or homophobia.
struction of Lesbianism and the Anthropological This unwillingness to acknowledge or oppose
Discourse on Homosexuality. In The Many Faces antisemitism is itself antisemitic.
of Homosexuality. Ed. Evelyn Blackwood. New As antisemitism is often rendered invisible within
York: Harrington Park, 1986, pp. 118. lesbian communities, so, too, are Jewish lesbians.
Jacobs, Sue-Ellen, Wesley Thomas, and Sabine Jews or Jewish issues are routinely excluded from
Lang, eds. Two-Spirit People: Native American lesbian anthologies. Margaret Cruikshank (1940
Gender Identity, Sexuality, and Spirituality. Ur- ), in an attempt to excuse the lack of Jews in her
bana: University of Illinois Press, 1997. anthology, The Lesbian Path (1980), explained that
Kennedy, Elizabeth Lapovsky, and Madeline D. several stories by Jewish lesbians had been pub-
Davis. Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The lished elsewhere; therefore, she saw no need to in-
History of a Lesbian Community. New York: clude any. Current lesbian anthologies seldom ex-
Routledge, 1993. clude Jewish contributors; however, Jewish content
Lewin, Ellen. Lesbian Mothers: Accounts of Gen- is routinely omitted, even from anthologies with a
der in American Culture. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell stated multicultural stance. Jewish lesbians also may
University Press, 1993. be rendered invisible or irrelevant through the sched-
, ed. Inventing Lesbian Cultures in America. uling of lesbian events on major Jewish holidays or
Boston: Beacon, 1996. by the assumption that all lesbians celebrate Christ-
Lewin, Ellen, and William L.Leap, eds. Out in the mas. As Evelyn Torton Beck writes in the introduc-
Field: Reflections of Lesbian and Gay Anthropolo- tion to Nice Jewish Girls: A Lesbian Anthology (3rd
gists. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1996. ed., 1989): Jewish invisibility is a symptom of anti-
Weston, Kath. Families We Choose: Lesbians, Semitism as surely as lesbian invisibility is a symp-
Gays, Kinship. New York: Columbia Univer- tom of homophobia.
sity Press, 1991. Ironically, although antisemitism renders Jews
. Lesbian/Gay Studies in the House of An- invisible when lesbians plan events or anthologies,
thropology. Annual Review of Anthropology antisemitism causes Jews to become an overly vis-
22 (1993), 157185. ible target for scapegoating. This apparent contra-
. Render Me, Gender Me: Lesbians Talk Sex, diction is not unique to antisemitism; rather, it ap-
Class, Color, Nation, Studmuffins. New York: plies to most oppressions. Traditional antisemitism
Columbia University Press, 1996. scapegoats Jews as killers of Christ; in a slight
variation, some lesbians have scapegoated Jews as
See also Benedict, Ruth; Indigenous Cultures; Native killers of the Goddess. Similarly, rather than blame
Americans; Oral History; Transgender; Two-Spirit Jews for the advent of communism or capitalism,
some lesbians have claimed that Jews invented
patriarchy. Rather than accuse Jews of controlling
Antisemitism the international economy, some lesbians allege that
The hating, stereotyping, or scapegoating of Jews; Jews have taken over the lesbian movement.
also, causing or perpetuating Jewish invisibility; im- Stereotyping simultaneously makes real Jews
posing social sanctions against Jews. In the most ex- invisible and slanderous images overly visible.
treme cases, antisemitism leads to acts of genocide. Becks introduction to Nice Jewish Girls explores

antisemitic stereotypes in classic lesbian literature, example, the Religious Right trumpets the stere-
such as Rita Mae Browns Rubyfruit Jungle (1973), otype of lesbian and gay couples as DINKs (dou-
in which a Jewish character is described as sexu- ble income/no kids) with enormous spending
ally inappropriate and foul smelling. powernot unlike familiar antisemitic stereotypes.
Trivialization of the Holocaust constitutes an- Perhaps most striking, both Jews and gays have
other form of antisemitism. For example, some les- been accused of abducting and abusing children
bians play out Nazi/Jew scenarios during sado- Jews to use childrens blood to make matzoh, gay
masochistic (S/M) sex. Some lesbians wear swasti- men and lesbians to brutalize them sexually. In each
kasboth during sex and in daily lifein an at- case, this libel has justified the bloodiest violence
tempt to proclaim their sexual desires or to trans- against the group.
form the symbol. As Hoagland (1982) points out, The stereotype of the politically correct lesbian
these women often claim that such practices parody feminist overlaps strikingly with those of the Jewish
rather than glorify Nazism. However, parody still mother and the Jewish American princess (J.A.R).
validates nazism by perpetuating the language All three are maligned as loud, nagging, whiny,
game, the conceptual framework. pushy, hostile, coarse, rude, clannish, and physically
Some lesbians find the S/M practice of eroticiz- ugly. All supposedly use guilt to manipulate others.
ing differences in power to be inherently oppres- In addition, lesbian feminists and Jewish mothers
sive and antisemitic. Reti (1986) argues that the are labeled oversensitive, hysterical, paranoid, and
Holocaust was stimulated at least partially by the cheap. Lesbian feminists and J.A.P.s are accused,
Nazis appeal to sexual sadomasochism. For les- paradoxically, of both promiscuity and frigidity (for
bians to re-enact [these] power dynamicsnot for example, lesbians purportedly suffer from bed
educational or dramatic impact, but for sexual death, while J.A.P.s supposedly withhold sex from
entertainment, seems to me an incredible their husbands). Lesbian feminists and J.A.P.s are
trivialization of the suffering and deaths of mil- also accused of poor fashion senselesbians are said
lions of human beings (emphasis in original). to wear plain, mannish clothes and no makeup;
Lesbian communities are no more antisemitic J.A.P.s, to favor garish dress and too much makeup.
than the larger world; however, because of lesbian Jewish lesbians have responded to antisemitism
feminisms stated goal of eliminating oppression both inside and outside lesbian communities by
and providing safe space for all lesbians, organizing and writing about their experiences.
antisemitism can seem more shocking and painful Lesbians first publicly discussed the issue during
in this context. Some writers have suggested that, the 1970s, when several magazines and journals
because of the small size of lesbian communities, published scattered articles about antisemitic inci-
Jewish lesbians may be more likely than Jewish dents within lesbian communities. The subject,
nonlesbians to form friendships and romantic re- however, did not reach a broad audience until the
lationships with gentiles; therefore, lesbians may 1982 publication of the first edition of Nice Jew-
encounter more direct antisemitism. Furthermore, ish Girls, which included numerous essays and
lesbian feminists who already have a conceptual poems documenting antisemitism among lesbians.
framework for identifying and combating oppres- Partly in response to the book, many Jewish lesbi-
sion may be more likely to confront antisemitism ans formed political and social groups during the
and thus make it more visible. 1980s to combat antisemitism and to explore Jew-
Outside of lesbian communities, Jews and ho- ish lesbian identity. By the 1990s, Jewish lesbians
mosexuals are often persecuted in tandem, as dur- began deliberately to explore and depict
ing the Nazi Holocaust or U.S. Senator Joseph antisemitism in fiction. Outstanding examples in-
McCarthys anti-Communist hearings in the 1950s. clude Jyl Lynn Felmans Crisis (1990), Melanie
Antisemitism and homophobia are also conceptu- Kaye Kantrowitzs My Jewish Face (1990), and
ally linkedJews and lesbians are often used to S.Naomi Finkelsteins McRunes and Mazdas
symbolize the other in similar ways. (19941995). As a result of this work, antisemitism
Jews, lesbians, and gay men share accusations both inside and outside lesbian communities has
of conspiratorial clannishness, political subver- gained attention and acknowledgment, although
siveness, and wealth (bigots usually do not distin- many lesbians still believe antisemitism to be non-
guish between gay men and lesbians, despite real existent or unimportant.
socioeconomic differences between the two). For Robin Bernstein

Bibliography Because the ancient world viewed lesbian women
A Beck, Evelyn Torton, ed. Nice Jewish Girls: A Les-
bian Anthology. 3rd ed. Boston: Beacon, 1989.
through a male lens, which identified sexuality with
penile penetration, most references to female ho-
Hoagland, Sarah. Sadism, Masochism, and Les- mosexuality assume that one partner (endowed with
bian-Feminism. In Against Sadomasochism: A an unusually enlarged clitoris or making use of a
Radical Feminist Analysis. Ed. Robin Ruth dildo) plays the active masculine role. Female
Linden, Darlene R.Pagano, Diana E.H.Russell, homoeroticism is represented as occurring between
and Susan Leigh Star. San Francisco: Frog in two adult women, rather than as conforming to the
the Well, 1982, pp. 153163. male model of paiderasteia (love of an older male,
Reti, Irene. Remember the Fire: Lesbian Sadomaso- usually in his twenties, for an adolescent youth), the
chism in a Post Nazi-Holocaust World. Santa socially validated form of male homoeroticism. The
Cruz, Calif.: Herbooks, 1986. cultural acceptance of paiderasteia was not extended
Zahava, Irene, ed. Speaking for Ourselves: Short to include female-female love, which, especially in
Stories by Jewish Lesbians. Freedom, Calif.: the Hellenistic period, was almost uniformly casti-
Crossing, 1990. gated as unnatural and shameful. The negative
judgment applies to both participants in a lesbian
See also Israel; Judaism; Race and Racism; Sado-
relationship, since the presumably feminine re-
ceptive partner, in not allowing herself to be pen-
etrated by a man, is also acting unnaturally.
The understanding of female homoeroticism in
antiquity derives from a variety of sources: mythol-
Same-sex love among women in classical and Hel-
ogy, visual art (particularly vase paintings), erotic
lenistic Greece, in Rome, and elsewhere in the an-
poetry, philosophical texts, comedy, dream books,
cient Mediterranean world. Except for Sapphos
elite Hellenistic literature, astrological texts, medi-
(ca. 600 B.C.E.) poetry, there is no direct testimony
cal texts, and love spells. Responsible interpreta-
by a woman of how women in antiquity experi-
enced love between women or of how they viewed tion of this material requires careful distinguish-
its role in their lives. Thus, the available evidence, ing by region and period.
based on a belief that male sexuality is naturally
active and female sexuality naturally passive and Ancient Greece
on a hierarchical distinction between active and Except for Homeric references to the Amazons, there
passive sexual roles, expresses male views about are no allusions to female-female love in early ar-
women and about female sexuality. chaic Greek literature (750600 B.C.E.). The early
The Greek and Latin terminology used to des- sixth century offers not only Sapphos poetry and
ignate female homosexuals does not include les- its evocation of a fully reciprocal, unabashedly sen-
bian, which, in the ancient world, refers to fella- sual love between women, but also the poetry of
tio. In the Symposium, Plato (427?347? B.C.E.) her near contemporary, the Spartan poet Alcman
calls women sexually drawn to other women (mid-seventh century B.C.E.), who composed cho-
hetairistriai, meaning female companions of ral lyrics written for performance by parthenai (un-
women. The more frequently used Greek term is married girls). Alcmans parthenai express the girls
tribas; it and its Latin equivalent, fricatrix, both longings for intimate relations with one another and
probably derive from verbs meaning to rub. contain hints that some were involved in affairs with
Latin authors often used the Greek word tribas, older married women. Indeed, there is evidence that,
instead of fricatrix, as a way of suggesting that fe- in ancient Sparta, where unmarried girls were given
male homosexuality is essentially a foreign phe- public education and trained as athletes as nowhere
nomenon. The Latin word, virago, meaning a mas- else, female-female relationships were given public
culine woman, focuses on the way in which lesbi- endorsement. According to Plutarch (ca. A.D. 46
anism represents gender-role transgression. ca. 127), in Sparta respectable adult women had
The tendency of much scholarship on homosexu- love affairs with unmarried girls in relationships
ality in antiquity either to omit female experience accorded the same educational function as those
or to not clearly differentiate it from male experi- attributed to male paiderasteia.
ence has encouraged an assumption of a greater ac- Some scholars believe that, elsewhere in the sev-
ceptance of lesbianism than the evidence allows. enth and sixth centuries B.C.E., the Greeks accepted

the involvement of young girls in homoerotic rela- sible exception is the third-century B.C.E. Italian
tions during a period of segregation in all-female woman poet Nossis of Locri, who wrote erotic po-
communities called thiasoi, as in Sapphos school ems that may have referred to lesbian relationships.
or Artemiss temple at Brauron. This may have in- Almost all extant Roman-period sources (except for
cluded relations between teachers or priestesses and Plutarchs nonjudgmental description of female-fe-
students (as in the male pattern), but also (unlike male love in archaic Spartaand he was not talk-
that pattern) between the girls themselves. One of ing about his own world) condemn lesbian relations,
Alcmans lyrics has been interpreted as describing even though many condone particular forms of male
an exclusive bonding between two such girls, vali- homoeroticism. Women engaged in same-sex erotic
dated not for its initiatory value but simply as an relationships are viewed as trying to play male roles
expression of mutual attachment. and claim male privilege and, thus, judged as acting
Whereas two out of the three earliest Greek lyric against naturethat is, against the cultural norms.
poets (Sapphos contemporary Alcaeus is the third) The first critical references to Sapphos
wrote poems referring to female homosexuality, in homoeroticism appear at this time.
the classical period (fifth and fourth centuries
B.C.E.)when the thiasoi had disappeared, and Rome
women were confined to the domestic sphereit Nothing is known of the language of affection used
seems to have become a taboo subject, at least in by Roman women nor whether same-sex eroticism
Athens. Therefore, it is not known if wives of citi- occurred among unmarried girls. Much of the evi-
zens turned to one another for the intimacy and dence concerning Roman women applies only to
passion they were unlikely to find in heterosexual the wives of citizens who were not secluded in their
marriages with men whose own eroticism seems homes as women in classical Greece were, although
mostly to have been directed into paiderastic rela- they and their sexuality were still seen as needing
tionships. Accounts of female-female lovemaking to be controlled by men. A married womans sexual
between heterai (courtesans) probably refer to involvement with another woman was defined as
scenes designed to titillate male customers, but these adultery. For an elite woman to engage in lesbian
women may also have engaged in freely chosen sex was unpardonable, though slaves or prostitutes
sexual relationships with one another. may have been encouraged to do so to titillate male
Vases dating from the late sixth and early fifth voyeurs.
centuries B.C.E. in Corinth or Boetia depict erotic Roman-period (ca. 200 B.C.E.A.D. 200) litera-
encounters between adult women, not between ture testifies to a general familiarity with the con-
women and girls. One shows a kneeling woman cept of female homoeroticism. The earliest extant
fingering the genitals of another; some show women Latin reference to female homosexuality appears in
with dildoes, including a two-ended dildo. Visual a second-century B.C.E. comedy by Plautus (ca. 254
art, particularly vase painting, tends to be more 184 B.C.E.), in which a female slave is represented
explicit in its rendition of female-female eroticism as forcing sexual intercourse upon her mistress.
than literary texts. Toward the beginning of the first century B.C.E.,
There are few literary references. A Pindar (518 Seneca (55 B.C.E.A.D. 40?) presents a fictitious
438 B.C.E.) fragment from the first half of the fifth legal case centering on a man who finds his wife in
century speaks of the erotic response one woman has bed with another woman and kills them both, after
to the beauty of another. The fifth-century philoso- first looking to see if the partner was a man with a
pher Parmenides wrote that activethat is, mascu- penis of his own or a woman with an artificial one.
linewomen and passive (feminine) men result from In the first century A.D., the poet Phaedrus com-
the male and female seeds at conception not melding posed a fable about the origin of the active partici-
properly. The conditions are thus congenital, not cur- pants in lesbian sex and the passive partners in male
able, and lifelong. In the fourth century B.C.E., Pla- homosexuality; his tale describes Prometheus, re-
tos Symposium describes lesbian love originating (just turning to the creation of humans after having too
as heterosexual and male homosexual love do) from much to drink, accidentally putting female sexual
the splitting of the original round people. organs on some male bodies and male genitals on
After Plato, there is a long silence that extends some female bodies. During the same period,
until the beginning of the Augustan age (late first Petroniuss Satyricon portrays two married women
century B.C.E. into the first decade A.D.). One pos- at a banquet getting drunk and beginning to fondle

each other; that one is an ex-prostitute and that aid of underworld spirits to attract other women.
A neither is really respectable is made inescapably clear.
Martial (ca. A.D. 40ca. 104) writes of a matron
Extant examples of such spells (probably composed
by men) provide the names of the women who
viewed as utterly respectable because she is reported purchased them and of the women whose love they
to have never taken on any lovers, until it is discov- sought to compel. The formulaic language of these
ered that, in imitation of men, she has a female be- spells assumes a male model of domination and
loved. The second-century A.D. Syrian Iamblichos conquest and leaves unclear whether the aim is a
wrote a popular novel about a marriage between an long-term public relation or a clandestine affair.
Egyptian princess and a female subject. Lucians (ca. Several different sourcessome of these spells,
A.D. 115?ca. 180) Dialogues of the Courtesans several of the novels cited above, the writings of
describes a marriage between two courtesans, one the Alexandrian astrologer Ptolemy (fl. A.D. 121
of whom, claiming to have been born just like other 151)suggest that, at least in Egypt and Syria,
women but with the mind and desires of a man, long-term relations between women were some-
takes on a mans name and dress. She boasts that times understood in relation to the model of het-
she can give pleasure as well as any manand erosexual marriage. Since, in the Roman-ruled
doesnt need a penis to do so. world, official matrimony was available only to
Astrological texts, an important source for citizens and marriage otherwise meant only cohabi-
nonelite Roman-period attitudes toward lesbian- tation (perhaps sanctified in a private ceremony),
ism, present female homoeroticism as the result of two women living together might well have con-
being born under a particular configuration (usu- sidered themselves married. Although the early
ally one in which Venus appears in what was re- Christian father Clement of Alexandria (ca. A.D.
garded as a masculine house) and, thus, as a life- 150ca. 214) speaks of women who marry other
long orientation. These texts often lump together women (using both the active and the passive form
homoerotic, adulterous, and promiscuous women of the verb to marry) as an unspeakable prac-
because all take on an active sexual role, or lump tice, he nonetheless describes their relation in terms
lesbians with passive males because both refuse to of a socially accepted institution.
conform to sanctioned gender roles. Though caused
by the stars, lesbianism is viewed negatively; yet Jewish and Early Christian Texts
astrologers seem to aim at helping women accept Postexilic (ca. 100 B.C.E.A.D. 70) biblical texts
their fate rather than change it. prohibit male anal intercourse (though Roman-
Artemidoross Oneirokritika (second century period rabbis permitted anal intercourse in mar-
A.D.), the most influential Hellenistic book about riage) but make no reference to female homosexu-
the classification of dreams, assumes a dominat- ality. Hellenistic-period Jewish texts represent
ing, penetrating model for female-female sexual love between women as not just a practice
homoeroticism. If a woman dreams that she pos- of foreigners, but as something that also occurs
sesses another woman, it means she will share her within Judaism. Talmudic rabbis disagree as to
secrets with that woman; if she dreams she is pos- whether lesbianism is to be construed as harlotry.
sessed by another woman, she will be divorced or The school of Hillel is said to allow women who
widowed; if she dreams of making love with a fe- rub with each other to marry priests, while the
male stranger, she will attempt futile projects. school of Shammai does not. These discussions of
Medical texts from the Roman period that deal lesbian sexuality make no distinction between ac-
with lesbians also take for granted the dominant tive and receptive partners and assume that the
phallic assumptions. Viewing healthy female sexu- women involved would also marry men.
ality as passive, they recommend either mind con- Early Christian literature views homoeroticism
trol or surgery to correct the pathology of the pre- somewhat differently from other Roman-period
sumed active partner: surgery to remove an sources. Like his gentile contemporaries, Paul (d. A.D.
overlarge clitoris or psychological treatment to deal 67) sees womens love of women as unnatural be-
with the lack of ethical restraint on lust cause it challenges gender boundaries, but, unlike
those contemporaries, he groups female homosexu-
Hellenistic Egypt als and male homosexuals in the same category and
In Hellenistic Egypt (ca. 300 B.C.E.A.D. 300), condemns not only the receptive, but also the active,
women commissioned love spells, which invoke the partner in male-male love. Early Christian

apocalyptic writings put male and female homosexu- dyke to investigate the destructive effects of exter-
als in the same pit in hell. Christine Downing nally imposed labels, homophobia and sexism, and
conflicts among women of all colors. She calls for
Bibliography multicultural feminist communities and maintains
Brooten, Bernadette J. Love Between Women: Early that alliance work requires the flexibility to shift
Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism. between identities.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza
Cantarella, Eva. Bisexuality in the Ancient World. (1987) represents Anzaldas most extensive at-
New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1992. tempt to mediate between diverse cultures. This
Dover, K.J. Greek Homosexuality. Cambridge, collection of essays and poems defies easy classifi-
Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1978. cation but can perhaps be best described as cul-
Perry, William Armstrong, III. Pederasty and Peda- tural autobiography, for Anzalda blends personal
gogy in Archaic Greece. Chicago: University of experience with history and social protest with
Chicago Press, 1996. poetry and myth to (re)construct her individual and
Richlin, Amy. The Gardens of Priapus: Sexuality collective identities. In blurring the boundaries
and Aggression in Roman Humor. New Haven, between apparently distinct categories, her concepts
Conn.: Yale University Press, 1983. of the Borderlands and mestiza consciousness have
Winkler, John J. The Constraints of Desire. New made a significant impact on twentieth-century
York: Routledge, 1990. cultural theory.
Anzaldas poetry and fiction employ code
See also Christianity, Early; Classical Literature; switching, surrealistic description, and mythic im-
Judaism; Sappho agery to challenge conventional literary standards.
By exploring diverse issues simultaneously, includ-
ing lesbian sexuality, butch-femme roles, bisexual-
Anzalda, Gloria E. (1942) ity, homophobia and sexism, altered states of real-
Chicana-tejana poet, fiction writer, and cultural ity, and hetero-/homosexual relationships,
theorist. Born in the Rio Grande Valley of south Anzalda expands existing definitions of lesbian
Texas to sixth-generation mexicanos, Anzalda has and Chicana identities. El Paisano Is a Bird of
won numerous awards, including the Before Good Omen (1983), for example, depicts Andrea,
Columbus Foundation American Book Award, the a Chicana dyke with heightened spiritual powers,
Lamda Lesbian Small Book Press Award, an NEA on the eve of her wedding to Zenobio, a gay
Fiction Award, and the Sappho Award of Distinc- Chicano.
tion. As one of the first openly lesbian Chicana For Anzalda, sexuality cannot be separated
writers, Anzalda has played a major role in rede- from ethnicity, class, culture, gender, or other sys-
fining lesbian and Chicano/a identities. And as tems of difference. By emphasizing the cultural-
coeditor of This Bridge Called My Back: Writings and class-specific dimensions of her sexuality,
by Radical Women of Color (1981) and editor of Anzalda destabilizes monolithic definitions of
Making Face, Making Soul/Haciendo Caras: Crea- homosexuality and exposes the ethnocentricity of
tive and Critical Perspectives by Feminists of Color academic queer theory. This emphasis on mul-
(1990), Anzalda has played an equally vital role tiple systems of difference enables her to go be-
in developing an inclusionary feminist movement. yond definitions of homosexuality that focus pri-
Anzaldas writings synthesize autobiography marily on gender, sexual-object choice, and sexual
with political and spiritual issues to explore multi- desire. In her work, sexuality represents a com-
ple overlapping themes, including Nahuatl mythic ponent in a constantly shifting process of identity
traditions, U.S. white supremacy, and the interlock- (re)formation and political activism. As she ex-
ing systems of oppression that marginalize people plains in To(o) Queer a Writer in Inversions
whobecause of their sexuality, gender, ethnicity, (1991), the new mestiza queers she envisions
and/or economic statusdo not belong to domi- have the ability, the flexibility, the amorphous
nant cultural groups. In essays such as Speaking quality of being able to stretch this way and that
in Tongues (1979), La Prieta (1981), and En way. We can add new labels, names and identities
Rapport, in Opposition (1987), Anzalda draws as we mix with others.
on her own experiences as a working-class Chicana AnaLouise Keating

Bibliography other women, although they may not have person-
A Keating, AnaLouise. Women Reading Women
Writing: Self-Invention in Paula Gunn Allen,
ally or publicly identified as lesbian. Although the
history of Arab lesbians in the United States is un-
Gloria Anzalda, and Audre Lorde. Philadel- documented, this does not mean that they do not
phia: Temple University Press, 1996. have a long history. It merely means that it has
Lugones, Mara. On Borderlands/La Frontera: An been rendered invisible due to the necessity for se-
Interpretive Essay. Hypatia 7 (1992), 3137. crecy in order to remain a part of the Arab com-
Warland, Betsy, ed. Inversions: Writing by Dykes, munity and survive.
Queers & Lesbians. Vancouver: Press Gang, 1991. The visible Arab lesbian community formed as
Zimmerman, Bonnie. The Safe Sea of Women: Les- part of a larger movement of people coming into
bian Fiction, 19691989. Boston: Beacon, 1990. their identity as lesbians of color. Lesbians from
different ethnicities and races formed separate or-
See also Latina Literature; Mestizaje ganizations. The first publicly visible Arab lesbian
group, the Arab Lesbian Network, was formed in
the United States in May 1989 in Berkeley, Cali-
Arab Americans fornia, by Huda Jadallah, a Palestinian lesbian born
Diverse ethnic group that includes people who have and raised in the United States. The first gathering
emigrated from, or whose descendants have emi- included five Arab lesbians. The group grew in size
grated from, Arab countries, including those in and became part of a developing international net-
Southwest Asia and North Africa. Arab Americans work of self-identified Arab lesbians. The Arab
also include people of mixed ethnic heritage. Be- Lesbian Network changed its name in the course
cause immigration is partly due to political climate of its development to include bisexual women
in the country of origin, immigration patterns vary (Arab Lesbian and Bisexual Womens Network).
among Arab people from different regions. Thus, There was also a group that included men called
Arabs from certain countries have longer histories the Arab Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Network.
of immigration to the United States than Arabs from These organizations were both social and po-
other countries. Arab Americans occupy a variety litical. In 1990, the Arab Lesbian and Bisexual
of jobs and come from diverse class backgrounds. Womens Network marched for the first time with
Arab Americans experience racism in many a banner in the San Francisco Freedom Day Pa-
ways, including the perpetuation of stereotypes rade. During the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 1991, the
about submissive Arab women who are treated networks organized actively to educate the public
poorly by men. The discrimination and marginal- about the war and to raise funds for survivors in
ity that Arabs experience has caused Arab Ameri- Iraq. Although the Arab Lesbian and Bisexual
can families and communities to maintain strong Womens Network disbanded as a formal group
bonds. in 1992, informal gatherings continued.
Arab family structure is patriarchal and based At the same time that the Arab Lesbian and Bi-
on extended kinship networks. Obligation and sexual Womens Network was forming on the West
duty to the family are expected, subsuming indi- Coast, the Gay and Lesbian Arabic Society (GLAS)
vidual desires. This is in direct contrast to the was forming on the East Coast. This organization
dominant individualistic attitude emphasized in was dominated by men but did include a few
the United States, which poses a unique set of women. GLAS formed several branches during the
conflicts for Arab lesbians in that country. In Arab 1990s, including Washington, D.C. (the original
culture, a mans honor resides in the women of group), Los Angeles, and New York City. The Les-
the family, particularly in womens sexuality. bian Arab Network (LAN) held its first meeting at
Thus, womens sexuality is tightly controlled ac- the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center
cording to accepted cultural norms to protect in New York City on June 10, 1990. LANs main
mens honor. Coming out as a lesbian, then, may function was to serve as a social support group; it
be seen as a negative reflection and a shame upon had seven members at its peak and ceased to exist
the family and a manifestation of a womans lack formally by the end of 1991, although the infor-
of familial duty and concern. mal network of Arab lesbians continued to expand.
For as long as there have been Arabs in America, In March 1996, the first Arab lesbian, bisexual,
there have been Arab American women who loved and transgender womens e-mail list was formed

by Katherine Sherif. Although the members of the erature. In discussions of same-sex relations in Arab
list group were mainly from the United States, literature, one cannot assume the existence of an
there were also members from other countries. immutable, monolithic Arab or Islamic
Queer-Arabs, an e-mail list group formed by Sherif ahistorical reality that allows generalizations, nor
at the same time is open to men and women, Ar- that hostility to lesbianism is particularly Muslim
abs and non-Arabs, queers and nonqueers. Al- (as opposed to Christian or Jewish). Many Arab
though dominated by men, there are some Arab authors, regardless of gender or sexual orientation,
lesbians on the list. have represented lesbian situations and characters
Arab lesbians in the United States created a vis- in their writings, particularly in works of fiction.
ible network of social support during the 1990s. A number of ostensibly heterosexual authors, as
In 1991, they had a visible presence at the First well as others who may have to code their sexual
National Lesbian Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. identity, have used lesbianism as a narrative or
In August 1997, the First National Queer Arab poetic tool or as an escape into the safety of the
Womens Gathering took place in Marin, Califor- female. In its most superficial form, lesbianism is
nia, where plans were laid for ongoing activities. part of a system of transgression against an op-
pressive moral order. In more feminist versions, rep-
Huda Jadallah
resentations of lesbianism are allegorical of mili-
tant protest by women against an alienated condi-
tion and an act of ultimate defiance against a male-
Aswad, Barbara C., and Barbara Bilge. Family and
dominated and brutal social order.
Gender Among American Muslims: Issues Fac-
The rise of Arab feminism in the late nineteenth
ing Middle Eastern Immigrants and Their De-
and early twentieth centuries provides an impor-
scendants. Philadelphia: Temple University
tant backdrop for understanding lesbian represen-
Press, 1996.
tation. It was very strong in Egypt, for instance,
Jadallah, Huda, and Pearl Saad. A Conversation
where the first womens demonstration took place
About the Arab Lesbian and Bisexual Womens in 1919, under the leadership of Huda Sharawi
Network. In Plural Desires: Writing Bisexual (18791949). In 1949, Durriyah Shafiq (1908
Womens Realities. Ed. The Bisexual Anthol- 1975) led a more militant feminist movement called
ogy Collective. Toronto: Sister Vision, 1995. the Nile Daughters Party, which demanded the
Kadi, Joanna. Food for Our Grandmothers: Writ- abolition of polygamy, the institution of European-
ings by Arab-American and Arab-Canadian type divorce laws, and the right to vote and be
Feminists. Boston: South End, 1994. elected in Parliament. In 1951, Shafiqs party
marched on Parliament, demanding equal rights
See also Immigration for women and to present a petition, its demands
written in blood, to the king.
How does one locate lesbian characters and
Arab Literature, Modern situations in Arab literature, since decoding latent
Twentieth-century writing, primarily produced af- homosexual behavior through the homosocial does
ter the various independence movements shook not fit the culture of the Arab world? There is, in
colonial rule across Africa and Asia after the end effect, fairly little discomfort at discussing and rep-
of World War II, and again in the 1950s and 1960s. resenting male homosexuality in the literature of
Colonialism brought with it the widespread use of the Arab world, albeit not necessarily sympatheti-
French, in particular, primarily in the Maghrib cally. Naguib Mahfouz (1911), Gamal Ghitany
(Northwest Africa) and in Lebanon. A rich (1945), Mouloud Mammeri (19171989), Rachid
Francophone (French-language) literature thus Boudjedra (1941), and Rafik Ben-Salah (n.d.),
came to life, which must be included in a discus- among others, have all spoken, in different ways,
sion of Arab literature. While Arabic and French of male homosexuality, and Rachid O. (n.d.) has
have marked stylistic differences, and different ways openly written about his own homosexuality.
of encoding culturally specific situations, the themes On the other hand, love between women is not
and the cultural fabric of Arab literature in all lan- as obvious in literary works, for a number of rea-
guages remain similar. sons. Gender codes vary considerably between the
Lesbians and lesbianism are not frequently West and the Arab world. Assuming maleness as a
discussed topics in critical works about Arab lit- preferable gendered identity is not uncommon

A R A B L I T E R AT U R E , M O D E R N 51
among assertive (often heterosexual) women, fic- Sand Child (1987), in which a girl is made to pass
A tional and real, who suffer from the very restrictive
and negative expectations placed on their social and
as a boy from childhood because her father cant
abide the birth of another daughter. S/he is then
sexual roles. As a result, women have, for instance, married to her cousin, an ailing young girl strug-
written poetry ostensibly addressed to other women gling with physical challenges, with whom s/he has
in ambiguous modes. In the modern period, Zeidan a strongly sadomasochistic rapport, at once
(1996) claims that the Lebanese Wardah al-Yaziji complicit and hostile. Yet, in the end, Zohras
(18381924) addressed another woman in her love transgendered life fails, and a return to her female
poetry purely as a covering device, although Ahmed self results in molestation and destruction.
(1992) has contested that restrictive interpretation. Lesbians appear in trace form in several works
Al-Yaziji used the technique more aggressively when by well-known male authors. In Rachid Boudjedras
writing to cAishah Taymur, evoking a famous love La Rpudiation (1969), famous for its depiction of
story of the seventeenth century with the verse You male homosexuality, the French slang word gouine
are unique among women. So how could I but/love (dyke, loosely) appears in a description of hetero-
a peerless lover? cAishah Taymur (18401902) was sexual fantasies and dysfunction. The Syrian Nizar
Qabbani (1923), who has been called the most
an aristocratic woman poet, with strong links to
popular modern poet in the Arab world, has on
the Egyptian khedives (royal family). After she be-
occasion evoked womens right to pleasure, includ-
came a widow, she actively engaged in her poetic
ing, according to Khairallah (1995), a joyful and
career, interrupted by seven years of mourning for
positive rendering of a love scene between two les-
her eldest daughter. Her love poetry had many dar-
bians in his Al-Qasida al-shirrira (The Evil
ing aspects; in her book of poems, she included po-
Poem, 1971). The Egyptian Majd Tubiyas (1938
ems in colloquial Arabic, something quite unortho-
) novel Rm Tasbugh Shacrah (Rm Dyes Her Hair
dox at the time, and used a male persona, writing
[1982]) contains an allusion to same-sex relations.
love poetry to a recipient identified by feminine
In none of these cases, however, are lesbians the
grammatical forms. For the Egyptian feminist Mayy real focus of the passage.
Ziyadah (18861941), this was merely a technique Love between women is, not surprisingly, most
in response to the social unacceptability of female narratively developed in the works of several women
public expressions of emotions and in accord with writers. Nawal El Saadawi (1931), in Imraacind
Taymurs tendency to imitate male literature. Yet Nuqtat al-Sifr (Woman at Point Zero [1979]), par-
what is important in these female voices borrowing allels Firdaouss love for her teacher, Miss Iqbal, a
a male persona is less whether these poets truly ex- form of extreme longing and passion that is never
perienced same-sex love, than the ways in which actualized, with the love pangs felt for the man with
classical Arabic poetry allows publicly entertaining whom she will fall in love. While the Western-de-
ambiguity about gender and the object of love. The fined term lesbian, or an Arabic equivalent, is not
tradition of a woman writer addressing words of present in most authors work, a noteworthy ex-
love to an unidentified person, revealed to be a ception is found in Nawal El Saadawis Jannt wa-
woman, is continued by the Lebanese Etel cAdnan Ibls (Innocence of the Devil [1992]). Here, a woman
(1925). Her Love Poems, which were written in with an ambiguous status with respect to gender,
English, are discreetly but clearly addressed to a honor, and power confronts the patriarchal order.
woman. The woman works for the director of a facility, car-
Gender ambiguity is one way writers have ries out his orders, and is treated by him like a sexual
broached the topic of female transgression of sexual object. She finally rebels, affirms that she hates him
boundaries without explicitly speaking of lesbian and all men, and, in fact, loves women. The crucial
behavior. For instance, in Tahar Ben Jellouns element in this confrontation is the directors attempt
(1944) poetic narrative Harrouda (1971), the at mustering religion against her (You will go to
mysterious woman Harrouda, witch and beggar, Hell with the people of Lot, Lesbianism is haram
transgresses all taboos, religious, social, and sexual, [forbidden]) and her own resistance on the very plane
and escapes all definition; her many disguises make of theology: No, Sir! It is not mentioned in the
her a mythical figure, and, in one of them, she is Book of God.
seen brandishing a gigantic plastic penis. Ben In Assia Djebars (1936) short story Femmes
Jelloun explored the crossing over of a woman dAlger dans leur appartement (Women of Algiers
into a forbidden identity in greater detail in The in Their Apartment) (1980), Sahrah feels a sudden

52 A R A B L I T E R AT U R E , M O D E R N
rush of desire for a woman friend who is lying ill in theories on architecture are just becoming visible
the hospital, but the feelings are not acted upon. in the professions public discourse.
Yet this attraction is built up throughout the story One of the most prolific twentieth-century ar-
by allusions to her ambiguous rapport with her other chitects, Julia Morgan (18721957), was the first
women friends, and some of their improper gender American woman to receive a certificate from the
behaviorsfor instance, one of them practices judo. prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Although
The possibility that such relationships could fully Morgan never married, and scholarship remains
take place has been detailed in several works. The mute on her intimate relationships, she was part
Syrian Alfa Rifcat, in a short story titled Sadqat of a large network of wealthy and professional
(My Girlfriend, or Female Friend [1981]), and, most women of the first half of the twentieth century
notably, the Lebanese Hann Al Shaykh (1945), who were the clients for many of her architectural
in Women of Sand and Myrrh (1989), have both commissions, which included private residences,
developed the theme of love between women. In womens schools, womens clubs, and the YWCA.
Hanan al Shaykhs novel, two married women liv- Scholarship on modern architecture revived in-
ing in Saudi Arabia, where they are increasingly terest in another influential female architect, Eileen
confined and feel like prisoners who want to escape Gray (18781976). Born in Scotland, Gray produced
from the country, experience a passionate but short- lacquer work, furniture, and interior-design projects
lived affair. The novel brings together the many prior to her self-taught practice in architecture. Al-
strands that compose recognizable themes in Arab though only a few of the buildings that she designed
writing by women about women in a tender and were built, she was a founding member of UAM
powerful depiction of the overwhelming possibili- (Union des Artists Modernes), an important asso-
ties that exist for love between women. ciation of modern architects and planners. By the
Francesca Canad Sautman 1950s, Grays most famous house, E.1027, was er-
roneously attributed to Le Corbusier (18871965),
Bibliography in part because he had covered the walls with mu-
Ahmed, Leila. Women and Gender in Islam: His- rals of his own design during a visit there.
torical Roots of a Modern Debate. New Ha- In his biography of Gray, Adam (1987) pur-
ven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1992. posely refrained from probing too deeply into the
Khairallah, Asad E. Love and the Body in Modern private lives of those who were at times her most
Arabic Poetry. In Love and Sexuality in Modern intimate friends but reported that Gray had sev-
Arabic Literature. Ed. Roger Allen and Hilary eral affairs with men and women and traveled in
Kilpatrick. London: Saqi, 1995, pp. 210223. a social circle that included Natalie Barney (1876
Malti-Douglas, Fedwa. Men, Women, and Gods: 1972), Gertrude Stein (18741946), and Romaine
Nawal El Saadawi and Arab Feminist Poetics. Brooks (18741970).
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. The education of women in architecture in the
Zeidan, Joseph T. Arab Women Novelists. Albany: United States was fostered by the Cambridge School
State University of New York, 1996. of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, which
existed from 1915 to 1942 and provided profes-
See also Egypt; Islam sional design education for women, who were ex-
cluded from attending existing institutions. Histo-
ries of the school do not provide direct informa-
Architecture tion about the sexual or affectional orientation of
In architecture, as in many male-identified and the female students or teachers. However, the
male-dominated professions, lesbians and lesbian schools existence supported the development of
perspectives must be investigated indirectly. In both extensive, supportive networks of women design
historic and contemporary contexts, the lesbian practitioners for many decades.
presence is often shadowy and can be discovered The most widely known architect associated
by locating woman-identified women and wom- with the Cambridge School is Eleanor Raymond
ens networks. While acceptance of lesbians as prac- (18871989). In 1931, her Raymond House was
titioners is beginning, there is little awareness of featured in Architectural Forum as the first home
lesbian or bisexual female architects in history (with in the International Style to be built in New England.
the possible exception of Eileen Gray), and lesbian In 1948, Raymond and Dr. Maria Telkes received

wide recognition for their Dover Sun House, heated Bunch, Charlotte, and Sandra Pollack. Learning
A exclusively by solar energy. Raymonds professional
and personal life was inscribed within a circle of
Our Way: Essays in Feminist Education.
Trumansburg, N.Y.: Crossing, 1983.
women colleagues and clients, including her friend Cole, Doris. Eleanor Raymond: Architect. Phila-
and companion, Ethel Power, editor of House delphia: Art Alliance and East Brunswick, N.J.:
Beautiful. Associated University Presses, 1981.
The second wave of feminism in the United Fowler, Pauline. Women Building Culture: Archi-
States stimulated development of new perspectives tecture for Feminists. In Work in Progress: Build-
on women and architecture, although most groups ing Feminist Culture. Ed. Rhea Tregebov. Toronto:
and publications still addressed the issue of sexual The Womens Press, 1987, pp. 129147.
orientation indirectly. In the early 1970s, seven Lew, Margaret. Relocating the Hedge Transforms
women architects and planners collaborated to de- the House: Monique Wittig and Pueblo Archi-
velop the Womens School of Planning and Archi- tecture. Trivia: A Journal of Ideas 12 (Spring
tecture (WSPA), which held summer sessions from 1988), 635.
1975 until 1981. Leslie Kanes Weisman and Noel
Phyllis Birkbys essay on the WSPA in Learning Our
See also Barney, Natalie; Brooks, Romaine; Stein,
Way (1983) describes an implicit lesbian agenda in
Gertrude; Wittig, Monique
listing intentions and goals such as to offer women
a separatist experience and to explore the possi-
bilities for designing and building new environments
Archives and Libraries
for an evolving womens cultureincluding les-
Since the 1970s, archives and libraries have served
bian centers. However, a decade later, Weismans
as critical components in efforts to preserve and
book Discrimination by Design: A Feminist Critique
document lesbian lives and experiences. Whether
of the Man-Made Environment (1992) mentions
independently organized and staffed or function-
lesbians only once, as potential victims of housing
discrimination in suburbs. ing as a subset of a larger academic, public, or spe-
In 1987, Pauline Fowler reiterated the goal of cial library, these collections of books, journals,
developing spaces for womens culture in Women ephemera, and artifacts share the goal of collect-
Building Culture: Architecture for Feminists. This ing, protecting, and making available both the pri-
was followed by Margaret Lews 1988 essay in the mary and secondary sources essential to an inves-
journal Trivia, in which she undertook an archi- tigation and examination of lesbianism.
tectural exploration of an emerging reality found in
the work of lesbian poets and theorists. Her project Characteristics and Development
combined a spatial analysis of Pueblo architecture Archives and libraries are not necessarily identical
with excerpts from the writings of Monique Wittig in either their mission or their organization. Li-
(1935), Mary Daly (1928), and other radical les- braries collected, however grudgingly or in some
bian feminists. In response to Fowlers call for a cases unwittingly, materials by and about lesbians
new narrative combining new, woman-centered well before the advent of the first archive organ-
forms to create spaces for womens culture, Lew ized around and focused on lesbianism. Authors
called attention to the difficulty of trying to cri- widely known as lesbian have been well represented
tique a material reality without questioning the cul- in most library collections. With the development
tural definition of woman embedded in it. Despite of womens studies and then lesbian, gay, and queer
the growing body of feminist scholarship in archi- studies, libraries, particularly in the academic sec-
tecture during the 1990s, lesbians and lesbian per- tor, have needed to reassess their acquisitions poli-
spectives continue to be marginalized. cies and begin consciously to build collections in
Elizabeth Cahn support of these emerging dynamic disciplines. No
longer relegated to the fiction or psychology sec-
Bibliography tions or hidden away in a protected collection,
Adam, Peter. Eileen Gray: Architect/Designer. New most academic and many large public libraries ac-
York: Abrams, 1987. tively and openly collect lesbian materials, includ-
Boutelle, Sarah Holmes. The Womens Network. ing monographs, journals, and media. With almost
In Julia Morgan: Architect. New York: seven hundred different subject headings covering a
Abbeville, 1988, pp. 83127. broad spectrum of lesbian-related topics (everything

from Lesbian Avengers to Lesbian Heroes), the wall at its main branch on Forty-second Street and
ability to identify and locate library materials has Fifth Avenue. With materials drawn largely from
improved markedly. Specialized bibliographies, its own archival collections, including oral histo-
until fairly recently available only in limited runs ries, the New York Public Library recognized and
from alternative presses, now appear on the publi- celebrated the significant contributions of lesbians
cations lists of mainstream academic and trade pub- and gay men to the cultural, intellectual, and po-
lishers. Beginning with such groundbreaking titles litical life of New York City. The opening of the
as Jeannette Fosters Sex Variant Women in Lit- San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) at the Civic
erature (F. Muller, [1958]) and Black Lesbians: An Center in April 1996 marked another milestone in
Annotated Bibliography, compiled by J.R.Roberts the relationship of lesbian and gay materials and
(Naiad, 1981), and continuing with significant libraries. The James C.Hormel Lesbian and Gay
additions to reference collections, such as Clare Center became the first dedicated space for lesbian
Potters groundbreaking Lesbian Periodicals Index and gay materials in a major public library in the
(Naiad, 1986), Contemporary Lesbian Writers of United States. Anchored by a beautifully designed
the United States: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical reading room and exhibit space, the Hormel Center
Sourcebook (Greenwood, 1993) and Lesbian serves as the point of entry to the SFPLs impres-
Sources: A Bibliography of Periodical Articles, sive collection of lesbian and gay materials, which
19701990 (Garland, 1993), library reference features, among other treasures of particular inter-
materials have literally come out of the closet. In est to lesbians, the archives of Naiad Press.
addition, several respected presses, such as The oral histories at the New York Public Li-
Routledge and Columbia University Press, have brary and the archival and manuscript collections
developed monographic series focusing on lesbian at the San Francisco Public Library provide two
and gay issues. examples of major institutions assuming responsi-
One possibly unavoidable result of the enhanced bility for collecting, organizing, and making avail-
visibility and availability of materials on lesbian top- able lesbian materials. Other large libraries, both
ics has been a steady increase in the number of at- academic and public, have also begun the slow and
tempts to censor or remove these materials from often painstaking work of tracking down archival
school and community libraries. Religious conserva- and manuscript sources. The University of Cali-
tives have targeted the childrens book Heather Has fornia, Berkeley, and Duke University, Durham,
Two Mommies (1989) for removal both from school North Carolina, are examples of major university
curricula and library shelves, and the young-adult libraries that have determined that they have a duty
novel Annie on My Mind (1982) has sustained simi- to collect and preserve lesbian history.
lar attacks. Although lesbian collections in academic
libraries are not free from the threat (and reality) of Lesbian Archives
malicious vandalism, these materials have a relatively Individual and community-based archival initia-
safe haven in college and university libraries, par- tives remain far ahead of either academic or public
ticularly those on campuses with active womens libraries in the attempt to collect and make acces-
studies programs. The safety and the availability of sible materials of particular interest to lesbians.
lesbian materials in public and school libraries are Supported by individual, as opposed to government
less assured. Books and videos that speak to youth, or corporate, contributors, heavily dependent on
whether providing young people with information donations of materials in lieu of acquisitions budg-
about their own feelings and inclinations or offer- ets, and staffed largely by volunteers, lesbian ar-
ing the children of lesbian and gay families the op- chives are often more successful in documenting
portunity to see the reality of their lives reflected in and reflecting the history and needs of a particular
a book on a library shelf, remain an endangered community or locale than are more traditional li-
species in many school and community libraries. brary organizations. Open to a wider range of
Some communities, however, have made major materials and less constrained by archival or bib-
strides with respect to the visibility of lesbians in liographic conventions, important lesbian archives
libraries. In 1994, to commemorate the twenty-fifth have survived the vicissitudes of lesbian politics,
anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, the New personal and professional disagreements, and, most
York Public Library sponsored a major exhibit significant, competition for collections resources
entitled Becoming Visible: The Legacy of Stone- from academic and public libraries.


It is, however, difficult to get an accurate count libraries and archives. Collections are no longer
A of the number of lesbian archives operating in the
United States and internationally. Many of them
bound by the four walls of a physical space called
a library or an archive but can exist instead in a
operate under the umbrella of a gay and lesbian virtual space, facilitating access twenty-four hours
archive, while others consist of a few cartons of a day, seven days a week. Lesbians have begun to
precious materials stored in a community center venture into this brave new world of cyberspace,
storage cabinet or the basement of someones home. creating new forms of communication and new
No discussion of lesbian archives and libraries definitions of community. Archives and libraries
would be complete, however, without mention of play an important role in this emerging virtual com-
two U.S.-based archives, New Yorks Lesbian munity. The Mazer Collection, for example, inau-
Herstory Archives and the June L.Mazer Lesbian gurated Mazer On-Line in the spring of 1996, with
Collection in Los Angeles, California. Each serves the publication of its homepage on the World Wide
as a model of how a combination of personal ini- Web (, which fea-
tiative and community involvement can establish tures a listing of upcoming events of interest to the
and maintain important community-based archi- community, a description of the collections hold-
val collections outside the structures and strictures ings, an article on the development of the collec-
tion by Lillian Faderman, and issues of In the Life,
of formal library organizations.
the Mazer Collection newsletter.
The women who founded the Lesbian Herstory
New information technologies enhance but will
Archives determined from the outset to collect, pre-
not, at least in the foreseeable future, replace librar-
serve, and make available all forms of print mate-
ies and archives, especially those dedicated to col-
rial about lesbian lives. With a prescient understand-
lecting and preserving lesbian materials. As exciting
ing of the significance of artifacts and ephemera in
as the new technology might be to some, others are
the documenting and retelling of lesbian history, the
far more taken with the possibility of actually visit-
archives, from the very beginning, collected photo-
ing a collection devoted to lesbian history, culture,
graphs, buttons, T-shirts, posters, and the like, in
and community and seeing, reading, and touching
addition to printed and manuscript materials. Al- materials thoughtfully acquired and lovingly pre-
though none of the original founders were librar- served. Libraries and archives help foster a sense of
ians or professional archivists, the group discovered history and community. The Internet, however, does
early on the necessity of adhering to basic guide- have the potential for broadening the definition of
lines of archival preservation. Collective member community and ensuring that lesbian materials ex-
Judith Schwarzs 1986 pamphlet, Preserving Your ist in the virtual, as well as the real, world.
Individual and Community History, helped spread Ellen Broidy
the word about the importance of careful handling
of papers, photographs, and other documents. Bibliography
The June L.Mazer Lesbian Collection first came Gough, Cal, and Ellen Greenblatt, eds. Gay and
into being in 1981 in Oakland, California, as the Lesbian Library Service. Jefferson, N.C.:
West Coast Lesbian Collections. In 1987, McFarland, 1990.
Connexxus Womens Center/Center de Mujeres Nestle, Joan. The Will to Remember: The Les-
brought the collection to Los Angeles. After the bian Herstory Archives of New York. Femi-
death of Mazer, a community activist and avid sup- nist Review 34 (1990), 8693.
porter of the collection, the archive was renamed Thistlethwaite, Polly. The Lesbian and Gay Past:
in her memory. In addition to such standard library An Interpretive Battleground. Gay Commu-
fare as published materials, including monographs nity News 20:4 (1995), 1013.
and feminist and lesbian periodicals, including a
complete run of Vice Versa, an early (19471948) See also Bibliographies and Reference Works; Com-
Los Angeles-based lesbian newsletter, the Mazer puter Networks and Services; Lesbian Herstory
Collection has acquired a number of significant Archives; Librarians; Naiad Press
archival and manuscript sources tracing both per-
sonal and organizational history.
The increasing popularity and accessibility of Argentina
the World Wide Web has profoundly altered how Large South American country, colonized by Spain
we think about, understand, and conceptualize in the sixteenth century. Established Indian cultures


were exterminated to an extent that surpasses, by circles, popular in middle-class circles, and resisted
far, all other Latin American countries. Blacks, yet present in upper-class and feminist circles. Code
brought as slaves in colonial times, were also exter- words for butch included bombero (literally fire-
minated through a policy of placing them in the front fighter, equivalent to bulldyke; still in use) and ce-
lines during independence and civil wars. By the late leste (light blue); for femmes: mucama (house maid)
1880s, inmigration was open to Europeans, result- and rosa (pink). Nonfeminist middle- and upper-
ing in a predominantly white society. Once a class lesbians called themselves better and gay
model Latin American country with prestigious (both in English), while feminists began to use the
universities, a large middle class, and a strongly word lesbianas. Later, torta (dyke) and trola
unionized working class, decades of corrupt man- (lezzie) would come into use.
agement and military dictatorships have devastated In the early 1970s, feminism was revived with
the countrys economy and political culture. the establishment of the Feminist Union of Argen-
No research has been done yet on lesbians in tina (UFA). Most political lesbians chose to work
the ancient Indian cultures, the Colonial Era, or within it on womens issues, while remaining clos-
the Independence Era. By the end of the nineteenth eted as lesbians. In 1972, the first lesbian political
century, the first wave of the feminist movement group, Safo, was created, and it became the only
helped teachers, doctors, and women rights advo- lesbian member of the FLH (Homosexual Libera-
cates, most of them socialists, live independently tion Front), established in 1971. Members of Safo
from men similar to their European and North and a few others took to the streets with the FLHs
American counterparts. There were also militant gay male constituency to defy the strong homo-
an-archists who were union leaders and free-love phobic tendencies of the general public and the left-
advocates. Although it is still unknown whether ist parties in the years 19731975.
any of those women were lesbians, they opened In 1976, the military took over the government
womens access to the workplace and a self-deter- by force. During its rule, an estimated thirty thou-
mined life, prerequisites for lesbian visibility. sand people were kidnapped from their homes in
Between 1920 and 1959, lesbians from the up- the middle of the night, kept in concentration
per classes profited immensely from a rite of pas- camps, tortured, and finally killed. None of them
sage consisting of a European sojourn, where they received a fair trial; no one ever knew how, when,
discovered the lesbian communities of Paris and or where they died. In Argentina, they are called
London. Although many were later forced into the disappeared. This crudest period in contem-
marriage by their families (some married gay men porary Argentinean history, which also included
of their class, for mutual protection), others resisted the devastation of the countrys economy, forced
and lived their lives as artists or professionals. Mid- lesbians back into their closets. The FLH was dis-
dle- and working-class women entered the membered, as was the UFA and other feminist
workforce in large numbers, permitting lesbians groups; most of the members went into exile. In
to earn their own living and avoid marriage. With- place of political activity, most lesbian feminists
out a visible community, relationships were sub- devoted themselves to study groups, with strong
ject to the strain of clandestine encounters. Lesbi- security measures. There are no reports of lesbians
anism was not a subject in the arts or the media; having disappeard for being such, but, given the
most lesbians only mirror of their lives came brutal and fascistic tendencies of the military, it is
through foreign works, such as Radclyffe Halls possible that, if a prisoner was suspected or known
The Well of Loneliness (1928). Gender codes were as a lesbian, her hardships would only be worse
strictly enforced, and lesbians were very skillful in (and rape was the first and most repeated torture
keeping a feminine appearance when exposed applied to female prisioners).
to heterosexual eyes. The return of democracy and lesbian exiles
In the 1960s, women entered the university in changed the situation dramatically. In 1984, the
large numbers. It was a time of strong leftist pres- CHA (Argentinean Homosexual Community) was
ence in the cultural and everyday life of the coun- created; although gay men outnumbered lesbians in
try, with guerrilla actions and an increasing mili- the group, lesbians have served as the organizations
tary repression. Lesbian social circles, separated by spokespersons. In the same year, the feminist organi-
class and professional interests, were widespread. zation Lugar de Mujer sponsored lesbian-themed
Butch-femme codes were strict in working-class workshops, through which lesbian artists and

thinkers produced valuable work until internal dif- nist Movement in the 1970s). Revista Todo es
A ferences and homophobia ended the experience.
Slowly, lesbian bars and discos started to open.
Historia 64 (1986), 8593.
Fuskova, Use, and Claudina Marek. Mujeres que
National Womens Conferences and the Latin se aman (Women Who Love Women). Buenos
American Feminist Encuentros (Conferences) helped Aires: Sudamericana, 1995.
many lesbians come out to themselves and/or find Henault, Mira. Las inmigrantes (The Immigrants).
kindred spirits. In 1987, Cuadernos de Existencia Revista Todo es Historia 64 (1986), 5561.
Lesbiana, a lesbian magazine and group, made the Hernando, Sil, and Alejandra Sarda. Better: Oral
lesbian presence public for the first time, during an Life Stories by Argentinean Lesbians, 1930
International Womens Day celebration. In 1995, 1976. Toronto: Womens Press, 1997.
Las Lunas y las Otras (The Moons and Others) Kohn Loncarica, Alfredo, Argentine J.Landaburu,
opened a lesbian feminist house, offering a bar and Elena Pennini. Cecilia Grierson y el Primer
and workshops, movies, and parties, while the les- Congreso Femenino Internacional. Revista
bian action group Lesbianas a la Vista employed Todo es Historia 64 (1986), 6267.
street-theater techniques to make lesbian existence
visible in Buenos Aires and also opened their own See also Encuentros de Lesbianas
house in 1997, shared with Escrita en el Cuerpo
(archives and library). Beginning in 1996, most les-
bian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Argentinean
Arnold, June (19261982)
groups began to meet at yearly national conferences
Twentieth-century American lesbian feminist nov-
taking place in different provinces each year. Pride
elist and publisher. June Arnold was an important
parades have taken place in Buenos Aires since 1992;
figure in the lesbian feminist literary movement of
lesbians were at first reluctant to participate in them,
the 1970s in the United States. In addition to writ-
but that has changed; after 1996, lesbians were as
ing four novels, two of which have been reprinted
active and visible as other groups.
and are considered classics of lesbian literature, she
In the 1990s, lesbians from Buenos Aires ob-
tained advantages unknown to their predecessors: was the cofounder of the feminist publishing com-
meeting places, political groups, libraries, magazines pany Daughters Inc.
(one of them with mainstream circulation), pubs and Arnold was born on October 27, 1926, in
discos, and visible images of themselves. The cities Greenville, South Carolina. Her parents were mem-
of Buenos Aires and Rosario include sexual orien- bers of prominent and wealthy Southern families.
tation in their antidiscrimination statutes. After her fathers death, she moved with her mother
Despite these improvements, lesbians are harassed and older sister back to her mothers native city,
by the police in bars and in the streets, arbitrarily Houston, Texas. In Houston, Arnold led the privi-
arrested, and sometimes fired when their lesbianism leged life of a wealthy white Southern belle, at-
is revealed to their employers (a fact that keeps most tending the best private schools and coming out as
lesbians in the closet, given the high unemployment a debutante. Like most other young women of her
rates in the country). Lesbian mothers are forced into generation and class, Arnold followed her gradua-
unfair private agreements with their husbands to tion from Rice University in 1948 by marrying and
avoid the almost certain loss of their children in court. having childrenfive altogether, one of whom died
Violence against lesbians is the norm in the most con- at an early age. Unlike most of her peers, she also
servative areas of the country. In 1992, Erica Videla returned to Rice to complete an M.A. in English.
was murdered in the city of Mendoza for being a When her marriage failed, Arnold moved her-
lesbian; beatings, insults, and property damage by self and her children to New York Citys Green-
neighbors or family members are everyday affairs. wich Village, where she wrote her first novel,
Lesbian and gay organizations have begun in several Applesauce, which was published in 1967 by
parts of the country to fight those inequities, but the McGrawHill, and became a militant feminist. In
struggle is only beginning. January 1971, when the city of New York tried to
Alejandra Sarda evict a group of women who had converted an
abandoned city-owned building on East Third
Bibliography Street into a womens building, Arnold was among
Cano, Ines. El movimiento feminista argentino those who refused to leave until arrested by force.
en la decada del 70 (The Argentinean Femi- According to author Bertha Harris (1937), this

was when Arnold met her future lover and busi- Sandra Pollack and Denise D. Knight. Westport,
ness partner, Parke Bowman (1933/19341992), Conn.: Greenwood, 1993.
who was one of the lawyers who came to get the Gould, Lois. Creating a Womans World. New
women out of jail. The action also formed the core York Times Magazine (January 2, 1977), 10
event of The Cook and the Carpenter, Arnolds 11, 3537.
second novel, which was published in 1973 by Harris, Bertha. Introduction. Lover. New York:
Daughters Inc., which she and Bowman founded New York University Press, 1993.
the same year. By this time, Arnold and Bowman Zimmerman, Bonnie. The Safe Sea of Women: Les-
were living together and spending most of their bian Fiction, 19691989. Boston: Beacon, 1990.
time in Arnolds house in Vermont.
Even if she had never been a writer herself, the See also Brown, Rita Mae; Fiction; Publishing,
contribution Arnold made through Daughters Inc. Lesbian; Separatism; Wittig, Monique
would have established her as a significant figure
in the history of lesbian literature in the twentieth
century. During the five years of its existence, Art, Contemporary European
Daughters Inc. published, in most cases for the first Painting, sculpture, photography, and multimedia
time, twenty-two books by eighteen women, in- installations by lesbian- or queer-identified artists
cluding M.F.Beal (1937), Blanche Boyd (1945), in Europe from 1985 to the end of the twentieth
Rita Mae Brown (1944), Bertha Harris (1937), century. Although lesbian art in Europe has largely
Elana Nachman (Dykewomon, 1949), Joanna followed the pattern in North America, the number
Russ (1937), and Monique Wittig (1935). Arnold of lesbian artists exhibiting in the mainstream is
herself published three novels: The Cook and the smaller and less cohesive. Artists in the United King-
Carpenter (1973), Sister Gin (1975), and a reprint dom tend to look to developments in the United
of Applesauce (1977). During this period, Arnold States rather than to other Europeans. Notoriously
became a public advocate of the lesbian separatist bound by white, upper-class privilege, the art world,
movement, speaking in 1976 at both the national in the United Kingdom, at least, has shifted mark-
Modern Language Association Convention and the edly since 1994, partly due to lesbian and gay ac-
separatist Women in Print Conference, which she tivism, but also because younger lesbians demand
organized. In 1977, Daughters Inc. was featured to be taken seriously, without compromising their
in the New York Times magazine in an illustrated content or being closeted.
article on the lesbian separatist movement by Lois
Gould. Believing, like many of her contemporar- Historical Development
ies, in the possibility of a full-scale feminist revolu- Lesbian art was marginalized or simply excluded
tion, Arnold stressed the importance of establish- by heterosexual feminist art in the 1970s. Artists
ing an independent communications network, free who were lesbian dealt with the silence surround-
from patriarchal power, and she took a strong stand ing lesbianism in three main ways. Some saw them-
against lesbians who published with male-domi- selves as artists, competing within the male art
nated presses. world, and ignored their own sexuality as subject
After Daughters Inc. folded in 1978, Arnold matter. Others saw their art as part of the wider
moved back to Houston, with Bowman, and began feminist aims of the womens movement. Still oth-
working on her final novel, based on the life of her ers made their lesbianism the central focus of their
mother. Before she was able to finish the work, she work and developed a theoretical discourse around
was diagnosed with brain cancer. Despite several the questions of lesbian representation. It was this
operations and radiation treatment, she died on latter group that was responsible for the growing
March 11, 1982, at the age of fifty-five. Baby Hou- presence in the 1980s of documentary photo-
ston was edited after her death and published in graphic images to assert the visibility of ordinary
1987 by Texas Monthly Press. Linda Dunne lesbians in a positive way. Increasing homopho-
bia, censorship, and promotion of family values
Bibliography by right-wing groups culminated in Section 28 of
Dunne, Linda. June Arnold (19261982). Con- the Local Government Act in 1988 (known as
temporary Lesbian Writers of the United States: Clause 28 before the Act was passed), which pro-
A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. Ed. hibited any funding of material that could be seen

A R T, C O N T E M P O R A R Y E U R O P E A N 59
to promote homosexuality. This spurred artists artists who could no longer accept the complacency
A to defy its premise and led to a burst of lesbian and
gay political and cultural activity.
and homophobia of the art world. If sexism and
racism were no longer tolerated, why were homo-
Photography dominated lesbian representation phobia and heterosexism?
in the 1980s, and Della Graces Love Bites (1991), While feminism located gender oppression as
a collection exploring lesbian sadomasochism, and the primary category for understanding the world,
Stolen Glances (1991), a theoretical anthology of queer defined sexual oppression as the primary site
images and texts, initiated a valuable discussion from which to contest inequality. However, by as-
around lesbian photography in the United King- serting that gender or sexuality alone constitutes
dom. Meanwhile, in Amsterdam, Diana Blok and identity, each risked erasing the importance of class,
Mario Broekmans were producing extraordinarily ethnicity, race, age, and ability.
fine erotic photographs that explored intense rela- In the United Kingdom in the late 1990s, queer
tionships between women using allegory and lyri- has largely been derided as a crass marketing de-
cal symbolism. vice for commodifying white gay male culturein
It was not until 1992 in London, when Expos- London, for example, a gay male club was named
ing Ourselves, an exhibition of more than 150 Call Yourself Queer. Nonetheless, queer did and
works by fifty-four lesbian artists, introduced paint- continues to inspire work, from the frank, outra-
ers, such as Sue McMorran, and sculptors, such as geous photography of Del LaGrace Volcano (for-
Svar Simpson, and confronted the invisibility of merly Della Grace) the grotesque cat-skin sculp-
out lesbians in the art world. tures of Christina Berry, and the camp, ironic paint-
ings of Sadie Lee and Dawn Mellor (all United King-
Queer Influences dom) to the adventurous CD-ROM art of Linda
While figurative art (art that depicts human fig- Dement and Venus Matrix in Australia.
ures) remains the common denominator in the late One of the most significant aspects of queer
1990s, the influence of queer theory and politics, culture is address: Art, performance, music, and
camp practices, and new technologies has made text are addressed to the potential queer audience
the expression of the new lesbian subject diverse. as opposed to the assumed heterosexual audience.
Queer has been one of the most influential and This work is not designed to tell the straights how
hotly contested political strategies and theorizations queers live and love to gain their acceptance, but
of the decade. Its antihomophobic, media-savvy speaks to queers themselves with their own self-
strategies speeded up the demand for parliamen- referential irony and humor, regardless of whether
tary reform in the United Kingdom with staged the heterosexuals get it or not. It is not coming
provocative actions, such as a mass queer wedding out to them, it is coming on to themselves. Queer
ceremony and a kiss-in in the heart of London. lesbian artists revel in their alienation, creating
It aims to render redundant the binary terms of works that testify to their sense of disenfranchise-
hetero- and homosexuality and to establish queer ment from mainstream, heterosexual culture. While
as a term inclusive of any sexual practice that would lesbian feminist artists tried to cohere around a
make the heterosexual norm strange. It claims to fixed notion of sexual identity in the 1970s and
be free of the dominant prejudices around race and 1980s, many contemporary queer artists are located
gender in imagining a queer world in which the around an agreed sense of the mutability of iden-
category of normal would no longer have domi- tity and gender, a questioning of what dyke is,
nance. Many urban lesbian activists and artists was, and will become. If lesbian feminist art was
rallied under the queer banner in the United King- characterized by being serious, affirmational,
dom, in the hope of moving beyond the sexism rife straightforward, confessional, and didactic, queer
among gay men and the perceived antisex prescrip- dyke art is conspiratorial, lying, allusive, and ironic.
tiveness of some lesbian feminism. It brought an
urgency and confidence to lesbian representation Developments at the End of the 1990s
and a defiant in-your-face attitude. Just as ACT The emergence of a younger generation of black and
UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) has been asian artists in the United Kingdom encouraged
dubbed a university for AIDS activists who gradu- black and Asian lesbians to create work, but, as of
ated into all branches of health advocacy, so queer 1998 only two, Ingrid Pollard and Lola Flash, had
theory and politics fired up a generation of lesbian had solo representation. While Flash is known for

60 A R T, C O N T E M P O R A R Y E U R O P E A N
The Dodge Brothers by Del LaGrace, 1997. Courtesy of Del LaGrace.

her distinctive reverse color style (printing the nega- tablished concepts of what constitutes art and
tive rather than the positive image) and prosex con- what constitutes lesbian art. Artists have used
tent, Pollard is reluctant to be viewed as a lesbian materials considered unsuitable for art, such as
artist, since her work prioritizes race, rather than rubber and latex, and have reconstructed as art
gender and sexuality, in a white, dominant culture. some objects that were formerly seen as porno-
The politics of race also informs the work of graphic or obscene. British conceptual sculptor
British Asian photographer Perminder Sekhon. Andy Cohen created pure silicon buttplugs, colored
When she situated Four Asian Butches (of the 1997 by nontoxic pigment or with high-minimalist
photograph of that name) outside a Cash and blocks of color, to aestheticize what is normally
Carry grocery store, she was referencing the socio- seen as functional and highly private. Blurring the
economic realities for many Asians in Britain, whose line between art and product, Cohen also makes a
livelihood relies on wholesale merchandizing, as well wry comment on the way sex toys have been cast
as commenting on the exclusion of these women as too low to be worthy of critical attention.
from the male-run family business, despite their In the mid-1990s, lesbian codes gained a wider
sharp suits and ties. In a culture in which gender is currency, and irony flourished in the energy of a
heavily encoded in traditional clothingsuits and knowing humor, which engaged a more popular
saristhe butches transgression is more marked. audience beyond the queer ghettos. When painter
While queer may have lost its radical potential, Sadie Lee took the classic Mona Lisa and repainted
the energy that sparked its provenance is still evi- it, inserting an exquisitely dressed butch as the cen-
dent in much art by lesbians in the late 1990s, tral figure, and called it Bona Lisa (1992), this was
which ranges from genderfuck (playing with gen- dyke camp. All viewers got the joke, but lesbians
der expectations) to genrefuck (parodying tradi- laughed loudest. As gay male camp became increas-
tional art genres), stealing heterosexual icons, pil- ingly sanitized and televized, dyke camp (for want
laging the art-historical canon, challenging the es- of a better word) provided a sharper subversive edge

A R T, C O N T E M P O R A R Y E U R O P E A N 61
since women remain culturally denigrated. Turning
A straight cultures artifacts into double entendres and
pitting self-deprecation against glorious abjection
can be significantly more radical. Frustrated by end-
less gay parodies of female stars, painter Dawn
Mellor sought to reclaim camp and become part of
it on her own terms. Her portraits of Judy Garland,
Bette Davis, and Marilyn Monroe, among others,
seriously disrupt the iconic image of the untouch-
able female star. Several of these explore mother-
hood, showing the star replicating her thoughtless,
unseeing collusion with passive stardom in her child.
One shows a woman with a child up her skirt, in a
direct paralleling of the work of New York artist
Carrie Moyer. Another shows the baby incorporated
into the mothers breast as though the artist envies
its proximity to the female stars body.
Themes around gender bending, gender blend-
ing, and transgender, evident in North American art,
have been just as prominent in art in Europe and
have exerted a huge influence on how lesbian art
and the gender continuum are discussed. Greek art-
ists Katerina Thomadaki and Maria Klonaris, liv-
Feeding Time by Dawn Mellor, 1997. Courtesy
ing in Paris, have been working since 1985 on The
Dawn Mellor.
Angel Cycle, which started from a medical photo-
graph of a case in intersexuality, a subject whose
sex cannot be defined within the male/female di- called queer before their time. McCartins work could
chotomy and whose body becomes a powerful meta- also be dubbed outsider art, since her socialist sat-
phor for the collapse of gender. It includes up to ire is out of line with the neoconceptual and ironic
twenty works that have been shown internation- figuration in contemporary gallery vogue.
ally, consisting of multimedia performances, photo- Most artists who are lesbians showing in major
sculptures, sound pieces, radio broadcasts, compu- galleries in Europe, such as Natascha Kassner in
ter animations, and videos, which layer and reinvoke Berlin, Jaya Schurch in Italy and Switzerland,
the image, drawing out its erotic and shape-shifting Patricia Hurl and Therry Rudin in Dublin, Ange et
possibilities. They, too, are skeptical about the use Damnation in Paris, and Sadie Lee and Dawn
of the label lesbian art about their work, which Mellor in London and Manchester, are aware of
destabilizes stereotypes, including lesbian. treading a thin line between success and co-option.
Del LaGrace Volcano (formerly Della Grace), an They are all concerned about the danger of becom-
American photographer living in London, has docu- ing invisible as lesbians the moment they gain vis-
mented the citys drag king scene since 1992 and in- ibility as artists. Sadie Lee faced rumors of censor-
creasingly considers the term lesbian a misnomer. ship when her (1997) solo show in Londons Na-
Having identified as lesbian for more than twenty tional Portrait Gallery exhibited a series of scant-
years, Grace prefers to be described as transgender ily clad, former burlesque dancers, despite a tradi-
or as, her/his invented term, hermaphrodykein- tion of female nudes on those venerable walls.
tersexual as opposed to transsexual. At the end of the millennium, some argue that
Some artists have refuted the queer rubric. The there is no such thing as lesbian or gay artor
work of working-class painter Mandy McCartin, who transgendered or queer art. There is art made by
has been portraying Londons urban nightlife since lesbians, gay men, transgendered, and queer-identi-
the mid-1980s, has not been radically affected by the fied artists, and there is work that represents texts
queer aesthetic. Her gritty, graffiti-laden images of or figures that can be said to operate within these
mean-mouthed skinheads and tough sex workers identities. An exhibition of works by lesbians seeks
were uncompromising from the outset and could be to expose the heterocentricity of the mainstream art
62 A R T, C O N T E M P O R A R Y E U R O P E A N
world, most visible at its margins, and to continue 1970s to a more sexually based definition in the
to assert the existence of lesbian artists and celebrate 1980s and 1990s, imagery in lesbian art shifted
their diversity. But for many, it is no longer enough. from an abstraction based on organic forms that
Given the choice, most European lesbian artists de- symbolically suggested womens genitalia and les-
sire that their work also be positioned within a bian sexuality to realistic paintings of cunts or
mainstream context to challenge its confines and women engaged in explicit lesbian sexual activi-
determine critical recognition and financial success. ties. The art moved from a celebration of same-
Cherry Smyth ness to a flaunting of difference.
Is the quality lesbian embodied in the art
Bibliography object, the sexuality of the artist, the sexuality of
Ashburn, Elizabeth. Lesbian Art: An Encounter the viewer, or the viewing context? This question,
with Power. An Art and Australia Book. Syd- which assumes and proposes difference from art
ney: Craftsman House, 1996. by men or straight feminists, circulates around all
Boffin, Tessa, and Jean Fraser. Stolen Glances: Lesbi- discussions of lesbian art and refuses an easy an-
ans Take Photographs. London: Pandora, 1991. swer. It can be any or all of the above. Lesbian art
Cooper, Emmanuel. The Sexual Perspective: Ho- is not a stylistic movement, but rather art that
mosexuality and Art in the Last 100 Years in comes out of a feminist consciousness and repre-
the West. London: Routledge, 1986. 2nd ed. sents the experience of being a lesbian in patriar-
London: Routledge, 1994. chal culture. This consciousness may be implicitly
Grace, Della. Love Bites. London: Gay Mens Press, or explicitly articulated. It may vary in style, im-
1991. agery, materials used, concept, or content and can
McCartin, Mandy. From the Street: Paintings and be figurative, symbolic, abstract, or conceptual.
Drawings by Mandy McCartin. London: Gay
Mens Press, 1996. Art of the 1970s
Smyth, Cherry. Damn Fine Art by New Lesbian As lesbian feminism was considered an extension
Artists. London: Cassell, 1996. of feminism (feminism is the theory; lesbianism,
the practice), lesbian art was considered an ex-
See also Art, Contemporary North American; tension of feminist art. Because lesbian definitions
Camp; Photography; Queer Theory; Video were broadened to include any woman-identified
woman, female space depicted symbolically,
through landscape, fruit, and flower imagery, was,
Art, Contemporary North American by extension, considered lesbian, especially if the
Visual representations by self-identified feminist artist was lesbian identified. Themes that
artists after 1970. There have always been lesbi- reoccurred frequently were anger, concealment,
ans who made art and artists who were lesbian, secrecy, guilt, coming out, celebrating the female
but the category lesbian art did not exist until 1970. body, referencing historical lesbian writers and art-
In the United States, the gay and womens libera- ists, and picturing lesbians in the workplace or
tion movements, based respectively on sexual ori- domestic environment. Portraits were common but
entation and gender, led to the newly formed iden- decontextualized and avoided representing lesbi-
tity lesbian feminist and her cultural counterpart, ans in subcultural spaces, such as bars. With the
the lesbian artist, who was assumed to be feminist. feminist position of not representing or objectifying
womens bodies and downplaying sexuality, there
Definitions of Lesbian Art were abstract images of cunts, clitorises, breasts,
While there is no agreement as to what constitutes and vaginas or two women being warm and affec-
lesbian art, it is generally thought to reflect lesbian tionate with each other (the second woman being
identity and to contribute to the development of the lesbian signifier), but the work almost never
that identity. However, just as there is not one les- displayed them doing it. Lesbian sexuality was
bian identity, there is no single lesbian aesthetic. hinted at, but rarely shown, or was humorously
Both vary with class, race, age, and geography. Both related to food.
change with the times. For instance, as lesbian iden- With the proliferation of movement publications,
tity shifted from a gender-based definition of les- there was a demand for images of lesbians by lesbi-
bianism rooted in radical lesbian feminism of the ans. It was not long before art was found on the

A R T, C O N T E M P O R A R Y N O R T H A M E R I C A N 63
walls of womens centers, bars, coffee shops, res-
A taurants, and bookstores. Additionally, there was a
strong and growing lesbian presence in feminist art
projects that ranged from small consciousnessraising
art groups to womens cooperative art galleries and
art programs. Occasionally, lesbians exhibited with
gay men. By the mid-1970s, there were a number of
exclusively lesbian art exhibitions, publications, and
projects. However, due to homophobia in ethnic
communities and racism within feminist communi-
ties and the fact that most early feminist and lesbian
art projects were organized by collectives composed
almost entirely of white women, lesbian artists of
color were absent from most early lesbian art
projects. In the 1970s, the focus was on the shared
experiences of women. Differences due to race, class,
and sexuality were not easily dealt with or reflected
in art. While lesbians in the United States were aware
of art by lesbians in other countries, such as Canada,
Mexico, England, Ireland, France, Italy, Germany,
Australia, and New Zealand, there was not much
exchange or influence except through feminist maga-
In New York City, Heresies: A Feminist Publi- Poster for the issue Lesbian Art and Artists (Fall
cation on Art and Politics published Lesbian Art 1977) of Heresies: A Feminist Publication of Art &
and Artists (1977). Focusing exclusively on les- Politics. Courtesy of Harmony Hammond.
bian creative work, Lesbian Art and Artists was
the first step in filling the historical and theoretical Lesbian artists of the 1970s include Judith F.
silence around lesbian art and artists and placed Baca, Joan E.Biren (Jeb), Janet Cooling, Tee A.
contemporary art in a continuum of lesbian cul- Corinne, Betsy Damon, Maxine Fine, Louise
ture. A Lesbian Show (1978), curated by Harmony Fishman, Nancy Fried, Harmony Hammond,
Hammond at the 112 Greene Street Workshop, was Debbie Jones, Lili Lakich, Bettye Lane, Kate Mil-
the first exhibition of lesbian art in New York. let, Hollis Sigler, Joan Snyder, and Fran Winant.
While no lesbian aesthetic or sensibility emerged
from the art, the exhibition, which presented work Art of the 1980s
by eighteen artists willing to be out in this context, The 1980s started off with numerous projects and
was important in that it created a lesbian presence exhibitions of lesbian art that continued the momen-
and stimulated dialogue in the mainstream and tum generated by the gay and womens liberation
feminist art worlds and generated an art conscious- movements of the previous decade and culminated
ness in lesbian communities. in two major exhibitions: the Great American Les-
In California, Arlene Raven, one of the found- bian Art Show (GALAS) at the Womans Building in
ers of the Los Angeles Womans Building, initiated Los Angeles (1980), and Extended Sensibilities: Ho-
a series of lesbian-based projects within the struc- mosexual Presence in Contemporary Art at the New
ture of the Feminist Studio Workshop (FSW): the Museum in Manhattan (1982). GALAS, organized
Los Angeles League for the Advancement of Les- by a collective of artists from the FSW, was notewor-
bianism in the Arts (LALALA) exhibition and cel- thy for its innovative curatorial structure: a national
ebration in 1975; the Natalie Barney collective that exhibition honoring the work of ten out artists
focused on historical research and documentation who were role models for other lesbian artists, a net-
of lesbian artists; and the Lesbian Art Project (LAP), work of more man two hundred regional sister
a three-year program of workshops, salons, and exhibitions, and archives that documented the whole
art presentations started in 1977 and continued project. GALAS also marked the first time that lesbi-
with Terry Wolverton. ans of color participated in a major exhibition of

64 A R T, C O N T E M P O R A R Y N O R T H A M E R I C A N
lesbian art. Extended Sensibilities, the first museum Lesbian artists of the 1980s include Laura
exhibition in the United States to address the subject Aguilar, Catherine Allport, Virginia Benavidez,
of homosexuality in contemporary art, included work Deborah Bright, Kaucyila Brooke, Gaye Chan,
by eight lesbian artists who had been out in the 1970s. Lenore Chinn, Heide Fasnacht, Del LaGrace,
The work in both of these exhibitions, like that in Carole Hepper, Deborah Kass, Ester Hernandez,
Heresies and A Lesbian Show, was diverse and non- Caroline Hinkley, Ann Meredith, Mary Patten,
sexual. Marcia Salo, Connie Samaras, Susan Silton,
After Extended Sensibilities, there was an eight- Margaret Stratton, and Millie Wilson; Canadian
year hiatus of projects in the art world that fo- artists G.B.Jones, Lyne Lapointe; Martha Fleming,
cused on lesbian art or artists. Lesbians continued and the Kiss and Tell Collective, who have exhib-
to make and exhibit all kinds of art during this ited extensively in the United States.
period, but there were no highly publicized exhi-
bitions. This was primarily due to the media-gen- Art of the 1990s
erated backlash against feminism that combined While the privileging of theoretically oriented femi-
with the postmodern criticism and dismissal of nism contributed to the dearth of visible art by les-
1970s essentialist feminism and any art that came bians throughout much of the 1980s, it also pro-
out of it. Postmodern feminism positioned hetero- foundly affected the work that did emerge at the
sexual feminism as the norm from which to dis- end of the decade and developed in the 1990s. In-
cuss the construction and representation of all formed by postmodern theory, the work dealt with
women, thereby denying the potential of lesbian the self-representation of lesbian sexual and
subjectivity. While the so-called sex wars sexualized activities; the development of a lesbian
reestablished lesbians as sexual beings, the sexual erotic art; family values; the occupation of sites of
lesbian was not visually represented in fine art un- masculinity; the destruction of binary constructions
til the end of the decade, when lesbian artists as- of gender by way of drag, cross-dressing, perform-
serted their sexuality in response to the AIDS crisis ance, and surgically or hormonally altering the body;
and right-wing censorship of the National Endow- and the invasion of male-dominated fields, such as
ment for the Arts funding of projects by artists of painting, cultural displacement, and activist art.
color and those of a different sexuality. This Despite the supposed gender-free territory of
burst of creative activity signaled a growing les- queer theory that many lesbians embraced, the les-
bian, gay, and queer renaissance in the art world. bian artist was not welcome when it came to occu-
Favored over painting and sculpture for its sup- pying queer exhibition spaces. To paraphrase his-
posed authenticating properties, photography be- torian Cassandra Langer, lesbians, caught between
came the medium of choice for self-representing straight feminists and the gay male agenda, often
difference or negotiating multiple identities. Most did not exist at all or were deprived of a political
of the work relied on mechanical reproduction and existence by their inclusion as female versions of
was cool, detached, and disembodied. Reoccurring male homosexuality. Being lesbian is being mar-
themes included deconstructing scientific, patho- ginal in an already marginal network.
logical, and medical definitions and representations It was not until the all-lesbian exhibition All But
of lesbians and the resulting stereotypes; appro- the Obvious (ABO), curated by Pam Gregg for the
priating fine-art and media images for lesbian pur- Los Angeles Center of Exhibitions (LACE) in 1990,
poses; abstract references to the lesbian body as a that a strong lesbian presence was asserted within
sexual and gendered social site; scrambling or the queer visual field. ABO identified a new group
queering signifiers of gender and sexuality; of lesbian artists and influenced the direction that
deconstructing masculinity; and reconstructing les- lesbian art would take throughout the 1990s. In-
bian sexual identities. Lesbian queer activism com- tended as a challenge to the reductive and asexual
bined with sex-radical imagery that had been de- aesthetics advanced by many lesbian artists of the
veloping separately throughout the 1980s in les- 1970s, ABO raised questions about the relationship
bian sex journals and zines. Gone was the good of representation to the construction of sexual iden-
girl, politically correct lesbian of the 1970s. The tity. Most of the work was either photography or
new lesbian artist was interested in exploring and photo baseda reflection of its roots in postmodern
representing sexually charged spaces, activities, and feminism of the 1980s. The major difference between
identities that were previously taboo, such as butch- ABO and earlier exhibitions was its inclusion of
femme and S/M exchange. sexually explicit lesbian images.

A R T, C O N T E M P O R A R Y N O R T H A M E R I C A N 65
The 1990s witnessed a number of significant Cronin, Patricia, ed. Representing Lesbian
A events for lesbian artists. In 1990, Lesbian Visual
Artists (LVA), an organization that sponsors exhi-
Subjectivities. Art Papers 18:6 (November/
December 1994) (Special Issue).
bitions and symposiums, was founded in San Fran- Hammond, Harmony. A Space of Infinite and
cisco. There were important exhibitions in Boul- Pleasurable Possibilities: Lesbian Self-Represen-
der, Colorado; Chicago, Illinois; Houston and San tation in Visual Art. In New Feminist Criti-
Antonio, Texas; Irvine, California; Atlanta, Geor- cism: Art, Identity, Action. Ed. Joanna Frueh,
gia; Seattle, Washington; and other places, in ad- Cassandra Langer, and Arlene Raven. New
dition to New York City, Los Angeles, and San York: Icon Editions, 1994, pp. 97131.
Francisco. Lesbian artists were well represented in Rando, Flavia, and Jonathan Weinberg, eds. Were
the many 1994 exhibitions celebrating the twenty- Here: Gay and Lesbian Presence in Art. Art
fifth anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion. In A Journal 55:4 (Winter 1996) (Special Issue).
Different Light (1995), a survey of queer sensibil- Lesbian Art and Artists. Heresies: A Feminist
ity at the University of California, Berkeley, was a Publication on Art and Politics 3 (Fall 1977)
historical attempt to situate lesbian, gay, and queer (Special Issue).
art making in twentieth-century art.
Lesbians artists of the 1990s include Kim Anno, See also Art, Contemporary European; Photogra-
Judie Bamber, Tammy Rae Garland, Patricia Cronin, phy; Video
Deborah Edmeades, Nicole Eisenman, Joy Episalla,
Donna Evans, Maria Elena Gonzalez, Mary Klein,
Julia Kunin, Zoe Leonard, Monica Majoli, Linda Art, Mainstream
Matalon, Marlene McCarty, Carrie Moyer, Mainstream art generally refers to art considered
Catherine Opie, Hanh Thi Pham, Sarah Rapson, important by the society in question. Historically, it
Elizabeth Stephens, Nicola Tyson, Fan Warren, is a confusing designation because art that was con-
Carrie Yamaoka, and activist art by Dyke Action sidered mainstream in the era of its creation may
Machine (DAM), Fierce Pussy, Lesbian Avengers, not be the artwork of the period studied or taught
and Oral Majority. Most lesbian artists who emerged currently. For example, twentieth-century art his-
in the 1970s and 1980s are also artists of the 1990s. tory emphasizes the art of the Renaissance that was
In the 1990s, lesbian art was produced and cir- important during that period. However, regarding
culated primarily within lesbian communities and the nineteenth century, art-historical interest focuses
feminist art spaces, although the art world bestowed on formal innovation, prioritizing the impression-
momentary visibility on a few lesbian artists, and ists, the pointillists, and the postimpressionists. In
lesbian work was included in exhibitions at com- that time period, such work was considered rela-
mercial galleries and museums. Once discovered, tively marginal, while academic or salon painting,
lesbian artists had to step carefully to get the atten- which is now considered of little importance, held
tion due their work without being co-opted in the the highest status. Further, media and subject mat-
process. Ultimately, it has been, and remains, the ter are designated as higher or lower art forms
insistence on self-identification, self-representation, in various eras. Classical Greek vase painting is con-
and the unruly diverse nature of lesbian art itself, sidered art, while most ceramics of later periods
both the production and the surrounding discourse, are considered crafts or possibly decorative arts.
that has the power to resist cultural commodification Photography continues to occupy a contested space
while combating the invisibility and erasure of les- somewhere between art and craft. From the Renais-
bians and lesbian content in fine art. sance on, easel painting and freestanding sculpture
Harmony Hammond have been the media most generally considered
mainstream art in European-American cultures.
Blake, Nayland, Lawrence Rinder, and Amy Representation of Lesbians
Scholder, eds. In a Different Light: Visual Cul- The representation of lesbians is a complex issue.
ture, Sexual Identity, Queer Practice. San Fran- The first complication arises from the difficulty of
cisco: City Lights Books, 1995. identifying the subject matter of a representation as
Cotter, Holland. Art After Stonewall: 12 Artists In- a lesbian. Basically, the subject matter of a represen-
terviewed. An in America 82 (June 1994), 5665. tation is identified as a lesbian in one of four ways.

66 A R T, C O N T E M P O R A R Y N O R T H A M E R I C A N
First, the representation is of two or more unclothed ity, though depictions of heterosexual and male
female figures. The figures need not be engaged in same-sex activity are found more frequently. It is
explicitly sexual interaction, as the state of naked- unclear whether these ancient cultures produced
ness generally signifies eroticism in a Western cul- few representations of female same-sex activity or
tural context. Second, the representation is of a fe- whether such depictions were destroyed in later pe-
male couple somehow breaking the social norms for riods. Much of the work of Sappho of Lesbos, the
acceptable behavior between women. Third, the rep- famous female poet of the Greek classical period
resentation participates in a stereotypical view of whose poems often described love between women,
lesbian appearance, such as the butch, the cross- was destroyed in the early Christian era, and it
dresser, the 1970s flannel-shirted androgyne, or the seems probable that sexually explicit visual repre-
1990s shaved-head, tattooed, pierced urban dyke. sentations would have been equally, or more, likely
Fourth, the representation is defined as that of a to be destroyed. Portraits of Sappho also exist, al-
lesbian by extrapictorial information, either in the though they were created several centuries later;
title (for example, The Lovers) or in the viewers no contemporary portraits have been found.
knowledge that the figure represented, historical or Possible female homoerotic subtexts exist in some
fictional, had same-sex relationships, such as Sappho popular themes of Renaissance art, particularly de-
(ca. 600 B.C.E.) or Gertrude Stein (18741946). pictions of witches and the three Graces. Witches
Clearly, there are limitations to all of these de- were frequently portrayed nude and in all-female
fining factors. The first reduces the lesbian to sexual groups, which is sexually suggestive, given that
behavior; the second recognizes the lesbian only as witches were often described as participating in
a dyad, not as an individual. The third participates sexual debauchery. Hans Baldung Griens (14847
in very limited social assumptions about style 14851545) The Three Witches (1514) depicts the
choices as identifiers of the lesbian, and the fourth women in spread-legged positions, focusing on the
requires specialized information to recognize the buttocks and genitals while touching themselves and
lesbian. All four are culturally specific to European- one another. Albrecht Durers (14711528) The
American cultures, as is the contemporary defini- Four Witches (1497) portrays the women in much
tion of lesbian. Further, it is not terribly diffi- more conventionally demure, standing positions, and
cult to imagine representations that fit one or more the spatial relations and positioning make it diffi-
of the above criteria and are not, in fact, represen- cult to tell whether the figures are in physical con-
tations of lesbians. However, discussions of repre- tact. In addition, although the figures are unclothed,
sentations of lesbians in art invariably use these two of them wear head coverings that suggest they
criteria, even when addressing representations pro- are servants or working-class women, while the
duced in non-European-American cultures. headdresses of the other two suggest that they are
Further complications in the discussion of rep- upper class. This contrast may have been suggestive
resentations of lesbians in art are found in issues of inappropriate crossings of class boundaries that
of reception and interpretation. Lesbian studies as support a homoerotic subtext. Since Durer also pro-
a field is divided on the interpretation of represen- duced work with explicit male homoerotic themes
tations of lesbians. Some scholars argue that rep- and there is biographical information to suggest that
resentations of lesbians produced by male artists he was involved in same-sex activities and relation-
or male-oriented female artists are strictly male- ships, it is likely that the female homoeroticism of
oriented fantasies, controlled by stereotypical as- his Witches was deliberate.
sumptions, and laden with negative implications The positioning of the figures of the three Graces
and have nothing to do with real lesbians. Oth- in Sandro Botticellis (1444/14451510) Primavera
ers maintain that any representations of lesbians (1478) is similar to Durers positioning of his
contribute to greater visibility and promote diverse witches. Whether Renaissance culture equated the
understandings of lesbians and that even nega- paganism of the ancient Greek Graces with the
tive representations can have transgressive effects. contemporary notion of pagan witches is unclear.
Though Durers witches are far more restrained
History and conventionally feminine than Griens, they are
Sexually explicit representation is often seen in ar- far less romanticized than Botticellis Graces. Like
tifacts of ancient Greek and Roman culture, in- Durer, Botticelli also produced male homoerotic
cluding some depictions of female same-sex activ- representation and was probably involved in

A R T, M A I N S T R E A M 67
same-sex relationships. The Three Graces (1636 ganized for the sexual service of men. Paintings
A 1640) of Peter Paul Rubens (15771640) is less
ambiguous than either Durers witches or
did not represent lesbians in boarding schools or
convents, though such locales were common con-
Botticellis Graces. In Rubenss version, the un- texts for the representation of lesbians in literature
clothed female figures are clearly touching and and erotica.
embracing one another. Rubenss interest in the The harem representations were situated within
depiction of nude female figures in affectionate and the genre of painting known as Orientalism.
intimate contact extended beyond his repetition of Orientalism describes the European fascination with
the popular theme of the three Graces. In both The studying and representing the Orient, which de-
Arrival of Marie de Medici in Marseilles and The scribed South Asia, North Africa, Turkey, and the
Education of Marie de Medici of the Medici series Persian Gulf countries. Although purported to be
(16221625), there are groupings of nude female objective scholarship, Orientalism viewed the non-
figures touching and caressing one another. It is Western cultures in question through assumptions
possible that these representations are connected of European dominance and superiority and was
thematically to the paganism of the witches and conceptually tied to imperialism and colonialism.
the Graces, since rumors circulated that Marie de Orientalist depictions usually represent lesbians
Medici was involved in witchcraft. through sexualized nudity, sometimes with explicit
In the eighteenth century, explicit depictions of physical contact, such as Jules-Robert Augustes
female same-sex activities and female autoerotism (17891850) The Lovers (1820s) or Jean-Auguste-
became more common. Representations of both Dominique Ingress (17801867) The Turkish Bath
behaviors sometimes included the use of dildos. Pri- (1863), and sometimes without, such as the bath-
marily, these were illustrations for erotic novels such ing scenes of Jean-Lon Grme (18241904) and
as Therese Philosophe (1780), attributed to Denis Edouard Debat-Ponsan (18471913).
Diderot (17131784) among others, the Marquis de Some scholars have asserted that harems and
Sades (17401814) various works, The Memoirs of mixed-race female couples were so closely associ-
Casanova (18261838), and numerous anonymously ated with lesbianism that all representations of a
published epistles. Such depictions also occurred in black woman and a white woman would have been
political propaganda around the French Revolution, read as lesbian. Similarly, scholars have asserted
particularly in reference to Marie Antoinette (1755 that nudity was so closely associated with prosti-
1793) and her alleged sexual relationship with the tution that all female nudes in European contexts
Princesse de Lamballe (17491792). Although illus- would have been read as prostitutes. Clearly, these
trations and political pamphlets are not usually con- connections among the harem, the brothel, and
sidered to be part of mainstream art, the prolifera- the lesbian indicate that French nineteenth-cen-
tion of such images is worth noting. Given the tury culture had shared concerns around the three
marginalization of same-sex activities in many his- that probably related to race, class, and the role of
torical periods, it is not surprising that more repre- women as sites of social disorder. British and some
sentations are available in forms meant for private American representations of lesbians in the nine-
viewing rather than for public, mainstream display. teenth century share similar conventions, but, since
the British and American representations occur pre-
The Nineteenth Century dominantly at the end of the century, it is uncer-
By the nineteenth century, representations of lesbi- tain whether they shared similar cultural concerns
ans proliferate, particularly in France. Well-estab- with the French or were simply influenced by the
lished conventions dictated representations of les- visual conventions. Portraits of Sappho were pro-
bians, and similar conventions persisted into the duced in France and Britain in the eighteenth and
twentieth century. These conventions substitute nineteenth centuries, but her relations with women
other markers of difference for the heterosexual were deemphasized or ignored in order to depict
male/female dyad. Differences in coloring, race, age, her as an acceptable literary icon, and it is not cer-
or status substitute for gender difference. Lesbians tain that most viewers would have identified her
were also placed in specific environments; in French as a lesbian historical figure.
painting, for example, the lesbian appears most Gustave Courbet (18191879) produced two of
often in the context of the harem or the brothel, the most striking images of lesbians in the nineteenth
both all-female living arrangements explicitly or- century, The Awakening or Venus and Psyche (1864)

68 A R T, M A I N S T R E A M
and Sleep (1866). Although both paintings partici- louse-Lautrec was a popular painter in his own
pate in some of the conventions of lesbian represen- erathat move lesbians out of private, sexualized
tation, they lack the more overt substitutions of het- contexts and into public life.
erosexual difference. In the Awakening, a dark-
haired woman is leaning over a sleeping fair-haired Lesbian Artists
woman, holding a flower over her face. In the later It is also in the last decades of the nineteenth cen-
version of the painting, the figures are half-length tury that lesbian artists began to create representa-
and nude to the waist. An earlier version, now lost tions of lesbians. American painter Anna Klumpkes
and assumed destroyed, is believed to have had full- (18561942) 1898 portrait of her lover, the French
length life-size figures. In the smaller version, the artist Rosa Bonheur (18221899), is probably the
cropping of the frame emphasizes the passionate best known and most mainstream of these images;
intensity of the gaze of the dark-haired figure. Sleep it hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New
portrays two entwined, full-length, nude, female fig- York City. Another French artist, Louise Abbma
ures, one blonde and the other brunette. Both are (18581927), conducted a long, passionate relation-
asleep; the blondes head is resting on the brunettes ship with the flamboyant actress Sarah Bernhardt
shoulder, with her lips near the others breast. The (18441923), producing her first portrait of her in
brunette figures leg is thrown over the blonde fig- 1875 and her last in 1922. The turn-of-the-century
ures waist, and the blonde figure rests her hand on American photographer Alice Austen (18661952),
the calf of the leg. While the eroticized portrayal of who specialized in documenting the lives of the
Courbets images certainly participates in the de- working classes, also documented the lives of her
piction of lesbians for consumption by male view- lovers and friends, including humorous images of
ers, the intensity and the sensuality of the represen- them three to a bed at a slumber party and cross-
tations appeal to many twentieth-century lesbian dressed as men, complete with mustaches.
viewers. Courbets lesbians are the subject of much By the 1920s, lesbian social circles flourished
scholarly debate. in a number of cities. Romaine Brooks (1874
Except for the portraits of Sappho, which may 1870) was a member of the Paris group that in-
not definitely have been interpreted as lesbian, the cluded writer Natalie Barney (18761972),
representations discussed above fall into the first Brookss lover of many years, and Radclyffe Hall
category of lesbian subject matter: the sexualized (18801943), author of The Well of Loneliness
nude. It is not until the last decade of the nine- (1928). Brooks painted portraits of Barney and
teenth century that other categories of lesbian rep- Halls lover, Una Troubridge (18871963).
resentation appear. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrecs Troubridge wears mens clothing in her portrait,
(18641901) series of depictions of lesbians is re- as does Brooks in her self-portrait. Along with her
markably free of the established conventions. Al- portraits of well-known lesbians, Brooks produced
though many are part of his brothel series of the numerous paintings of pale, ethereal, androgynous
1890s, which depicted the lives of prostitutes and, women. Hannah Gluckstein (18951978), known
thus, participate in the conventional location of as Gluck, was an English painter who shared
the lesbian in a sexual milieu designed for male Brookss interest in themes of androgyny. She also
use, these representations are much less sexualized cropped her hair, wore mens clothes, and painted
than those of earlier artists, and physical differ- her self-portrait in this attire but avoided the chic
ence between the women is not exaggerated to sub- social circles of the Paris lesbians, although she also
stitute for gender difference. Toulouse-Lautrecs came from a wealthy family. Brooks painted a por-
portrayals utilize the second category of identifi- trait of Gluck, but Glucks portrait of Brooks was
able lesbians: a female couple whose interactions never completed because Brooks so disliked the
contravene social norms for same-sex interactions. image after the initial sitting that she refused to sit
His lesbian couples embrace, recline, lay a head on for another session, and the portrait was never
the others shoulder, and are not unclothed. Other completed. Coincidently, Hall and Troubridge had
pictures in the series, depicting nightlife in Mont- also disliked Brookss portrait ofTroubridge.
martre, rupture the conventions even more radi- Another member of the Paris circle was the
cally by portraying lesbian couples at the theater American writer and artist Djuna Barnes (1892
and dancing in nightclubs. These are the first rep- 1982), who included caricatures of her lesbian
resentations of lesbians in mainstream artTou- friends and acquaintances in her illustrated books

A R T, M A I N S T R E A M 69
The Book of Repulsive Women (1915), Dijkstra, Bram. Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of
A LadiesAlmanac (1928), and Ryder (1928). She and
her lover, the American sculptor Thelma Wood
Feminine Evil in Turn-of-the-Century Culture.
New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.
(19011970), were both photographed in 1922 by Faunce, Sarah, and Linda Nochlin, eds. Courbet
Berenice Abbot (18981991), an American pho- Reconsidered. New Haven, Conn.: Yale Univer-
tographer who photographed many of the lesbian sity Press, 1988.
and gay artistic figures of New York City. Nret, Gilles. Erotica Universalis. Kln, Germany:
Both the Polish painter Tamara de Lempicka Benedikt Taschen, 1994.
(18981980) and the Argentinean-born Leonor Webb, Peter. The Erotic Arts. New York: Farrar,
Fini (19081996), who began painting in the 1920s Straus, and Giroux, 1983.
and 1930s, respectively, included images of lesbi-
ans among their many paintings of women. Unlike See also Antiquity; Austen, Alice; Barnes, Djuna
their contemporaries, their images are explicitly Chappell; Barney, Natalie; Bonheur, Rosa; Brooks,
sexual and depict female same-sex desire as pas- Romaine; Gluck (Hannah Gluckstein); Harems;
sionate and powerful. Probably the most prolific Marie Antoinette; Sappho
lesbian producer of lesbian images in the 1920s
and the early 1930s was the German artist Jeanne
Mammen (19101976). Under the relative freedom Arzner, Dorothy (19001979)
of the Weimar government, a diverse lesbian sub- U.S. film director. The most successful woman di-
culture flourished in Berlin. Mammen illustrated rector in Hollywood during the 1930s, she had a
lesbian-and gay-oriented publications, pamphlets, career that spanned three decades. Dorothy Arzner
and brochures, in addition to producing her own was the great exception in Hollywooda woman
drawings and paintings that depicted many aspects director who endured and whose career bridged the
of lesbian culture. transition from silent to sound film. Arzner was born
As more scholarship focused on the representa- in San Francisco and moved to Los Angeles at a
tion of women and of lesbians is produced, a more young age. She began her career in motion pictures
nuanced understanding of the historical conventions after disillusionment with her planned career of
regarding the representation of lesbians will prob- medicine. Determined to learn all there was to know
ably develop. Feminist art scholarship remains a about motion-picture production, she started as a
fairly new field, and research specifically focused script typist, then moved on to become a cutter, an
on lesbian themes has an even shorter history. Since editor, and a screenplay writer. Arzner directed her
feminist art historians often display discomfort and first film, Fashions for Women, for Paramount Stu-
unease when discussing lesbian content, it is dios, in 1927. She remained at Paramount until
unsurprising that mainstream-art historians have 1932, then continued to work as an independent
more or less ignored the subject. Even given this director until 1943, when she directed her last film,
lack of attention, late-twentieth-century scholarship First Comes Courage. Throughout her career, Arzner
already demonstrates that female same-sex activi- was known as a starmaker, as a director particu-
ties, orientations, and relationships between women larly adept at fashioning careers for her stars, espe-
have been represented since the Renaissance in West- cially her female stars. Paramounts most valuable
ern mainstream art. Gwendolyn Alden Dean and successful star in the 1920s was Clara Bow
(19051965), and the fact that Paramount entrusted
Bibliography Arzner with Bows first sound film (The Wild Party
Bernheimer, Charles. Figures of Ill-Repute: Repre- [1929]) indicates the respect Arzner commanded.
senting Prostitution in Nineteenth-Century Among those actresses who completed early (and,
France. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University in some cases, their first) starring roles with Arzner
Press, 1989. were Katharine Hepburn (1907), Ruth Chatterton
Chadwick, Whitney. Women, Art, and Power. Lon- (18931961), and Rosalind Russell (19111976).
don: Thames and Hudson, 1996. After leaving Hollywood, Arzner worked on a
Cooper, Emmanuel. The Sexual Perspective: Ho- number of projectsshe had a radio show, directed
mosexuality and Art in the Last 100 Years in television commercials, and taught filmmaking.
the West. New York: Routledge, 1986.2nd ed. Like most gay men and lesbians in Hollywood,
London: Routledge, 1994. Arzner was officially in the closet. But Arzners style

70 A R T, M A I N S T R E A M
(tailored suits, short hair, thick eyebrows) suggested ment of Asian American feminism were important
what was officially hidden, and her butch ap- influences on the emergence of literary work by
pearance was often noted by writers and commen- and about Asian American lesbians.
tators of her time. Her lifelong companion was Asian Americans did not begin to settle in the
Marion Morgan, with whom she lived from 1930 United States until the mid-nineteenth century. Yet
until Morgans death in 1971. Morgan was a cho- they were producing literary work as early as the
reographer and a dancer, and the two met when late nineteenth century, when the Eurasian jour-
Morgan choreographed dance sequences in early nalist Edith Maud Eaton (18651914) began pub-
silent films directed by Arzner. The importance of lishing under the pseudonym Sui Sin Far. Although
dance in several of Arzners films (especially Dance, Eatons work languished in obscurity for many
Girl, Dance [1940]) reflects Morgans continuing years, she was rediscovered in 1976, and her work
influence on Arzners career. was later republished in Mrs. Spring Fragrance and
Arzners most successful films explored wom- Other Writings (1995) by Asian American femi-
ens friendships and womens communities, from nists Amy Ling and Annette White-Parks. As Sui
the womens college and the close bond between Sin Far, Eaton championed the cause of Chinese
Americans against prejudice and often adopted the
schoolmates in The Wild Party to the rivalry be-
point of view of female characters who rebelled
tween two women performers in Dance, Girl,
against marital and domestic expectations. This
Dance. Lesbian themes appear indirectly in her
perspective derived from Eatons personal experi-
work, from the critique of marriage (in Christopher
ence as a child of interracial marriage and later from
Strong [1933] and Craigs Wife [1936]) to the in-
her own choice to forgo marriage in favor of a lit-
dependent woman, often a character who bears a
erary career. She believed that her own experience
resemblance to Arzner herself (Maria Ouspenskaya
as a serious and sober-minded spinster of multi-
[18761949] as Madame Basilova in Dance, Girl,
racial origins gave her insights into the foibles of
Dance). Arzners career was largely forgotten un-
her society. Eaton used this perspective to enlighten
til feminist critics and filmmakers in the 1970s re- others about the problems and complexities of
discovered her films. The Wild Party, Christopher Asian American life. As the first Asian American
Strong, Craigs Wife, and Dance, Girl, Dance con- to be published, Edith Maud Eaton provided a
tinue to be film-festival and classroom favorites. model for later Asian American writers, particu-
Judith Mayne larly women, who have generally followed her prac-
tice of using literature to comment on and correct
Bibliography social and cultural ignorance.
Johnston, Claire, ed. The Work of Dorothy Arzner: Asian American literature did not begin to gain
Towards a Feminist Cinema. London: British a substantial national audience until after World
Film Institute, 1975. War II, when writers such as Carlos Bulosan (1911
Mayne, Judith. Directed by Dorothy Arzner. 1956), Toshio Mori (1910), Louis Chu (1915),
Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994. and Hisaye Yamamoto (1921) attracted critical
. The Woman at the Keyhole: Feminism and attention. Hisaye Yamamotos work during this
Womens Cinema. Bloomington: Indiana Uni- period is noteworthy for exploring the effects of
versity Press, 1990. racism and sexism on Japanese American wom-
ens lives. In short stories from the 1950s, such as
See also Film, Mainstream; Hollywood Seventeen Syllables, Yonekos Earthquake,
and The High-Heeled Shoes: A Memoir,
Yamamoto reveals the problems that occur when
Asian American Literature womens personal desires conflict with social ex-
Written works of persons of Asian ancestry living pectations. Her work pays particular attention to
in North America. Only since the 1970s has Asian the fierce intimacies of mother-daughter relation-
American literature included lesbian themes and ships as an important grounds for working through
works by openly lesbian authors. The absence of those expectations. Yamamotos focus on Asian
lesbian voices in Asian American literature is re- American womens lives was later taken up by work
lated to the historical struggle of Asian Americans in the 1970s, including Maxine Hong Kingstons
to gain literary acceptance. The appearance of landmark book, The Woman Warrior: Memoirs
Asian American women writers and the develop- of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (1976).

A S I A N A M E R I C A N L I T E R AT U R E 71
Part autobiography, part biography, and part fic- turies of silence. Her project was shared by Kim,
A tion, The Woman Warrior tells the story of one sec-
ond-generation Chinese American girl trying to sort
whose early poetry reflected many of the same con-
cerns. In time, though, Kim began to develop as a
out the legacy of Chinese American culture for her- novelist and became known for a series of lesbian
self. Kingston emphasizes the contradictions of the adventure novels, Dancer Dawkins and the Cali-
stories her mother told her, which celebrate fornia Kid (1985) and the sequel Dead Heat (1988).
swordswomen and female avengers even as they Younger writers whose work continues to ex-
admonish girls to be submissive and avoid danger: plore the lesbian issues first addressed by Tsui and
She said I would grow up a wife and slave, but she Kim are Chea Villanueva in China Girls (1991)
taught me the song of the warrior woman, Fa Mu and Tamai Kobayashi and Mona Oikawa in All
Lan. I would have to grow up a woman warrior. Names Spoken (1993). Although Sky Lees first
The Woman Warrior is the story of a young Asian novel, Disappearing Moon Cafe (1990), was well
American girl struggling to assert her own power in received, it did not include any lesbian characters
a world of restrictions for Asian Americans and or themes. It remains to be seen whether the 1980s
women alike. It was received with both critical and flowering of Asian American lesbian writing will
commercial success and has since become a part of
result in further success for the next generation.
the curriculum at many colleges and universities. The
Caroline Chung Simpson
success and acceptance of Kingstons book as an
articulation of Asian American womens alienation
in U.S. culture helped encourage the development
Aguilar-San Juan, Karen. Landmarks in Litera-
of work by Asian American lesbians.
ture by Asian American Lesbians. Signs: Jour-
In the 1970s, a number of Asian American femi-
nal of Women in Culture and Society 18 (Sum-
nists and lesbians began to publish in small maga-
mer 1993), 936943.
zines and journals dedicated to feminist or lesbian
Leong, Russell, ed. Asian American Sexualities:
work. This group included poets such as Janice
Mirikitani, Nellie Wong, Willyce Kim, Kitty Tsui, Dimensions of the Gay and Lesbian Experience.
and Merle Woo, as well as the playwright Canyon New York: Routledge, 1996.
Sam. Lesbian poets such as Kim, Tsui, and Woo
adhered to feminisms belief that the personal is See also Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
political in order to articulate the political mean-
ing of their lives as lesbians. They connected their
efforts as lesbians to earlier Asian American efforts Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
to overcome the effects of anti-Asian prejudice or Asian American lesbians identify themselves in
racism. In doing so, they not only challenged white terms of both their racial/ethnic background and
feminists, but also called on Asian Americans to their sexuality. Asian American is a political term
recognize the connections between lesbian and that was coined in the early 1970s in the context
Asian American struggles. Among this group of of the Asian American movements desire for self-
writers, Kitty Tsui and Willyce Kim emerged as the definition and self-determination. The term ex-
most influential Asian American lesbian writers. presses the collective consciousness of a uniquely
The appearance of Tsuis The Words of a hybrid culture that is Asian American. The Asian
Woman Who Breathes Fire (1983) is generally con- American movement called for racial equality, so-
sidered a pivotal event in Asian American lesbian cial justice, and political empowerment.
literature, establishing Tsui as a leading figure Other terms used in the 1980s and 1990s in-
among Asian American lesbian writers. Like King- clude Asian Pacific Islander (API), Asian Pa-
stons book, Tsuis work is a combination of liter- cific American, and Asian American and Pacific
ary genres, including prose and poetry. It draws on Islander. Asian and Pacific Islander is originally
the formative themes of both Kingston and Eaton a United States Census category that describes more
to express the necessity, as well as the danger, of than thirty diverse ethnic groups from South Asia,
Asian American womens presence in a culture that Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Pacific Rim, and
finds orientals so hard to tell apart. Tsui pro- the Pacific Basin. These terms are often used inter-
motes the significance of telling our experiences changeably, but there is much disagreement within
as Asian American women, /workers and poets, / Asian American and Pacific Islander communities
cutting the ropes/that bind us, /breaking from/cen- about their appropriateness.

72 A S I A N A M E R I C A N L I T E R AT U R E
The terms have their critics. After the change of ing by Asian and Pacific Islander Lesbian and Bi-
immigration laws with the Immigration Act of sexual Women (1994). Writers, poets, artists, and
1964, the population of foreign-born Asians now critics since the 1970s include Lisa Asagi, Mi Ok
constitutes the majority of Asians in America, and Bruining, Connie Chan, Karin Aguilar-San Juan,
many immigrants who feel less identified with Gayatri Gopinath, Alice Y.Hom, Willyce Kim,
American culture do not accept the term Asian Larissa Lai, Shani Mootoo, Barbara Noda, Trinity
American. The categories are also criticized for Ordona, Jasbir Puar, Nina Revoyr, Nice Rodriguez,
their potential to be taken as a homogenizing and Canyon Sam, Indigo Som, Kitty Tsui, Merle Woo,
monolithic category that erases the specificity of Denise Uyehara, and Chea Villanueva. In addition,
each ethnic group. Additionally, some question the Eileen Lee and Marilyn Abbink (Women of Gold
inclusion of Pacific Islanders in Asian Pacific Is- [1990]); Hima B. (Straight for the Money [1994]
lander and the Asian Pacific American catego- and Coming Out, Coming Home: Asian and Pa-
ries, pointing out that Pacific Islanders are often cific Islander Family Stories [1995]), Shu Lea
underrepresented and marginalized. Cheang (Fresh Kill [1993] and Fingers and Kisses
These dynamics play an important role for many [1995]), Kris Lee (now Christopher Lee) (APLBN
Asian American individuals and organizations who [1996]), and Pratibha Parmar (Khush [1991], Sari
use these labels to name themselves and mobilize Red [1988], and Double Trouble [1992]) have pro-
around the politics of identity. For instance, women duced films and videos that have played in both
from East Asian backgrounds usually dominate Asian American and gay and lesbian film festivals.
Asian Pacific Islander groups and can These publications, performances, and other cul-
marginalize Pacific Islander and South Asian tural works have contributed to the increased vis-
women and their issues. Some community activ- ibility of Asian American and Pacific Islander les-
ists and theorists have called for destablization of bian and bisexual women.
these terms and a fundamental change in the way
we think about identity and practice. Historical Background
Many Asian American and Pacific Islander lesbian
Cultural Activism and bisexual women have participated in activist
There is little dispute that Asian American and groups and lesbian communities since the 1960s,
Pacific Islander lesbians and bisexual women face and probably earlier as well, but it will be only
a combination of discrimination based on sexism, through oral histories and careful reconstruction
racism, homophobia, heterosexism, and classism. of primary and secondary historical sources that
These interlocking oppressions have kept the voices one will be able to definitively name these women.
and experiences of Asian American and Pacific Is- Based on some extant sources, one can identify a
lander lesbian and bisexual women on the mar- number of early activists who made an impact on
gins of history. Recovering and reconstructing Asian American lesbian and gay rights. One of
Asian American and Pacific Islander womens his- them, Michiyo Fukaya (19531987), also known
tories remains a challenging project. as Michiyo Cornell, attended the First National
With the rise of the civil rights, womens libera- Third World Lesbian and Gay Conference that
tion, and gay and lesbian liberation movements and coincided with the first March on Washington for
the concomitant rise in the academic studies of these Gay and Lesbian Rights in 1979. Fukaya, as the
groups, Asian American and Pacific Islander les- representative of the Lesbian and Gay Asian Col-
bian and bisexual womens writings have been pub- lective that formed during that conference, gave a
lished in anthologies and other volumes. Major speech titled Living in Asian America: An Asian
publications include: Willyce Kim, Curtains of American Lesbians Address Before the Washing-
Light (1971), Eating Artichokes (1972), and ton Monument. She identified the difficulty of liv-
Dancer Dawkins and the California Kid (1985); ing in America as a poor woman of color who has
Barbara Noda, Strawberries (1979); Kitty Tsui, The to deal on the many fronts of racism, classism, and
Words of a Woman Who Breathes Fire (1983); heterosexism, and she called for a recognition of
C.Chung, A. Kim, and A.K.Lemeshewsky, eds., the shared and different oppressions that divide
Between the Lines: An Anthology by Pacific/Asian Third World gays, lesbians, and straight people.
Lesbians of Santa Cruz (1987); and Sharon Lim- Fukaya pointedly remarked on the racism in the
Hing, ed., The Very Inside: An Anthology of Writ- predominantly white lesbian and gay movement.


The issues that Fukaya spoke eloquently about need for such an organization. They determined that
A were the same issues that led a small number of
Asian American and Pacific Islander lesbians and
it was time to consolidate and systematically organ-
ize the already-existing personal and informal net-
bisexual women in various cities to form groups works of friends and newsletter exchanges.
such as Asian Lesbians of the East Coast (ALOEC) After these two historical events in 1987, in
in New York City, Asian Pacifica Sisters (APS) in conjunction with the previous decade of organiz-
San Francisco, California, Asian Pacific Lesbians ing, a few women on the West Coast and the East
and Friends (APLF) in Los Angeles, California, and Coast believed that it was possible to implement
D.C. Asian Lesbians (D-CALS) in Washington, their hope for a national network, which they
D.C., in the early 1980s. Many of the women who named the Asian Pacific Lesbian Network (APLN).
founded these organizations had worked in other In the beginning, the network consisted of an ad
Asian American organizations or lesbian organi- hoc steering committee of representatives in differ-
zations and groups and thought that Asian Ameri- ent parts of the country. With seed money from
can and Pacific Islander womens issues were not the National March on Washington office, they
being adequately addressed. They believed that they were able to sponsor the first national Asian Pa-
needed a space where they could come for social cific Lesbian retreat, Coming Together, Moving
gatherings, cultural support, and political action. Forward, in Santa Cruz, California, September
The late 1980s saw conferences that encouraged 14, 1989. The retreat heralded the historic attempt
Asian American and Pacific Islander lesbians, bi- to organize and bring together Asian American and
sexuals, and gay men to meet with one another: In Pacific Islander lesbian and bisexual women from
1987, Breaking Silence, Beginning the Dialogue, across the United States. The retreat gave Asian
the first meeting for Asian American and Pacific American and Pacific Islander lesbian and bisexual
Islander lesbians and gay men in Southern Califor- women the opportunity to discuss experiences and
nia, met in Los Angeles; in 1988, Unity Among concerns that are rarely represented in mainstream
Asians, the first North American conference for gay and lesbian communities, and it provided a
Asian lesbians and gay men, gathered in Toronto, forum to define their own history.
Ontario, Canada. Two other gatherings in 1987
also helped increase networking between Asian Activism at the End of the
American and Pacific Islander lesbian and bisexual Twentieth Century
womens groups around the Unites States. One such In a West Coast regional APLN retreat in 1993,
event was the first West Coast retreat for Asian the steering committee renamed the group as Asian
American and Pacific Islander lesbian and bisexual Pacific Lesbian and Bisexual Network (APLBN)
women, in Sonoma, California, in May 1987. More to address the participation of bisexual women in
than eighty women attended the retreat and con- the organization. In 1995, a group of women in
tributed to organizing Asian American and Pacific the Midwest sponsored a regional APLBN retreat
Islander lesbian and bisexual women beyond small in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The second national
and regional social gatherings. conference was held in 1998 in Los Angeles.
The second was the March on Washington for In addition to a number of groups that have
Lesbian and Gay Rights on October 11, 1987, in restructured or disbanded in the 1990s, a steady
which more than 150,000 gay men, lesbians, bisexu- stream of new groups have also organized with an
als, and supporters marched to affirm and to pro- ethnic-specific focus. Among them are the Asian
mote the visibility of people with same-sex orienta- Lesbian Bisexual Alliance (ALBA) in Seattle, Wash-
tion. Groups such as ALOEC and the Boston Asian ington; the Asian Pacific Lesbian Bisexual
Gay Males and Lesbians (BAGMAL) helped make Transgendered Network (APLBTN), in Atlanta,
the Asian American and Pacific Islander presence Georgia; the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Islander
felt. Included were two hundred or more Asian Sisters (LAAPIS) in Los Angeles; the South Asian
American and Pacific Islander gay men and lesbians Lesbian and Gay Association in New York City
who marched together under the banners of Gay, (SALGA); Chingusai, a Korean American gay, les-
Asian, and Proud. There, Asian American and Pa- bian, and bisexual group in Los Angeles; Kilawin
cific Islander lesbian and bisexual women began to Kolektibo, a Pilipina group in New York City; O
talk of forming an official national group, recogniz- Moi, a Vietnamese group in Los Angeles and Orange
ing that there were enough numbers, energy, and County, California; KoALA, a Korean American


lesbian and bisexual group in Chicago, Illinois; a ber 1990. Organized by Anjaree, a Bangkok les-
Malaysian womens group in the San Francisco Bay bian organization, the conference was attended by
Area; and Older Asian Sisters in Solidarity (OA- fiftyfour lesbians, nine of whom were non-Asian.
SIS) in San Francisco. The second conference was held in Tokyo, Ja-
There is also an increasing number of Asian pan, in May 1992. With an attendance of more
American and Pacific Islander lesbian and bisexual than 170 lesbians from thirteen countries, the four-
women who traverse national and geographical day conference was the largest ALN gathering to
boundaries, making significant connections and date. ALN-Nippon, the organizers of the confer-
alliances among women in the United States and ence, included a broad range of activities, such as
other nations. Information technology, such as elec- workshops, concerts, cultural activities, and video
tronic mailing lists, Web sites, and virtual chat presentations.
rooms, has been used widely to disseminate and The third conference was held in Wulai, Tai-
gather information for such purposes. Electronic wan, in August 1995. This conference was signifi-
media offer additional opportunities and challenges cant because the First Constitution Conference was
for Asian American and Pacific Islander lesbian and also held at this time. More than 140 lesbians from
bisexual women, who continue to express their eight countries attended the four-day conference.
diversity, engage in politics, and organize across Based on the ALN working constitution, the
ethnic and geographic boundaries. Alice Y.Hom ALN structure has three components: the Secretariat,
primarily responsible for financial matters, mem-
Bibliography bership, and the production of the newsletter; the
Eng, David L., and Alice Y.Hom, eds. Q & A: Working Group, which decides on policy and prac-
Queer in Asian America. Philadelphia: Temple tices, acceptance of members, organizational repre-
University Press, 1998. sentation, and disbursement of funds; and the gen-
Leong, Russell, ed. Asian American Sexualities: eral membership. The working constitution was pre-
Dimensions of the Gay and Lesbian Experience. sented for ratification during the fourth ALN con-
New York: Routledge, 1996. ference, held in Quezon City, Philippines, in 1998.
Lim-hing, Sharon, ed. The Very Inside: An Anthol- Issues that have been raised in the ALN can be
ogy of Writing by Asian and Pacific Islander divided into two categories: structure and govern-
Lesbian and Bisexual Women. Toronto: Sister ance, and identity and politics. The fluid structure
Vision, 1994. and lack of clear policies regarding membership
Ratti, Rakesh, ed. A Lotus of Another Color: An and participation became a cause of concern dur-
Unfolding of the South Asian Gay and Lesbian ing the second ALN conference. While the first
Experience. Boston: Alyson, 1993. ALN conference did not include non-Asians, dur-
Shervington, Gwendolyn L., ed. A Fire Is Burning, ing the second conference a parallel gathering of
It Is in Me: The Life and Writings of Michiyo non-Asians, called Lesbians Affirming Lesbians
Fukaya. Norwich, Vt: New Victoria, 1996. in Asia (LALA), was held. Following several dis-
cussions, it was decided that the host country would
See also Asian American Literature have to make a policy regarding the participation
of non-Asians. In December 1993, ALN-Taiwan
hosted a preconference meeting to discuss the struc-
Asian Lesbian Network ture of the ALN and to settle policies before the
Organization begun during the International Les- third conference. Due to financial constraints, only
bian Information Service (ILIS) Conference in Ge- lesbians from Japan were able to participate in the
neva, Switzerland, in March 1986. Asian lesbians meeting. Together, the Japanese and Taiwanese les-
from Bangladesh, India, the United States, Japan, bians drafted a constitution for the ALN. How-
and Thailand organized an Asian lesbian work- ever, it was not resolved as to how this constitu-
shop during the conference, noting the necessity tion could be ratified. Thus, ALN-Taiwan, then
to strengthen and expand the Asian lesbian net- incoming conference host, deemed it better to leave
work of support. the organizations structure loose until the consti-
Three conferences have been held by the Asian tution conference could be held. A new working
Lesbian Network (ALN) since 1990. The first con- constitution was thus drafted during the third con-
ference was held in Bangkok, Thailand, in Decem- ference in Taiwan.


The second category of issues includes those that lasting, exclusively lesbian, national organizations
A deal with the participation of non-Asians, the defi-
nition of lesbian, the definition of Asian, the ALN
have been relatively unsuccessful, local and regional
lesbian organizations have flourished. National femi-
vision, local and regional concerns, and the phi- nist groups that include both lesbians and hetero-
losophy and substantive issues that bind the or- sexual women (such as the National Organization
ganization. for Women, which began welcoming open lesbians
The main accomplishment of the ALN has been after much conflict in the early 1970s) and mixed-
the creation of a space wherein Asian lesbians could sex gay and lesbian groups (such as the National
come together to learn from one another and es- Gay and Lesbian Task Force, founded in the early
tablish links. It has also contributed to an increased 1970s) have been relatively more enduring.
awareness and discussion of Asian lesbian issues The Nucleus Club was one early secret social
in both local and international forums and has club. Organized in New York City in the 1930s, it
served as an impetus for Asian lesbian organizing. held weekly parties in private homes for lesbians
The diverse cultural, economic, and political back- and gay men. Another early womens organization
grounds of ALNs membership provide the organi- that included lesbians among its members was Het-
erodoxy, a group of radicals and feminists in Green-
zation with its challenges, dynamism, and strength.
wich Village in New York City. Founded in 1912,
Giney Villar
the club for unorthodox women included a
number of lesbians among its members during its
thirty-year existence. More common during the first
Asian Lesbian Network. The Third ALN Confer-
half of the twentieth century, lesbians met informally
ence Taiwan, 1995, ALN-Taiwan, P.O. Box
at private parties or, after World War II, in bars rather
7760, Taipei, Taiwan.
than in formal organizations or associations.
ALN-Nippon. The Report of the Second ALN
Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) was the first national
Conference, July 1995. Regumi Studio Tokyo,
lesbian organization in the United States. Founded
JOKI, Nakazawa Bldg. 3F 23, Araki-cho, in San Francisco in 1955, it was established origi-
Shinjuku, Tokyo 160, Japan. nally as a private social club and an alternative to
the bar scene, though it quickly became a social
See also International Organizations and political organization for lesbians. When the
DOB joined the early gay rights movement with
Mattachine Society and One, Inc.two predomi-
Associations and Organizations nantly male groups in the homophile movement
Lesbians have joined together in a number of for- one of its founders left to form two other secret
mal and informal groups and organizations. Some social clubs for lesbians, Quatrefoil and Hale
organizations are primarily social in purpose; oth- Aikane. At its height, the DOB had chapters in a
ers, political. Although relatively few lesbian or- number of cities and countries, including Chicago,
ganizations existed prior to the 1960s in the United Illinois; San Diego, California; Boston, Massachu-
States, since the 1970s a wide variety of lesbian setts; Denver, Colorado; and Melbourne, Australia.
organizations and associations have flourished. By the 1970s, when many embraced a more radi-
cal lesbian politics, most chapters had folded; in
Early Organizations the 1990s, one chapter, in Boston, remained.
Prior to the late 1960s, there were relatively few
formal organizations or associations that lesbians Gay Liberation and Feminism
could join. Although secret social groups and friend- It was not until the late 1960s and early 1970s,
ship circles have been documented as early as the with the growth of the gay liberation and feminist
1920s and 1930s, in places such as Salt Lake City, movements, that a variety of other lesbian organi-
Utah, it was not until long after the establishment zations began to flourish. Many early lesbian or-
of Daughters of Bilitis in San Francisco, California, ganizations had a political focus. Radicalesbians,
in 1955 that formal organizations for lesbians in which put forth the influential position paper The
the United States began to arise in any number. In Woman-Identified Woman, was formed (1970)
the late 1960s and 1970s, lesbians created a diverse in New York City by lesbians from a number of
array of formal organizations and associations at existing womens and gay male groups in 1969 and
both the local and the national level. Although long the early 1970s. Members included Rita Mae


Brown, Lois Hart, Ellen Bedoz, and others. Al- Custody Action for Lesbian Mothers (Narberth,
though Radicalesbians was not a long-lasting Pennsylvania), and Gay and Lesbian Parents Coali-
group, its position paper on lesbian feminism, tion International (based in Washington, D.C.). The
which proclaimed, A lesbian is the rage of all Lesbian Mothers National Defense Fund, based in
women condensed to the point of explosion, has Seattle, Washington, publishes information about
been widely circulated and very influential. custody cases and similar concerns.
The Washington, D.C.based Furies Collective, Organizations devoted to the production of les-
founded in 1971 by Charlotte Bunch, Rita Mae bian culture also proliferated in the 1970s. Nation-
Brown, Ginny Berson, Joan E.Biren, and others, was ally, Olivia Music was formed by a group of les-
another short-lived but influential radical lesbian bian feminists in 1973 to provide women with a
feminist collective that published a newspaper called chance to create and disseminate music. For years,
The Furies. Other lesbian feminist groups of the the best-known producer of womens (lesbian)
1970s included Lesbian Feminist Liberation (New music, Olivia artists toured the United States, and
York City), Gutter Dykes Collective (Berkeley, Cali- local womens music production companies, such
fornia), and the C.L.I.T. (Collective Lesbian Inter- as Allegra in Boston, formed to produce local con-
certs. Other organizations created coffeehouses,
national Terrors) Collective (New York City).
restaurants, bookstores, food cooperatives, and a
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, lesbian or-
panoply of other lesbian enterprises.
ganizations flourished across the United States.
In the late 1980s and into the 1990s, many les-
Many lesbians sought to create groups that would
bians participated in mixed gay and lesbian AIDS
be specific to their own needs and activities, apart
education and service organizations, as well as di-
from either mixed gay and lesbian organizations
rect-action groups such as ACT UP (AIDS Coali-
or feminist organizations that also included het-
tion to Unleash Power) and Queer Nation. Chap-
erosexual women. Regional groups such as the
ters of Lesbian Avengers, known for their creative
Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance (Atlanta, Geor-
protests, mushroomed in the mid-1990s.
gia) and the Central Ohio Lesbians (Columbus) Many lesbians of color have also organized in
served a variety of purposes, including social sup- autonomous groups. In the 1970s, black women
port and participation in political activities. Many formed groups such as the Combahee River Collec-
lesbians attempted to work collectively and in co- tive, a black feminist collective in Boston, Massa-
operative organizations. Although not all lesbian chusetts, that included many lesbians, and Sapphire
organizations have done so, many have pioneered Sapphos, a black lesbian group in Washington, D.C.
the use of consensusbased decision making and Lesbians were active participants in the 1974 found-
nonhierarchical organizational forms. Consensus ing of the National Black Feminist Organization and
decision making is often slow and tedious; still, the 1978 formation of the National Coalition of
lesbian organizations that use it believe that the Black Lesbians and Gay Men. The National Black
process is more democratic and allows for greater Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum was established
participation by all group members. one decade later, in 1988. Salsa Soul Sisters Third
Some lesbian organizations have formed around World Womyn, Inc., formed an umbrella organiza-
specific activities or interests. Early lesbian moth- tion for women of color in New York City, and
ers groups, such as Dykes and Tykes in New York Latina lesbians have been active in Llego, the Latino/
City and the Lesbian Mothers Union in San Fran- a Lesbian and Gay Organization, formed at the 1987
cisco, formed in the 1970s. The Lesbian Rights March for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Washington,
Project (later renamed the National Center for Les- D.C. In the 1980s, a number of Asian lesbian or-
bian Rights) was founded by attorney Donna Kitch- ganizations were formed. Trikone, one of the long-
ens in 1977 in San Francisco, California, and has est-standing groups for lesbian and gay South Asians,
worked to protect the rights of lesbian mothers, in was founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1986;
addition to assisting lesbians on other legal issues. other groups have included the New York City-based
The 1980s saw an explosion of local lesbian moth- Asian Lesbians of the East Coast and Chicago Asian
ers groups in many cities and towns, including Par- Lesbians Moving.
ents and Gonna Be Parents (Kansas City, Missouri),
Lesmos (West Hempstead, New York), Lesbians National Organizations
Choosing Children Network (Arlington, Maryland), Although there have been a number of attempts to
Our Family (San Francisco Bay Area, California), form enduring national lesbian organizations, these

A S S O C I AT I O N S A N D O R G A N I Z AT I O N S 77
have not been entirely successful. In 1978, follow- See also Combahee River Collective; Daughters of
A ing the National Womens Conference of 1977 in
Houston, Texas, a group of lesbians in Los Angeles
Bilitis; Furies, The; International Organizations;
Lesbian Avengers; National Gay and Lesbian Task
attempted to form a National Lesbian Feminist Or- Force (NGLTF); National Organization for Women
ganization (NLFO). Although a steering committee (NOW); Olivia; Queer Nation; Radicalesbians
and several chapters were formed, the NLFO never
became a national organization. In 1988, the Na-
tional Organization for Women (NOW) sponsored Athletics, Collegiate
a National Lesbian Rights Conference to develop a Women have participated in intercollegiate athletics
national lesbian agenda, and in 1991 Atlanta hosted since the beginning, of the twentieth century. From
the National Lesbian Conference. Still, no national the beginning, women athletes faced strong cultural
lesbian organization came out of these conferences. opposition to the notion of athletic females. Athlet-
Many lesbians have taken leadership roles in ics was defined as a masculine activity, and male phy-
national lesbian and gay organizations, such as the sicians, social commentators, and college presidents
National Lesbian and Gay Task Force and the Gay expressed concern over the masculinizing effects
and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and in of womens participation in competitive athletics and
feminist groups such as the National Organization damage to the frail female constitution. Women
for Women NOW On an international level, the physical educators, who controlled college womens
International Gay and Lesbian Alliance, based in sports, responded to critics by developing separate
Stockholm, Sweden, represents gay and lesbian and womens rules and stressing the health benefits of
AIDS activist groups in fifty countries on all conti- sport participation and the importance of feminine
nents. Although lesbians have been less visible than appearance and behavior among women athletes.
gay men in international organizations, lesbian and Varsity competition was deemphasized in favor of
gay national organizations have formed in coun- playdays focused on participation and socializing.
tries such as Finland, Iceland, Austria, and Greece. By the 1950s, most women physical education
Lesbians have long been active in organizations in professional groups strongly discouraged intercol-
Canada, England, and the Netherlands and, since legiate and high school athletic competition for
the 1970s and 1980s, in a number of Latin Ameri- women. This philosophy dominated womens ath-
can countries as well. Kristin G.Esterberg letics well into the 1960s. The 1972, passage of Ti-
tle IX, however, ushered in a new era for womens
Bibliography intercollegiate athletics. Title IX is a federal law pro-
Abdulahad, Tania, Gwendolyn Rogers, Barbara hibiting sex discrimination in education programs.
Smith, and Jameelah Waheed. Black Lesbian/ Capitalizing on this new legislative tool and the in-
Feminist Organizing: A Conversation. In creasing strength of the feminist movement, wom-
Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology. Ed. ens sport advocates have pushed for augmented
Barbara Smith. New York: Kitchen Table, 1983, resources and development of womens intercollegi-
pp. 293319. ate athletic programs. Though not yet on equal foot-
Adam, Barry. The Rise of a Gay and Lesbian Move- ing with mens intercollegiate athletics, the success
ment. Boston: Twayne, 1987. of Amercan women athletes in the 1996 Summer
Echols, Alice. Daring To Be Bad: Radical Femi- Olympics attests to the change in social attitudes
nism in America, 19671975. Minneapolis: toward womens athletics and to the development
University of Minnesota Press, 1989. of world-class athletes in a variety of sports.
Faderman, Lilian. Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers:
A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Cen- Lesbians in Collegiate Athletics
tury America. New York: Columbia University For the better part of the twentieth century, lesbi-
Press, 1991. ans have played an integral role in the develop-
Martin, Del, and Phyllis Lyon. Lesbian/Woman. ment of, and advocacy for, womens collegiate ath-
Twentieth Anniversary Edition. Volcano, Calif.: letics. Since the early 1970s, lesbian coaches, ath-
Volcano, 1991. letes, and sport administrators have been among
Radicalesbians. The Woman Identified Woman. the women who lobbied for passage of Title IX
In Notes from the Third Year. Ed. Anne Koedt and have resisted legislative attempts to scale back
and Shulamith Firestone, 1971, pp. 8184. the effects of this important sex-discrimination law.

78 A S S O C I AT I O N S A N D O R G A N I Z AT I O N S
In addition, lesbian athletes and coaches are part letes in a hostile environment are careful to pro-
of many national championship teams and repre- tect then-identities from anyone who might be in a
sent the United States in international competitions position to discriminate against or harass them. In
such as the Olympic Games. Moreover, athletics a hostile environment lesbians who are discovered
serve as important support and social networks for experience blatant and direct discrimination.
many lesbians, who, in the face of hostility from Coaches are fired, and athletes are dismissed from
family or friends, find their first community among teams or have their playing time severely dimin-
other lesbian teammates and coaches. Lesbians ished. Sometimes, athletes are ostracized by
whose gender expression challenges boundaries of teammates or pressured to leave the team. The per-
traditional femininity find in athletics a place to formance of lesbian coaches is often carefully scru-
explore and enjoy their passions for competition tinized to identify other, less controversial justifi-
and the development of physical competence. cations for firing: a losing season or team com-
Despite growing societal acceptance of women plaints, for example. Occasionally, a team in a los-
as athletes, this acceptance is contingent on their ing season will complain to administrators about
ability and willingness to present a heterosexual a lesbian coach. Some coaches engage in negative
and feminine appearance. The early-twentieth-cen- recruiting by telling parents of prospective ath-
tury association between sports and masculinity letes that there are lesbians on rival teams or that
and between masculinity and lesbians continued their coach is a lesbian in an effort to steer an ath-
to haunt women athletes at the close of the cen- lete away from that program. Some coaches also
tury. These associations serve an important func- tell recruits and their parents that lesbians are not
tion in a sexist society. Societal hostility to lesbians allowed on the team, tapping into fears about les-
and the association of lesbians with athletics are bians. Young athletes struggling with their own
deterrents to womens participation in sports and sexual identities can be the most hostile to lesbian
warn women athletes and coaches that they are teammates or coaches as they try to distance them-
stepping out of appropriate gender boundaries. selves from an identity they fear. In a hostile envi-
As long as lesbians are stigmatized, the lesbian la- ronment, lesbian athletes and coaches, by neces-
bel can be used to intimidate and control the de- sity, mask their identities by lying or maintaining a
velopment of womens sports and the participa- strict silence about their identities.
tion of women in sports. Fear and intolerance of The most publicized example of this hostility
lesbians in a heterosexist and sexist society act as to lesbian athletes occurred in 1991, when it was
boundary markers to warn women who stray from revealed in a newspaper article that Rene Portland,
expected norms of feminine heterosexuality and the Pennsylvania State University womens basket-
who challenge male privilege. For men, sports are ball coach, had a no lesbian policy. The public
an important arena for the development of domi- outcry and barrage of negative publicity directed
nant masculinist values. Womens participation in at Penn State resulted in passage of an amendment
sports challenges the exclusivity of sports and their to its nondiscrimination policy to include sexual
role in socializing men and boys into their domi- orientation. Portland, after several months, agreed
nant social roles in a sexist society. As a result, most to abide by the new policy.
lesbians in college athletics attempt to keep their In a conditionally tolerant environment, lesbian
identities hidden rather than jeopardize their op- visibility is identified as a problem, but lesbian
portunity to compete or coach. coaches and athletes are tolerated as long as they
maintain a public silence about their identities. In
Climates for Lesbians such an environment, lesbian athletes are admon-
The climate for lesbians in college athletics can ished by their teammates (and sometimes their
range from hostile to conditionally tolerant to open coaches) to avoid association with campus lesbian-
and affirming. Generally, the more public atten- identified groups and stay away from places asso-
tion focused on the sport and the bigger the school, ciated with lesbians, such as bars, clubs, or com-
the more hostile the athletic environment tends to munity sport teams. Heterosexual athletes some-
be. Also, team sports are often more hostile than times warn lesbian teammates to keep their hair
individual sports. long and not to talk about their partners or make
In a hostile environment, lesbian presence is their identity visible in any way. Often, whole teams
identified as a problem. Lesbian coaches and ath- know that the coach is a lesbian, but, as long as

A T H L E T I C S , C O L L E G I AT E 79
she never makes her identity explicit, she is toler- fluence on womens athletics to present a noncontro-
A ated. Lesbian coaches and athletes in a condition-
ally tolerant environment must monitor their
versial feminine, heterosexual image to the public in
association with their products.
behavior carefully to avoid over-stepping the zone
of tolerance implicitly agreed to. Changing the Climate
In an open and affirming environment, discrimi- A professional dialogue about homophobia and
nation and harassment of lesbians are identified heterosexism in collegiate athletics has begun in some
problems. Lesbian athletes and coaches disclose collegiate coaches associations and among some
their identities with reasonable expectations that college athletic depatments. Moreover, academic
they will not be penalized for their openness. disciplines, including womens studies, sport psy-
Coaches can bring partners to games, introduce chology, sport history, and sport sociology, are now
them to athletes and parents, and talk about their addressing heterosexism and homophobia in ath-
personal lives. Lesbian athletes can talk with letics in research and professional writing, thereby
teammates about homophobia and their relation- increasing understanding of these issues. Womens
ships and bring dates to team social events. Het- sports advocacy organizations, such as the Wom-
erosexual teammates speak out against antilesbian
ens Sports Foundation, are taking a public stand
prejudice and help socialize younger teammates
against discrimination against lesbians in athletics
into the open and affirming environment. Athletes
and providing education resources for coaches and
who are questioning their sexual identity can count
administrators. In addition, an educational video,
on coaches to support them in this process.
Out for a Change: Addressing Homophobia in
Unfortunately, as the twentieth century draws
Womens Sports, and an accompanying study guide
to a close, most athletic climates in the United States
are available from Woman Vision (San Francisco,
are either hostile or conditionally tolerant. Few les-
California) for coaches and teachers.
bian athletes, coaches, or athletic administrators
Though the day when most collegiate athletic
publicly identity themselves. To the contrary, many
coaches and athletes in the public eye go to great environments will be described as open and affirm-
lengths to highlight their feminine heterosexuality ing for lesbian athletes and coaches is perhaps in
in their appearance (long hair, makeup, high heels, the distant future, it is possible to imagine that time.
and dresses) and in the visibility of their husbands The process of change in the larger culture is also at
or boyfriends and children. The media focus on work in collegiate athletics. Perhaps the next gen-
women athletes who are able to provide such evi- eration of lesbian athletes and coaches will be free
dence of their feminine heterosexuality reinforces to make their important contributions to womens
the perception that lesbians and heterosexual athletics openly and honestly, without feeling the
women who do not conform to traditional notions need to mask and protect their sexual identities out
of femininity must be hidden. of fear of discrimination or harassment. This future
A number of pressures work against the develop- day will be a big step forward for all women in sports
ment of an open and affirming environment. In gen- to be able to pursue athletic goals without the con-
eral, coaches and administrators in collegiate athlet- straints imposed by restrictive boundaries of accept-
ics are not interested in placing themselves on the able feminine heterosexuality. Pat Griffin
cutting edge of social change on any issue. In colle-
giate athletics, much of the fear of association with Bibliography
lesbians is due to the pressure to recruit talented ath- Blinde, Elaine, and Diane Taub. Homophobia and
letes. Many collegiate coaches assume that most high Womens Sports: The Disempowerment of Ath-
school athletes and their parents will avoid programs letes. Sociological Focus 25 (1992), 151166.
that publicly acknowledge the presence of lesbian Bryson, Lois. Sport and the Maintenance of Male
coaches or athletes. Few coaches are willing to risk Hegemony. Womens Studies International
losing recruits to test this assumption. Also, as sports Forum 10 (1987), 349360.
such as basketball and volleyball receive more media Cahn, Susan. Coming on Strong: Gender and Sexu-
attention and public spectator interest increases, ad- ality in Twentieth Century Womens Sport. New
ministrators and coaches become more image con- York: Free Press, 1994.
scious. Moreover, as commercial sponsorship of wom- Griffin, Pat. Strong Women, Deep Closets: Lesbi-
ens collegiate athletics increases, the traditional con- ans and Homophobia in Sport. Champaign, Ill.:
servatism of corporate executives also exerts an in- Human Kinetics, 1998.

80 A T H L E T I C S , C O L L E G I AT E
Krane, Vikki. Lesbians in Sport: Toward Ac- to show her contemporaries playing tennis, bicy-
knowledgement, Understanding, and Theory. cling, swimming, and picnicking. She photographed
Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology 18 commuters on the Staten Island Ferry, laborers, and
(1996), 237246. immigrants newly arrived from Europe. Austens
Lenskyj, Helen. Power at Play: Gender and Sexu- photographs are unique among art images made by
ality Issues in Sport and Physical Activity. In- lesbians of her era in that she conveyed her involve-
ternational Review for the Sociology of Sport ment with women in very graphic terms, such as
25 (1990), 235245. showing herself and her friends embracing, in bed,
or cross-dressing as men. Around 1917, Gertrude
See also Physical Education; Sports, Professional Amelia Tate (ca. 18711962), already her lover for
eighteen years, moved in with Austen.
An independent income allowed Austen to pur-
Austen, Alice (18661952) sue her photographic interests without the need to
American photographer. Alice Austen spent most of sell her work. This changed when the stock market
her life in her familys comfortable, upper-middleclass crashed in 1929, taking with it much of her capital.
home on Staten Island, New York, across the bay Thinking the crisis would soon pass, Austen mort-
from Manhattan, although she traveled around the gaged her house and traveled in Europe with Tate.
northeastern United States and to Europe. Her uncle On their return, they ran a tea room on the front
taught her to use a large-format camera when she lawn during summer months and struggled to live
was ten years old, and she used herself, family, friends, on money Tate earned teaching ballroom dancing
and neighbors as primary subjects. and deportment, but in 1945 the house was lost.
Most active as a photographer between the 1880s After a few years in a small apartment, Tate went to
and the 1920s, Austen used a clear, uncluttered style live with family members, who disapproved of her

The Darned Club from Alices World: The Life and Photography of an American Original: Alice Austen, 1866
1952 by Ann Novotny (Old Greenwich, Conn.: The Chatham Press, 1976). Courtesy The Chatham Press.

relationship with Austen. Austen moved from one rage in Melbourne in 1919; Freda Du Faur (1882
A nursing home to another, then into the Staten Is-
land Farm colony, a home for paupers, in 1950.
1935), mountain climber (two of New Zealands
South Island peaks are named for her and her lover,
Many of Austens negatives were purchased by Muriel Cardogan); Joan Hammond (19121996),
the Staten Island Historical Society. Ultimately, they opera singer; and Montie (who lived to be one
came to the attention of a publisher who arranged hundred and six years old) are among the most
for the exhibition and sale of prints. The money thus famous. Marion/Bill Edwards, who lived as a
earned allowed Austin to move to a comfortable resi- man for fifty years after his female identity be-
dence for the last year of her life. Tee A.Corinne came known (s/he was arrested for burglary in 1906
and died in 1956), has also drawn significant at-
Bibliography tention from scholars. It was only in the 1980s that
Grubler, Mitchell. Alice Austen: A Commemorative famous women who were lesbians began to be ac-
Journal. New York: Alice Austen House, 1986. knowledged in historical accounts of their lives.
. The Larky Life. New York: Alice Austen There are many more names to unearth.
House, 1991. Since the late 1960s, there has been an explo-
Kaplan, Gaile. Fine Day. Exhibition Catalog. Staten sion of organizations and events established by, and
Island: Alice Austen House, 1988.
run for, lesbians. In 1970, the Australian chapter
Novotny, Ann. Alices World: The Life and Pho-
of Daughters of Bilitis, Australias first openly ho-
tography of an American Original: Alice Austen,
mosexual organization, was formed. Other organi-
18661952. Old Greenwich, Conn.: Chatham,
zations were soon to follow throughout the 1970s
and onward.
See also Photography
The Formal Political Culture
Australia in the 1950s and 1960s was extremely
conservative, with institutionalized racist policies,
such as the White Australia Policy, and the removal
Island continent located in the Southern and East-
ern hemispheres, but culturally dominated by the of Aboriginal children from their mothers. With
Northern and Western hemispheres. The oldest con- the granting of citizenship to Aboriginal people in
tinent, whose indigenous peoplesthe Aborigi- 1967, the Viet Nam War (19651972), and the
nalshave the oldest continuous culture in the emergence of progressive social movements came
world, it is yet one of the newest nations in the world. a period of widespread change. The changes that
From these contradictory elements, Australias small have taken place in Australian culture since then
population of eighteen million has produced a di- have also changed the nature of lesbian identity
versity of cultures, among them lesbian culture. and visibility. The changes are largely due to femi-
nists, progressive politicians, and that peculiarly
Context Australian invention, the femocrat (a feminist
White Australian culture has a short history, a lit- who works in governmental positions).
tle over two hundred years in contrast to more than Although Australian culture is heavily influ-
one hundred thousand years of Aboriginal culture. enced by U.S. culture, it is by no means an exact
Evidence of lesbian culture in either of these set- replica. Australians, on the whole, are irreverent,
tings is still rare prior to the emergence of radical informal, and inventive. Women, Aboriginals, and
and womens movements in the late 1960s. migrants first became part of the mainstream po-
There is a small representation of women who litical agenda in 1972, when the Labor Party (left-
broke with traditioncross-dressers, women with to-center political party) leader, Gough Whitlam,
lifelong companions, and outlawsbut there has was elected prime minister on a wave of political
been no sustained book-length work in this area, enthusiasm. In many ways, he set the political
although a small traveling exhibition exploring the agenda of Australia for the following decades. He
lives of lesbians from 1900 to the 1990s opened in was ousted in 1975 in what many commentators
Melbourne in 1996. Margaret Catchpole, a horse have described as a coup. A Liberal Party (center-
thief and convict; Mary Reibey, one of Australias to-Right political party) government ran the coun-
earliest business women (depicted on the twenty try for the next seven years, and, from 1983, a re-
dollar note); Alice Anderson, who opened a ga- turned Labor government held power for thirteen

years. In 1996, the Liberal Party won back power Clitoris (pronounced with the emphasis on the sec-
and reintroduced conservative political and social ond syllable) was popular; and the Shameless Hus-
policies. sies came out of Adelaide. These bands, like a con-
The governmental structures put in place be- siderable portion of the feminist artistic and po-
tween 1972 and 1975 were critical in giving litical movement, were predominately composed
women, including lesbians, a voice; making it pos- of lesbians. After that period, a number of lesbian
sible for them to rise up the public-service ladder, singer/songwriters became well known, in particu-
thereby affecting subsequent governmental policy; lar, Robin Archer and Judy Small, as well as nu-
and including on the political agenda issues such merous bands that formed and reformed.
as child care, maternity leave, equal pay, antiracist Festivals are as important to the gay and les-
legislation, affirmative action, and antinuclear, bian community as to the rest of the population.
peace, and environmental policies. The Labor gov- Mardi Gras is Australias best-known gay and les-
ernment formalized many important issues that bian event. Held in Sydney during February and
lesbians have fought for and introduced some leg- March, Mardi Gras highlights the diversity of gay
islation that protects lesbians. and lesbian culture, from readings to theater to the
huge street parade and party that brings it to a
Lesbian Feminist Culture close. This event attracts more overseas visitors to
In 1973, the first national lesbian conference was Australia than any heterosexual event. Melbourne
held at Sorrento, a seaside suburb about fifty miles holds its Midsumma Festival during February with
from central Melbourne, run by a group calling a similar range of events. The Lesbian Festival has
itself Radicalesbians. It produced badges, debated become an annual national event, held in a differ-
theory, and published a pirated edition of U.S. ent state each year.
writer Robin Morgans collection of poems, Mon- An institution that appears to be peculiarly Aus-
ster (1972). Lesbian cultural life in Australia was tralian are womens and lesbian circuses. Melbourne
quickly enriched by the work of feminists from boasts the Womens Circus, with a membership of
other countries, mostly the United States and the approximately one hundred women (many of them
United Kingdom. But Australian lesbians also de- lesbians), as well as the POW (Performing Older
veloped a rich culture of their own, including lit- Womens) Circus, an entirely lesbian circus made
erature, theater, music, visual arts, and film. Also up of performers and musicians between the ages of
important has been the development of feminist forty and sixty-seven. The women in these circuses
and lesbian radio and, more recently, video, cir- play music, do acrobatics and aerials, juggle, direct,
cus, and home pages on the Internet. teach, and train novices. The 1996 International
Poetry and music very quickly became impor- Womens Day March included performances by both
tant, including the works of U.S. writers and musi- circuses before and after the march.
cians. Local songwriters sometimes adapted the In literature, Elizabeth Rileys All That False
words of Australian folk songs to their own needs. Instruction (1975) was one of the first novels pub-
The flowering of poetry was reflected in the first lished in Australia to focus on the lives of lesbians
national anthology of womens writing, Mother Im in a positive way. The author, Kerryn Higgs, pub-
Rooted (1975), edited by Kate Jennings, one of lished under a pseudonym due to legal pressure
the first widely available books with a substantial from her family. Finola Moorheads Remember the
contribution from lesbian writers. Tarantella (1987) depicts lesbian lives of the 1970s
The Womens Theatre Group (mostly lesbians and 1980s, in Australia. In the 1990s, lesbian fic-
throughout its life) put on its first performance, tion and poetry were widely published, circulated,
The Love Show, in 1973, with others to follow and reviewed, and many Australian lesbian writ-
over the next four years, ending with Edges in 1977. ers have been recipients of mainstream awards or
Songs, poetry, and womens bands played a large have been published to acclaim and widespread
part in the development of a lesbian culture. popularity overseas.
Theater flourished through the combined energies The Australian literary scene has been boosted by
of playwrights, comedians, directors, actors, tech- a number of festivals that focus specifically on writ-
nicians, publicists, and reviewers. ing, including the Australian Feminist Book Fort-
In the mid-1970s, the Womens Electric Band nights, held across the nation in 1989 and 1991. These
(known as WEB) played in Melbourne; in Sydney, culminated in the Sixth International Feminist Book


Womens Circus, Melbourne, Australia, 1995. Photo by Susan Hawthorne.

Fair in Melbourne in 1994. It is lesbians, by and large, many wild and solitary places. In recent years, a
who run the womens bookshops that make these number of women-run travel companies have been
books available. Similarly, most feminist and lesbian established to provide women-only tours to some
publishing in Australia has been generated by lesbi- of these inaccessible places. Many individuals, part-
ans, including Sybylla Feminist Cooperative, Redress ners, or small groups travel on weekends and holi-
Womens Press, Tantrum, and Spinifex. In the 1990s, days into the Australian bush. In addition, there
a number of joint gay and lesbian anthologies were are a number of lesbian-run holiday houses in coun-
published; this appears to be a more financially vi- try locations.
able format for mainstream publishers. Communication is an important issue in a coun-
In the visual arts, many lesbians are breaking try as geographically and demographically scattered
new ground. Among them, photographer Destiny as Australia. Lesbian Network, with a readership
Deacon produces irreverent, confrontational, and of near five hundred, has kept lesbians around Aus-
startling pictures, many of which use small black tralia informed since 1984. Similar magazines ex-
dolls to represent the place of Aboriginal people in ist in most states. They focus on news, events, and
Australian culture. Her work, widely exhibited in profiles of lesbians in their communities and ad-
Australia and overseas, is a significant contribu- vertise lesbian health, legal, entertainment, and
tion to contemporary Koori (Aboriginal) culture. business services. Programs on community radio
Suzanne Bellamys porcelain sculpture landscapes around Australia serve the same purpose. Bent TV,
are held in many private collections around the an arm of community television, produces pro-
country and have appeared on covers of books and grams that focus on lesbian endeavors in the arts,
journals. Megeara, a painter, has developed a se- sports, and politics.
ries of works that depict women, ranging from Sports, too, play an important part in the lives
Amazons to old women and big women. Among of many women, and some of Australias greatest
young painters, the surreal work of Jackie Stockdale sportswomen have been lesbians. Their ranks in-
draws on images of imagined historical women. clude swimmers, runners, and individuals and team
The Australian continent is relatively benign, players in cricket, netball, hockey, tennis, and golf.
with beaches, mountains, deserts, rain forests, and Some all-lesbian teams have been established, such

as the Radclyffe Runners (a softball team) and the Hawthorne, Susan. The History of the Contem-
Fairfield Falcons (a footballAustralian rules porary Australian Womens Movement. Jour-
team). Lesbian dances and balls have been a regu- nal of Australian Lesbian Feminist Studies 2:1
lar occurrence since the early 1970s, with as many (1992), 7179.
as two thousand women attending. Some, like the Hurley, Michael, ed. A Guide to Gay and Lesbian
Silk and Satin Ball held annually to raise money Writing in Australia. Sydney: Allen and Unwin,
for Matrix Guild (a project to establish a home for 1996.
old lesbians), provide a program with comedy or a Reekie, Gail. She Was a Loveable Man. Journal
circus performance in addition to bands. of Australian Lesbian Feminist Studies 4 (June
1994), 4350.
Lesbian and Feminist Political Action
Lesbians are at the forefront of political action and See also Pacific Literature
are always visible when mainstream politics takes a
conservative turn. A few openly gay and lesbian can-
didates have stood for parliament on explicit gay and Austria
lesbian platforms. Some have been successful, among Small country located in middle Europe. Until
them Clover Moore in Sydney. The Australian gov- 1918, Austria was a great and multinational mon-
ernment recognizes gay and lesbian relationships, archy; in the years 19381945, it was part of Nazi
which are considered on an equal footing with het- Germany. During the nineteenth and twentieth cen-
erosexual married and common-law relationships. turies, the social and cultural history of lesbians in
However, same-sex couples without wills cannot au- Austria resembled, in many aspects, that of other
tomatically leave their property to their partners. Western industrial countries. Especially remarkable,
Lesbians have also been important agitators however, is the difficult penal situation of lesbian
as activists, public servants, and femocratsfor love and politics.
sweeping political changes. They have been active The last decades of the monarchy are one pos-
in campaigning for such issues as child care, abor- sible starting point for Austrian lesbian history and
tion, racism, maternity and paternity leave, ecol- culture. Around 1900, many women in public life
ogy, land rights for Aboriginals, violence against cultivated romantic friendships, and many com-
women, and expanded services and equal treament bined their women-oriented eroticism with femi-
for poor women, women from non-English-speak- nist politics. Irma von Troll (18471912), one of
ing backgrounds, and Aboriginal women. the first Austrian women to write about prostitu-
The lesbian community in Australia is as diverse tion, lived in Salzburg with her female friend, and
as in any other large, industrialized country. Les- Auguste Fickert (18551910), the prominent
bians may not agree on everything, but the com- cofounder of the radical womens movement in
munity also tends not to fragment easily, perhaps Vienna, also shared her life with a woman. The
because its sheer numbers are still not large enough bourgeois feminist Marie von Najmjer (1844
to be able to do so. The Australian lesbian com- 1904), of Hungarian descent, expressed the wish
munity includes radical lesbian feminists, career- that the daughters of the twentieth century could
oriented lesbians, sadomasochist lesbians, business- experience the tender woman love that she called
women, artists, rural lesbians, and lesbians who my lifes most beautiful content. In a 1905 pam-
do not join lesbian communities at all. phlet, the Austrian philosopher Helene von
Susan Hawthorne Druskowitz (18561918), who received her doc-
toral degree in Switzerland, declared man to be the
Bibliography curse of the world and urged women consist-
Chesser, Lucy. Australasian Lesbian Movement, ently and militantly to the preference for their own
Claudias Group, and Lynx: Non-Political sex. Even the Empress Elisabeth (18371898) was
Lesbian Organisation in Melbourne, 1969 allegedly highly susceptible to female erotic beauty.
1980. Hecate 22:1 (1996), 6991. Physicians practicing in Austria played an active
Ford, Ruth, Lyn Isaacs, and Rebecca Jones. For- and, for many Western countries, a determining role
bidden Love: Bold Passion, Lesbian Stories, in defining female homosexuality. The psychiatrist
1900s1990s. Exhibition Catalog. Melbourne: Richard von Krafft-Ebing (18401902) systematized
History Inverted, 1996. cases that he had treated under the designation

female contrary sexuality (or inversion) in his public presence and become politically active. The
A main work, Psychopathia Sexualis, which appeared
in more than a dozen editions after 1886. The psy-
autonomous womens movement in the 1970s
swirled with controversies over lesbians defining
choanalytic paradigm was formulated by Sigmund themselves as the radical avant-garde. The 1980s
Freud (18561939) in his study Psychogenesis of then saw a broad and consistant increase of various
a Case of Homosexuality in a Woman (1920). initiatives by lesbians. Austrian lesbian meetings took
After World War I (19141918), larger or more place on a regular basis, and the Lesbenrundbrief
strongly visible lesbian (sub)cultures came into be- (Lesbian Circular Letter) was published as a me-
ing. The androgynous, sexually ambiguous figures dium of its own. Women became involved with
of the New Woman, the Flapper, and its Euro- mixed lesbian and gay projects, such as the residen-
pean version, the boyish Garonne, entered the tial building Rosa Lila Villa (Pink-Lavender Villa)
social imaginary, including texts by Austrian authors and Homosexuelle Initiative (Homosexual Initia-
such as Stefan Zweig (18811942) and Joseph Roth tive), the largest mixed organization, which pub-
(18941939). Women of the Third Gender (a lished the magazine Lambda-Nachrichten (Lambda-
commonly used phrase) organized themselves in the News) and established groups in several Austrian
Austrian branches of the two large German homo- towns. A lesbian and gay research group organized
sexual organizations, Deutscher Freundschaftsver- symposiums and lecture series, and Stichwort (Key-
band (German Friendship Association) and Bund word), a large feminist archive, began to take ex-
fr Menschenrecht (Union for Human Rights). plicit care of the documentation of lesbian politics.
Employed women of the lower middle class in the Other projects important to the development of les-
capital Vienna, as well as in the country subscribed bian culture(s) included the bookstore and caf
to the German magazines Frauenliebe (Woman Frauenzimmer (Womens Room), the feminist maga-
Love) and Die Freundin (The Woman-Friend), and zine An.Schlge (Keystrokes), and the womens
so became part of a lesbian communication network. centers and gay and lesbian centers in the cities of
They composed short stories, poems, and letters for Graz, Innsbruck, and Linz.
the magazines and discussed best-sellers like the In the 1990s, the international discussions about
German lesbian novel The Scorpion by Anna identity politics also spread across large parts of the
Weirauch (18871970) and the translation of The Austrian lesbian scene. Media and popular culture
Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall (18801943) eventually discovered lesbians as a popular commer-
that was published in 1929. cial topic; there were also widespread debates over
For many years, the restrictive legal situation controversial questions such as homosexual mar-
influenced the scope of action of lesbian women. riages and the outing of prominent homosexual
Unlike in most European countries, same-sex sexual persons. In 1996, the Austrian parliament abolished
activities were forbidden between women, as well the criminal law banning positive publicity about
as between men, and were punished with incar- same-sex love that had existed since 1972 and the
ceration up to five years. This law, originating in ban against homosexual organizations.
the middle of the nineteenth century, was repealed Hanna Hacker
only in 1972; one striking argument for its aboli-
tion was that, in regard to women, it was suppos- Bibliography
edly difficult to distinguish between sex and as- Geber, Eva, Sonja Rotter, and Marietta Schneider
sistance with personal hygiene. Under National eds. Die Frauen Wiens: Ein Stadtbuch fr Fanny,
Socialist rule, the Austrian legal code was assimi- Frances, und Francesca (The Women of Vienna:
lated into that of Germany. Paradoxically, that A City Book for Fanny, Frances, and Francesca).
meant that female homosexuality in Austria had Vienna: Apfel, 1992.
less significance in criminal law than before. Les- Geiger, Brigitte, and Hanna Hacker. Donauwalzer
bian women were, however, sent to National So- Damenwahl: Frauenbewegte Zusammenhange
cialist concentration camps with the verdict anti- in sterreich (Blue Danube Waltz Ladies
social, wearing the black triangle that came with Choice: Feminist Contexts in Austria). Vienna:
it. Exile and deportation further disrupted lesbian Promedia, 1989.
sub-and countercultural organization. Hacker, Hanna. Frauen und Freundinnen: Studien
Only in the course of the feminist movements zur weiblichen Homosexualitt am Beispiel
after 1968 did lesbian groups once again gain a sterreich, 18701938 (Women and Women-

Friends: Studies in Female Homosexuality and ciding whether or not to include intimate details
the Example of Austria, 18701938). about her sexual practicesit is common for het-
Weinheim-Baswel: Beltz, 1987. erosexual authors to choose not to reveal informa-
Handl, Michael, Gudrun Hauer, Kurt Krickler, tion about the sexual aspects of their lives. How-
Friedrich Nussbaumer, and Dieter Schmutzler, ever, in a society in which heterosexuality is assumed
eds. Homosexualitt in sterreich (Homosexu- to be normal, the effect of omitting or obscuring
ality in Austria). Vienna: Junius, 1989. information about the authors sexuality is that the
Hauer, Gudrun, and Schmutzer, Dieter, eds. reader is allowed to assume that the author is het-
Lambdalesebuch: Journalismus andersrum erosexual. When the author is not, the expectation
(Lambda-reader: Journalism the Other Way of truthfulness has been clearly violated. In other
Round). Vienna: Regenbogen, 1996. words, a closeted autobiographer lies as much
through omission as through outright denial.
See also Nazism; Sexology Omission or distortion of the authors sexual
identity was especially prevalent in autobiographies
written by lesbians prior to the 1970s. With the
Autobiography exception of a few pockets of artists and intellectu-
Twentieth-century literary genre. Autobiographies als, most lesbians prior to the 1970s were caught in
by lesbian authors have played an important role a social and psychological environment that bred
in defining and changing lesbian identity, provid- internalized guilt and shame. For all but the most
ing a way for lesbians to rewrite the stories of their flamboyant, lesbian life was marked by silence and
lives and, in doing so, to change those lives them- secrecy. Many well-known lesbians published mem-
selves. However, as important as autobiography oirs and autobiographies, but few were completely
has been in constructing lesbian identity, it is a honest about their private lives, and fewer still wrote
complex and problematic genre, one that has about their sexuality. Some writers were able to cre-
changed over the decades as it has reflected the ate an illusion of intimacy with their readers while
social and intellectual world in which it is written. managing to omit any details about their private
lives that might reveal characteristics that would
Characteristics subject them to suspicion of being lesbian. Others,
It is commonly thought that a key characteristic of who were able or willing to take greater risks, ex-
autobiography is an understanding between the pressed their sexuality by using codes and signs that
author and the reader that the author sincerely would be understood only by those familiar with
believes that what she says about herself is the truth. gay and lesbian culture. This approach was designed
In other words, the reader of an autobiography to keep the hostile straight world in the dark while
assumes that the author will be as open and hon- revealing the truth to those who would be less
est about her life as she is able to be. This expecta- likely to condemn. Coded language and oblique ref-
tion does not always hold up in autobiographical erences to gay and lesbian culture were used in most
writings by lesbians. Because of the often hidden of the autobiographies and memoirs written during
nature of lesbianism, the acts of writing and read- the twentieth century as ways of protecting not only
ing autobiography require a complex set of nego- the writer, but also those being written about, for,
tiations between author and reader, both hetero- even if the author of an autobiography was willing
sexual and lesbian. In place of an assumption that to be identified as a lesbian, she could not assume
the author will tell the truth, there is often the ex- that her friends and family members were as willing
pectation, when the author is a lesbian, that she to be open. In a homophobic environment, it was
will, and should, distort the truth through omis- necessary for lesbians to protect each other as well
sion, half-truths, and the use of language that is as themselves. Discretion, in such a society, could
coded so that only those who are in the know have more social value than truth.
will understand what her words really mean.
One of the things that makes lesbian autobiog- Lesbian Autobiographies
raphy different from autobiographies by other kinds To varying degrees, lesbian writers such as Margaret
of writers is that a lesbian author must make a choice Anderson (18861973), Sylvia Beach (18871962),
to either reveal, hide, or distort the nature of her Ethel Smyth (18581944), and Janet Planner
sexuality. This is not just a matter of an author de- (18921978), each of whom published essays and

books with autobiographical content, described nist movement of the twentieth century, Rich called
A their relationships with women in ways that made
it possible for straight readers to ignore or over-
upon lesbian writers and scholars to stop hiding
their sexual identities and colluding in maintain-
look the true nature of those relationships and, ing the invisibility of lesbians of the past. Rich ar-
consequently, to maintain the illusion of the au- gued that, instead of being a way to ensure safety,
thors heterosexuality. Authors such as these were silence was a way to perpetuate oppression, be-
assumed by both academic critics and the popular cause, she pointed out, whatever remains unspo-
media to have been sexually frustrated unmarried ken will eventually become unspeakable.
spinsters, despite the fact that they had important, Richs speech reflected the thoughts of many les-
and often public, relationships with women. bians during the 1970s, who encouraged other les-
There were, of course, exceptions. Even during bian writers and scholars to publicly speak the truth
the first half of the twentieth century, a few autobi- about their own lives and to reveal the lesbianism
ographies were published by women otherwise un- of earlier generations of writers in critical analyses
known to the general public that focused attention and biographies. A rallying cry was sounded that
on their sexual deviance in sensationalistic ways. The preceded an outburst of autobiographical writings
Story of Mary MacLane (1902) and I, Mary by lesbians that formed an important literary
MacLane (1917) were written by an unknown subgenre during the final quarter of the twentieth
young woman from Montana whose eccentric life century. Autobiography provided one of the most
story, with its suggestions of lesbianism, was her only immediate and apparently unmediated vehicles for
claim to fame. Another autobiographical book that revealing and redefining lesbian identity. During the
created a sensation because of the explicit self-iden- 1970s and 1980s, a steady stream of autobiographi-
tification of the author as a lesbian was Diana: A cal works by lesbians became available. The range
Strange Autobiography (1939), supposedly written of these works was wide, from the often shocking
by a college professor named Diana Frederics. While personal essays of Jill Johnston (1929) that ap-
both MacLane and Frederics claimed to be writing peared weekly in the Village Voice and in her books,
their life stories to provide a model of honesty and Lesbian Nation (1973) and Gullibles Travels
openness, both autobiographies suggested that les- (1974), to the quiet and contemplative journals of
bianism was a tragic condition that was likely to the novelist May Sarton (19121996), who was at
lead to misery and alienation. first as reticent about her sexuality as early autobi-
The Autobiography of Alice B.Toklas (1933) ographers had been, but who gradually became more
by Gertrude Stein (18741946) is a very different open until, at her death, she was one of the most
kind of autobiography. Purposefully disconnect- widely recognized lesbians in the world. Another
ing the autobiographical author, narrator, and sub- major change during this period was the appear-
ject by playing with the most fundamental premise ance of published writings by a broader range of
of autobiographical writingthat the author and lesbians, including women of color, such as Audre
the subject are identicalStein pretends to disguise Lorde (19341992), whose biomythography,
her own autobiography as the autobiography of Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (1982), has be-
her lover, Alice B.Toklas (18771967). By using come a classic in the genre, and the women who
Toklass voice to focus on the real subject, herself, contributed to important anthologies like This
Stein forces the reader to implicitly accept the na- Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women
ture of her relationship to Toklas. Yet her approach of Color (1981), edited by Cherre Moraga and
is so subtle that even the otherwise perceptive femi- Gloria Anzalda.
nist critic Carolyn Heilbrun admitted to having read
The Autobiography of Alice B.Toklas without un- The Coming Out Story
derstanding that Stein and Toklas were lesbians. As lesbians began to speak out more, a new type
As the feminist movement of the 1970s gained of lesbian autobiography developed, the coming
strength, there was a reaction against the silence out story, in which the author, who was most
that preceded it. In 1976, at the annual meeting of commonly not a well-known figure, told the story
the Modern Language Association, the American of how she discovered her lesbianism and how she
poet Adrienne Rich (1929) called for an end to made her identity known to others. Unlike in ear-
the erasure of lesbianism. In a talk that has be- lier autobiographies by lesbians, in which intimate
come one of the benchmarks of the lesbian femi- relationships were hidden by omission and coding,

the authors of these new personal narratives influence of poststructuralist and queer theory,
proudly declared their sexuality. The coming out which challenged the notion that there can be any
story was an extremely popular and useful objective truth or fixed personal identity. Accord-
subgenre, with seven anthologies published be- ing to queer (a term often preferred to lesbian,
tween 1977 and 1982 alone. In many ways, the gay, or homosexual) theorists, all forms of gen-
coming out stories of the 1970s and 1980s were der are constructed within a social context rather
an ideal response to the problem of the than being a fixed or essential aspect of the self.
unspeakability of lesbianism. One of the most im- Along with this new theoretical model has come
portant things needed by the newly emerging les- a new appreciation for those members of the gay
bian community was a positive self-image to coun- and lesbian community, such as drag queens and
ter the years of demonization that had defined and butch dykes, who insist on expressing and acting
silenced lesbians, and these autobiographies pro- out their gender identities, no matter how ex-
vided an accumulation of successful life stories from tremely they deviate from the norm. This gen-
which such an image could be drawn. In very im- der bending, as it is called, is seen as being as
mediate and direct ways, the coming out story re- authentic as identities that conform with societys
wrote the lesbian story for the entire community. view of what it means to be male and female. In
In an important review essay of anthologies of com- this environment, autobiographical writing could
ing out stories, Zimmerman (1984) wrote that no longer be judged on the basis of its adherence
speaking, especially naming ones self lesbian, is to truth or the degree of an authors honesty, be-
an act of empowerment[that] not only empow- cause it is assumed that every writer of autobiog-
ers the speaker but also, when communicated raphy is engaged in a process of creating identity
through the text, provides alternative role models rather than either revealing or hiding it. The lines
for lesbians still speechless and powerless. between fiction and truth are blurred when both
However, this new emphasis on speaking out as a are seen as performances. Linda Dunne
way to build the lesbian community had an inhibit-
ing effect as well as a liberating one. For the lesbian Bibliography
author to be empowered and to empower others, she Benstock, Shari, ed. The Private Self: Theory and
had to appear to be powerful and confident about Practice of Womens Autobiographical Writ-
her lesbian identity. In the context of the 1970s and ings. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina
1980s, a lesbian writer had to be seen as woman iden- Press, 1988.
tified and unflaggingly positive about her sexuality if Brokzki, Bella, and Celeste Schenck, eds. Life/Lines:
she were to be accepted as authentic. She could not Theorizing Womens Autobiography. Ithaca,
be victimized by internalized homophobia that mani- N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1988.
fested itself in feelings of shame and self-hatred, nor Gilmore, Leigh. Autobiographies: A Feminist
could she admit to feeling identification with men or Theory of Womens Self-Representation. Ithaca,
masculinity. The new autobiographical pact between N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1994.
the lesbian author and the lesbian reader seemed to Rich, Adrienne. It Is the Lesbian in Us. In
require something other than complete honesty, at On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose,
least when the actual experience of the author did 19661978. New York: Norton, 1979, pp.
not conform to the need for a positive lesbian image. 199202.
A writer such as Kate Millett (1934), for example, Stanton, Domna C., ed. The Female Autograph.
whose autobiographical works Flying (1974) and Sita Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.
(1977) were painful in their description of the au- Zimmerman, Bonnie. The Politics of Translitera-
thors mental illness and unhappy love affairs, was tion: Lesbian Personal Narratives. In Signs:
met with harsh criticism from lesbian and feminist Journal of Women in Culture and Society 9:4
critics, not for having been written poorly or for be- (1984), 663682.
ing dishonest, but for being negative.
During the 1990s, the nature and function of See also Biography; Coming Out Stories; Rich,
lesbian autobiography changed again under the Adrienne; Stein, Gertrude; Toklas, Alice B.

Balkan Sworn Virgin hood cross-gender identity played roles in some
Traditional European female-to-male transgender. cases. In addition, the gain in status may have been
The Balkan sworn virgin is a traditional status, a factor, as women held very low status in these
role, and identity by which genetic females be- groups. Lacking heirs, the sworn virgin could not
come social men, the only such socially recognized continue the family line by direct descent; how-
transgendered status in modern Europe. Clover ever, there are cases in which he assumed leader-
(1986) proposed that this may be a survival of a ship of an extended family through accretion of
more widespread pre-Christian European status. relatives or through the marriage and procreation
Reported in travel accounts since the early 1800s, of a later-born male sibling. In some cases, sworn
in mountain areas of South Serbia (including virgins acceded to a seat in the all-male village or
Montenegro), Macedonia, and Albania, sworn vir- lineage council, though this opportunity varied,
gins still existed, primarily in northern Albania, depending on local custom. In general, they seem
in the 1990s. Traditionally, the status was formally to be and to have been respected by male associ-
assumed at puberty (the time of marriage for ates and society at large.
women) by the ratification of lineage elders be- Although much of the descriptive literature ig-
fore whom the young woman swore never to
nores the sexuality of these men-women, most were
marry. Thereafter, he assumed masculine dress and
probably chaste. There are reports of occasional
social privileges, such as smoking and drinking,
heterosexual activity, but tradition prescribed burn-
could carry a gun, participated in mens labor and
ing or stoning to death as punishment for such rela-
intertribal feuding, and associated with men, in
tions. The first researcher to directly address sexu-
these sex-segregated societies. Referred to by a va-
ality, Grmaux, reports some sworn virgins express-
riety of local and regional terms (for example, Al-
ing sexual attraction to women without consum-
banian vergineshe, Serbo-Croatian harambasa
mating their desires, and two recent cases of liai-
[woman-man]), most of these transgendered fe-
sons with women, termed lesbian by neighbors.
males assumed a masculine cognomen and were
Many shared the misogynist views customary among
addressed and referred to with masculine-
gendered terms, though there was individual vari- men in these extremely male-dominant, patrilineal
ation. Similarly, some sworn virgins were buried societies. It appears possible that females living as
in masculine dress with male rites, but others were men in the 1990s were gradually being redefined as
denied such privileges. The status was almost al- lesbians as traditional tribal groups were absorbed
ways held for life. into modern industrial society and exposed to pan-
Common rationales for assumption of this sta- European norms. Mildred Dickemann
tus were to avoid an unwanted arranged marriage
or to assume the family patrimony in the absence Bibliography
of a male heir. However, it is clear from personal Bullough, Bonnie, Vern Bullough, and James Elias,
accounts (see especially Durham [1987] and eds. Gender Blending. Amherst, N.Y.:
Grmaux [1994]) that personal choice and child- Prometheus, 1997.



Sokol on horseback. Photo by Antonia Young.

Clover, Carol J. Maiden Warriors and Other otypes of perversion. This gained Bannon a devoted
Sons. Journal of English and Germanic Phi- lesbian audience, who relished her more positive
lology 85 (1986), 3549. portrayals of lesbian life.
Dickemann, Mildred. The Balkan Sworn Virgin: Bannon was married at the time she began to
A Traditional European Transperson. In Gen- write the novels; her experience at the University
der and Transgender Issues. Ed. Bonnie Bullough, of Illinois provided the fodder for her first novel,
Vern Bullough, and James Elias. Amherst, N.Y.: Odd Girl Out (1957). Set at a college, the book
Prometheus, 1997, pp. 248255. introduces sorority sisters Laura and Beth, two
Durham, Mary Edith. High Albania. Boston: Bea- central characters of Bannons six-novel series.
con, 1987. While their relationship does not last, the series
Grmaux, Ren. Woman Becomes Man in the Bal- follows Laura to Greenwich Village in New York
kans. In Third Sex, Third Gender: Beyond Sexual City in I Am a Woman (1959). There, with the
Dimorphism in Culture and History. Ed. Gilbert help of Jack Mann, a gay male friend, Laura learns
Herdt. New York: Zone, 1994, pp. 241281. to negotiate the gay world and falls in love with
Beebo Brinker. In Women in the Shadows (1959),
See also Amazons; Transgender Laura ends her burdensome relationship with
Beebo and makes a successful go of a compan-
ionate, nonsexual relationship with Jack and be-
Bannon, Ann (1937) comes pregnant with his child through artificial
American novelist. Ann Bannon (a pseudonym) insemination. In The Marriage (1960), Laura and
wrote the Beebo Brinker series, now considered a Jack reappear as minor characters in a basically
classic collection of lesbian pulp paperbacks. What heterosexual story. Journey to a Woman (1960)
distinguishes Bannons work from the literally brings the storyline back to Beth, who has left
thousands of pulps published in the 1950s and early her husband to search for her long-lost love,
1960s is her insistence on empathetic lesbian char- Laura. Laura and Beth become friends, and Beth
acters who rebel against social prejudice and stere- falls in love with Beebo. The final novel of the


series, Beebo Brinker (1962), chronologically pre- Paris, where she met Thelma Wood (19011970), a
dates the other fives narratives and tells the story silverpoint artist from St. Louis, Missouri, who, by
of its eponymous hero and how she came to all accounts, was to become the most intense love
Greenwich Village. All (with the exception of The interest of Barness life. After the pair settled together
Marriage, which is tangentially lesbian themed) in Paris, Barnes brought out two novels, Ryder
were reissued by Naiad Press in the early 1980s. (1928), a novelistic account of her unconventional
Bannons novels continue to captivate lesbian childhood, and Ladies Almanack (1928), a humor-
readers with characters who feel familiar and navi- ous depiction of the circle of lesbians surrounding
gate through a prejudiced world with grit and de- the wealthy expatriate Natalie Barney (18761972).
termination. Linnea A.Stenson Ryder appeared briefly on best-seller lists; Ladies
Almanack, written as a lark, was privately printed.
Bibliography Both novels appeared during the height of the artis-
Tilchen, Maida. Ann Bannon: The Mystery tic movement known as literary modernism. Virginia
Solved! Gay Community News (January 8, Woolfs (18821941) playful tale of gender trans-
1983), 812. formation, Orlando, was published in the same year,
Walters, Suzanna Danuta. As Her Hand Crept as was Radclyffe Halls (18801943) lesbian clas-
Slowly up Her Thigh: Ann Bannon and the Poli- sic, The Well of Loneliness. In fact, a character
tics of Pulp. Social Text: Theory/Culture/Ide- modeled on Hall appears in Ladies Almanack.
ology 23 (Fall/Winter 1989), 83101. After eight tempestuous years marked by infi-
Weinstein, Jeff. In Praise of Pulp: Bannons Lusty delity and alcohol abuse, Barnes and Wood sepa-
Lesbians. Voice Literary Supplement (October rated in 1929. Some of their difficulties are depicted
1983), 89. seven years later in Barness most celebrated novel,
Nightwood (1936), which also expresses the spirit
See also Naiad Press; Pulp Paperbacks of alienation and loss often characteristic of literary
modernism. Presenting a cross-section of the disen-
franchised wandering through its pages seeking vari-
Barnes, Djuna Chappell (18921982) ous illusory goals, the novel became an underground
U.S. writer. Born in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New classic for several decades after publication. T.S.
York, Djuna Barnes was the second of five children Eliots (18881965) introduction to the US edition
in the household of a British mother and a bohe- highlights Nightwoods poetic qualities.
mian U.S. father. When Djuna was five, her fathers In 1940, Barnes returned from Europe to spend
mistress moved in with her family and began also to the last half of her life in a Greenwich Village stu-
have children with Barness father. Both families lived dio apartment in increasing ill health and
together with Barness paternal grandmother, Zadel reclusiveness. The year 1958 marked the publica-
Barnes, for fifteen years until Barness parents di- tion of Barness last major work, The Antiphon, a
vorced in 1912. Evidence points to a violent sexual verse drama depicting autobiographical and famil-
experience when Barnes was sixteen with a friend ial themes. Barness three novels and many short
of her father, with the older brother of Barness fa- stories, drawings, poems, plays, and journalistic
thers mistress, or with Barness father himself. Cor- pieces have been reissued to increased critical rec-
respondence may indicate an incestuous relation- ognition in the late twentieth century. She died in
ship between the writer and her grandmother as well. her New York City apartment at the age of ninety.
After a brief marriage and a short enrollment at Anne Charles
the Pratt Institute, Barnes moved to Greenwich
Village in 1915 and began a career in freelance jour- Bibliography
nalism. She also began acting in and writing plays Broe, Mary Lynn, ed. Silence and Power: A
for the newly established Provincetown Playhouse. Reevaluation of Djuna Barnes. Carbondale:
Though involved with men and women during this Southern Illinois University Press, 1991.
period, Barnes brought out The Book of Repul- Field, Andrew. Djuna: The Formidable Miss
sive Women (1915), eight poems and five draw- Barnes. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983.
ings featuring lesbian themes and including the Herring, Phillip. Djuna: The Life and Work of
writers illustrations. Djuna Barnes. New York: Viking, 1995.
Barness journalistic work sent her, in 1921, to Levine, Nancy J., and Marian Urquilla, eds. Djuna


Barnes Centennial Issue. Review of Contem- Mardruss LAnge et les pervers (The Angel and
B porary Fiction 13:3 (Fall 1993) (Special Issue).
ONeal, Hank. Life Is Painful, Nasty & ShortIn
the Perverts, [1930]). Although each portrait shows
a rather different side of Barneys multifaceted per-
My Case It Has Only Been Painful and Nasty: sonality, these characters share an indomitable
Djuna Barnes, 19781981, An Informal spirit, an imperious way with words, and a pro-
Memoir. New York: Paragon House, 1990. found commitment to lesbianism.
Barneys participation in the artistic milieu of
See also American Literature, Twentieth Century; Paris was active as well as contemplative. At the age
Barney, Natalie; Greenwich Village; Hall, Radclyffe; of twenty-four, she published her first collection of
Modernism; Woolf, Virginia poetry, Quelques portraits sonnets de femmes (Some
Sonnet Portraits of Women [1900]), followed by two
collections of plays. Although this early work is un-
Barney, Natalie (18761972) remarkable, her memoirs and literary portraits,
American writer, salon hostess, and renowned lover. which include Aventures de lesprit (Adventures of
Born in Dayton, Ohio, Barney moved to Paris at the Mind [1929]) and Souvenirs indiscrets (Indis-
the age of twenty-four, making it her principal resi- creet Memories [1960]), are lively, sometimes gos-
dence until her death. As heiress to a railroad for- sipy, insightful accounts of the people she knew and
tune valued at more than a billion dollars and the a commentary on many of the social questions of
daughter of liberal parents, Barney was free to fol- the day. She argues with characteristic humor and
low her passion for women in prose, in verse, and elegance that homosexuality is a godsend in a cen-
in bed. tury facing overpopulation. Her defense of breasts
Barney is perhaps best known for her theatrical is unsurpassed in its originality and passion:
love affairs with the famous women of her day, Breasts: passions accelerator, electric lead, guide
including Liane de Pougy (18691953), the Paris- to femininity wherein the first signs of arousal
ian courtesan; Rene Vivien (18771909), the Eng- dwell. It is, however, in her epigrams in
lish poet; Lucie Delarue-Mardrus (18741945), the Eparpillements (Scatterings [1910]), Penses dune
French novelist; and Romaine Brooks (1874 amazone (Thoughts of an Amazon [1920]), and
1970), the American painter. Her methods of court- Nouvelles penses de lamazone (Further Thoughts
ship were imaginative, to say the least. On one oc- of the Amazon [1939]) that she shows a real and
casion, she had herself delivered to her lovers bed- original talent for summing up a social situation or
room stark naked and surrounded by white lilies acquaintance in a brief, pithy turn of phrase.
lying in a glass coffin made by Lalique. At another Because of her outspoken commitment to les-
time, she hired a famous opera soprano to sing bianism and her passionate affairs, Barney has be-
under the balcony of a lover who had recently left come something of a heroine to many lesbians in
her for someone less dramatic and more faithful. Europe and North America since the 1970s. A less
Barney was also renowned as a society hostess and well-known aspect of Barneys life is her intellec-
held a weekly salon in her home at 20 rue Jacob tual flirtation with fascism and antisemitism dur-
that continued for more than fifty years. This sa- ing World War II, which she spent with Romaine
lon was attended by major literary and artistic fig- Brooks in Italy, in a villa just outside Florence.
ures, including Colette (18731954), Andr Gide Before the war, Barney had entertained many Jew-
(18691951), Gertrude Stein (18741946), Djuna ish friends and boasted of her own Jewish ancestry
Barnes (18921982), Oscar Wilde (18541900), (her maternal grandfather was Jewish). After Benito
Auguste Rodin (18401917), Paul Valry (1871 Mussolinis (18831945) rise to power, however,
1945), and Mata Hari (18761917). Barney became a sympathizer of the Italian Fascist
Philosophically committed to nonmonogamy Party. She and Brooks were close friends of the poet
and the pursuit of pleasure, Barney inspired a large Ezra Pound (18851972)he who gave Musso-
number of literary portraits, such as that of Flossie lini the name of II Duce, the leader. Barney
in de Pougys Idylle Sapphique (Sapphic Idyll bought Pound his first radio, from which he was
[1901]); Miss Flossie in Colettes Claudine sen va to make pro-fascist broadcasts during the war. Since
(Claudine and Annie [1903]); Valerie Seymour in Barneys house in the rue Jacob was searched by the
Radclyffe Halls (18801943) The Well of Loneli- Gestapo who asked for her by name, it is possible
ness (1928); and Laurette Wells in Delarue-


that Barney was acting preemptively to stop any areas. Although small, this bar culture flourished
questions being asked about herself. after World War I and solidified during Prohibi-
Barney returned to Paris after the war and, since tion (19201933). It grew despite public attacks
her personal fortune had not been adversely af- against women pacifists as lesbians and Bol-
fected by events in Europe, was able to continue sheviks, and despite the fact that the heterosexual
her affairs much as before. She made her last amo- revolution (symbolized by the flapper and sexual
rous conquest on a park bench in Nice at the age fulfillment within marriage) defined feminists,
of eighty-two. Anna Livia female friends, spinsters, and lesbians as
sick and pathetic.
Bibliography Nevertheless, as womens sexual desire was ac-
Barney, Natalie. A Perilous Advantage. Trans. Anna knowledged, lesbians could exist more freely in
Livia. Norwich, Vt.: New Victoria, 1992. speakeasies (illegal drinking places) along with
Jay, Karla. The Amazon and the Page. Bloomington heterosexuals, who were also breaking the law and
and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, moral convention. In Greenwich Village, at Eves
1988. Hangout, a sign up front said: Men admitted but
not welcome. Opened in 1925 by Eva Kotchever,
Wickes, George. The Amazon of Letters: The Life
a lesbian Jewish immigrant, it was raided by police
and Loves of Natalie Barney. New York:
in 1926. In Harlem, the butch-femme lesbian cou-
Putnams, 1976.
ple was highly visible. Black lesbians and gay men
met in cabarets and clubs, like the Hot Cha, which
See also Barnes, Djuna Chappell; Brooks, Romaine;
also attracted white lesbians and gay men and
Colette; France; French Literature; Hall, Radclyffe;
heterosexuals. Lesbians also patronized buffet/
Paris; Stein, Gertrude; Vivien, Rene
party flats (apartment speakeasies), which, al-
though safer, were also raided.
The Depression of the 1930s had an economic
Bars impact on lesbians, but bar culture was likely af-
One of the first and, worldwide, the most prevalent fected more by the antihomosexual backlash
and often only public gathering places for lesbi- brought on by the end of Prohibition in 1933. Bars
ans. In most areas, bars are also the only places, where lesbians and gay men openly gathered were
outside of private homes, where lesbians can be who denied licenses, raided, and closed. For several years
they are socially and sexually. Most lesbians, espe- in the 1930s, there were no gay bars in Buffalo,
cially working-class lesbians, come out in bars. New York; the Roselle and Twelve-Thirty, clubs in
Evidence of lesbians using bars raided by police Chicago, were closed because women dressed in
dates to the early 1800s in France. In the United male clothing. Bars had a short life, and owners
States, accounts appear in 1890, when antivice re- monitored patrons behaviors, relegating socializ-
formers saw mannish women in degenerate ing and dancing to the back rooms. As police
working-class fairy resorts on the Bowery, a center payoffs and crime-syndicate protection, holdovers
of New York Citys vice district. Since women from Prohibition, became features of lesbian bar
were considered asexual, lesbians were publicly life in the late 1930s, bars began opening again
scorned as inverts and sexual pervertswomen throughout the United States.
who were masculine and had male sexual desire. The military and war-related work of World War
But women couples, only one in male evening at- II brought isolated lesbians to cities with bar com-
tire, danced together at fairy balls held in rented munities. Outside the military, there was greater free-
halls attached to saloons. Antivice campaigns, fo- dom for working-class lesbians. Many women were
cused first on prostitution and later on homosexu- on the streets, even at night because of shift-work,
ality, closed most of these venues by 1920. and were wearing pants for wartime work. More
In 1920, poor and working-class never mar- lesbian-only bars opened. In Los Angeles, Califor-
ried women accounted for 20 percent of the ur- nia, lesbians went to the IF Club; in Harlem, lesbi-
ban paid-labor force. They lived in furnished-room ans went to Archers, a womens buffet flat. In Buf-
districts, on the South and Near North Sides of falo, lesbians created bars (most short lived) by go-
Chicago, Illinois; in Greenwich Village and Harlem ing in groups to heterosexual bars with few cus-
in New York City; and in other cities. Between 1900 tomers. Bar hopping became a weekend activity, and
and 1920, a lesbian bar culture emerged in these friendship groups formed. Buffalo lesbians even

picketed a bar when a patron was treated negatively violent attacks against bars and their culture re-
B by the owner. From the end of the war through the
1960s, the number of lesbian bars grew in different
mained. For example, Mor or Les, a bar in St.
Louis, Missouri, was firebombed in 1979 during
parts of the United States. The Lighthouse opened the nationwide Save Our Children antigay cam-
in Lynn, Massachusetts; the BRA House, in paign. In the early 1980s, bars became the site of
Kalamazoo, Michigan. A cohesive bar life and cul- the pro-sex lesbian movement, and some activist
ture developed, predominantly working class and lesbians began to identify as butch-femme. In the
young, and became a nightly phenomenon. At its 1980s, in larger cities, bar cultures diversified.
center was butch-femme, a way of living and lov- However, as Greenwich Village attracted more af-
ing, as well as dressing. A much smaller and dis- fluent residents, two bars used by working-class
creet affluent lesbian bar culture developed as well. lesbians and lesbians of color had their licenses
In 1948, the Kinsey Report made sexuality, in- revoked for excluding men, although gay male bars
cluding lesbianism, a daily news topic and helped exclude women with impunity. Smaller cities often
unleash a government-sanctioned reign of terror. have only mixed-sex bars, although bars have been
With the push for family normalcy and the anti- largely racially segregated everywhere. There have
Communist McCarthy hearings in Congress, lesbi- always been more gay male than lesbian bars, re-
ans and gay men were vilified as perils to national flecting gender inequities in owning businesses,
security because of their supposed emotional insta- income, and safety at night on public streets.
bility. Police all over the country declared war on From the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, as an
bars. In 1958, in New Orleans, Louisiana, one bar outgrowth of AIDS and lesbian and gay political
was raided seventy-eight times. Everywhere, large organizing, mixed-sex activist groups socialized
numbers of lesbians were arrested, charged with together in male venues. In the Castro and Mis-
impersonating a man if they did not have on three sion districts of San Francisco, California, older
pieces of womens clothing, for lewd and lascivi- and exclusively lesbian bars closed. In the mixed-
ous acts if holding hands or dancing, or for no sex, young, cosmopolitan queer culture, lesbi-
visible means of support if unemployed. Lesbians ans frequent mixed lesbian, gay male, and hetero-
names were published in newspapers; many lost jobs; sexual dance bars. Womens nights may be held
families threw them out or sent them, involuntarily, at gay male or heterosexual bars.
to psychiatric hospitals. Bar owners humiliated Around the United States in the late 1990s, most
women by, for example, allowing only one woman bars still catered largely to working-class lesbians and
at a time into the bathroom. Bar raids were unpre- were still located on the edges of towns or in indus-
dictable, orchestrated in collusion with owners for trial or commercial areas unpeopled at night, shared
political gain or intimidation. The stress of a hostile with heterosexual sex clubs and other adult enter-
society, the constant pressure to buy drinks, the men tainment. In the context of right-wing attacks on les-
who entered bars just to provoke fights, pushed bians and gay men, it is possible that there will again
many lesbians to suicide, alcoholism, or out of pub- be strong moves to push bar culture out of sight even
lic life. Yet others publicly identified as gay and in large cities, as sex-zoning legislation attempts to
fought back physically in the bars and when taunted do. However, lesbian bar culture has proven to be
on the streets. Finally, in 1969, in the context of the incredibly resilient. That more lesbians go to bars than
civil rights and Black Power movements, a reporter to any other lesbian venue emphasizes the major role
credited a bar dyke with resisting arrest during a they continue to play in lesbian life. In a homopho-
raid on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, thus bic world, their continued existence speaks to the
sparking the rebellion considered the beginning of needs and desires for lesbians to have places that vali-
the modern lesbian and gay movement. date the reality of lesbians social and sexual exist-
During the 1970s, lesbian activists promoted ence. Maxine Wolfe
other venues as an alternative to the bars. The
androgyny of lesbian feminism excluded and al- Bibliography
ienated many butch-femme lesbians, just as the Bulkin, Ellie. An Old Dykes Tale: An Interview
butch-femme bar culture of the 1950s and 1960s with Doris Lunden. Conditions: Six, 2:3 (Sum-
alienated many lesbians who, nevertheless, found mer 1980), 264.
in it their only community. Lesbian bar raids would Chauncey, George. Gay New York: Gender, Urban
disappear in the United States (although not in Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World,
other countries) during the next twenty years, but 18901940. New York: Basic Books, 1944.

Garber, Eric. A Spectacle in Color: The Lesbian returned to Wellesley and received her M.A. for
and Gay Subculture of Jazz Age Harlem. In her work in English literature. She became profes-
Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and sor and permanent head of the Wellesley English
Lesbian Past. Ed. Martin Duberman, Martha literature department in 1891. Under her guidance,
Vicinus, and George Chauncey, Jr. New York: the department developed into a well-balanced pro-
New American Library, 1989. gram with highly respected and distinguished in-
Kennedy, Elizabeth Lapovsky, and Madeline D. structors.
Davis. Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The Bates enjoyed a nearly twenty-five-year relation-
History of a Lesbian Community. New York: ship, beginning in 1890, with fellow Wellesley pro-
Routledge, 1993. fessor and administrator Katharine Coman (1857
Wolfe, Maxine. Invisible Women in Invisible 1915). In the nineteenth century, romantic friend-
Places: The Production of Social Space in Les- ships, or Boston marriages as they were termed,
bian Bars. In Queers in Space: Communities/ were respected social institutions, and it was widely
Public Places/Sites of Resistance. Ed. Gordon accepted for women to have close, passionate, and
Brent Ingram, Anne-Marie Bouthillette, and romantic relationships. The two women most likely
Yolanda Retter. Seattle, Wash.: Bay Press, 1997, would not have termed themselves lesbian, since
pp. 301324. that term didnt come into use until the twentieth
century. Nonetheless, they were a devoted couple
See also Butch-Femme; Buffalo, New York; Chi- and held each other as the emotional, spiritual, and
cago, Illinois; Greenwich Village; Harlem; Law and passionate centers of their inner lives.
Legal Institutions; Recreation; San Francisco, Cali- Coman appears frequently throughout Batess
fornia poetry and other writings. Batess final volume of
poetry, Yellow Clover (1922), was written in honor
of her longtime companion, friend, and lover. Its
Bates, Katharine Lee (18591929) pages are filled with romantic and passionate devo-
American author, poet, and educator. She earned tion celebrating their lives together. Paris Await
national acclaim in 1895 as the author of the pa-
triotic and idealistic poem America the Beauti- Bibliography
ful. It was later set to music and, in the twentieth Burgess, Dorothy. Dream and Deed. Norman:
century, has become the unofficial national anthem. University of Oklahoma Press, 1952.
Bates was a prolific author, publishing prose, po- Schwarz, Judith. Yellow Clover. Katharine Lee
etry, travel books, childrens stories, and scholarly Bates and Katharine Coman. Frontiers: A Jour-
texts, many of which earned awards. For more than nal of Women Studies, 4:1 (1979), 5967.
thirty years she was chair of the English literature
department of Wellesley College. See also Boston Marriage; Colleges, Womens;
Bates was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts, the Romantic Friendship
fifth and last child of the Reverend William and
Cornelia Frances (Lee) Bates. Her father died three
weeks after her birth, leaving the family in eco- Beach, Sylvia (18871962)
nomic need. American expatriate bookshop owner and pub-
Bates received the best education available to lisher. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Nancy
middle-class women in the late nineteenth century, Woodbridge Beach (or Sylvia, a name she adopted
attending both the Wellesley and the more ad- in her teens) was the daughter of an orthodox
vanced Newton High Schools. She received her B.A. Presbyterian minister and his free-spirited wife,
from Wellesley College in 1880, having studied Eleanor, who taught her three daughters to love
English and Greek. In 1878, while Bates was still a Europe, to seek pleasure and individual freedom,
sophomore in college, renowned American poet to admire bold and creative artists, and to shun
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (18071882) sin- sexual contact with men. Sylvia was a frail and
gled out her published poem Sleep for praise. unhealthy child, who often stayed home from
In 1885, she joined the English literature de- school and church. Alone, she sought the com-
partment at Wellesley College as an instructor. Af- pany of books, an escape that yielded an educa-
ter studying at Oxford University in England, she tion and a vocation.

B E A C H , S Y LV I A 97
As a young woman, Beach lived in France, Italy,
B and Spain for periods, working as a translator, a
farmhand, and a freelance writer and serving as a
Beauvoir, Simone de (19081986)
French existential philosopher, socialist, and writer.
Beauvoir was most noted for her book The Second
secretary with the American Red Cross in war-rav- Sex, which was published in France in 1949 and
aged Serbia before settling in Paris in 1919. There translated into English in 1952.
she discovered the three loves of her life: Adrienne Born January 9,1908, Beauvoir had the oppor-
Monnier (18921956), James Joyce (1882 tunity to attend elite educational institutions, includ-
1941), and the bookshop Shakespeare and Com- ing the Sorbonne in Paris, from which she received
pany. Monnier, a young writer and publisher, en- her Ph.D. in philosophy in 1929. She was the daugh-
couraged Beachs dream of starting her own mod- ter of Georges Bertrand de Beauvoir, a dictatorial
est bookstore, and, in November 1919, Shake- and overbearing father, and Francoise Brasseur de
speare and Company opened its doors on the Left Beauvoir, a cold and detached mother. Observing
Bank. For Monnier and Beach, it was the opening her parents marriage, Beauvoir noted the juxtapo-
chapter of a literary life together that, for thirty- sition between men and culture, and women and
eight years, would nurture two generations of nature, and developed her description of women as
American, French, and English writers. the Other. She became aware at an early age that
From 1919 to 1941, when the Nazis forced its men had more control over their destinies than
closing and sent Beach into hiding, Shakespeare women did. She, therefore, decided to place prime
and Company was a meeting place, a clubhouse, a importance on acquiring male qualities, such as in-
post office, a money exchange, and a reading room tellectual order, logic, and rationality. Because of this,
for the famous and the soon-to-be famous of the some feminist theorists have criticized her work and
avantgarde: Joyce, Ernest Hemingway (1899 style of feminism as being shaped by patriarchal
1961), Ezra Pound (18851972), Paul Valry values and habits and, in particular, by her lifelong
(18711945), Andr Gide (18691951), T.S.Eliot relationship with the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre
(18881965), John Dos Passos (18961970), and (19051980), the leader of the existential movement
Thornton Wilder (18971975) among them. in post-World War II France. Beauvoir herself
A love of books, a tough, enthusiastic spirit, claimed that her work always reflected her own vi-
and an interest in people were Beachs assets, and, sion, one she had long before she met Sartre.
in 1922 she devoted her considerable energies to Her relationship with Sartre was conflicted.
the publication, sale, and distribution of Joyces While it involved mutual trust and respect, she disa-
Ulyssesconsidered obscene by somesoliciting vowed feelings of jealousy against the other women
subscriptions, writing letters, hiring typists, correct- with whom he had been actively involved. A
ing endless proofs, and underwriting the financial number of her own relationships, mentioned in her
needs of the authors family. journals and letters dating back to 1938, have led
Beach, however, emerged from World War II a to questions concerning Beauvoirs ambiguous gen-
changed woman. The frugality and hardship of Shake- der identity and her connection with lesbianism.
speare and Companys start-up years, combined with Most notable is the love of her youth, Elizabeth Le
the wars privations, including a sixth-month intern- Coin, and her long-term adult relationship with
ment by the Gestapo, had taken their toll. She was Sylvie le Bon, whom she later adopted to carry her
never to reopen her beloved bookshop. During her name and to legally have authority over her care.
remaining years, Beach devoted her time to charity In addition, Bianca Lamblin stated in her Mmoires
work, personal writing, and translating, and, in 1959, dune jeune fille drange (Memoirs of a Crazed
published her autobiography, Shakespeare and Com- Young Girl [1993]) that Beauvoir hid affairs with
pany. In 1962, at age seventy-five, she suffered a fatal women. Beauvoir was also a strong supporter of
heart attack. Zsa Zsa Gershick the lesbian writer Violette Leduc (19071972),
who, in turn, idolized her. Beauvoir herself refused
Bibliography a lesbian identity and in no way wanted to be in-
Fitch, Noel Riley. Sylvia Beach and the Lost Gen- volved in the practices of identity politics. Never-
eration: A History of Literary Paris in the Twen- theless, she included the lesbian in her monu-
ties and Thirties. New York: Norton, 1983. mental study, The Second Sex (1949).
According to Beauvoir, female homosexuals are
See also Paris not undeveloped women, and lesbianism, or, as

98 B E A C H , S Y LV I A
she coins it, invert sexuality, is not determined also wrote the first real novel in English, Love Let-
by any anatomical fate; rather, it is a decision ters Between a Nobleman and His Sister (1682
arrived at in a total, complex situation, an attitude 1685). Considered a scandal in her life and her writ-
that is authentically motivated and freely chosen. ings, Behn was known for her close friendship with
A lesbian is an autonomous subject, not an object, the kings mistress, Nell Gwyn (16501687), and for
and to classify her virility as an imitation of the her long-standing liaison with John Hoyle (d. 1692),
male is to mark her as inauthentic. Between women, himself notorious for his gay affairs. Most of her
there is no notion of possession, but a re-creation poetry, originally published in two collections, deals
of the self through each other, and, through reci- with her own lesbian relationships, as well as hetero-
procity, each becomes at once subject and object. sexual romances and such taboo subjects as rape,
Beauvoirs work continues to be widely studied impotence, and male homosexuality.
and debated in an attempt to refine feminist theory Relationships among women are sometimes pre-
and politics. She died of pulmonary edema on April sented in Behns verse in terms of the standard con-
14, 1986, with Sylvie le Bon by her side, and was ventions of heterosexual courtship. Behns explic-
buried next to Sartre. Darlene M.Suarez itly lesbian love poem, To the fair Clarinda, who
made Love to me, imagind more than Woman,
Bibliography portrays a sexual attraction based on androgynous
Ascher, Carol. Simone de Beauvoir: A Life of Free- desire in which the speaker is the wooer. To obscure
dom. Boston: Beacon, 1981. her passion, the female speaker presents herself as
Bair, Deirdre. Simone de Beauvoir: A Biography. loving the masculine part of Clarinda and offer-
New York: Summit Books, 1990. ing friendship to the feminine half. She maintains,
Moi, Toril. Simone de Beauvoir: The Making of an therefore, that their love is innocent and should not
Intellectual Woman. Oxford: Blackwell, 1994. be resisted. Further, she asserts, since women do not
Simons, Margaret A. Lesbian Connections: have the physical feature necessary to complete what
Simone de Beauvoir and Feminism. Signs: Jour- society defines as the sex act, they are not to be con-
nal of Women in Culture and Society 18:1 (Au- demned for their love since, by definition, it must
tumn 1992), 136161. be pure. Clarinda, to whom the poem is addressed,
is presented as a hermaphrodite, a beauteous Won-
See also France; Leduc, Violette der of a different kind, /Soft Cloris with the dear
Alexis joind. But she is also an initiator of their
lovemaking, as the title states. So the poems eroti-
Behn, Aphra (1640?1689) cism is the reciprocal attraction of two women with
Seventeenth-century English poet, novelist, and clear gender-transgressing qualities.
playwright. Probably born in Wye, in 1640; her Behn also writes in her own voice about her physi-
exact parentage is unknown. At a young age, she cal attraction to another woman in Verses designd
went to the West Indies, where she had the experi- by Mrs. A.Behn to be sent to a fair Lady, that desird
ences on which her best-known novel, Oronooko; she would absent herself to cure her Love. Left Un-
or, The Royal Slave (1688), is based. She returned finished. The content and the title of the poem in-
to England in 1664 and established a liaison with dicate that the love is erotic and unrequited: The
a Dutch merchant, whose name she took. He died more I strugld to my Grief I found/My self in Cu-
a year later, leaving her without money, and she pids chains more surely bound.
became a spy abroad for King Charles II (1630 As a champion of women openly allied against
1685). Forced to borrow money for her passage men in the war between the sexes, Behn writes
home and unable to repay the loan, she was thrown autobiographically to Carola, Lady Morland at
into debtors prison. Determined to be self-support- Tunbridge, warning her about an unfaithful lover
ing, upon her release she became one of the peri- and advising her friend that only a sexually inex-
ods foremost writers, with more than twenty pub- perienced and, therefore, uncompromised man
lished plays produced on the London stage. would be an appropriate partner for her.
Frequently cited as the first woman in England to Women coming together after betrayal by faith-
earn her living by writing, and known as the Eng- less male lovers is the theme of Behns entertain-
lish Sappho for her poems, Behn was a major drama- ment Selinda and Cloris. The two praise each
tist when there was no other woman playwright. She other in terms of both physical and intellectual

attraction, friendship, and sexuality. Their joy to- had no groups with members and activities, mak-
B gether is presented as a wedding celebration that
emphasizes the eroticism of their relationship.
ing a small country even smaller.
The lesbian movement consists of groups in dif-
Behns poems depict a variety of sexual pair- ferent cities that organize social activities and set up
ings, some of which are shown to be physically structures to welcome new members, such as women
satisfying. But, in her work, spiritual friendship who are taking their first steps in the lesbian world.
is reserved for same-sex couples, among which the Although these groups are political through their
lesbian relationships are presented as the most com- existence and the work they do, they emphasize so-
plete and rewarding. Arlene M.Stiebel cial issues, and only some of the most active mem-
bers have explicitly political goals. In addition, the
Bibliography Artemys Bookshop in Brussels stresses its lesbian
Duffy, Maureen. The Passionate Shepherdess. Lon- character, and the group Lesbies Doe-Front (Les-
don: Cape, 1977. bian Action Group) organizes a national lesbian day.
Goreau, Angeline. Reconstructing Aphra. New In 1997, the Lesbian Table, a monthly gathering of
York: Dial, 1980. all lesbian groups in Belgium, was formed. In addi-
Sackville-West, Vita. Aphra Behn: The Incompara- tion to their political goals, the members want to
ble Astrea. New York: Viking, 1928. make communication between the groups better.
Stiebel, Arlene. Aphra Behn. In Dictionary of In the 1980s, many lesbians had connections
Literary Biography, vol. 131, 3rd series. Detroit, with the feminist movement, but this declined in
Washington, D.C., and London: Bruccoli Clark the 1990s because of the heterosexism of the Bel-
Layman, 1993, pp. 716. gian feminist movement. There is also a difficult
. Aphra Behn. In Gay and Lesbian Literary relationship with the gay male movement, although
Heritage. Ed. Claude J.Summers. New York: many lesbian groups are members of the mixed
Henry Holt, 1995, pp. 5356. Federatie Werkgroepen Homoseksualiteit (Federa-
. Not Since Sappho. In Homosexuality in tion of Workgroups on Homosexuality [FWH]),
Renaissance and Enlightenment England. Ed. an umbrella organization founded in the 1970s that
Claude J.Summers. Binghamton, N.Y.: lobbies politicians and the press.
Haworth, 1992, pp. 153171. Lesbians and gays are not prosecuted by law, al-
though in 1996 a woman lost custody of her chil-
See also Poetry dren in a divorce case because of her lesbianism. The
law is particularly discriminatory in the areas of part-
nership and/or marriage legislation and lesbian and
Belgium gay parenthood. Many lesbians argue that it is better
Small country between France, Germany, the Neth- to work together with gay men on these matters, de-
erlands, and the North Sea that gained independ- spite the problems of working together with men who
ence in 1830. Throughout history, the territory was have a very different position in society. Some lesbian
a battlefield and an occupied land. There is a strong groups work independently and want to work only
Catholic influence. Belgian women have voted only for lesbians. They put their energy into building up a
since 1948 and are not well represented in politi- lesbian movement and community that is fully occu-
cal life. Many women are employed in Belgium, pied with lesbian politics and women-oriented goals.
but here, too, women are badly represented in the The 1990s saw a growing movement of young lesbi-
higher positions, and lesbians who have succeeded ans and gays who are very open and continue to reach
are mostly in the closet. In the 1990s, Belgium be- more, and ever younger, people.
came a federal state: Flemish speaking in the north, There is no organized program of lesbian stud-
French speaking in the south, and German speak- ies, and what does exist is sustained by volunteer
ing in the southeast, while its capital, Brussels, is work. Very little historical information has been
bilingual (Flemish and French). Tourists come to discovered, although the 1618 trial records in the
visit war graves, medieval towns, the sea, and the city of Bruges of two working-class women,
Ardennes and to enjoy Belgian cuisine and more Mayken and Leene, who loved each other and other
man one hundred kinds of good Belgian beer. women, suggest areas of potential research.
In the 1990s, the lesbian and gay movement was A few students have written masters theses on
situated in the north and in Brussels. The south specific aspects of lesbianism, while some women


are studying the groups that existed since the 1970s audience. Believing that cultures could change,
(Sappho in Ghent was the first, in 1974), and an Benedict argued in Patterns of Culture that a soci-
oral-history project has begun on older lesbians. etys narrow definitions penalize or give preference
The year 1996 saw the birth of a gay and lesbian to certain innate capacities, and, thus, those who
archives, the Suzan Daniel Fonds, named after the do not fit in do not suffer from abnormal traits
pseudonym of a woman who was the first-known but rather from societys lack of support for their
activist in the 1950s. In the 1990s, research began native responses. Benedicts emphasis on culture
in the fields of health, therapy, and law, although anticipated late-twentieth-century cultural studies.
these projects are neither organized nor funded. Mead married three times. She continued her study
Ann David of race, sex, and aggression. In 1935, she published
Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies,
Bibliography and, in the years 19261969, she moved through the
Debeuckelaere, Geert. Mayken en Leene, een curatorial ranks at the American Museum of Natu-
lesbische geschiedenis in Brugge uit 1618 ral History in New York City. For Benedict, her inti-
(Mayken and Leene: a Lesbian Couple in Bruges macy with Mead was a revelation, and she re-
in 1618). Homokrant (May 1983), 35. mained a woman-loving woman the rest of her
De Gendt, Lies. Lesbiennegroepen in Vlaanderen life, according to Caffrey (1989). Divorced, Benedict
tussen 1974 en 1994 (Lesbian Groups in Flan- lived happily with Natalie Raymond for nearly a dec-
ders Between 1974 and 1994). Masters thesis, ade and then, from the early 1940s, with the clinical
University of Leuven, 1995. psychologist Ruth Valentine.
Meyntjens, Mips, and Ann David, Project Oudere Recognized by professional journals as one of the
Lesbiennes, c/o Impuls, Leuvensesteenweg 47, countrys leading scientists, Benedict worked hard for
3200 Aarschot, Belgium. racial equality, speaking out and writing about race
and racism, particularly while engaged in the war ef-
See also Early Modern Europe fort. She believed that cultural understanding was the
key to peace. Her 1943 pamphlet The Races of Man-
kind sold nearly a million copies. In 1944, as an ana-
Benedict, Ruth (18871948) lyst in the Office of War Information, she began the
American poet, educator, anthropologist. Gradu- research that led to her influential work The Chry-
ated from Vassar College (1909) and dissatisfied santhemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese
as a housewife, in 1918 Benedict enrolled at Co- Culture (1946), an explanation of Japanese behavior
lumbia University to study anthropology under that helped shape national policy. In the late 1940s,
Franz Boas (18581942). She remained affiliated Benedict and Mead collaborated again, heading up
with Columbia until her death, chairing the De- the Columbia University Research in Contemporary
partment of Anthropology and becoming the first Cultures, a federally funded study of national char-
woman to hold the rank of full professor in the acter and foreignorigin groups in the United States.
Faculty of Political Science. In 1922, while assist- In 1947, Benedict served as the first woman presi-
ing Boaz, Benedict met Margaret Mead (1901 dent of the American Anthropological Association.
1978), then a student at Barnard College. Mead Benedict and Meads lifelong mutual depend-
became Benedicts first graduate student at Colum- ency changed the study of anthropology; their
bia. Meanwhile, Benedict was publishing poetry now classic writings reshaped societys general at-
under the pseudonym Anne Singleton. titudes toward culture. Benedict herself shattered
Benedict and Mead were briefly lovers in the mid- stereotypical images of the woman academic.
1920s, and their early professional field research led Judith C.Kohl
to intense discussions and theories about deviancy
in cultures; in their writings, they deliberately tried Bibliography
to change societys homophobic attitudes. Meads Benedict, Ruth. Patterns of Culture. New Preface
Coming of Age in Samoa (1928) includes their by Margaret Mead. Sentry Edition. Boston:
defense of unconventional behavior; Benedicts An- Houghton Mifflin, 1959.
thropology and the Abnormal (1934) and, espe- Caffrey, Margaret M. Ruth Benedict: Stranger in
cially, Patterns of Culture (1934) carried their al- This Land. Austin: University of Austin Press,
ternative standard theory to a wide international 1989.

B E N E D I C T, R U T H 101
Mead, Margaret. An Anthropologist at Work: lesbian persona as part of her attraction. In daily
B Writings of Ruth Benedict. Boston: Houghton
Mifflin, 1959.
life and performance, Bentley proudly displayed
her bulldagger image; her gender performance was
Modell, Judith Schactner. Ruth Benedict: Patterns well received by the gay and lesbian subculture of
of a Life. Philadelphia: University of Pennsyl- the Harlem Renaissance period. In later life, Bent-
vania Press, 1983. ley struggled with discrimination against her im-
age as a black lesbian blues artist. In her own right,
See also Anthropology Bentley was a gender warrior in the battles over
black female/lesbian sexuality.
Laura Alexandra Harris
Bentley, Gladys (19071960)
U.S. entertainer. Gladys Bentleys career bridges Bibliography
classic blues and lesbian history during the 1920s Bentley, Gladys. I Am a Woman Again. Ebony
Harlem Renaissance. Bentleys first success was as 7 (August 1952), 9298.
a singer and piano player in the underground sport- Carby, Hazel. It Jus Bes Dat Way Sometimes: The
ing life of Harlem parties. In this underground Sexual Politics of Womens Blues. In Unequal
milieu, she was acclaimed for her mannish appear- Sisters: A Multicultural Reader in U.S. Wom-
ance and homosexual renditions of popular lyrics. ens History. 2nd ed. Ed. Vicki L.Ruiz and Ellen
In August 1928, Bentley embarked on a recording Carol DuBois. New York: Routledge, 1994, pp.
career with Okeh Recording Company. Accompa- 330341.
nying herself on the piano, she recorded blues songs Garber, Eric. Gladys Bentley: The Bulldagger
such as How Long, How Long Blues. More than Who Sang the Blues. Outlook 1 (Spring
a recording blues artist, Bentleys success as a per- 1988), 5261.
former was to be found in Harlem nightclubs, such . A Spectacle in Color: The Lesbian and Gay
as the Clam House and Cotton Club. Bentleys Subculture of Jazz Age Harlem. In Hidden
forthright and outrageous public lesbian persona from History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian
was used for fictional portrayals by such writers Past. Ed. Martin Duberman, Martha Vicinus,
as Carl Van Vechten (18801964) and Clement and George Chauncey, Jr. New York: Penguin,
Wood (19251994). Sybil, a Black lesbian singer 1989, pp. 318331.
in Blair Niles gay novel Strange Brother (1931),
was inspired by Bentley. In the final stages of her See also African Americans; Blues Singers;
career, she lived on the West Coast, performing Bulldagger; Harlem
often at Hollywoods Rose Room.
Headlining at the Clam House for several years
brought Bentley success as a special event in Harlem Berlin
nightlife. In his memoir, The Big Sea, Langston Largest city and current capital of the reunited
Hughes (19021967) describes Bentleys fascinat- Germany. Since the late nineteenth century, Berlin
ing performances: has been an Eldorado for lesbian women, and
not only German ones. The first testimonies to the
But for two or three amazing years, Miss Bent- existence of lesbians in this city, however, were
ley sat, and played a big piano all night long, written by men. In the Archiven fr Psychiatrie und
literally all night, without stopping. Miss Nervenkrankheiten (Archive for Psychiatry and
Bentley was an amazing exhibition of musical Mental Diseases) (1869), the well-known Berlin
energya large, dark, masculine lady, whose professor Carl Westphal (18391890) documented
feet pounded the floor while her fingers the story of a young woman, Miss N., who suf-
pounded the keyoarda perfect piece of Afri- fered since her eighth year from a rage to love
can sculpture, animated by her own rhythm. women and, besides kissing and joking, to engage
in masturbation with them. Westphal interpreted
Like Ma Rainey (18861939) and Bessie Smith this as an innate inversion of sexual orientation, a
(1894?1937), Bentley broke new ground for black symptom of a neuropathic (psychopathic) condi-
women as artists in the 1920s Jazz Age. Bentleys tion rather than a vice or an otherwise acquired
success was unique as a blues singer with a public characteristic. The liberation of lesbian love from

102 B E N E D I C T, R U T H
religious judgment began with this establishment organizations, such as the German Friendship As-
of psychiatric categories, a process that has con- sociation and the Alliance for Human Rights. The
tinued throughout the twentieth century. In the latter, with 48,000 members, had its seat in Berlin.
foundational manifesto of the lesbian and gay Novels were published, plays were performed, and
movement, Sappho und Sokrates (1896), the Ber- movies, such as Mdchen in Uniform [Girls in
lin doctor Magnus Hirschfeld (18681935) argued Uniform] (1933), based on a play by Christa
that homosexuality was a natural and innate Winsloe (18881944), were produced. The Insti-
behavior, a mistake by Mother Nature, so to speak, tute for Sexual Science, founded in 1919, offered
akin to a harelip. What causes sickness is the se- lectures and opportunities for counseling.
crecy, not the homosexuality itself. In 1933, the National Socialists (Nazis) seized
At the turn of the twentieth century, Berlin had power and immediately closed down all lesbian and
a pronounced and distinct lesbian subculture with gay bars. New guidelines and ordinances stifled the
numerous bars, cafs, parties, balls, events, and existing lesbian subculture. Homosexual and femi-
organizations. The association of Berlin female nist organizations were forbidden, and the Institute
artists organized a dance on the night of New Years for Sexual Science was looted in May 1933. Lesbians
Eve 1899, at which 2,500 women showed up as became invisible, either moving to other parts of town
where they were unknown, leaving Berlin entirely,
couples in mens and womens clothes and flirted.
or, in some cases, marrying for protection. The time
Also well known was a bowling club for lesbian
of masquerade did not end even after the defeat of
women, which undertook trips into the environs
the Nazi dictatorship in 1945. The Cold War divided
around Berlin. The press reported on police raids
Berlin, resulting in distinct, but secret, subcultures in
in bars and on divorces caused by intimate con-
the western and eastern parts of the city.
tacts in the clubs. In personal testimonies, reports
In 1971, following the eruption of the student
about the subculture, and writings about women-
movement, the first group of lesbian women to ad-
loving women before and after the turn of the cen-
vocate openly in (West) Germany for social emanci-
tury, sexually inverted women were not por-
pation came into being. These women founded in
trayed as unhappy, sick creatures but as women West Berlin the first German womens center, wom-
proclaiming the positive values of their lives. ens bookstore, and womens publishing house. The
Women also were able to practice a lesbian life- German womens movement was, thus, from its
style in the associations, living collectives, and com- beginning, strongly influenced by lesbians. With the
munication projects of the womens movement that unification of Germany in 1989, a unified Berlin
flourished at the turn of the century. In 1904, Anna continued to have a diverse range of groups, politi-
Ruling (n.d.) pointed to the merits of the homo- cal initiatives, networks, bars, counseling, and com-
sexual women active in the womens movement munication centers, as well as magazines from and
but complained, nonetheless, that the great and for lesbian women in both western and eastern sec-
influential organizations of this movement have not tions of the city. Ilse Kokula
moved a finger until today to create for the not
insignificant number of its uranian members their Bibliography
rightful standing in state and society. Hirschfeld, Magnus. Berlins Third Gender. Berlin
The collapse of the German Empire in 1918 and Leipzig: Oswald, Verlag von Hermann
brought with it a new freedom of press and assem- Nachfolger, 1905.
bly and an atmosphere of joyful, enthusiastic art Kokula, Ilse. Forms of Lesbian Subculture. Berlin:
and culture. Within this, the lesbian subculture Publishing House Rosa Winkel, 1983.
flourished in a manner unprecedented in history. . Weibliche Homosexualitat um 1900
Despite mass poverty, lesbian life pulsated in bars inzeitgenossischen Dokumenten (Female Ho-
and at dances. The favorable exchange rate for in- mosexuality Around 1900 in Contemporary
ternational currencies also motivated many female Documents). Munich: Publishing House Wom-
foreigners to live in Berlin for a while. Magazines ens Offensive, 1981.
for lesbian women frequently reported events and Ruling, Anna. What Interest Does the Womens
festivities in the approximately fifty bars and clubs. Movement Have in the Homosexual Ques-
The women organized or met in many ladies tion? In Lesbians in Germany: 1890s1920s.
clubs with up to four hundred members and, to- Ed. Lillian Fuderman and Brigitte Eriksson.
gether with homosexual men, in human rights Tallahassee, Fla: Naiad, 1980, pp. 8394.

See also Germany; Nazism; Ruling, Anna; Winsloe, analyzing literature through the ages, particularly
B Christa in English, German, and French. She also includes
an extensive bibliography of primary, secondary,
and scientific/ psychiatric materials. Reissues of the
Bibliographies and Refrence Works work by Diana Press (1975) and Naiad Press
Texts that provide background information and (1985) provide some updated material and attest
lead researchers to more specific or in-depth mate- to the importance of this work.
rials on their topics. Book-length bibliographies, a Other early efforts were made by Marion
distinct class of reference work, list books, journal Zimmer Bradley, who compiled two unofficial
articles, dissertations, chapters, and other sources supplements to Foster entitled Astras Tower
on a subject, time period, or person, often with Special Leaflets in 1958, and Barbara Grier
descriptive or critical notes for each source. Other (pseud. Gene Damon), a book review editor for
kinds of reference works include encyclopedias, dic- The Ladder. Together they produced a
tionaries, directories, indexes, handbooks, alma- mimeographed bibliography called The Check-
nacs, chronologies, and other sources that contain list in 1960 and issued supplements in 1961 and
1962. The San Francisco Daughters of Bilitis (DOB)
facts, definitions, and other useful information.
published the first edition of The Lesbian in Lit-
Researchers usually consult such sources at the
erature (1967), compiled by Gene Damon and Lee
beginning of their projects to help refine, focus, or
Stuart, which listed approximately three thousand
narrow them or to find specific information. In
mostly literary titles published through 1965. The
short, most reference sources are designed to be
book uses a coding system to indicate the amount
consulted rather than read from cover to cover.
of lesbian content and the quality of writing for
each title. The second edition (1975) drops entries
deemed trash and includes many more bio-
Until the last few decades of the twentieth century,
graphical and autobiographical titles and a sub-
lesbianism had not received the same amount of stantial number of nonfiction titles. Naiad pub-
attention given to male homosexuality. Though the lished a third edition in 1981 that lists approxi-
work of many researchers documents the cross- mately seven thousand titles through 1980.
cultural, historical existence of women who loved
women, often the phenomenon went unrecognized The Late 1960s and the 1970s
or was inconsistently defined or named. The term Lesbian publishing on contemporary lesbian issues,
lesbianism in the modern sense did not enter the politics, and awareness exploded, but the era still
popular vocabulary until the late nineteenth cen- produced only a few reference titles. An example
tury and did not appear in American library is the short pamphlet entitled Women Loving
catalogs until 1954. The term lesbians to specify Women: A Select and Annotated Bibliography of
a class of persons did not appear until 1976. Women Loving Women in Literature (1974), ed-
As of 1998, a comprehensive bibliography on ited by Marie J. Kuda, published by Lavender Press
lesbianism has not been published. With few ex- to coincide with the 1974 Lesbian Writers Confer-
ceptions, bibliographies and reference works re- ence. This title focuses on fiction, poetry, biogra-
lating exclusively to lesbians other than medical or phy, and autobiography and also includes a brief
psychological did not appear until the 1950s. The list of useful reference sources.
first publication by a woman to treat lesbianism as One of the first nonbibliographic reference ti-
a general phenomenon may be Anna von den tles on lesbianism is Our Right to Love: A Lesbian
Ekens Mannweiber-Weibmanner und der Para. Resource Book (1978), edited by Ginny Vida. A
175: Ein Schrift fur denkende Frauen (Masculine collective effort, this book celebrates the spectrum
Women-Feminine Men Under Paragraph 175: A of lesbian existence and contains forty essays that
Booklet for Thinking Women [1906]). cover identity, relationships, health, law, activism,
theory, sexuality, the media, culture, research, age,
The 1950s and Early 1960s class, race, and religion. The long-awaited revision,
Jeannette Foster made the pioneering effort in les- The New Our Right to Love: A Lesbian Resource
bian bibliography with her Sex Variant Women in Book (1996), again edited by Vida, presents more
Literature (1956). Foster attempts to document than sixty new essays, many reflecting develop-
lesbian history, beginning with Sappho, by ments and changes in emphasis that took place since

the first edition. These include safe sex and HIV/ tions of Alternative Insemination and Reproduc-
AIDS, the military, sports, and many more contri- tive Technologies.
butions by lesbians with disabilities and lesbians Dolores Maggiores Lesbianism: An Annotated
from various racial and ethnic communities. Bibliography and Guide to the Literature, 1976
In Lesbian Peoples: Material for a Dictionary 1986 (1988) focuses on books, chapters, articles in
(1979), published originally as Brouillon pour un scholarly journals, and dissertations and arranges
Dictionnaire des Amantes (1976), Monique Wittig them into six broad sections: the individual lesbian,
and Sande Zeig mix fact, fiction, and myth in minorities within a minority, lesbian families, op-
dictionarylike entries to create an exclusively les- pression, health, and resources. Each section con-
bian world. Though not a dictionary in the formal tains several subsections covering such topics as iden-
sense, this title is a fine example of the reinvention tity throughout history, lifestyles, couples,
of traditional formats for innovative purposes. heterosexism in theory and practice, alcoholism,
With the growth of feelings of identity, many counseling and mental health, lesbians of color/Third
women recognized the need to preserve lesbian cul- World lesbians, aging, youth, and the differently
ture. Joan Nestle and Deborah Edel founded the abled. Maggiore compiled a second edition (1992)
of this title that updates coverage through 1991.
Lesbian Herstory Archives in 1973, and the DOB
Claire Potters Lesbian Periodicals Index (1986)
issued all sixteen volumes of The Ladder on mi-
provides wide-scale access to the unique informa-
cro-film in 1975 with a print index. Additionally,
tion published during the 1960s and 1970s in ac-
Naiad and Diana released compilations from The
tivist lesbian periodicals that created community
Ladder and The Furies.
with every word put on paper. The first section of
the index provides an author-subject guide to forty-
The 1980s
two publications that represent geographic, racial,
Naiad published the groundbreaking title Black
political, class, and cultural differences within les-
Lesbians: An Annotated Bibliography (1981), com-
bian communities. Potter recognized the importance
piled by J.R.Roberts (pseud. of Barbara Rae of creative works and includes sections in the index
Henry), to counteract the overwhelming white- for diary and journal entries, poetry, stories, humor
ness of lesbian and womens studies research. The and satire, book reviews, and visual art.
bibliography gathers materials about black lesbi- Finally, historians and other researchers, many
ans in the United States beginning with early leg- of them self-identified lesbians, turned efforts to
ends and continuing through the black and Third their own history beginning in the 1970s. Such
World gay rights movements of the 1970s. The authors as Caroll Smith-Rosenberg, Blanche
book includes primary and secondary sources; cov- Wiesen Cook, Martha Vicinus, Judith Schwarz,
ers lifestyles, oppression, literature and criticism, Lillian Faderman, and Susan Cavin have produced
music and musicians, and periodicals; and provides articles and books in English that contain exten-
an appendix relating to a lesbian witch-hunt in sive notes and lists of sources, which arguably can
1980 aboard the Navy ship USS Norton Sound be viewed as important contributions to Western
Though bibliographies on black lesbians and other lesbian historical bibliography. Similar titles from
lesbians of color can be found in books, journals, Europe include Ilsa Kokulas Weibliche
and anthologies, a stand-alone update has yet to Homosexualitat um 1900 inzeitgenossischen
be published. Dokumenten (Female Homosexuality Around
The Lesbian Rights Project published two edi- 1900 in Contemporary Documents [1981]) and
tions of Lesbian Mothers and Their Children: An Marie-Jo Bonnets Un Choix sans equivoque:
Annotated Bibliography of Legal and Psychologi- recherches historiques sur les relations amoureuses
cal Materials (1980 and 1983) to help lesbians with entre les femmes, XVIeXXe siecle (An Unequivo-
custody issues. This group, renamed the National cal Choice: Historical Research on Love Relation-
Center for Lesbian Rights in 1989, also published ships Between Women, Sixteenth-Twentieth Cen-
two editions of Lesbians Choosing Motherhood: turies [1981]). A new edition of Bonnets work was
Legal Implications of Donor Insemination and published in 1995 with the title Les Relations
CoParenting (1984 and 1991), which highlight the amoreuses entre les femmes, du XVIe au XXe
potential problems faced by lesbians contemplat- sicles: essai historique (Love Relationships Be-
ing pregnancy and motherhood. A third edition tween Women, from the Sixteenth to the Twenti-
appeared in 1996 with the subtitle Legal Implica- eth Centuries: A Historical Essay).


The 1990s Another subject-oriented title, Lesbian Health
B Dell Richardss Lesbian Lists: A Look at Lesbian
Culture, History, and Personalities (1990) appears
Bibliography (1994), edited by Lisa Rankow, cov-
ers breast cancer, mental health, HIV/AIDS, and sev-
at first glance to fall in the fun category. In real- eral other topics. A second edition, published in
ity, it gathers scattered information from a variety 1995, increases the number of citations to almost
of scholarly sources and serves as a quick reference eight hundred and adds several new sections, in-
to pre-Stonewall (1969) lesbian history. The Les- cluding transgender/transsexuals and bisexuality.
bian Almanac (1996), compiled by The National In Lesbians in Print: A Bibliography of 1,500
Museum & Archive of Lesbian and Gay History in Books with Synopses (1995), Margaret Gillon com-
New York City, provides comparatively more in- piles titles that reflect the variety of lesbian-posi-
depth information on both historical and contem- tive ideas and perspectives. It lists books alpha-
porary lesbian life, using chronologies, quotes, and betically by title and provides the publisher, sub-
brief biographies. It includes profiles of important ject category, price, and other information, in ad-
individuals, organizations, and programs, as well dition to a brief description. Gillon also provides
as statistics, lists of resources, and Internet sites. useful indexes and a list of feminist and lesbian
Shelley Andersons directory Out in the World: and gay bookstores in the United States.
International Lesbian Organizing (1991) provides
brief background information about lesbian rights Electronic Sources
movements throughout the world. Arranged by By the mid-1990s, publishers had begun to develop
continent and subdivided by country, this direc- CD-ROM (compact disk-read only memory) and
tory lists contemporary lesbian organizations with other electronic versions of print sources, most
addresses and phone and fax numbers. Not since notably indexes, encyclopedias, and dictionaries.
the magazine Connexions published its two Glo- Electronic versions add the flexibility of keyword
bal Lesbianism issues (no. 3 [1982] and no. 10 searches, allow the combination of a number of
[1983]) has so much international information been concepts, and enable multiple-year searches. The
available in one source. Womens Resources International, Women s Stud-
Where Potters index focused on ceased lesbian ies on Disc, and the Alternative Press Index all pro-
activist periodicals, Linda Garbers Lesbian vide access to substantial information by lesbians.
Sources: A Bibliography of Periodical Articles, The development of the Internet revolutionizes
19701990 (1993) concentrates on sixty-four communications and publishing even more.
widely distributed womens studies, lesbian, gay, Listservs, newsgroups, gophers, Web pages, and
and feminist journals. Garber uses 162 subject other resources facilitate networking among many
headings to access literature covering the myriad lesbians around the world, and several journals are
aspects of lesbian life and culture. This contrasts now available in full-text electronic format.
sharply with many library catalogs and standard Obviously, the proliferation of materials pro-
indexes, which tend to lump lesbian materials into duced by lesbians, in all formats, warrants increased
a few categories. Most welcome are the sections efforts toward bibliographic control. Anthologies
on women of color, lesbians around the world (sub- by Jewish, Latina, African American, American In-
divided by region and country), African Americans, dian, and Asian American lesbians exist, but more
and other racial and ethnic groups. reference titles pertaining to lesbians of color need
Sandra Pollack and Denise D.Knight fill a gap to be compiled and disseminated. The same is true
in the literature with their Contemporary Lesbian for materials produced by or about lesbians in Af-
Writers of the United States: A Bio-Bibliographi- rica, Asia, and the Middle East. Titles need to be
cal Critical Sourcebook (1993). It covers one hun- translated whenever feasible (and safe for the au-
dred writers of fiction, poetry, and drama active thors), and information about lesbian organizations
from 1970 to 1992. Each essay uses the same for- needs to be collected on a regular basis. Hopefully,
mat, consisting of five parts: biographical infor- the Internet and electronic publishing will, in time,
mation, a discussion of major works and themes, make this easier. Though lesbianism goes through
the critical reception, a list of works by the author, hot cycles in mainstream publishing, history
and a list of works about the author. The book shows that lesbians themselves must be the ones to
also includes lists of publishers and periodicals and make continuing efforts to produce, collect, and
a nine-page bibliography of nonfiction titles. preserve their own culture. Linda A.Krikos


Bibliography Defining a Lesbian Life
Allen, Jane, Linda Kerr, Avril Rolph, and Marion Historians of womens lives have contributed to
Chadwick, comps. Out on the Shelves: Lesbian rendering invisible lesbian lives and identity.
Books into Libraries. Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Carroll Smith-Rosenbergs (1975) path-breaking
U.K.: Association of Assistant Librarians, 1989. essay centered intimacy among women as a main-
Arnup, Katherine, Gloria Geller, Amy Gottlieb, and stay of nineteenth-century middle-class Anglo-
Jeri Wire, guest eds. Etre Lesbienne (The Les- American culture. Yet it also denied the sexual
bian Issue). Documentation sur la Recherche aspects of womens bonds and sheltered same-sex
Feministe 12, 1 (1983) (Special Issue). partners under the veil of actual or possible con-
Bullough, Vern, W.Dorr Legg, Barrett W.Elcano, current heterosexuality. These sensual, emotion-
and James Kepner, eds. An Annotated Bibliog- ally intimate bonds among women were charac-
raphy of Homosexuality. 2 vols. New York: terized by Smith-Rosenberg as romantic friend-
Garland, 1976. ships only. While this posited a woman-centered
Dynes, Wayne R. Homosexuality: A Research model, it also denied the lesbian behavior of these
Guide. New York: Garland, 1987. women because they lacked lesbian self-identity.
Freedman, Estelle B., Barbara Charlesworth Gelpi, Smith-Rosenbergs argument framed the debate
Susan L.Johnson, and Kathleen M.Weston, eds. about what is a lesbian life for years. By arguing
The Lesbian Issue. Signs: Journal of Women that it is important to place the discussion of
in Culture and Society 9:4 (Summer 1984) (Spe- homosexuality within its historical perspective,
cial Issue). she denied the possibility of lesbian behavior be-
The Lesbian History Issue. Frontiers: A Journal fore the term was constructed by European sex-
of Womens Studies 4:3 (1979) (Special Issue). ologists and medical writers in the 1880s.
Gough, Cal, and Ellen Greenblatt, eds. Gay and Many biographers since then have struggled
Lesbian Library Service. Jefferson, N.C.: with the question of what is/was a lesbian life.
McFarland, 1990. Blanche Wiesen Cook, in her review of the homo-
Lesbian History Group. Not a Passing Phase: Re- phobic and distorted biography of Mary Woolley
claiming Lesbians in History, 18401985. Lon- (18631947), president of Mt. Holyoke College,
don: Womens Press, 1985; reprinted and up- and her life partner, Jeannette Marks (18751964),
dated, London: Womens Press, 1993. professor of English at the same school, argued that
their biographer, Anna Mary Wells, obscured and
See also Anthologies; Archives and Libraries; Com- trivialized their intimacy, despite ample evidence
puter Networks and Services; Foster, Jeannette attesting to their devotion. Specifically, because
Howard; Grier, Barbara; Naiad Press; Periodicals; Wells denied the possibility of sexuality shared
Publishing, Lesbian between them, she diminished the quality of their
life together. Another scholar, Lillian Faderman,
contributed to this debate on what constitutes a
Biography lesbian life. Faderman defined lesbianism as a re-
Modern (A.D. 1600 ff.) literary genre that narrates lationship wherein two womens strongest emo-
the story of an individual life. Biographers of tions and affections are directed toward each other.
women who were and are lesbian face numerous Sexual contact may be part of the relationship to a
difficult tasks. Their subject, if deceased, may have greater or lesser degree, or it may be entirely ab-
gone to great effort to conceal her lesbianism dur- sent. Heterosexual couples, Faderman points out,
ing her lifetime, or she may have shunned the label are not asked to provide genital proofs of their
lesbian despite her lived life. This forces the bi- intimacy, and neither should lesbians.
ographer to assign an identity to her that may con- Several other scholars contributed to the early
tradict the subjects own self-definition. It also debate on these issues. Frances Doughty described
raises ethical issues of disclosure if the subject con- how lesbian history is unique in that, unlike black
sciously strove to mask or deny her lesbianism. Yet or womens history, the very existence of lesbian-
the biographers power to name sexual orienta- ism must first be proven. Since there are no ac-
tion in anothers life can be a posthumous source cepted criteria, historiography focuses more often
of empowerment for the subject, whose own era on the legitimacy of narrating a lesbian existence
necessitated the denial of lesbianism for survival. than on the actual life and events of the subject at

hand. Adrienne Rich has argued that biographies underscore these difficulties. Also, as Cook learned
B would be more accurate and powerful if the biog-
raphers handled lesbian existence as a reality. She
when researching same-sex intimacies in the life of
Eleanor Roosevelt (18841962), documents have
suggested that heterosexuality be viewed as a po- been intentionally destroyed by a subjects lovers
litical institution that a lesbian life challenges. and friendsrather than reveal a lesbian bond.
After Roosevelts death, Lorena Hickok (1892
Class, Race, and Sexuality 1968) and Esther Lape (18811981) spent hours
The implications of a biographer naming a sub- burning letters between themselves and Roosevelt.
ject lesbian are compounded by issues of race, so- This obliterated the documentary record and forced
cial class, region, and era. Lesbian biographers, in the biographer to realize that it was a calculated
particular, learn to read coded messages and denial of Roosevelts passionate friendships.
subtexts in order to determine the sexual orienta- Given these intentional omissions, denials, and
tion of their subject. fabricated pasts, biographers of lesbian subjects
Yet demographic markers may mislead the biog- must rely on deciphering coded language, poign-
rapher if she insists on reading through a predomi- ant innuendoes, and other veiled signals. A helpful
nantly middle-class, Anglo lens. For example, in craft- suggestion was made by historian Susan Ware
ing a biography of the working-class ethnic south- (1987). She suggested reading photographs as
east Texan athlete Babe Didrikson Zaharias (1911 historical sources that might illuminate lesbian
1956), it was vital not to misinterpret social-class lives. Yet this, too, may be deceptive if the subject
behaviors or her ethnic communitys appreciation for has devoted herself to leaving little or no visual
female athletes too broadly. These factors were com- record of her same-sex intimacy.
pounded by a six-year live-in relationship with a Postmodern interpretations have stressed the
woman whose oral history illuminated her personal notion of multiple identities that may, in fact, shift
life with Didrikson. Together, these can be taken as over time; other authors stress the cultural posi-
proof of lesbian life, if not lesbian self-identity. tioning of a subject in relationship to her histori-
cal context. Yet even these provisos were not pre-
Closeting Lesbian Identities cise enough for Nell Irvin Painter as she reviewed
For women who sought fame, acceptance, or eco- three texts on the writing of biography. Painter
nomic reward from a critical American public, it is urged that biographers include and center the in-
painful at times to see them construct appropriate dividual consciousness that makes each person
heterosexual pasts to blur their adult lesbian lives. uniqueto transcend identity politics in defining
Sometimes, closeted autobiographers create fictitious their subjects and instead work at illuminating the
memories of themselves. In so doing, they sacrifice personal meaning of their subjects experiences.
authenticity and avoid disruptive truths in favor of As Rupp (1980) argued, the biographer of a les-
a harmonious, normal, and consistent life history. bian life has the demanding tasks of differentiating
Through oral histories, the subjects friends and between intimate and supportive friendships, cou-
surviving family members often help in creating this ple relationships, and the in-love feelings expressed
facade. Oral histories from those who knew the sub- by othersall without denying their significance or
ject, as well as printed source materials, can either fixing them into rigid categories. Whether these
corroborate or contradict the facts of a life. women embraced or shunned self-identification as
Yet oral histories can also echo the legend and lesbians, she concluded, the biographer must not
fabricated version of a life; respondents can choose blur the distinctions among these different types of
to create a representation of the subjects life that relationships. The biographers ability to name is
is in keeping with their own set of truths or si- quite powerful: The assignation of lesbian to a
lences. They may also be unwilling to reveal a sub- womans life at once centers her in intimacy with
jects lesbianism from a position of loyalty to the women and casts her outside the heterosexual norm.
image she crafted and fostered. This necessitates This placement forms the very way in which we in-
constant filtering on the biographers part. The terpret her life, relationships, relationship to the
legend-building aspects of oral histories need to be public, and self-perceptions. It is a profound step
constantly weighted and analyzed for continuities, toward (re)constructing a nonhomophobic identity
choices, pain, silences, voices, and the articulation for women who chose to devote themselves to other
of legitimate identity. Numerous feminist scholars women. Susan E.Cayleff

Bibliography wider range of interest in same-sex activities shown
Cook, Blanche Wiesen. Female Support Networks by late-twentieth-century heterosexual women,
amd Political Activism: Lillian Wald, Crystal compared to heterosexual men, some scientists
Eastman, Emma Goldman. Chrysalis 3 (1977), propose different gay genes for women and for men;
4361. since organisms evolve as a species, that idea runs
. The Historical Denial of Lesbianism. Radi- counter to evolutionary theory.
cal History Review 20 (Spring/Summer 1979),
6065. Historical Context
Doughty, Frances. Lesbian Biography, Biography With political concern (both for and against) about
of Lesbians. Frontiers: A Journal of Women gay and lesbian civil rights in the United States and
Studies 4:3 (Fall 1979), 7679. around the world running high, scientific claims
Faderman, Lillian. Surpassing the Love of Men: about inherent and, thus, unavoidable homosexu-
Romantic Friendship and Love Between Women ality are embraced by some lesbian and gay activists
from the Renaissance to the Present. New York: and attacked by most antigay religious conserva-
William Morrow, 1981. tives. Published studies of genetics and sexual iden-
. Who Hid Lesbian History? Frontiers: A tity of twins and siblings, as well as of differences in
Journal of Women Studies 4:3 (Fall 1979), size or shape of certain parts of the brains of homo-
7476. sexual as compared to heterosexual (mostly) men,
Rupp, Leila J. Imagine My Surprise: Womens are compelling and can be convincing to scientist
Relationships in Historical Perspective. Fron- and nonscientist alike. However, historical and sci-
tiers: A Journal of Women Studies 5:3 (Fall entific analyses of such claims reveal significant flaws
1980), 6170. in the assumptions, logic, and methods of the stud-
Smith-Rosenberg, Carroll. The Female World of ies, and many of the conclusions are not supported
Love and Ritual: Relations Between Women in by the data in the studies themselves.
Nineteenth-Century America. Signs: Journal First, history shows that claims of biology de-
of Women in Culture and Society 1:1 (Autumn termining female and male homosexual behavior and/
1975), 130. or identity are part of a long heritage of Western (white
Ware, Susan. Partner and I: Molly Dewson, Femi- male-dominated) scientific assertions that human bi-
nism, and the New Deal Politics. New Haven, ology determines human behavior, characteristics,
Conn.: Yale University Press, 1987. and, consequently, ones natural status in society.
The long history of scientific claims, often by reputa-
See also Autobiography; Didrikson, Mildred Ella ble scientists, about differences of concern to society
Babe (Zaharias); Faderman, Lillian; History; (mainly class, race, and sex) includes nineteenth-cen-
Oral History; Romantic Friendship; Rich, tury assertions that blacks and whites were separate
Adrienne; Roosevelt, Anna Eleanor races and so could be treated differently under the
law; that womens brains were smaller than mens,
accounting for womens inferior rationality, for which
Biological Determinism citizenship rights could be denied; that womens re-
Belief that human behavior is explained and deter- productive physiology (but not mens) would be im-
mined by our biology, in terms of our genetics, paired by higher education, and, so, for the sake of
hormone levels, or brain structures. Since the mid- future generations, young women should not be al-
1980s, the United States has witnessed a set of lowed to go to college; and that non-English-speak-
claims that male (and perhaps female) homosexu- ing immigrants to the United States were inherently
ality derives from particular brain structures and retarded because they could not pass intelligence tests
one or more gay genes. While most of the research given in English.
about biology and human homosexuality has been Healthy scientific and political skepticism has
done with male subjects, attention turned, in the arisen, therefore, from a consistent history of po-
1990s, to female homosexuality, with studies based litical claims that are based on then-current bio-
on the same assumptions, and with the same meth- logical theories, claims that are subsequently ei-
odological flaws built into them, as studies of males. ther disproven or abandoned due to inconsistent
To account for sex differences in the percentage logic, exposure of outright fraud, lack of confirm-
deemed truly homosexual and for the apparently ing evidence, or political shifts.


History also shows that Western culture has In this view, heterosexuality is not a conscious choice
B changed from viewing homosexuality as a behavior
by individuals to believing that homosexual iden-
in our culture for either women or men.
However, the womens, lesbian feminist, and gay
tity is embodied in the physical being of the indi- liberation movements from the 1960s onward, as
vidual. Biological studies of sexual preference pre- well as the gay activism in response to the AIDS
serve sexist and heterosexist assumptions from the epidemic, have brought lesbian and gay rights is-
nineteenth century (and earlier) that sexuality is sues to the public eye at the same time that society
about reproduction and that femaleness and male- has increasingly accepted previously male-associ-
ness exist in human nature as primary, dichoto- ated behaviors (smoking, promiscuity) and cloth-
mous, and opposed states of being that form the ing (pants rather than skirts or dresses) for all
basis for gender differences. women. However, it is still not normal for men
Contrary to most of the scientific claims about to wear skirts and dresses (they are considered
sex and race differences, research in the late twen- cross-dressing tranvestites); boys are still called sis-
tieth century suggesting that brain differences and sies and faggots for playing with dolls or acting in
gay genes account for inherent homosexuality female-associated ways; and the greatest put-down
comes from pro-gay scientists (the majority of among supposedly heterosexual males is to call a
whom are male, such as Simon LeVay, Richard male a girl or a woman. Thus, social factors im-
Pillard, J. Michael Bailey, and Dean Hamer) who pact differently on males and females when the
argue, much as sexologists at the end of the nine- meaning of homosexuality is considered for each
teenth century did, that homosexuality is inborn, sex, so that feminist theorizing can account for
and, therefore, homosexuals cannot be blamed for observed sex differences in rates and descriptions
it. While many gay rights advocates welcomed those of homosexual identity without resorting to bio-
recent scientific claims, particularly in the face logical explanations. In contrast, one of the twin-
of vocal antigay religious conservatives, who as- studies researchers (J.Michael Bailey) is reported
sert that homosexuality is an immoral choice that by Wheeler (1993) to have said: In talking to
must and can be eliminated by a commitment to women who call themselves straight, it strikes me
what is moral (heterosexuality), legal scholars such that many of them will admit to being attracted to
as Halley (1994) argue that immutability is not a women even if they have no desire to act on it. You
sufficient condition for civil rights in the U.S. legal can hardly ever get [straight] men to admit to that.
tradition. The history of the struggle for citizen-
ship and rights for Americans of African heritage, Scientific Research and Its Critique
where skin color and heritage are used to trace lin- At the end of the twentieth century, theories of bio-
eage, illustrates the latter argument well. logical determination or influence on sex (male-
female) and sexual preference propose that andro-
Feminist Interpretations gens (certain male hormones) masculinize the
Feminist attention to women and to the social ele- brain of the human fetus to produce male-typical
ments of gender has been nearly absent from most behaviors and desires (including heterosexual de-
studies seeking to identify biological determinants sires for females) as compared to the
of sexuality. The studies have originated with male nonandrogenized, feminized brain and its fe-
scientists who are either themselves gay or openly male-typical behaviors and desires (heterosexual
for gay rights and who evince little familiarity with desires for males), while a gay gene or genes deter-
feminist perspectives that point to the influence of mines or influences the degree of masculinization
culture, rather than biology (often cast as na- or feminization of male or female, resulting in
ture versus nurture), on human sexual relations. (feminized) males who desire males and
Second wave feminists have analyzed their (masculinized) females who desire females.
sexual experiences, desires, and social arrangements Critics of biological-determinist claims for sexual
with an understanding of the constraints of sexism preference point to serious methodological flaws in
and have pointed to the political, social, and eco- the scientific studies themselves. Like most of the
nomic influences on being a lesbian, bisexual, or earlier studies of sex and race differences, research
heterosexual woman, often at different times in the on biology and sexuality is frequently inadequate
same life. Adrienne Rich wrote in 1980 of com- by strict scientific standards: The size of the sample
pulsory heterosexuality as a cornerstone of sex- is too small; the sample is not representative of the
ism, part of a system of social control over women. population at large; the samples lack proper


controls; contradictions among the studies are not the studies are promising and that only more and
accounted for sufficiently; and identification of better research is needed to confirm the theories.
sexual orientation of the individuals studied is not
clear. For example, the research looking for genetic Research Assumptions
evidence for being lesbian (or gaythe studies on The following are presuppositions of the research,
males were done first) is now focused on twin and assumptions that critics of biological determinism
sibling studies. Bailey and Pillard have said that they of sexuality say are at least questionable and at
find a much higher incidence of an identical twin most incorrect. First, sexual behavior is viewed as
also being lesbian or gay as compared to lower con- mechanically driven by a physical entity and in-
cordance for a fraternal twin, a nontwin biologi- volving genital manipulation and copulatory ac-
cal sibling, or an adoptive sibling. Without even tivity, rather than unconsciously acquired behavior
exposing the serious limitations of their actual data, learned from the socializing environments of fam-
the studies are questionable scientifically because the ily, culture, and society. Sexual preference is re-
samples are not random. Rather, the researchers jected for sexual orientation, a biological con-
place ads in lesbian and gay newspapers asking for dition that inheres in the body to steer sexual
lesbian and gay volunteers who were cotwins or had behavior toward one sex or away from the other.
adoptive siblings. With the media coverage about Evidence countering this assumption is cross-cul-
the biology of being gay, it is not a surprise that tural and historical, showing a wide range and com-
many more lesbians and gay males with lesbian or bination of human sexual behaviors that are taken
gay cotwins and siblings come forward to be part as normal in different cultures at different times.
of these studies. Indeed, the one consistent result is Dramatic changes in sexual behavior have occurred
that the studies show higher proportions of lesbian with social and political changes, such as the sec-
or gay siblings than in the general population. De- ond wave (post-1969) of feminism.
spite the skewed samples on which their studies are A second key and questionable assumption of
based, the researchers do not consider alternative the studies is that homosexuality and heterosexual-
explanations for a (possibly) high concordance of ity are mutually exclusive conditions, such that cer-
identical twins being lesbian or gaythat is, the well- tain biological characteristics (the size of shape of
documented unique closeness of identical twins certain brain structures or the information in cer-
brought up together. tain genes) of homosexuals are different from those
In another example, in some studies if a person of heterosexuals. Countering this assumption is his-
did not self-identify as gay, he was classified as torical evidence that the concept of the homo-
heterosexual. In some studies persons engaged in sexualan individual with a set identity, rather than
both homosexual and heterosexual activities were an individual who engages in homosexual behaviors
classified as homosexual, while in other studies only at different times or in different circumstances in
truly homosexual individuals (those who never his or her lifeemerged in Western culture only in
engaged in, or desired, sexual activity with the other the eighteenth century and was institutionalized in
sex) were considered homosexual. The pronoun nineteenth-century medicine, and is, thus, a cultural
he is appropriate here, because most of the stud- creation rather than a biological given. At different
ies have been on males. As more attention is given times in history and in different cultures, homosexual
to women, the problem noted above by Bailey activity did not in any way preclude the possibility
that women seem (or are more willing to say they of heterosexual activity at the same moment in time
are) more fluid in their sexual interest with regard or in the future.
to genderhas generated the conclusion by some A third key presupposition to be questioned is
researchers that only 1 percent of women are truly that true homosexuality is associated with femi-
homosexual as compared to at least 3 percent of nine behavior and appearance in men and the re-
men; further, female homosexuality is somehow dif- verse in women, linking assumed attributes of
ferent biologically. The concept of the true ho- maleness and femaleness with sexual orientation
mosexual reproduces the fallacious belief that or preference. In the 1950s, Money and Ehrhardt
biology is true human identity, while culture is (1972) studied girls who had been exposed in utero
merely layered over biology. Thus, unless questions to high levels of androgens (male hormones).
are raised about the presuppositions on which stud- The researchers claimed that the masculinization
ies are based, researchers will simply assert that of the female fetuses brains produced the following


results (remember this was the 1950s): wearing Money, John, and Anke A.Ehrhardt. Man and
B pants rather than dresses, wanting careers more
and babies less, higher IQs, and (subsequently) les-
Woman, Boy and Girl. Baltimore: Johns
Hopkins University Press, 1972.
bian identity. The claim for higher IQs as a result Spanier, Bonnie. Biological Determinism and
of being masculinized was dropped when the higher Homosexuality. NWSA Journal 7:1 (Spring
socioeconomic class of the families, and, thus, 1995), 5471.
higher measured IQs generally, was taken into ac- . Im/Partial Science: Gender Ideology in Mo-
count. The researchers did not factor in, however, lecular Biology. Bloomington: Indiana Univer-
the effects on the girls of genital surgery several sity Press, 1995.
times or the attention given them for their prob- Terry, Jennifer. Lesbians Under the Medical Gaze:
lem (which might include infertility) by their par- Scientists Search for Remarkable Differences.
ents and doctors, influences that surely could have Journal of Sex Research 27 (1990), 317340.
turned a girl away from traditionally feminine ac- Wheeler, David L. Studies of Lesbians Rekindles
tivities. A new version of that stereotype that con- Debate Over Biological Basis for Homosexual-
founds male-female gender with sexual orientation ity. Chronicle of Higher Education (March 17,
is found in the association of male gayness with
the female-associated X chromosome. Geneticist
Dean Hamer claims to have found a gay gene in
See also Animal Studies; Compulsory Heterosexu-
males, located on the X chromosome, which, in
ality; New Right; Sexology; Sexual Orientation and
males, must come from the mother since males are
XY and females are XX.
A common assumption of pro-gay researchers
is that studies showing the biological basis of ho-
Bisexual Movement
mosexuality will lead to full civil rights for lesbi-
Though there have been in the past communities
ans and gays because society will understand that
it is not an issue of choice. Countering this is the and individuals who were known to have lived a
history of Jews and gays in Nazi Germany and that bisexual lifestyle (for example, the Bloomsbury
of Americans of African descent. Furthermore, this artists community, the Harlem Renaissance com-
argument apparently would allow discrimination munity, and Frida Kahlo [19071954] and her cir-
against those who admit to choosing lesbian expe- cle), the 1970s marked the beginning of the mod-
riences and relationships over heterosexual ones ern bisexual movement. The bi movement today
for political, social, or other reasons. consists of social, support, and political groups
As more female researchers engage in biologi- throughout the United States and other parts of
cal studies and more studies are done with women, the world.
and as U.S. society continues to look to genetics to
explain human behavior, more claims will emerge. The Early Years
To evaluate them fully, they must be understood in The earliest bisexual organizations in the United
the context of the long history of subsequently re- States grew out of the sexual liberation movement,
jected assertions about the biological basis of sexu- or sexual revolution, which was, in turn, fueled
alityand other culturally shaped behaviors. by the womens liberation movement, the gay lib-
Bonnie B.Spanier eration movement, and the legalization of, and in-
creased access to, birth control. A number of bi-
Bibliography sexuals were active in the formation of various
Burr, Chandler. A Separate Creation: The Search chapters of the Sexual Freedom League. The Na-
for the Biological Origins of Sexual Orienta- tional Bisexual Liberation Group was founded in
tion. New York: Hyperion, 1996. 1972 in New York City. The Bi Forum, also in New
De Cecco, John P., and David Allen Parker, eds. Sex, York City, began in 1975. The Bisexual Center in
Cells, and Same-Sex Desire: The Biology of San Francisco, California, formed in 1976, and Bi
Sexual Preference. New York: Haworth, 1995. Ways in Chicago, Illinois, began in 1978.
Halley, Janet E. Sexual Orientation and the Poli- These years spanned the era of bisexual chic,
tics of Biology: A Critique of the Argument from in which popular media publicized the bisexuality
Immutability. Stanford Law Review 46 (Feb- of rock stars and artists. The earliest bisexual
ruary 1994), 503568. groups were primarily social in focus, although


some included a political element as well. The to add lesbian, did the same in the 1980s with
1970s also saw the publication of several books bisexual (and, increasingly, in the 1990s with
about bisexuality. Janet Bodes View from Another transgender). In some areas of the country, inter-
Closet (1976) was perhaps the first, followed by community relationships, particularly between some
Charlotte Wolffs Bisexuality: A Study (1977), and lesbians and bisexual women, were tense; in other
Fritz Kleins The Bisexual Option: A Concept of areas, bisexuals were more readily welcomed.
One Hundred Percent Intimacy (1978).
Bis Organize More Widely
The Second Wave In 1987, in conjunction with the March on Wash-
Many bisexuals were active within the gay libera- ington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, two women
tion, and later the lesbian and gay, movement. from Boston distributed a flyer entitled Are We
However, several factors, including an increased Ready for a National Bisexual Network Yet? The
focus on identity politics and hostility and rejec- result of this flyer was the first national bisexual
tion by some lesbians and gay men, led some bi- contingent at the march and the birth of a national
sexuals to create separate bisexual organizations. bisexual organization. The first International Di-
The second wave of bisexual organizing, be- rectory of Bisexual Groups was produced the same
ginning in the early 1980s, was largely women led, year in an attempt to facilitate national and inter-
and was strongly influenced by feminism. Many national organizing.
of the women involved in bisexual organizing in In June 1990, San Franciscos BiPol organized
the 1980s had been, and were still, active in the the first national conference on bisexuality, with a
gay, lesbian feminist, and womens movements. focus on consolidating a nationwide bi organiza-
Feminist bisexual womens organizations were tion, then known as the North American
formed in Boston, Massachusetts (1983); Chicago Multicultural Bisexual Network. In 1991, at a
(1984); New York City (1983); and Seattle, Wash- meeting in Seattle, the organization was renamed
ington (1986). While in the 1970s most bi groups BiNet (Bisexual Network of the USA). The second
were of mixed gender, in the 1980s a number of U.S. national conference took place in 1993 in con-
women-only bi groups and a smaller number of junction with the March on Washington for Les-
bisexual mens groups formed. bian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation, the
The bisexual groups of the 1980s focused on first national march to mention bisexuals by name.
providing support and social opportunities, and a The first U.S. regional conference on bisexual-
number became increasingly involved in political ity was held in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1984. By
organizing as well, especially in the wake of the the early 1990s, there were regional conferences
AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s. The number of taking place annually in the Northwest, the South-
bi groups continued to grow throughout the 1980s west, Southern California, the Midwest, and the
in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Neth- Northeast. The first International Conference on
erlands, Germany, Scandinavia, Canada, Australia, Bisexuality was held in Amsterdam in 1991. Other
and New Zealand. The mid-1980s saw the first international conferences have been held in Lon-
bisexual groups devoted to political activism (San don (1992), New York City (1994), Berlin (1996),
Franciscos BiPoL, and Bostons Bisexual Commit- and Boston (1998).
tee Engaging in Politics [BiCEP]), and the first re-
gional bisexual networks (the East Coast Bisexual Bisexuality in Literature and Academia
Network and the Bay Area Bisexual Network). The 1990s saw an increase in the participation of
While some bisexuals focused on the creation of college students in the bi movement and greater
organizations for and by bisexual people, others bisexual visibility in literature and academia. There
were organizing within lesbian and gay communi- was another wave of books about bisexuality, this
ties. A major focus of the bi movement in the 1980s time including many anthologies that focused on
was to seek inclusion and recognition for bisexuals personal experiences, such as the influential Bi Any
within lesbian and gay groups. Some formerly les- Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out (1990).
bian and gay organizations changed their titles or The record-setting year was 1995, which saw
their statements of purpose to include bisexual peo- the publication of numerous studies and antholo-
ple, while others chose not to. This was especially gies by both mainstream and alternative presses,
evident on college campuses, as many campus including the Bisexual Resource Guide (Bisexual
groups, which in the 1970s had changed their names Resource Center). The first national bisexual


magazine, Anything That Moves: Beyond the of the confusion surrounding the term bisexual
B Myths of Bisexuality, had begun publication in
1991. Computer newsgroups, electronic mailing
is that it has many different meanings. It may de-
scribe a persons historic behavior or attractions:
lists, and chat lines helped connect bisexuals across someone who, in her or his past, has been attracted
geographic lines. The first college course focusing to, and/or involved with, at least one man and one
on bisexuality was taught at the University of Cali- woman. It may describe ones current behavior and/
fornia, Berkeley, in 1990, followed by a course the or attraction: someone who is currently attracted
next year at the Massachusetts Institute of Tech- to, and/or involved with, at least one man and one
nology, and several more in subsequent years at woman. It may describe an individuals potential
Tufts University. range of romantic and/or sexual attraction, or it
may refer to a persons self-definition. It is not nec-
Conclusion essary for a person to meet all of the above criteria
Not unlike lesbian and gay organizations, bisexual to be considered bisexual. To understand bisexu-
organizations in the 1990s developed in a number ality, it is important to distinguish between iden-
of different directions. Some bisexual people fo- tity and behavior. Like her heterosexual or lesbian
cused on organizing for, and with, other bisexual counterpart, a bisexual woman may be monoga-
people. Others focused on working within les- mous, nonmonogamous, or celibate. She may never
bian and gay, lesbian, gay and bisexual, les- have had sex with men, with women, or with any-
bian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered, or queer one at all. And, conversely, many, if not most, peo-
organizations to educate heterosexuals, fight homo- ple whose historical or current behavior and/or
phobia, advocate for civil rights legislation, and attractions are bisexual do not identify as such.
build community. Still others were interested in
creating a broad sex and gender liberation move- Characteristics
ment that is not focused on identity politics. And, This reluctance may be a result of the negative stere-
like many lesbians and gay men, many bisexual otypes attached to the word; of the strong societal
people were not involved in any organizations or pressures to choose either a heterosexual or a homo-
movements at all, choosing instead to focus their sexual identity (usually in correspondence with the
energies on their individual lives. Robyn Ochs sex of ones current romantic partner); of the pres-
Liz Highleyman sures of homophobic culture, which make it difficult
for anyone to proudly claim her same-sex attractions;
Bibliography and of tendencies to write life histories backward from
Bisexual Anthology Collective, ed. Plural Desires: the present, omitting or discounting facts that do not
Writing Bisexual Womens Realities. Toronto: fit the writers current understanding of herself.
Sister Vision, 1995. Some attempts have been made to identify types
Hutchins, Loraine, and Lani Kaahumanu, eds. Bi of bisexuality. A few of these are self-identified bi-
Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out. sexuality (any woman who calls herself bisexual);
Boston: Alyson, 1990. experimental bisexuality (a woman who is basi-
Off Pink Collective. Bisexual Lives. London: Off cally lesbian or heterosexual but who has experi-
Pink Publishing, 1988. mented heterosexually or homosexually);
Rose, Sharon, et al., eds. Bisexual Horizons: Poli- situational bisexuality (someone who is usually
tics, Histories, Lives. London: Lawrence and heterosexual but who has homosexual relation-
Wishart, 1996. ships while in a sex-segregated environment, such
Tucker, Naomi, eds. Bisexual Politics: Theories, Que- as a girls school, a prison, or the military); histori-
ries, and Visions. New York: Haworth, 1995. cal bisexuality (someone who in the past has had
attractions and/or experiences with people of more
See also Bisexuality; Kahlo, Frida; Identity; Iden- than one sex, regardless of their current behavior
tity Politics; Wolff, Charlotte or self-identification); defense bisexuality (some-
one who is homosexual but continues other-sex
relationships as a cover for their homosexuality);
Bisexuality and technical bisexuality (for example, a sex worker
The capacity to be romantically and/or sexually who is attracted to people of one sex but sleeps
attracted to individuals of more than one sex. Part with people of another for money).


While bisexuality has received far less attention often had their integrity and their commitment to
than heterosexuality and homosexuality, sexologists feminism questioned. A study conducted in the late
and other scientists and scholars have taken some 1980s by sociologist Paula Rust found that most
notice. Sigmund Freud (18561939), for example, lesbian respondents held far more negative than
believed that all human beings are born bi-sexual positive views of bisexuality, though she empha-
that is, without gendered-object choice. He wrote sizes that lesbians are by no means unanimous in
in the 1915 edition of Three Essays on the Theory their views, with some holding positive opinions
of Sexuality that psychoanalysis considers that a about bisexual women. Political shifts in the 1990s
choice of an object independently of its sexfree- have doubtless shifted the landscape of opinion to-
dom to range equally over male and female objects ward a greater acceptance of bisexuality.
as it is found in childhood, in primitive states of In the 1990s, increasing numbers of women
society and early periods of history, is the original began to identify as bisexual. On college campuses,
basis from which, as a result of restriction in one it was not uncommon for bisexually identified
direction or the other, both the normal and the in- women to make up the majority of women active
verted [homosexual] types develop. Alfred Kinsey in a campuss lesbian, gay, and bisexual student
(18941956) put forth the idea that human sexual- group. (Interestingly, this does not hold true for
ity does not consist of two mutually exclusive cat- male students). Bisexual groups, including a
egories, heterosexual and homosexual, but rather is number of women-only groups, have increased in
best understood as existing on a continuum. He numbers in the United States and other countries
argued that it is the human mind that forces sexual since the early 1980s. In addition, many lesbian
behavior into separate pigeonholes. He rejected the and gay and queer groups recognized that bisexu-
widely held idea of homosexual and hetero- als were included in their membership, and some
sexual types of individuals, and argued for the changed their names to be more welcoming to bi-
conceptualization of people as individuals with cer- sexuals. The term lesbigay became commonplace
tain amounts of homosexual and heterosexual ex- throughout the United States.
perience. Anthropologist Margaret Mead (1901 To understand bisexuality, one has to remem-
1978), who was herself bisexual, believed that bi- ber that human lives are not unidimensional, fixed
sexuality was far more widespread than we realize. objects, but rather exist on many planes: past,
She (1975) wrote: We shall not really succeed in present, future; in action and in imagination. Thus
discarding the straight jacket of our own cultural bisexuality, like life, is complex. Robyn Ochs
beliefs about sexual choice if we fail to come to terms
with the well-documented, normal human capacity Bibliography
to love members of both sexes. Bi Academic Intervention. The Bisexual Imaginary.
London: Cassell, 1996.
Bisexuality and Lesbians Bode, Janet. View from Another Closet. New York:
Bisexuality has been a controversial subject within Hawthorn, 1976.
lesbian circles, and the place of bisexual women Garber, Marjorie. Vice Versa: Bisexuality and the
within womens communities has often gener- Eroticism of Everyday Life. New York: Simon
ated heated debates. Some lesbians believe that all and Schuster, 1995.
women who have the potential to love other women George, Sue. Women and Bisexuality. London:
have an obligation to do so and a political obliga- Scarlet, 1993.
tion to identify as lesbian and cease interacting with Klein, Fritz. The Bisexual Option: A Concept of
men. Others believe that the compulsory nature of One Hundred Percent Intimacy. 2nd ed. New
heterosexuality in our cultures precludes the pos- York: Haworth, 1993.
sibility of a woman freely choosing a hetero- Mead, Margaret. Bisexuality: Whats It All About?
sexual relationship, some going so far as to believe Redbook 144:3 (January 1975), 2931.
that, due to the negative pressures on people in Rust, Paula. Bisexuality and the Challenge to Les-
same-sex relationships and the positive benefits bian Politics. New York: New York University
attached to opposite-sex relationships, a bisexual Press, 1996.
woman will inevitably end up leaving a woman Wolff, Charlotte. Bisexuality: A Study. Revised
partner for one of the other sex. As a result of these and expanded edition. New York: Quartet
lines of thought, bisexually identified women have Books, 1979.

See also Bisexual Movement; Identity; Situational ship and self-disclosure. Bishop takes her place as
B Lesbianism a lyric poet alongside Emily Dickinson and has
proven an inspiration to lesbian poets from vari-
ous cultural backgrounds. Corinne E.Blackmer
Bishop, Elizabeth (19111979)
American poet and memoirist, born in Worcester, Bibliography
Massachusetts. Bishops father died when she was Fountain, Gary, and Peter Brazeau. Remembering
eight months old, and her mother was permanently Elizabeth Bishop: An Oral Biography. Amherst:
institutionalized four years later. The orphaned child University of Massachusetts Press, 1994.
was raised by relatives in Boston, Massachusetts, and Giroux, Robert, ed. One Art: Selected Letters of
Nova Scotia. She attended Walnut Hill School and Elizabeth Bishop. New York: Farrar, Straus, and
later Vassar College, where she met the poet Marianne Giroux, 1994.
Moore (18871972), who became her mentor. Harrison, Victoria. Elizabeth Bishops Poetics of
Bishop traveled widely and lived in the tropics Intimacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University
for most of her adult life; first in Key West, Florida, Press, 1993.
with Louise Crane (1909?) and later in Brazil with Kalstone, David. Becoming a Poet: Elizabeth
her lover Lota de Macedo Scares (19101967), with Bishop with Marianne Moore and Robert
whom Bishop enjoyed her happiest years. Her sense
Lowell. Ed. Robert Hemenway. New York:
of outsiderhood as a lesbian, her impatience with
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux , 1989.
the confinement of womens experience, and her
Millier, Brett C. Elizabeth Bishop: Life and the
concern with how abstract symbols distort human
Memory of It. Berkeley: University of Califor-
experience inspired her to write poems that con-
nia Press, 1993.
template the nature of travel, intimacy, and cross-
cultural vision, and that are characterized by pre-
See also Brazil; Poetry
cise observation, conversational voice, uncanny
mysteriousness, and the transition from one realm
of experience to another.
Lesbian themes and modes of vision infuse most Black Church
of the poems in Bishops four published volumes. In general usage, the variety of black Christian
Notable in this respect are The Gentleman of churches in the United States. These congregations,
Shalott, The Weed, and Roosters from North which are often called storefront churches, are
and South (1946); A Cold Spring, Insomnia, not offically affiliated with the historical black de-
Four Poems, and The Shampoo from A Cold nominations but are made up of African American
Spring (1955); Song for the Rainy Season from Christians who worship in the traditional black
Questions of Travel (1965); and In the Waiting Church style. The formal usage The Black
Room, Crusoe in England, and One Art from Church refers to those historical and independ-
Geography III (1976), her last and most autobio- ent black Protestant denominations that were
graphical collection. In recent years, scholars have founded after the Free African Society in 1787, in-
unearthed unpublished poems, particularly It is cluding the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E)
marvelous to wake up together, which deal with Church; the African Methodist Episcopal Zion
lesbian erotic experience with great sensuous depth (A.M.E.Z) Church; the Christian Methodist Epis-
and psychological insight. Bishops closeted exist- copal (C.M.E.) Church; the National Baptist Con-
ence, her sense of homelessness, and her battles vention, U.S.A., Incorporated (NBC); The National
with alcoholism contributed to several tragedies in Baptist Convention of America, Unincorporated
her life, including De Macedos suicide in 1967 and (NBCA); the Progressive National Baptist Conven-
the subsequent loss of her homes in Brazil. Yet tion (PNBC); and the Church of God in Christ
Bishop, always resilient, enjoyed a stable relation- (COGIC).
ship late in life with Alice Methfessel (1944), The Black Church is a complex institution that
whom she met while teaching poetry at Harvard operates as a social, political, and religious institu-
University. Sonnet, one of Bishops last poems, tion. It has taken both accommodating and resist-
speaks of a creature divided that finally breaks ing stances on civil rights issues. Whereas the Black
free to fly wherever it feels like, gay! and is a Church has taken a resisting stance on racism, it
fitting tribute to her lifelong struggles with censor- has taken an accommodating stance on sexism,

heterosexism, and homophobia. Its evangelical-con- sexual women high visibility and prestige but only
servative theology and biblical fundamentalism es- nominal, if any, power within the governing and
tablish a sexual orthodoxy that promotes hetero- administrative hierarchy of the church. In some in-
sexuality. Therefore, the Black Church, like most stances, their high visibility, such as Mother of
Christian churches in the United States, opposes the Church and/or wife of the pastor, are fixed
homosexuality. However, heterosexuality is con- female-gender positions whose prestige is gleaned
doned only within the constraints of marriage and from their titles and whose power is gleaned from
for the purpose of procreation. Homosexuality is their association with the pastors social circle.
viewed as a perversity that defiles the flesh, desecrates African American womens depiction as the back-
the sanctity of marriage, and destroys the traditional bone of the Black Church is meant as a compli-
composition of the nuclear family. Because AIDS ment for their dedication to the church. However,
was first associated with homosexual behavior, and this adulation also highlights the limited roles and
is now, in conservative circles, associated with both duties allotted to African American women and
homosexual and heterosexual perversity, most black their low, but necessary, status and function in the
churches do not have outreach ministries in their Black Church for its survival and stability.
communities to address this epidemic. On the other hand, African American lesbians
Aside from the Black Churchs evangelical-con- are not represented in any of the churchs ecclesi-
servative theology and biblical fundamentalism, its astical positions, which contributes to their low
antihomosexual stance is also reflected in its eccle- attendance in the Black Church. Those lesbians
siastical positions. Embedded in the ecclesiastical who enter the Black Church are closeted, and those
positions, which are sometimes called commit- lesbians who engage in the life of the church take
tees, are prescribed gender roles for males and backbone positions along with their heterosexual
females. For example, the kitchen ministry is run sisters.
by women, whereas the ordination is run by men. The gay black churches, which are springing up
These ecclesiastical positions assume a heterosexual mainly in large urban cities, serve as an alternative
orientation, thus keeping heterosexism in place. worship space to the traditional Black Church.
The homophobia in the Black Church is also Although these churches do not discriminate on
linked to misogyny and is based on antifemale sen- the basis of sexual orientation, they do discrimi-
timent rather than an antihomosexual one. For ex- nate on the basis of gender, thus replicating the
ample, an ecclesiastical position for a gay male in patriarchal structure found in the traditional Black
the Black Church is the choirmaster or the minister Church. In these alternative gay black churches,
of music. Although it seems paradoxical for the Black replacing heterosexual patriarchy with homosexual
Church to have an acknowledged gay-friendly patriarchy relegates lesbians once again to back-
position, the choirmaster is a nonthreatening posi- bone positions in the church for the churchs sur-
tion within its ecclesiastical structures. Choirmas- vival and stability. Irene Monroe
ter, or choirmistress or choirqueen as gay male
choir leaders are sometimes called, is a nongendered Bibliography
position that may also be filled by women. Although Frazier, E.Franklin. The Negro Church in America.
an important leadership position within the church, New York: Schocken, 1964.
and central in the churchs liturgy, it is not within Lincoln, E.Eric. The Black Church Since Frazier.
the churchs governing and administrative hierar- New York: Schocken, 1974.
chy and, therefore, does not endanger the sexual Lincoln, E.Eric, and Lawrence H.Mamiya. The
integrity of the church. Heterosexual men hold most Black Church in the African American Experi-
positions of authority and power. Although the ence. Durham, N.C., and London: Duke Uni-
choirmaster position is a visible entry point into the versity Press, 1990.
fold of the church, gay men assume this role at a
tremendous cost to their personhood. See also Protestantism
African American women outnumber their men
by three to one in most black churches. These num-
bers give the impression that the Black Church is Black Feminism
run by women. However, the Black Churchs insti- The active engagement of black women in liberat-
tutional sexism gives African American hetero- ing themselves from all forms of hegemony and


patriarchy, public and private, including personal short-lived NBFO held few meetings, the organiza-
B interactions and internalized oppression; the rec-
ognition of the simultaneity of black womens op-
tion was hugely important in establishing lasting
networks among early black feminists.
pression by racism, sexism, classism, and As the Combahee collective did, black and
heterosexism; the use of theory, political action, Latina New York feminists also began meeting in
education, writing, visual and performing arts, 1974; by November, they formally incorporated
speechmaking, and other means to initiate change as Third World Women Inc., later changing the
in black womens position and condition. name to Salsa Soul Sisters (SSS). Emphasizing black
and Latin culture, they formed a drumming group
First Wave History and a writers group, published a magazine, the
The long history of black feminism began with the Gayzette, and, in 1977, began holding annual
first wave of feminism in the nineteenth century womens Kwanzaa celebrations. After Latina les-
when black women were sounding the same themes bians left the group, SSS changed names twice, fi-
as they did during the second wave of womens nally becoming Ancestral Lesbians United for
movements, beginning in the middle 1960s. First Societal Change. They have met every Thursday
wave black feminists include Maria Stewart since their inception and are housed at New York
(18031879), the first woman of any race to speak Citys Lesbian and Gay Community Center.
publicly in the United States; educator Anna Julia Black lesbian publishing ventures of second
Cooper (1758?1864); and the most renowned wave feminism include the radical lesbian collective
black feminist of all time, Sojourner Truth (1797 Azalea, which began in the late 1970s with a mission
1883), whose Aint I a Woman (1851) speech is to publish unedited works by women of color and
legendary. ended in the early 1980s. Consistent contributors were
First wave black feminists challenged white Anita Cornwell (1923) and Audre Lorde. Ache, a
feminists to understand that black womens op- magazine produced in Oakland, California, by black
pression extended beyond sex to race and class, lesbian feminists, began in the late 1980s and lasted
and black men to understand that black women for approximately four years. Conditions: Five, The
were oppressed by sex, as well as by race and class. Black Womens Issue (1979), edited by Lorraine
However, it was second wave feminists, among Bethel and Barbara Smith, was one of the most popu-
them lesbian activist writers Audre Lorde (1934 lar editions of the long-lived feminist magazine, which
1992), Pat Parker (19441989), and Barbara Smith emphasized writing by lesbians. Included in the edi-
(1946), who brought sexual orientation equal vali- tion was Gloria Hulls Under the Days: The Buried
dation. Although the latter category has yet to be Life and Poetry of Angelina Weld Grirnk. The tragic
accorded the same importance by all black women story of Grirnk (18801958), a hidden black les-
who call themselves feminists, consciousness of the bian who lived in isolation well into the twentieth
importance of support for lesbianism (not merely century, inspires black lesbians to speak out. Smith
tolerance of, and/or support for, ones lesbian used Conditions Five as the foundation of her Home
friends) continues to grow. Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology (1983), which was
Although first wave black feminists expressed published by Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press.
in various ways the idea of simultaneous oppres- The press was launched in 1980 by Audre Lorde and
sion by race, sex, and class, it was the Combahee Barbara Smith.
River Collective, a group of predominantly lesbian Lorde and Smith expanded their lesbian political
black feminists in Boston, Massachusetts, who first work into gay politics by serving together on the board
theorized the concept, after expanding it to include of the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays,
sexual orientation. The Combahee River Collec- an organization that grew out of the first Third World
tive Statement (1977) has become a bedrock foun- Conference for Lesbians and Gays in Washington,
dation of black feminist theory. D.C., in 1979, for which Lorde was the keynote
speaker. Black lesbians, sharing with black gay men
Second Wave History oppressions specific to their blackness, chose to work
The Combahee began as a chapter of the National together politically; in that process, and, through read-
Black Feminist Organization (NBFO), which held a ing and hearing Lorde, many black gay men embraced
regional meeting in 1973 and its first national con- and pass along to younger men the concept of black
ference in New York City in 1974. Although the feminism. Angela Bowen


Bibliography but in Les Nuits de lUnderground there appears,
Guy-Sheftall, Beverly. Words of Fire. New York: for the first time, the countervailing vision of a
New Press, 1995. community of mutual caring among women, a vi-
Hull, Gloria. Under the Days: The Buried Life of sion that, extended beyond the lesbian community,
Angelina Weld Grirnk. In Conditions: Five, comes to dominate Blaiss later writings. However,
The Black Womens Issue 2:2 (1979), 1725. in a 1989 novel set in a lesbian commune, LAnge
de la solitude (The Angel of Solitude), Blais shows
See also African Americans; Combahee River Col- greater pessimism about the future of a younger
lective; Cornwell, Anita; Grimk, Angelina Weld; generation in a world infected with AIDS.
Latinas; Lesbian Feminism; Lorde, Audre; Parker, Pat; While lesbian characters are foregrounded in
Race and Racism; Smith, Barbara; Women of Color only two of Blaiss novels, much of her work testi-
fies to the power of relationships among women.
Mary Jean Green
Blais, Marie-Claire (1939)
Qubec novelist and playwright. When she was Bibliography
barely twenty, Marie-Claire Blais gained critical rec- Green, Mary Jean. Marie-Claire Blais. New York:
Twayne, 1995.
ognition for her first novel, La Belle bte (Mad Shad-
Meigs, Mary. Lily Briscoe: A Self-Portrait. Van-
ows). She was soon discovered by American liter-
couver: Talonbooks, 1981.
ary critic Edmund Wilson (18951972), who helped
her come to the United States on a Guggenheim Fel-
See also Deming, Barbara; Qubec
lowship and introduced her to the artist Mary Meigs
(1917), who would become Blaiss lover and life-
long friend. She soon joined Meigs and her partner,
Blaman, Anna (19051960)
writer Barbara Deming (19171984), in their home
Pen name of Dutch novelist Johanna Petronella
on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, entering into a life
Vrugt. Born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the
that was both a liberation and an education after a
daughter of a bicycle repairer and dealer, Anna
Qubec Catholic childhood shaped by poverty and Blaman suffered from frail health and lived with
sexual repression. Under the tutelage of Meigs, Blais her mother all of her life. Although she trained to
explored literature, art, and music; through be a teacher, she never was able to work for any
Demings militant activism, she was introduced to extended period. When she was about sixteen, she
the American protest movements of the 1960s, these became aware of her homosexuality but did not
new images of violence and oppression deeply af- think a big deal about it. At twenty-eight and al-
fecting a sensitivity already painfully attuned to the ready suffering from the strain of her temporary
suffering of others. In 1965, Blais published a sa- teaching jobsshe could not get tenure because
tiric analysis of oppression in her own Qubec soci- she never was able to fulfill the needlework quali-
ety in her novel Une Saison dans la vie dEmmanuel ficationshe began a career as a writer. In 1936,
(A Season in the Life of Emmanuel), immediately she became so seriously ill that people feared for
hailed as a classic because of its dark parody of the her life. She miraculously recovered with the help
long-idealized rural family. of what turned out to be the great love of her life,
Although Blais was able to live openly as a les- Alie Bosch (known as Nurse B.). Bosch did not
bian after leaving Qubec, to which she returned return her love in the way she wanted, so Blaman
only in the late 1970s, it was not until 1976 that (who around that time adopted the pseudonym,
lesbian experience made its first appearance in her the exact meaning of which has remained a mys-
writing, in a monologue she contributed to La Nef tery) turned to a number of sexual relationships
des sorcires (Ship of Witches), a collective femi- with other women, including lesbian writer Marie-
nist dramatic production. The lesbian community Louise Doudart de la Gre (19071981).
evoked in the monologue becomes the subject and Vrouw en Vriend (Woman and Friend),
the central character of Blaiss 1978 Les Nuits de Blamans first novel, was published in 1941. Her
lUnderground (Nights in the Underground), her first literary success came with Eenzaam Avontuur
first novel grounded in lesbian experience. In all of (Lonely Adventure) in 1948. It received a prestigious
Blaiss work, relationships within the couple, les- literary prize from the city of Amsterdam but was
bian or heterosexual, are fraught with difficulty, condemned by the general public for its amorality


and emphasis on sexuality as the basis for rela- dation for every form of popular music to follow.
B tionships. Rumors of Blamans lesbianism, as well
as the inclusion of a lesbian character, precipitated
Of the blues singers who performed as professional
artists and commanded large-scale audiences in re-
a scandal around the book. It finally was con- vival-like gatherings (at the same time as male min-
demned by a well-publicized literary tribunal isters were becoming a professional caste), Gertrude
conducted in Rotterdam in 1949. Blaman never Ma Rainey (18861939) and Bessie Smith
fully recovered from this, although she kept on (1894?1937) were the most widely known. When
writing well-received books, such as De they preached about sexual love, they were articu-
Kruisvaarder (The Crusader) (1950) and Op leven lating a collective experience of freedom, which, for
en dood (To the Death) (1951). In 1956, she be- many African American people, was the most pow-
came the first woman to receive the prestigious P.C. erful evidence that slavery no longer existed. Sexu-
Hooftprize for literature. She died, age fifty-five, ality in the blues sounded dramatically different from
of a cerebral embolism. Her unfinished posthumous the highly idealized versions of romantic love in turn-
novel, De Verliezers (The Losers), published in of-the-century white popular music. The prevailing
1961, was the first to include two lesbian charac- ideology of domestic bliss within the confines of mar-
ters, instead of a heterosexual couple. riage and motherhood was largely irrelevant to Af-
Blamans work was influenced by French exis- rican American women. The blueswomen were in-
tentialism, and it was its modernity that shocked tensely critical of marriage in their songs, and they
most of her critics. The failure of romantic love adopted rhetorical stances that were independent,
and its replacement by sexuality are its main unorthodox, challenging, and sexually adventurous.
themes, with subthemes of illness and health. The Musically, the blues relied on a twelve-bar har-
publication of many of her letters in 1988 and 1990 monic pattern that facilitated the delivery of each
revealed how much of her own life was reflected in verse in a song; the twelve-bar cycle was repeated
her work. Blamans perception of her homosexu- several times throughout, depending on the number
ality as innate and masculine is projected into of verses or instrumental solos. Many blues songs
the male character, who usually suffers from frus- vary this structure, and others depart from it alto-
trated love for a woman representing Annas lov- gether. Most blues songs also followed an AAB text
ers, primarily Alie Bosch. Judith Schuyf format, in which the B line resolved the issue ad-
dressed in the A lines. Accompaniments ranged from
Bibliography a simple piano or guitar to a full-blown jazzband
Struyker Boudier, Henk. Speurtocht naar een arrangement. In performance, the accompaniment
Onbekende. Anna Blaman en haar Eenzaam would play off the vocalist at the end of each line,
Avontuur (Quest for an Unknown: Anna forming an internal call and response between singer
Blaman and Her Lonely Adventure). Amster- and instrumentalists and adding to the meaning of
dam: Meulenhoff, 1973. the texts, laced with double entendres.

See also Netherlands Blues Queens

Many of the blues queens were lesbian or bisexual.
Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith had affairs with the
Blues Singers women who performed in their shows, and it is quite
Musical genre that developed in the late nineteenth possible they were lovers with each other. Gladys
century and was rooted in African American Bentley (19071960) was an openly lesbian per-
spirituals and field hollers. Davis (1995) argues that, former who sported a bulldagger image. Alberta
during the Reconstruction period, the personal sta- Hunter (18951984) was successful in the more
tus of African Americans transformed in three glamorous cabaret circuit and among European
signficant ways: individual travel, education, and audiences. In the mid-1950s, she retired and
sexuality that could be explored freely by individu- worked as a nurse for twenty years in New York
als who now could enter into autonomously cho- City. She made a celebrated comeback in 1977 at
sen personal relationships. African American the age of eighty-two. Hunter took great pains to
women were central figures in creating and refining conceal her lesbianism. After a brief marriage, she
the classic blues (distinct from country blues, was lovers with Carrie Mae Ward (n.d.), and she
a predominantly male genre), which laid the foun- had a long-term relationship with Lottie Tyler (n.d,


the niece of Bert Williams [18741922]), with whom (1931) by Blair Niles and Shug in Alice Walkers
she shared her apartment. Hunters biographer, The Color Purple (1982) are both based on the fig-
Taylor (1987), writes that Alberta recoiled every ure of the worldly blues singer. Martha Mockus
time a lesbian performer like Ethel Waters fought
with her girlfriends in public. Waters (18961977), Bibliography
known as Sweet Mama Stringbean, popularized Carby, Hazel. It Jus Bes Dat Way Sometimes: The
the songs Stormy Weather and Dinah. Taylor Sexual Politics of Womens Blues. In Unequal
claims she was lovers and longtime friends with Ethel Sisters: A Multicultural Reader in U.S. Wom-
Williams (1909?), who occasionally danced in ens History. Second Edition eds. Vicki L. Ruiz
Waterss shows. Waters raised Algretta, Williamss and Ellen Carol DuBois. New York: Routledge,
daughter, until the girl was twelve. 1994, pp. 330341.
Several blues songs address lesbianism. Ma Davis, Angela Y I Used To Be Your Sweet Mama:
Raineys Prove It on Me Blues (1928) is the most Ideology, Sexuality and Domesticity in the Blues
direct expression of lesbian sexuality and defiance. of Gertrude Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith. In
Carby (1994) observes that this song vacillates Sexy Bodies: The Strange Carnalities of Femi-
between the subversive hidden activity of women nism. Ed. Elizabeth Grosz and Elspeth Probyn.
loving women [and] a public declaration of lesbian- New York: Routledge, 1995, pp. 231265.
ism. The words express a contempt for a society Garber, Eric. A Spectacle in Color: The Lesbian
that rejected lesbians. But at the same time the and Gay Subculture of Jazz Age Harlem. In
song is a reclamation of lesbianism as long as the Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and
woman publicly names her sexual preference for Lesbian Past. Ed. Martin Duberman, Martha
herself. In the Paramount advertisement for this Vicinus, and George Chauncey, Jr. New York:
song, Rainey wears mens clothing and flirts with Penguin, 1989, pp. 318331.
two feminine women on a street corner while a po- Harrison, Daphne Duval. Black Pearls: Blues
liceman looks on. Rainey states the possibility that Queens of the 1920s. New Brunswick, N.J.:
some prostitutes may be lesbians, in her Shave Em Rutgers University Press, 1988.
Dry Blues (1924). Lucille Bogans (also known as Taylor, Frank C. Alberta Hunter: A Celebration in
Bessie Jackson [18971948]) recording of B.D. Blues. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1987.
Womens Blues (1935) proudly asserts that
bulldaggers can lay their jive just like a natural man/ Recordings
B.D. women sure is rough; they drink up many a AC/DC Blues: Gay Jazz Reissues (Stash ST106).
whiskey and sure can strut their stuff. There were
several variants of this lesbian song, recorded as See also African Americans; Bentley, Gladys; Bi-
B.D.s Dream or B.D. Women. Bertha Idahos sexuality; Harlem; Harlem Renaissance; Rainey,
Down on Pennsylvania Avenue depicts the sexual Gertrude Ma; Smith, Bessie
variety found in Baltimore, where Some freakish
sights youll surely see, /You cant tell the hes from
the shes. A few mens songs also mention lesbian- Boarding Schools
ism. In Bad Girl Blues, Memphis Willie B.Borum English girls boarding schools have been associated
sings: Women loving each other and they dont with lesbianism since Havelock Ellis (18591939)
think about no man/They aint playing no secret no warned (in Studies in the Psychology of Sex [1901])
more, these women playing it a wide open hand; that places where women lived and slept together,
in Boy in the Boat (1930), George Hanna muses: and men were absent, were breeding grounds for
When you see two women walking hand in hand, lesbian seduction. Prior to the sexologists, close
just shake your head and try to understand. friendships between girls and women had been
Long before the second wave of womens and smiled upon. But, by the end of the nineteenth cen-
lesbian and gay liberation in the 1960s, these blues tury, girls schools were moving away from the ear-
singers and their songs cleared an important space lier kind of small, family-style institution, which
for lesbian sexuality within a relatively tolerant aimed to turn out accomplished ladies, and increas-
social context of African American urban culture. ingly modeled themselves upon boys public (i.e.,
Finally, the phenomenon of the lesbian or bi- private) schools, which were widely known to be
sexual blues queen is immortalized in at least two places where homosexual experimentation flour-
novels. The characters of Sybil in Strange Brother ished. Fear that girls schools might adopt this along


with the academic curriculum, competitive games, sources for lesbian content. While rarely con-
B and codes of honor was accompanied by suspicion
of the all-women worlds of the girls schools and
sciously engaging with lesbian feelings, girls-school
stories often tackled the crush and presented
colleges and, particularly, of the strong-minded, in- quite positive views of love between girls (for ex-
dependent women who had risen to positions of ample, Elsie J.Oxenhams [18801959] Abbey
considerable power and influence as schoolmis- books). Even in the 1950s and 1960s, widely read
tresses. Clemence Danes (18881965) repellent writers for children, such as Enid Blyton (1897
novel Regiment of Women (1919) depicts the preda- 1968) and Elinor M.Brent-Dyer (18941969), were
tory lesbian schoolmistress who was to typify depicting schoolmistresses who seem obvious les-
antilesbian imagery in the years between the world bians to the adult reader, either because of their
wars. Schoolgirl crushes, hitherto considered in- masculine presentation (Miss Peters in Blytons
nocent and even character building, became the sub- Malory Towers series) or because they are in ac-
ject of warning addresses by headmistresses at such cepted couple relationships with another mistress
institutions as Cheltenham, Downe House, and (Nancy Wilmot and Kathie Ferrars in BrentDyers
Roedean. Antilesbianism fed into the campaign Chalet School series).
against single-sex schools that gathered pace after The girls boarding-school story, like the girls
World War II. Lamb and Pickthorns study of girls boarding school itself, fell victim to the prevailing
schools, Locked-Up Daughters (1968), refers sev- heterosexism of the 1960s: Reprints of earlier nov-
eral times to the dangers of lesbianism in boarding els were drastically edited, with references to kisses
schools (emotional involvement and Lesbianism and shared beds expunged. Publishers closed their
have always been a latent streak in the single sex school-story lists, replacing them with mixed-sex
school. We like to think thatthese unhappy as- adventure tales and career novels (nurse, secre-
pects of community life occur today much less). tary, air hostess, each with obligatory boyfriend).
There is truth in Elliss statement that, where A rare feminist-era example of a lesbian novel set
women are gathered together, there lesbians will in a boarding school is Elana Nachmans (1949)
be found. And, though only a small proportion of Riverfinger Women (1974). While there was a re-
girls have ever attended a boarding school, those vival of critical interest in girls-school stories in
who have often recall lesbian teachers or lesbian the 1980s, largely thanks to the feminist revaluing
affairs; some date their lesbian initiation to their of womens experience, both boarding-school sto-
school days. Historians Vicinus (1991) and ries and boarding schools themselves are in decline:
Edwards (1995) have uncovered clear evidence of Social realism and coeducational day schools are
lesbian relationships among school and college considered more natural and healthy. Those
mistresses, while novelists have depicted early ex- women who attended boarding schools rarely re-
periences of lesbian love in fictionalized accounts member them with much pleasure, but many read-
of their own school days: love for a teacher ers of boarding-school stories found in the all-girl
(Dorothy Bussy [18661960], Olivia [1949]) or settings a rich fantasy world whose influence ex-
for a fellow student (Lucy Kinlock [1899?1995], tended into adulthood. Rosemary Auchmuty
A World Within a School [1937]). Adult novels
about boarding-school lesbianism, such as Rose- Bibliography
mary Mannings The Chinese Garden (1962) or Auchmuty, Rosemary. A World of Girls: The Ap-
the unpleasant No Talking After Lights (1990) by peal of the Girls School Story. London: Wom-
Angela Lambert, (c. 1940s) tend to be negative in ens Press, 1992.
tone. But Nancy Spain (19171964), well-known Avery, Gillian. The Best Type of School: A History
British broadcaster and writer who, like Manning of Girls Independent Schools. London: Andre
(19111988), was herself a lesbian, wrote an amus- Deutsch, 1991.
ing spoof detective novel, Poison for Teacher Edwards, Elizabeth. Homoerotic Friendship and
(1949), which she set in a school she called Radcliff College Principals, 18801960. Womens His-
Hall, modeled on Roedean, the school she had at- tory Review 4:2 (1995), 149163.
tended. Lamb, Felicia, and Helen Pickthorn. Locked-Up
Novels for girls about boarding-school life, Daughters: A Parents Look at Girls Educa-
which formed a significant body of British juvenile tion and Schools. London: Hodder and
fiction between 1880 and about 1970, are good Stoughton, 1968.


Vicinus, Martha. Distance and Desire: English jects, they should be able to escape the negative
Boarding-School Friendships, 18701920. In body image heterosexual women suffer. Yet some
Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and argue that lesbians, too, accept patriarchal stand-
Lesbian Past. Ed. Martin Duberman, Martha ards of beauty or institute their own standards that
Vicinus , and George Chauncey, Jr. London: are equally restrictive, such as clothes, short hair
Penguin, 1991, pp. 212229. styles, mannerisms, and physical strength.
As surveyed in the introduction to Looking
See also Colleges, Womens; Smashes, Crushes, Queer (Atkins, 1998), the first quantitative stud-
Spoons ies on lesbian body image were not published until
1990. Six studies done between 1990 and 1997
compared the body image of lesbians and hetero-
Body Image sexual women (some comparing with gay and
A persons experiences of, and attitudes toward, the straight men as well) and indicate a complex inter-
body. This has included such areas as attitudes to- action between gender and sexual orientation. For
ward physical appearance, eating disorders, weight example, four studies found significant differences
obsession, size, and other forms of appearance between lesbian and heterosexual women that seem
discriminations. For many years, clinicians assumed to confirm the assertion that lesbians have fewer
that body-image difficulties among women prima- body-image difficulties. The other two found no
rily involved, or were a result of, their reaction to significant differences. All of those that involved
the male gazethe result of seeking to attract men. men found that heterosexual men had the fewest
In this view, lesbian body-image concerns were not body-image concerns. Yet, they differed on whether
even considered by academic and clinical experts. gay men had fewer or more body-image concerns
Yet body image has been an important issue from than women of any sexual orientation.
an early point in the second wave of the womens Many problems exist with these studies. One
movement and lesbian feminism. damaging bias is that the researchers collapsed
Some feminists, especially lesbian and bisexual sexual orientation and sexual behavior, assuming
women, initially identified womens appearance that women who identify as lesbians are not af-
norms (and resulting body-image problems) as a fected by relations with men. Any woman who
function of patriarchal control and sought quite identified as bisexual was excluded from the stud-
explicitly to challenge beauty norms. The earliest ies; yet, some lesbians who indicated they may be
publications on lesbian experience of body image attracted to men as well were included. This would
came out of the fat womens liberation movement make it difficult to tell what, if any, impact attrac-
in the early 1970s. According to Vivian Mayer, in tion to men might have. And even though some of
the introduction to Schoenfielder and Wieser the studies mention the importance of lesbian cul-
(1983), the movement was a blending of radical ture, they do not take age or length of time in the
feminism and radical therapy. Early writings spoke community into consideration. For instance, if
to the issues of weight discrimination in general, adoption of lesbian cultural values were more im-
but also within the lesbian feminist communities. portant than gender attraction, lesbian and bisexual
In an early theoretical work in Lesbian women who are part of that value system might
Psychologies (1987), therapist Laura S.Brown in- differ from women who are new to the commu-
dicated that lesbians appeared less likely to have nity or do not share the appearance values.
eating disorders than straight women. She specu- In trying to understand these complex and some-
lated that, since lesbians were very involved in fat times contradictory results, Rothblum (1994) took
liberation, the community seemed more accepting a cultural approach when she analyzed the ways
of a diversity of sizes. She outlined the parallels in which appearance affects lesbians, including the
between attitudes toward fat women and lesbians influences of traditional attitudes and institutions,
and suggested that patriarchy forbids women to the effect of homophobic stereotypes, the process
love other women because it would lead them to of identifying with lesbian culture, the invisibility
love and value themselves. She further speculated of lesbians who are also part of other oppressed
the a lesbians own internalized homophobia would groups, and the changing physical-appearance
play a part in her body image. norms within the lesbian community.
One would expect that, since lesbians do not To combat lesbian invisibility within the domi-
think of themselves as objects defined by male sub- nant society, lesbians may need to adopt specific


appearance norms to be able to recognize and be Psychologies. Ed. Boston Lesbian Psychologies
B recognized by other lesbians. These lesbian norms
can become markers of identity, but they also can
Collective. Chicago: University of Illinois Press,
1987, pp. 294310.
be restrictive and exclusionary, leaving out those Dworkin, Sari H. Not in Mans Image: Lesbians
who cannot or do not wish to conform. Yet they and the Cultural Oppression of Body Image.
also provide a measure of support in recovering Women and Therapy 8 (1989), 2739.
from, and resisting, the dominant culture ideals that Rothblum, Esther D. Lesbians and Physical Ap-
have resulted in widespread eating disorders. pearance: Which Model Applies? Psychologi-
In A Hunger So Wide and So Deep (1995), femi- cal Perspectives on Lesbian and Gay Issues 1
nist sociologist Becky W.Thompson was the first (1994), 8497.
to directly address eating disorders and other body- Schoenfielder, Lisa, and Barb Wieser, eds. Shadow
image issues among both women of color and les- on a Tightrope: Writings by Women on Fat
bians. She shows how internalized racism and Oppression. Introduction by Vivian Mayer.
homophobia play directly into the body-image Iowa City: Aunt Lute, 1983.
problems of the women in her work, and she notes Thompson, Becky W. A Hunger So Wide and So
that lessons about heterosexuality often went Deep. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota
hand in hand with lessons about weight and diet- Press, 1995.
ing. Most lesbians found coming out as a begin-
ning, not an end, to the healing process. See also Fat Liberation
Newer work collected in Atkins (1998) suggests
that lesbian and bisexual women may be at greater
risk of eating disorders than heterosexual women Bonheur, Rosa (18221899)
unless they have the support of a feminist commu- French painter. Born Marie-Rosalie Bonheur on
nity. In addition, racism, ageism, and ableism March 16, 1822, in Bordeaux, France, to