Lesbian Herstory Archives AudioVisual Collections

LHA Daughters of Bilitis Video Project: Kay O'Hara & Gerrie Morrison, 1988


LHA Daughters of Bilitis Video Project: Kay O'Hara & Gerrie Morrison, 1988


Kay O'Hara
Raised in Chicago, Kay realized she was lesbian during her school years, around 1953. While being forced to hide her orientation, both she and her lover experienced severe harassment, both from Kay’s ex-husband, and her lover’s family. Threatened with imprisonment and admittance into a psychiatric hospital, Kay and her partner fled Chicago to San Francisco, thanks to the kindness of friends and a savvy attorney by the name of Pearl Hart, who was responsible for giving Kay her first copy of The Ladder. Kay encountered the Daughters of Bilitis about five months after her move to San Francisco, where she found one of the first ‘Gab & Java’ meetups in 1958. That same year, she met her life partner, Gerrie, although the two weren’t a couple until they re-met in 1971. Kay remained involved in the DOB until about 1960, when she moved to the Bay Area and re-entered school. Post-degree, she began to teach at the community college, and although she remained very interested in politics and being politically active, her career wasn’t one to safely allow her involvement. 

Gerrie Morrison
Gerrie grew up in a very religiously dominated community in Utah, the middle of five children. While her mother always joked that “she had 2 ½ girls, and 2 ½ boys,” Gerrie knew from an early age that she wasn’t ever going to be interested in boys romantically, but it wasn’t until she finished school entirely that she entered her first relationship. Post graduate school, she was working in a hospital where she encountered a lesbian patient who, due to personal strife, committed suicide. While calling to console the deceased’s roommate, she was introduced to the Daughters of Bilitis’ ‘Gab & Java’ meet-ups. She continued to work in the health profession, and like her partner, Kay, remained interested in politics and politically activism, though she was unable to fully participate due to her career.

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