Lesbian Herstory Archives AudioVisual Collections

Browse Items (29 total)

  • Andy, 1982, April 20.jpg

    Andy further discusses how she came to construct her butch image. She recalls getting into fights with men and having to give up good jobs because she refused to give up her queer image and identity. She discusses her clash with a teacher when she was in school in the 1950s. She describes her relationship with a prostitute and other close relationships. On side B she talks about breaking into the butch scene and coming out. Andy talks about gay bars and places queer women were welcome or not. She discusses fashion and explains why they wore their t-shirts backward.
  • SPW500_Andy.jpg

    Andy discusses the history of gay rights in Buffalo, New York, and describes how it feels like to be open about her sexual identity. She shares some of her childhood and early adulthood experiences in the 1950s and 60s –her first relationships and confronting the risk of losing her job. Other topics discussed include the gay and lesbian bar scene, raids, prostitution, butch and femme roles, and Andy’s experience within the African American gay community.
  • 459.jpg

    Side A: Pat and DJ discuss the characteristics of femme identity. The interviewers say they are looking to interview more femmes, which leads to a discussion of the names and locations of lesbians who were a part of the community in the 1940s. The interviewers also mention the difficulties of interviewing lesbians who have not come out. The group discusses why butches are more willing to talk. Pat talks about her time at the Good Shepherd home. There is a brief discussion about the role of lesbians in World War II.

    Cut off at 0:14:55

    Side B: The group continues their discussion of the interview process, including who is willing to talk and who is not, as well as who will use their names and who will not. There is more discussion about beatings. Pat tells of coming out to her mother. Her mother only worries about the violence Pat is subjected to, on account of being butch. There is a long discussion about the nature of breakups and their aftermath. The group discusses the role of third parties in most breakups and the way a butch or femme reacts to a breakup. The issue of "passing" comes up, and Pat talks about working as a cab driver and passing as a man. Often, the children of femmes did not know that their mothers' partners were actually women. The interview concludes with a description of the rules for asking other butches' girlfriends to dance, and the fights that sometimes ensued. This point in the discussion highlights the difference between the generation of the interviewees and the generation of the interviewers.
  • SPW512_DJ.JPG

    DJ discusses the time she went to the hospital and was diagnosed as a homosexual. She remembers that the doctor suggested she try going out with a man to determine the extent of her feelings toward women. She also recalls that the doctor told her she must learn to live with society and to control her emotions in public.
  • SPW513_DJ.JPG

    DJ discusses her early experiences with women as a teenager, her feelings of being a tomboy, and her coming-out experience. She discusses her experiences in the bar scene in Buffalo in the 1950s, and describes ways in which women would interact with each other, but publicly and privately. DJ also discusses roles in relationships, particularly the butch and the femme.
  • SPW477_ENIT.jpg

    Enit discusses facing her sexuality at the age of 12 and coming out to her family despite her frustration at their lack of acceptance. She goes on to discuss her social life and dating in Buffalo, NY, noting how she used to meet women at bars but that her social activities have changed with age. She discusses her participation in the Erie Picnics held for gay men and women in Pennsylvania. She is 47 at the time of the interview.
  • SPW478_ENIT.jpg

    Enit discusses how her perception of Lesbian oppression has changed over time. She also talks about acceptance in the work place and how professionals view Lesbians. Enit explains that her personal interests have changed with age and that her hobby is dance. She finishes by discussing her interactions with straight women and the support she gets from her Lesbian friends.
  • SPW521_Cheryl.JPG

    Side A: Cheryl discusses her experiences and the stereotypes that were associated with lesbians in college when she first first came out.
    Side B: Cheryl discusses her relationships, including sexual relationships and partnerships. She shares her experiences and opinions about affairs, and monogamous and non-monogamous relationships. Generational differences within the lesbian community are also discussed.
  • alma_routsong.jpg

    Alma Routsong is interviewed in New York in 1990. She discusses her early experiences of being a lesbian and coming out. She explains how lesbian literature of the time informed her about DOB and influenced her to leave her husband and move to New York with her lover. Alma also discusses her writing career and use of a pseudonym.
  • anne_mackay.jpg

    Anne MacKay is interviewed in Orient Point, New York in 1988. She discusses the early days of the DOB, lesbian conventions, coming out to her family, socializing, theatrical productions to help fund the Lesbian Herstory Archives, and relationships between lesbians.
  • barbara_emmerth.jpg

    Barbara Emmerth is interviewed in New York City in 1988. She discusses the uniqueness of coming out on West Virginia in the 1950s where there was little stigma attached to homosexuality because there was so little understanding or awareness of it. She speaks about her relationships, moving to New York City in the 1960s and her involvement with DOB (including a brief stint as the VP of the New York chapter) and with SAGE (Services & Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders).
  • julie_lee.jpg

    Julie Lee and her partner [Ginny] are interviewed in 1989. They discuss relationships, lesbian communities, activism and the civil rights movement. Julie talks about her role as secretary of the New York chapter of DOB and her roles in United Sisters, ACLU, etc. They both talk about police harassment and how 'out' lesbians lost their jobs. Julie also mentions her pseudonym.
  • kay_ohara_gerrie_morrison.jpg

    Kay O'Hara and Gerrie Morrison are interviewed in 1988. They both talk about their family lives, when they realized they were lesbians, coming out, their relationship, and previous relationships. Kay mentions her engagement and marriage before she accepted she was a lesbian. They talk about the San Francisco DOB from the 1950s and the meeting's events that were held, as well as butch and femme roles. They talk about literature that was available, including the Ladder and the contributions they made to its design and distribution.
  • marilyn_lamkay.jpg

    Marliyn Lamkay is interviewed in New York City in 1987 (it seems to continue from a previous video and is perhaps continued in another video). She talks about being a lesbian in New York and coming out to her family and professionally, her relationships and religious beliefs. She discusses lesbian roles and how she didn't fit into any of the existing roles, even in the DOB community. She discusses community building and CR groups when she was younger and how she went on to hold workshops about resources for gay and lesbian New Yorkers at Bronx Community College. She mentions New YorkDOB meetings and the influence that DOB had in the creation of subsequent lesbian groups and communities.
  • renee_shapiro.jpg

    Renee Shapiro is interviewed April 1, 1989. She discusses joining the Daughters of Bilitis and the various group activities they did. Renee talks about her hands on experience with putting together plays and different group events.
  • ruth_simpson.jpg

    Ruth Simpson is interviewed in Woodstock, New York. She talks about her past experience dating men and falling in love. She discusses coming out and realizing her sexual orientation when she was doing theater in college.
  • 441.jpg

    Side A: Joan discusses the distinction between butch and femme lesbians, the differences between the white and black gay communities, the Buffalo lesbian bar scene, and coming out in the 1960s.

    Side B: Joan discusses the class divisions in the lesbian community, the university gay scene, and her personal, professional, and romantic history.
  • 447.jpg

    Linda talks about her relationships and the idea there are no longer clearly defined lesbian roles (i.e. butch and femme) in relationships, as there were when she first came out in the 1960s. She describes her family life growing up and when she came out to her family.
  • SPW494.jpg

    The gay movement has taken the lesbian community out of the bars or the "gay underworld," as compared to when she came out in the late 1960s, about 10 years prior to the interview. Portia, age 26, is not out at her job, but is known as a feminist and civil rights activist; her sister is openly homosexual. She talks about her early sexual experiences with girls and how she never felt guilty or different, but felt guilty with boys because of her Catholic upbringing. Her father beat Portia after she went out with her lover, and then she moved out of home at 18. She attended university and discusses her relationships and friendships in college, as well as her relationship with her first lover, who is still her partner, and their infidelities.
  • EdithEyde.jpg

    Edith Eyde talks about her life growing up in rural southern California, moving to Los Angelos and discovering the lesbian culture there. She discusses publishing Vice Versa, one of the first lesbian magazines, and her music career.
  • HelinDemingFinal.jpg

    Pat Helin and Barbara Deming discuss their childhood in Iowa, their involvement with the Daughters of Bilitis in San Francisco and their friendship with Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon.
  • 456.jpg

    Side A: Mary discusses her experiences in the gay community in Buffalo in the 1950s. She discusses in detail the gay bar scene and describes the clientele at the Carousel, Bingo's, and the Chesterfield. The interviewee also describes the dynamic of the relationships she experienced and observed in terms of both race and gender identity. Mary also discusses prostitution in the Buffalo community during the 1950s. She describes some of her own sexual and relationship experiences.

    Side B: Continuing the conversation from Side A, Mary discusses in more detail the types of people she observed in the various bars in Buffalo, as well as her family. She explains that she got along with her family, but never came out to them, in spite of which her father never questioned her about her relationships or pressured her to get married. She also discusses the socio-economic status of various gay communities throughout Buffalo. Both the interviewer and the interviewee discuss butch and femme identities within the larger context of the lesbian community in Buffalo. Mary speaks in more detail about her social experiences.
  • SPW484_REGGIE.jpg

    Discusses growing up in Buffalo, when she realized she was first gay at a young age, and going to clubs
  • SPW543_WINDSOR.jpg

    Windsor talks about what it was like coming out and her relationships, the death of her partner and how that affected her. She also talks about the changes in gay community and what it was like being single or in love.
  • mgKarenAndersonRyer copy.jpg

    Karen Anderson Ryer discusses her coming out process, and the acceptance of her parents. She talks about butch vs. fem, and changing generational attitudes. Discusses importance of feminism to lesbianism specifically, and differences from gay men’s movement. She details the split of “The Ladder” from the San Francisco chapter from DOB, and how she left to start a new magazine. Also mentions the integration of different lesbian communities – Oakland vs. San Francisco, and the impact of AIDS on the lesbian community.
  • mgNikkiNichols copy.jpg

    Nikki Nichols describes her coming out process, and experiences with older lesbian women as a teenager. Discusses changing views on butch/fem issue. Laments the lack of lesbian groups in Sacramento, as well as describing issues with and fears of gay bars. Talks about how the discovery of DOB saved her life – socially and otherwise. Describes first DOB convention in 1960. Discusses her research into Native American attitudes towards homosexuality, as well as Native American rights movement.
  • mgBarbaraGrier copy.jpg

    The majority of this video depicts Barbara and her partner, Donna McBride, going through photo albums and images of Barbara’s childhood, her family, and then her later years with Donna. Some topics that come up include Helen Bennett, Barbara’s relationship before Donna, and Naiad Press. The last 30 minutes or so of the video focus on Barbara as she discusses The Ladder and the various women who contributed to it and how publications helped shape social change for the gay and lesbian movement.
  • T81_1_33.jpg

    Martha Shelley interviews Gene Damon aka Barbara Grier, founder of the lesbian magazine The Ladder (1956-1972). They discuss the beginnings of The Ladder and how it evolved from a smaller publication within the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) into an independent publication. Grier discusses the shift in content as well once the magazine became independent of the Daughters of Bilitis. Grier felt that under DOB they were focused on presenting a clean public image of lesbians to society at large and that this was reflected in what was published in older versions of The Ladder. Once Grier became the editor, she felt it was important to address topics like sexuality, saying “we began running material that deals with sex honestly and forthrightly.”
  • T81_1_38.jpg

    This recording begins with announcements for upcoming poetry readings located throughout New York City. The next segment is a pre-recorded interview panel that offers insight into the gay professional led by a woman identified only as Shoshana. She discusses her own background and experiences in the workplace and then asks her panelists questions about their experiences and difficulties they face. The panelists go on to discuss their hesitancy and fears of what the repercussions of being out on the job would mean. Continuing on, the panelists discuss societal pressures and the vagaries of workplace policies and the paranoia it can lead to. As the discussion concludes, the focus and fear society has on the sexual aspect of being gay is explored. This broadcast concludes with Martha Shelley discussing her feelings of nostalgia on turning 30.
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