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.”
In this installment of Lesbian Nation, Martha Shelley interviews women of the Women’s Lesbian Liberation Committee of the Gay Activists’ Alliance (GAA). Mary Flowerpot also hosts her comedy segment. In Shelley’s interview, the women discuss the emergence of the Lesbian Liberation Committee and their role within the GAA. They talk about what they have done to address issues of sexism in the GAA and how they try to maintain positive discourse with male members.
This episode of Lesbian Nation opens with a Mary Flowerpot humor segment then dives into an interview between Martha Shelley and Phyllis Chesler, renowned psychologist and author. In this interview, Chesler discusses women’s health, delving into her observations on how women are treated in mental health institutions. The episode ends with a poetry reading.