Lesbian Herstory Archives AudioVisual Collections

Browse Items (45 total)

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    Benefit for the Astraea Foundation, "Conversation with Poems." Introduced by unnamed speaker. Poetry reading and conversation with Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich; includes speech, poetry, and remarks.
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    Anita talks about her first encounters with a relationship with a woman. She then speaks about the difficulties of raising her child. She also talks about the roles of Butch and Femme.
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    Event organized by the Committee for the Visibility of the Other Black Woman. Audre Lorde moderates community discussion and dialogue including issues of identity, cross cultural conflicts, classism, and ageism. She also introduces panelists' presentations. Her most sustained comments are on SPW1163, as she introduces the panel on identity.
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    Preceded by short presentation from representative of the recently vandalized Diana Press. Speakers, in order of appearance: moderator Julia Stanley (unnamed on tape); Mary Daly; Audre Lorde (11:38 into Side B); Judith McDaniel; Adrienne Rich. Lorde's speech is the original draft of her essay "The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action."
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    Audre Lorde moderates community discussion and dialogue including issues of identity, cross cultural conflicts, classism, & ageism. She also introduces panelists
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    Event organized by the Committee for the Visibility of the Other Black Woman. Audre Lorde moderates community discussion and dialogue including issues of identity, cross cultural conflicts, classism, and ageism. She also introduces panelists' presentations. Her most sustained comments are on SPW1163, as she introduces the panel on identity.
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    Bobbie speaks on the nature of her various relationships, including patterns of sex and cohabitation, being confused about her significant other identifying as a man in public, she addresses the existence of her children, using men after prison to live and make money, attending gay reorientation church, her sexual practices, and the subject of the "Untouchable".
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    Buff discusses the impact of the Metropolitan Community church on her life and the gay-rights movement. Mentions activities in Tucson, AZ. She stresses that current lesbians should know that there is more to life than the bars, but that in her time in Buffalo she didn't feel there were places for community outside of them. Mentions her time in the army, realizing she was homosexual, and coming out. Discusses her time in the army, lesbians in the military, being in Seattle and Germany with the military just after the Korean war. She talks about the differences in gay identity and self identity in the past compared to now.
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    Cindy or Joan (speaker unclear) discusses her experience of growing up in a working class family. She also discusses going to bars as she got older, and her relationships with women. She describes lesbians being harassed by police officers in the past. She also describes how her car was vandalized once, which she thinks was because she is a lesbian.

    Speakers' identities are unclear throughout. Recording label identifies Cindy and Joan but it is hard to tell if there are actually two separate speakers.

    Sound quality is poor. Tape cuts off abruptly at the end.
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    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.
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    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.
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    Side A

    Dorothy discusses lesbians in the military during World War II with regard to her friend Betty, a lesbian marine who feared her phone was tapped. She refers to it as a 'witch hunt'. Dorothy discusses lesbian bars in Buffalo in the 1940s -1950s, and talks about friendships and butch and femme roles.

    Side B

    Dorothy discusses her break up with her girlfriend of 13 years, Charlotte. She talks about their courtship, sexuality, home life, and their families, who were never formally told they were a couple. While talking about the break up she mentions the deed to a cottage they shared and losing personal property in the breakup. Dorothy mentions seeking help from a lawyer and a lesbian psychologist in the 1950s. Dorothy discusses that she once considered suicide after a breakup.
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    Dorothy discusses her lifelong identity as a lesbian and her uncharacteristic history in adopting both the butch and femme roles in prior relationships. She talks about being the child of a single mother (her father died when she was two years old) and also describes her hobbies. She says she has always been very mechanically inclined and has also always been an avid reader. She suspects that being an avid reader influenced her ability to understand and be accepting of herself. She also discusses her education and career and her treatment as a lesbian on the job. She was the first female member of the American Society of Tool Designers and later became a technical librarian and engineering researcher. She also speaks about her friendships and non-sexual relationships with both gay and straight women. She notes the differences between those relationships and how her mannerisms and level of self-consciousness also differ in those interactions.
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    Dorothy talks generally of leisure activities, relationships, and sexual relations. She then talks at length about one long-term relationship with Harriette, mentioning their business, break up, life-long friendship, and Harriettes other relationships.

    She talks first of weekend activities or leisure activities such as house parties, picnics, and going to bars. She talks in general about sexual relations, mentioning "daisy chain" sex, and attitudes towards sex and equality in love-making. She talks in general about long-term relationships and breaking up. She then answers questions and talks at length about her long-term relationship with Harriette, their break up and lasting friendship. She mentions their first car and the business they owned together. She talks of monogamy. She talks of Harriette's later marriage and other relationships. Dorothy talks of her opinion of bi-sexuality and of Harriette's marriage and relationships.

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    Ann describes what she looked for in a women. Discusses the clothing change among lesbian women. Explains some of her relationship experience with women.
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    Stella describes growing up in a broken home, and having to take on a lot of responsibilities. Explains her curiosity in women as she got older. Later, she discusses how her bisexuality made her feel different than everyone.
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    Side 3: Phil begins the interview by discussing the dynamics of living with her lover and husband under the same roof, as well her lack of shame or guilt in being gay. She then talks about guilt among other lesbians she knew. Related to this, she discusses reasons people were not public about their lesbian identity, including work and family commitments. She spends the majority of this side of the tape talking about her long-term, intimate relationship with her best friend. She discusses the difference between butch and femme friends, as well as the distinct features of a close friend versus a lover.
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    Linda Lopez is interviewed in 1988. She talks about the impact of the Dallas DOB in Dallas and beyond, how it inspired activism and other organizations. She talks about Rob [Shivers]' leadership and its role in DOB's strength. She discusses Dallas and the South in General - how lesbians were treated and how they lived. She talks about the need for job security, the roles and expectations of women.
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    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.
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    Mabel Hampton discusses, with Joan Nestle, gender identity, attraction, men, and marriage. Mabel Hampton also discusses nicknames she shared with Lillian Foster, including "Little Bear" and "Big Bear." They look at photographs and reminisce about Coney Island, buying new clothes, and Nestle's preparation of slideshows for the LHA. The second half of the recording covers a few takes of stories surrounding Mabel's time living with Joan and Deb after an apartment fire, Mabel and Lillian's nicknames for each other, and the meaning of Mabel's fashion choices.
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    Oral History interview of Mabel Hampton. Mabel describes her early childhood and rural upbringing in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in the early 1900s. Notable facts include her mother's death (possibly by poisoning) not long after Mabel's birth, and that Mabel was very small (perhaps premature) at birth. Mabel also discusses a range of subjects including a description of and anecdotes about her early caretaker, life on a farm/agricultural setting, and memories of going to church.
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    Side A: Joe talks about the social atmosphere in the 1920s through the 1940s. He talks about Service Clubs and Music Circles as vehicles for social interaction but claims not to know of any exclusively gay or lesbian social groups. He also talks about the one gay bar in town in the 1930s and '40s and calls it "middle class at best."

    Side B: Joe talks about social clubs (all men's clubs) and how gay society functioned within these clubs. He also talked about sports and gay women at the time.
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    Judy talks about her relationships with three different women and the role they each played in the relationship. She talks about gender identities and one relationship with a woman who wanted to be a man and had very mixed gender roles. She talks about not being able to talk about her relationships with her mother, yet comparing her relationship to that of her mother and father. She speaks about losing sexual interest in her partner and moving from an intimate relationship to just a friendship.
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    Side A: Judy discusses some of the bars she used to frequent, and her changing views of sex.

    Side B: Judy discusses her past relationships and the ways in which she feels the treatment of women at jobs has changed.
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    Judy discusses her views of gay men, including her belief that all so-called gay men are in fact bisexual.
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    Judy discusses butch and femme identities, social interactions, and role-play within relationships. She expresses relief over how these once rigid demarcations of identity have become more flexible within the lesbian community. Later, however, she notes "class" differences that continue to striate lesbians as a social group.

    The social conditions, the acceptance of lesbians, and the "openness" of homosexuals are compared between New York, Florida, and Toronto. References are made to anti-gay activist Anita Bryant and others who put social pressure on lesbians to stay closeted.

    Additionally, Judy touches upon negotiating workplace discrimination and "nosy" neighbors. She briefly mentions her relationship with her family and what it was like growing up in Buffalo.
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    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.
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    Oral history recording of Joan Nestle. Side A: Joan Nestle speaks about lesbian self-expression and the importance of language to identity. She goes on to talk about her early life and how she was motivated to take a stand against the oppression she saw around her in society, specifically oppression against women and lesbians. Side B: Mabel Hampton takes over as the main speaker and recounts her life story, beginning when she was only one month old. Mabel discusses her early years, including the crucial transition from living with her grandmother to living with her aunt, and how she eventually decided to run away to Jersey City.
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    Oral history interview of Mabel Hampton. Mabel describes her early childhood and rural upbringing in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She details her journey from Winston-Salem to New York City to live with her aunt. Mabel continues her story with her development into a young lesbian woman and the issues concerning lesbianism in the North versus the South. She speaks about her lifestyle and her no-regrets stance on her life. Her connection with her childhood is vivid and candid and is described in detail.
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    Side A: Pat talks about her childhood in North Port, N.Y., her relationship with her parents and siblings. She goes into detail about her estranged relationship with her older sister. She describes when she first knew that she was a lesbian and tells the history of her relationships with women. She starts with her first affair at age 13, with a nun from her Catholic school - Sister Eugenie - to a relationship she had with Maryann (Marty). She describes her time at nursing school in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and the gay bars she frequented until she moved to Florida with her then girlfriend. She says she moved to Buffalo, N.Y., in the late 1950s, and describes the Buffalo bar scene, mentioning Dingles, Mardi Gras, the Chesterfield, the Carousel and the Carol Hotel. Pat mentions that the Carousel was very elite, something she did not like. This leads her into a discussion on “role play” and how important it was to distinguish oneself as either a butch or a femme. She classified herself as butch, but stated that she was very uncomfortable with the label and now prefers to be less overt.

    Side B: In this interview Pat talks about how she does not like or feel comfortable in the gay community. She has never identified with it, or been made to feel welcome. This is one of the reasons that she does not maintain friendships with other lesbians, unless she is having a sexual relationship with them. She mentions being victimized and physically assaulted because she was a butch lesbian. Interviewer Madeline enters the discussion, speaking about her own sexual experiences with women. Madeline classifies Pat as “untouchable,” something that Pat denies, stating that she is simply very private. She feels that sex is a necessary but not important part of a relationship; it is something that is never sought or welcomed. She is suspicious of those who claim to experience sexual pleasure, including Madeline.
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    Discussion centers on bars in Buffalo in the late 1950s and into the 1960s, in particular Bingo
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    Side A: Mary Ann discusses her experiences going out in public with her girlfriends, and the treatment they receive at restaurants, bars, and on the street. She mentions that their public treatment is very often instigated by the masculine way her partners are dressed; she herself has always been very femme. Mary Ann talks about her incarceration for robbery, and her time in a psychiatric hospital for depression and attempted suicide.

    Side B: Mary Ann continues to discuss her time in jail. She took on a butch look, and began to receive small gifts under her cell door from femme girls in other divisions. She developed relationships with different girls that she worked with while in jail, and talks about lookouts, or "chickies," standing watch for girls who were with their partners in the showers or elsewhere. She then talks about her sex life with a long-term partner of 22 years, with whom she raised foster children. Later, she touches on her job as a dancer at Buffalo clubs, and a two-year period when she worked as a prostitute.
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    Mary describes the bar scene, parties, fashion, music, bar layouts, and fights at Bingo's and Carousel bars.
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    Side A: Paula describes various locations where gay men and women would meet each other, like Kleinman's Corner and bars such as Ralph Martin's. Often these locations also served as hubs for sex workers. She speaks about the rigidly defined roles of "butch" and "femme" provided for lesbians during the 1940s. Paula talks about her life as femme and being married to a man who introduced her to gay/lesbian life. She discusses her sexual life and the type of sex that women had with each other in the 1940s, specifically within the strict binary of butch and femme. Paula recalls the social life at bars, such as Ralph Martin's, which included dancing, drag shows, prostitution, and drugs.

    Side B: Paula speaks about her family life in relation to her sexual identity. She talks about her husband's fast lifestyle and her changing preferences eventually causing the dissolution of their marriage. Paula mentions the types of employment she has had, including working in department stores, as a waitress, as a desk clerk at the Genesee Hotel, and on the assembly line at Bell Aircraft. She speaks more about various bars that she went to: Pat's, Dugan's, the Carousel, and the Carlton Hotel. She talks about a long-term relationship that she had, after her divorce, that lasted ten years, as well as traveling out of the Buffalo area to places like Florida, California, and Utica, N.Y.

    The recording cuts off abruptly after 23 minutes.
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    Paula describes the absence of love and romance in her relationships with women, but later in the interviews describes a relationship after her divorce. She mentions one-night stands and sexual experiences she had with friends, and the importance of these friendships to her. Paula mentions that she was married and had children, and would go out to bars at night with her friends or alone.
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    Phil talks about being in a relationship with another woman and how she provided for her. She also goes on to talk about how other butch femmes provided for their partners and what would happen when they would break up. Phil further goes on to talk about gay literature and her problems with it. She also discusses gay bars and the lack of support for them.
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    Shane talks about running away from home with two girls after her father forced her to leave home. She then lived as a man in New Orleans under an assumed identity. She was arrested and held for 72 hours on suspicion of robbery. She recalls the people she met during her stay in jail.
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    In addition to Audre Lorde, Linda Gordon, Manuela Prairie, Jessica Benjamin, Bonnie Johnston, Camille Bristow, and Susan McHenry participated in the panel. The recording includes a question and answer session between panelists and audience members. The topics discussed include racism, feminism, class oppression, individualism, sexuality, community, and sisterhood.
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    This video consists of a brief interview with Grier’s partner, Donna McBride, and then follows a discussion Grier leads on her book collection, favorite authors, and publishing experience. She and McBride talk about Naiad press and its successes over the years and the video shows their office workspace and the multitude of submissions they receive for publication. Donna McBride’s segment focuses on her awareness of being a lesbian, the aftermath of telling her parents, and her later involvement with women’s activist groups.
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    Interview about the play "Coming Out: A Documentary Play About Gay Life & Liberation in the U.S.A". by Jonathan Ned Katz with five members of the cast. In the course of the conversation, the cast also discusses issues with relating to other social groups through the play.
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    Bertha Harris from Richmond College on writing and her life as a lesbian author.
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    Part two of an interview about Marge Piercy's newest book "Small Changes." Discussion included topics like the value of writing about working class characters and language in writing and speech.
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    Martha Shelley interviews Sydney Abbott and Barbara Love about their newly released book "Sappho Was a Right On Woman," The book and discussion touches on topics of lesbian experience including the "evil" lesbian who attempt to rebel against norms, the external and internal pressure of the lesbian experience and the fragmented nature of the women's movement. [Music: Women Like Me by Roberta Kosse and Heroin by the Velvet Underground plays]
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    Second part of the interview with Jill Johnson, writer of the book, Lesbian Nation. Martha and Jill continue their discussion about personal and political relationships in lesbian culture and the complex issue of men in lesbian and feminist spaces. [Music: Can't Stop the Maddness by Birtha and audio from Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About The Godfather but Never Thought to Ask]
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