Lesbian Herstory Archives AudioVisual Collections

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  • 01 SPW 1878 - NOW Sandiego - Ruthie + Connie - #1.mp3

    "Out: One Road to Empowerment" panel moderated by Dixie Johnson from National NOW Power Through Action Conference. Panel includes Karen Thompson, Ruth Berman, and Connie Kurtz.

    Side 1 Ruth starts off by singing "I Am What I Am" by Gloria Gaynor and then talks about her life and knowing she was a lesbian from a young age and her journey to get rid of the same she originally felt about her sexuality. She talks about being married and having children, being in the closet, and her early relationship with Connie. She expresses the shame she first felt when being with Connie and regretting how much time she lost being in the closet. Ruth talks about going on the Phil Donahue show and the lawsuit after being denied partner benefits for Connie by the NYC Board of Education because they weren't married. She encourages the audience to undo the damage of being brought up as heterosexual women and to come out.

    At 21:40 Connie speaks and talks about being a mother and grandmother, and her relationship to her family. She talks about how abuse has been perpetuated throughout her life about working through her problems and celebrating changes. Connie shares her experience of being diagnosed with cancer and her experience trying to heal herself and going into remission.

    At 38:30 Karen Thompson discusses trying to be what other people wanted throughout her early life and meeting a partner who taught her how to live and be herself. She recalls not being able to admit her sexuality to herself or her partner, the car accident that her partner was involved in, and realizing she had to come out to get through this challenging time.

    Side 2 The second part of this tape is a duplicate of the audio described in "National Organization for Women (NOW) NYC - Ruth Berman and Rosemary Dempsey"
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