Lesbian Herstory Archives AudioVisual Collections

Browse Items (7 total)

  • 01 SPW 1873 - The Michaelangelo Signorile Show - July 20, 2003.mp3

    Episode of the Michelangelo Signorile Show on Sirius OutQ which aired July 20, 2003 in which have Ruth Berman and Connie Kurtz to talk about their life and new film “Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House.” At the beginning of the episode, they also talk about other people they are having on the show.

    Ruth and Connie's interview starts at 10:55 and ends at 30:30. They discuss their Cotello Towers neighbohood where they met when they were both married and young mothers. There they started the "Mother's Action Committe" within their community. They talk about their own internalized homophobia at the beginning of their relaionship and their fear that they would have been found out, and the transition to feeling comfortable with themselves and their sexuality. They discuss their lawsit with the New York City Board of Education for Domestic Partnership Benifits and their apperance on the Donahue Show in 1988. 

    They take questions from callers which relate to being lesbian and Jewish, the community they have found there, and the importance for others around the country to find similar communities, or to create them. 

    After Ruth + Connie's interview the hosts discuss a NYC teen, Natalie Young, who is sueing her teacher for harasmeent over comments made about the teenagers shirt that said "Barbie is a Lesbian"and other LGBT current events.  
  • 01 SPW 1876 - Now NYC July 5, 1991 - #2 - Ruthie, Connie, R. Dempsey - Protecting Families  - P.P. Legislation.mp3

    Audio starts with Ruth Berman talking to an audience about the importance of voting as a Lesbian and as an ally, an about the importance of being political and coming out as a gay person. She touches on the role of money and legality in domestic partnerships and the need to prove them. Ruth encourages the audience to join the National Organization for Women (NOW) to amplify their voices.

    10:00 mins into the tape, Rosemary Dempsey from NOW discusses the importance of legal tools to protect gay people and their families, ad how coming out is an important part of that process.

    Audio ends at 13:11, the rest of the tape is blank.


  • 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"
  • 01 SPW 1869 - J.P. Morgan Talk - Pride 9_25_2002 - Side 1.mp3

    Audio recorded at an event put on by Pride NY, the employee network group for LGBT individuals at JP Morgan Chase with Out and Equal Metro New York and the NY Bankers Group.

    Side1
    Blythe Masters from JP Morgan Chase introduces Ruth Berman and Connie Kurtz . Connie recalls feeling different from an early age, issues with shame about being different, and the necessity to challenge the system that makes people feel that way. She talks about her relationship with her family and with Ruthies Family. Ruthie talks about being a mother, coming out as a lesbian as a parent, and her illness that resulted from her internal struggle and shame related to being a Lesbian. Ruthie talks about applying for partner benefits for Connie that lead to the lawsuit against the New York State Board of Eduction and her experience working with Lambda Legal. Ruthie discusses the collective power that queer people and their allies have.

    Side 2
    Ruthie + Connie talk about their film and take questions from the audience. They discuss making politicians accountable during their time in office and demanding full legal acknowledgement and recognition of rights and personhood. They talk about their involvement with their synagogue, and the power of corperate and professional LGBT groups.
  • 01 SPW 1872 - The Many Faces of Activism for Middle Aged + Old Lesbians - SAGE - May 5-6 2000.mp3

    Audio from SAGE's Second National Conference on Aging, which took place from May 5-6, 2000 in New York, NY.

    The audio starts with a conversation with a woman discussing activism, being an out lesbian parent, and atheticism and answering questions from the auidence. She talks about "The Gay Games" and the healing effect of sports for women and girls. Questions from the audience include comments on finding community at the intersection of elder lesbians and sports.

    At 9:41 the audio cuts to a panel discussion with Ruth Berman and Connie Kurtz. They play a clip of Ruthie + Connie's 1988 apperance on the Phil Donahue Show. Ruth and Connie talk about their personal hsitroy and early activism, their lawsuit against the New York City Board of Education for domestic partner benefits, the importance of being political and of coming out. They also talk about oening a counceling cener in their home and issues with the Butch/Femme Bianary. 

    At 28:41 the audio switches to Joan Nestle speaking about the Lesbian Herstory Archives and the importance of including reords about diverse Lesbian History. 

    AT 33:11 a woman from the aidence speaks from the perspective of radical lesbians who have never had children or been married and about expanding the lesbian agenda in the future. She reads from a a piece she wrote called “a week in the life of a 60 Year Old Lesbian” about her activism within the lesbian community.

  • 01 SPW 1867 - Bay Area Reporter - Deborah, Ruthie + Connie - 6_29_01.mp3

    In this interview with an unknown reporter, Ruth Berman and Connie Kurtz discuss their lives in context with the recent documentary about their life directed by Deborah Dickson, who is also interviewed.

    Ruth and Connie discuss how they met, their early activism within their communities, being married to men and having families, and their eventual falling in love with one another and coming out as Lesbians. They discuss their relationships with their families then and now, and the importance of coming out of the closet.

    Deborah talks about her process when working in this film, and how she tried to make the film for both gay and striaght audiences
  • 01 SPW 1868 Rose Jordan Radio 1984 - #1.mp3

    This episode of "The Lesbian Radio Show" on WBAI is an interview of Ruth Berman and Connie Kurtz by Rose Jordan. The women discuss the importance of Coming Out, the adverse reactions people might have to that news, and the reaction that one might have to their own Coming Out. They talk about working on themselves and about how doing the inner work of acceptance makes it easier for them to live in a society that might not fully accept them. Ruthie and Connie share about their practice of Co-Counseling, in which people can provide emotional support for each other by deep listing. They discuss self esteem, pride, shame, and the connection between emotion and the health of our physical bodies. They encourage people to seek help should they need it.

    Ruth and Connie discuss issues with unprocessed trauma and how being triggered can cause a trauma response, unconditional love and the importance of not weaponizing love, and take calls from listeners. They talk about upcoming workshops and counseling that they offer.

    Songs played during the show include "I Am What I Am" by Gloria Gaynor and "She" by Holly Near
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