Lesbian Herstory Archives AudioVisual Collections

Browse Items (22 total)

  • SPW529_ANITA.jpg

    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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    Modern Language Association Conference in Chicago, December 1977. Lesbian Feminist Poetry Reading featuring six poets. Side A includes Joan Larkin, Barbara Smith and Diedre McCalla. Side B includes Melanie Kaye, Adrienne Rich and Audre Lorde; Audre Lorde appears at 28:07 on SPW1151_B (Side B).
  • 449.jpg

    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.
  • SPW498_Debra.jpg

    Discusses her child, a son. He was the product of her one-day marriage. She kept him for about 8 months and then her brother and his wife took him and raised him. He would spend the summers with her until he was 12 and then he lived with her and spent the summers with her brother and his wife.
    Believes lesbians make better mothers because they know more. She didn’t want her son to go into gay life because she felt it would be difficult for him, she doesn’t believe that gay men relationships last. She believes you can teach someone not to be gay.
    They talk about gay men and lesbian relationships and social interactions. She would call upon her gay male friends to be her date to events that she needed a date, also sometimes family events. They talk about marriages between a gay man and gay woman. Debra says that she knew quite a few couples who had done that to put up a front, but that those relationships always worked out well. Debra also talks about marriage between two women. She never wanted to get married but knew women who did.
    They also discuss alcoholism and drugs among the gay community.
    On the second tape, Debra further discusses fights in the lesbian community. Madeline asks if she knew any lesbians who played sports in the 1940s and 1950s. Debra believes lesbians played sports but cannot definitely say so.
  • SPW480_ELAINE.jpg

    Discussion on early childhood, being Canadian but growing up on an Indian Reservation near Syracuse. Also discusses being the head of a black gang, her relationship with her mother and abusive stepfather, and the jail time she spent for his murder, finding work (while hiding she was gay) and relationships.
  • 055-04_lesbian-child-comp_a_c_2.mp4

    In this segment of I Was a Lesbian Child, Jocelyn Taylor shares photographs from her childhood and stories of her life while growing up. She shares a memory from when she attended Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington DC.
  • 055-04_lesbian-child-comp_a_c_3.mp4

    In this segment of I Was a Lesbian Child, Desireena Almoradie shares photographs from her childhood in the Philippines and stories of her life while growing up there.
  • [2014SP]RE Honesty Ends Helplessness side b.mp3

    This sound recording is a continuation of a previous tape. The woman on the tape discusses a car accident she was in and various aspects regarding this incident. She goes on to talk about her mother and her upbringing.
  • 451.jpg

    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.
  • SPW503_Judy.JPG

    Judy describes her experiences over the past thirty years up to the point of the interview. Topics discussed include cheating (“playing around”), polygamous lesbian relationships, fights in bars, holiday celebrations, friendship, same-sex marriage, religion, drinking, drugs, crime, mental health and treatment of lesbian women, the commonality of lesbian women seeking psychiatric treatment, the working environment for lesbian women, living alone, families of lesbian women, and one case of a lesbian woman raising a son. Judy believes that lesbian women should not raise children and has an extensive discussion about her reasoning. She ends the interview by discussing movie stars and entertainers that were popular among the lesbian community in the 1930s and 1940s.
  • 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.
  • T81_1_53.jpg

    A recording of Judy Grahn who briefly discusses publishing and two independent presses run by women, the Women’s Press Collective & Mama’s Press in the California bay area. The majority of airtime is dedicated to Grahn’s reading of works from the aforementioned presses. She reads chapter 17 from Sharon Isabel’s autobiographical novel “Yesterday’s Lessons” as well as poetry from “Lesbians Speak Out” & poems of Susan Griffin.
  • SPW517_Lou.jpg

    Lou discusses her experience raising children as a lesbian woman, discussing at length her love of children, and wanting them to have a better life then she did. She also discusses her experience with police harassment as both a black women, and a lesbian.

    Side B includes songs about lesbians, their lives and realities, and their relationships with children and their families.
  • 467.jpg

    Side A: Pat discusses her experiences as an African American lesbian. She developed friendships and relationships with both white and black gay women in the 1950s. She denies there were any racial tension in the Buffalo lesbian community; Pat says her experience was very inclusive. She also discusses experiencing police harassment, but says that she longer experiences discrimination from law enforcement. Pat discusses her wardrobe in the 1950s, which was composed of mens' clothing, and where she used to shop.

    Side B: Pat discusses her friendship and romantic relationship with Jerry Jones, a male impersonator, who was well known in the 1950s Buffalo lesbian community. Pat discusses her move to Albany, N.Y., in the late 1950s and the birth of her daughter in 1957. She also mentions her experiences at after-hour bars which were only open to African Americans. While she used to frequent them in her early years, she no longer goes. Pat identifies as a butch lesbian and discusses the differences between butches and femmes. When she was younger she did not allow her partner to touch her during sex, but is much more open to the idea now. According to Pat, many butch lesbians did not receive sexual contact from their partners.
  • 468.jpg

    Pat shows family photos. She says several of her family members were gay, including her mother and brother. She talks about bars, the 557 and 217, with racially mixed clientele. She describes violence when straight men tried to dance with gay women. She mentions other favorite bars from the 1950s: the Chesterfield, the KittyCat, Club Coco, the 469. Pat describes her relationships, many of which involved "messing around on and off" for many years. She describes coming out to her mother at age 13, and talks about the "white girls from Canada" (lesbians) who were her mother's friends.
  • 454.jpg

    Side A: Pat discusses her definition of lesbianism and her attitude towards “radical lesbians.” She also discusses her background, including her relationship with her family and her experience at an all-girls Catholic school. She talks about how and when she realized she was a lesbian and describes her early relationships with women. She discusses leaving home and experiencing gay bars for the first time in the 1950s. Finally, she discusses butch and femme roles and how they have changed.


    Side B: Pat discusses why she does not have many gay friends and why she does not identify with the lesbian community. She talks about her relationships and her feelings about sex.
  • 465.jpg

    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.
  • SPW484_REGGIE.jpg

    Discusses growing up in Buffalo, when she realized she was first gay at a young age, and going to clubs
  • SPW526_SHANE.jpg

    Shane talks about getting into trouble during her teenage years and how her father kept sending her to all-girls schools thinking it would straighten her out. She speaks about gay bars in Buffalo and Pittsburgh. She tells a story about running away from home to pursue a relationship, ending up involved with hustlers and begging her father to help her stay out of jail. She talks about moving back to Buffalo, getting a job, and how things have changed.
  • SPW528_SHANE.jpg

    Shane talks about the different lives she led during her youth. These different roles included working a job at Goodwill, dating and living with hookers on the weekends, and studying to become a Methodist minister as a man. She then talks about her current career as a trucker.
  • mgStellaRush copy.jpg

    Stella Rush and Helen Sandoz are interviewed in 1987. The interview mostly concerns Stella Rush, who talks about her childhood; specifically her encounters with incest and molestation. She also talks about her experiences with police discrimination in the 1950s and 1960s in L.A. Helen and Stella both talk about being editors of the Ladder and being a part of the DOB. Stella talks about workplace harassment, and fear of loser her job. They show photographs from the 1960s, including some of their cat. The video closes with the two discussing their wedding rings.
  • SPW532.jpg

    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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