Creating Change 2012: Lesbian and Women’s Workshops Rejected- CALL FOR ACTION

January 18, 2012

Was your workshop rejected from the 2012 Creating Change Conference?

Creating Change is  (from their website): “Only the premier annual organizing and skills-building event for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and their allies”.

 “The conference is run by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and attracts more than 2,500 people from all over the country every year. Presenters and participants come from all walks of life and include members of the business community, elected officials, students, faith leaders and staff and volunteers of non-profit organizations. Our five-day program features over 250 workshops and training sessions, four plenary sessions, and tons of networking opportunities.”

The 24th National Creating Change Conference is being held in Baltimore, Maryland on January 25-29, 2012. This year’s conference features 350 workshops and is notable for it’s TOTAL ABSENCE OF LESBIAN, female, or sexism programming. Out of 350 accepted workshops, there is a zero percentile representation (0.28%) of programming directed to Lesbian/Women/Sexism concerns. Out of 350 accepted workshops, only ONE  (“Lesbian 60 and over caucus”) deals with Lesbian issues and concerns. There are NO workshops addressing sexism. There are NO workshops addressing women’s issues. ZERO. As in NONE.

In contrast, there are at least 29 workshops on transgender issues, 20 on issues of race and racism, and 32 on religion. There are ZERO on sex and sexism. There are ZERO on women’s issues. There are ZERO on feminism. There is only ONE MENTION of Lesbians in the accepted 350 workshop schedule of this “LGBT” conference.

 Are you a woman whose Creating Change workshop was rejected?

The National Gay “and Lesbian” Task Force refuses to release a listing of rejected workshops. We know some of these were specifically directed to female and Lesbian issues, because we know the women who submitted the rejected workshops. If you are a woman whose workshop on Lesbian or female-specific concerns was rejected by Creating Change 2012 please post the details in a comment to this post. Your anonymous comment will not be published. Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Please spread the word.

The following is a color-coded list of the accepted Creating Change 2012 workshops:

Workshops specifically addressing:

Lesbians/Women/Sexism (1)- highlighted in red 

People of Color/Racism (20)- highlighted in green

Transgender/GenderIdentity/Genderism(29)highlighted in blue

BDSM/Kink/Recreational Sex (16)- highlighted in  purple

Religion (32)- highlighted in orange

Age specific/Youth/Ageism(47)- highlighted in pink

———————————————————————

Aging

Improving the Quality of Services and Supports Offered to LGBT Older Adults for LGBT Organizations

Lesbian 60 and over caucus

LGBT Aging Policy: An Overview of the Key Federal Policy Issues Affecting LGBT Older Adults

National LGBT Aging Roundtable Member Caucus

Older and Bolder: Be Proud to Grow Old and Learn to Challenge Ageism

SAGE Affiliate Model: How to Develop Programs and Services for LGBT Older Adults in Your Community

SAGENet Caucus

Thinking Ahead: New Options in Healthcare Planning for LGBT Individuals

Transgender Older Adults: Policy Reform and Successful Aging

AIDS/HIV

Best Practices for Engaging MSM Communities during Black Gay Pride Events

HIV and Aging: Why HIV and Aging Policy Matters (or Should Matter) to the LGBT Community

Meeting the HIV Prevention Needs of Young Black Men Who Sex With Men In Baltimore City: A Reflection

Anti-Violence/Bias Reduction

Building a Community Response to Violence

Hanging Out & Hooking Up

Organizing to reduce hate violence against transgender and gender-nonconforming people of color

Partner Abuse in LGBTQ Communities

Policing the Police and Ending Government Misconduct: A Discussion of Our Community Needs and Strategies

System-based LGBTQ anti-violence advocacy; strategies for making violence-response systems safer and more accessible for LGBTQ survivors

When It’s One of Our Own: Naming and Preventing Sexual Violence Within LGBTQ Communities

Art & Culture

Creating Change CREATIVELY

Theater for Social Change: From Page to Stage in 90 Minutes

Bisexual Community

Beyond Binaries: Identity, Sexuality and Movement Buildingty

Bi Compared to Mono: What We Can Do About Bisexual Health Disparities

Bi/Pan/Fluid Caucus

Make the Invisible Visible: How Your Group Can Become Bi Inclusive

Campus

69 Ways to Use Saran Wrap: Queering Up Your Campus Safer Sex Education

Coalition Building on a University Campus

College Student Caucus

Conversations with Twenty-Somethings: Future QPOC Educators of America

Creating Community around LGBTQ Identity on Campus

Engaging LGBTQ and Questioning student athletes

Facing Trans*: Transgender Inclusion – Successful Steps at UNC-Charlotte

Introducing LGBTQA communities in the STEM fields

Making Safe Zone Programs on College Campuses Work

Mananging Conflict and Embracing Diversity: Bringing out the Best in your Student Organization

Not on My Campus! Queer Student Activism Made Personal

NYU Ally Week: An Intercultural Approach to Ally Building, Developing Student Leaders for Social Justice, and Creating Campus Change

Organizing Campus and Community Services in a Rural, Resource-Poor Setting

Organizing for Social Change on the College Campus

Peers for Pride: Acting for Change

Queer Sex+: Campus Programming to Reclaim our Movement

Sometimes Sisters: How the Culture of Historically Black Colleges and Universities Impacts Perceptions of Campus Climate

When Anti-Gay Protesters Come To Campus

Communications, Media and Messaging

Engaging supporters online: How to create kick-ass integrated online campaigns

For Us, By Us: How to Use Media as a Tool for LGBTQ Youth Organizing

Inclusive School Policy and Messaging: Organizing Strategies to Reframe the Debate

Lessons Learned: Teaching LGBTQ Studies Through Political Advocacy Narratives

Own the Room: Boost Your Facilitation and Presentation Skills

Racial Justice and LGBT Rights: Research and Recommendations Based on Public Opinion and Media Analysis

Simple Steps to Refine Storytelling and Media Interviews

Using Good Psychology for Messaging and Beyond

Community Centers

Come on in! Increasing Community Center Involvement in Not-so-Urban Communities

Communities and Youth Together

LGBT Centers Changing Public Policy

Movin’ On UP: Keeping a Community Center Going in a Small Town on a Small Budget

Our Beating Heart: Preparing Capable Volunteers

Saving Our Lives: Oral History, Artifacts, and Archives

Community Organizing

Art of the Schmooze

From the Ground Up: Organizing Your Own Grassroots Community Movement

Its All About Teamwork: Forging Strong Partnerships with Your Local PFLAG Chapters

Junior Khan and Hermes Diamani Presents: Health Orgs and the Scene.

Leather Community Caucus

Many Realities, One Fight at a Time: Putting Intersectional Politics on the Ground

PFLAG National: Moving Equality Forward and How You Can Help

Radical Faerie Caucus

Stacking the Deck: Why Conservatives are starting to win in the Courts and what we can do about it

Straight Forward: Allies role in the Movement

Strategic Grassroots Action: Organizing with No Election Day in Sight

Strategies for Success in Organizing for Local LGBT Equality

The Art of Direct Action

Disability

Documenting the Needs of LGBTQ People with Disabilities: Intersectional Problems, Community Solutions

The Erasure of Identities in the Borderlands between Binary Cultures: The Deaf and Queer Parallel

Elections, Ballot Measures and Campaigns

Building Power for 2012 and Outting the Vote–The Rising American Electorate and the LGBT Community

Creating Change on the Ground: Elected Officials Making a Difference

Politics 2012

Faith & Spirituality

Atheist/Agnostic/Non-Believer Caucus

Diverse Spiritual Traditions Social

Engaging Religion and LGBT Issues as Fundamental Christians

Healing Grace: the Black Church – The Call To and Response of “Whosoever Will”

LGBTQ Interfaith Organizing

Lifting the Veil of Silence: Examining the Intersection of Spirituality and Sexuality

Politics, Sex and Religion: Three things we are not supposed to talk about at the family dinnfer table, but we must!

Queering Religion and Religious Differences

Sex, Race, Class–and Religion!

Yoga, Spirituality & Bisexuality

Families

A Mother, Her Transgender Son, Their Journey to Acceptance and Love

All Children Matter  Examining how to increase access to government programs and services for low-income LGBT families

All Children Matter  Examining state strategies on creating positive change in laws and policies affecting LGBT families.

COLAGE Caucus

COLAGE: Claiming our place in the movement

Estate Planning and Planned Giving for the LGBT Community

Radical Queer Parenting

Fundraising

Fundraising for Capital Campaigns

Fundraising: Getting Past the Fear of Asking

Gender Issues

Gender Theory and Gender Identity: Challenges and Opportunities for Creating Change

Heteronormativity: An Elevated Understanding of Privilege

Incorporating Ambiguous Queer Identities in LGBT Organizing

Lets Get Some Things Straight: What the Queer Community Needs to Know About the History of Heterosexuality

One Body: Two Spirits  Native American Honoring of Multiple Gender Traditions

Sharing Stories of the Ex-Gay Movement and its continued effect

Health

Body Image and Size Positivity within the Queer Community

Creating a National Movement for LGBT Suicide Prevention

Got Queer-Competent Healthcare? Reality-Tested Strategies for Local LGBTQ Health Advocacy

Teen Reproductive Peer Health Education: Keep it Fresh!

Immigration

Engaging LGBTI & Faith-Based Communities to Assist LGBTI Refugees

Queering Immigrant Rights Organizing

International Issues

Puerto Rico: a struggle for liberation and equality

Queers Against Israeli Apartheid: Why Palestine is an LGBT Issue

Labor

Labor and Our Community: Combining messaging for local success

LGBT & Labor: One Struggle, One Fight

LGBT Labor Caucus

Walk Your Talk: Leading Nonprofits that Support Both Equality & Workers Rights

Legislative/Legal Reform and Public Policy

Beyond the “Broom”: Black LGBT People Need More than Marriage Equality

Local Policy Strategies: How Statewide Coalitions and Legislation Can Improve the Lives of LGBT Elders

Making The Law Work For You: Policy Wins Through The Executive Branch

Marriage

Marriage Equality at the Ballot Box in 2012

Overturning DOMA: How We End Federal Marriage Discrimination

Military/Veterans Issues

The Challenges Post-DADT Repeal

The Death of DADT and the Path Forward

Movement Building

Becoming a National Delegate: Be a Part of the LGBT Voice at the DNC Convention

Building Resources for our Movements

Building the Movement in Rural Areas: LGBT Advocacy Work in West Virginia

Can You Hear Me Now, We are Black too? Electrifying the Black LGBT Base

Finding Your Path in the LGBT Movement

How Straight Spouses Become Allies; How YOU Can Help

How to Become Gay for Pay  Kicking off Your Queer Career

Knowing Your LGBT History

Netroots Caucus

Personal Sustainability in the Movement

Power Grab: Organizing at the Intersections–Harnessing the Power of Multiple Identities

Queer Activism in Spanish Workshop

Queering the Left; Lefting the Queer

Signs of the Time: LGBTQ Movement Building

Staying Strong as Individuals and Communities: Surviving Anti-LGBTQ Politics

The 90 minute masters in social change

The Pink Elephant in the room: White privilege and racism within the queer community.

Unid@s: Estamos Presente

Organizational Development

2-4-6-8 Get Ready to Evaluate! Practical Program Evaluation for the LGBT Activist

Executive Directors Roundtable

Meeting LGBT Health and Human Services Needs: Three Models for State Level Advocacy and Action

The Five Pillars of Social Media

Turning Volunteers into Catalysts for Change

People of Color

Were here! Were queer! We eat paneer! Mapping LGBTQ AAPI Organizing for Social Change

Building Our QAPI Movement :A Caucus for Asian Americans, South Asians, Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs)

Caucus: Queer People of Color

First Nations Two Spirit Caucus

Immigration and Indigenous Borders

Land, Desire and Culture: Two Spirits and the LGBT Movement

Latino (LGBT) Community Outreach 101

Latino LGBT Caucus

passing while black:when little girls grow up to be men

Social Justice Sexuality Project: Findings from a Nationwide Survey of LGBT People of Color

Trans People of Color Organizing and Advocacy

What are you? Living at the intersections: Power, Privilege, and Oppression as Mixed Race People

Practice Spirit, Do Justice

Health, Dignity and Justice: the Role of Inclusive Faith Communities in AIDS 2012 (90 Minute session)

Unlikely Bedfellows in API Organizing

“Lifting As We Climb”: An Exercise (therefore you might sweat) In Rethinking How We Do What We Do, So We Can Do It Better! (Interactive)

A Faithful Response to LGBTQ Homeless Youth

Beyond GSAs: Safer Schools for Queer Youth of Color

Deepening The Welcome

Federal Efforts to Achieve Safer Schools

From Visioning to Building: Creating Trans Inclusive Faith Communities

God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality

Investing in the Next Generation

Islamophobia/Homophobia

Language Matters: Why We Should Stop Saying ‘Abomination’ and ‘Sodomy’

Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself How to Start a Productive dialogue between LGBTQ activists and Evangelical Christians on a College Campus

Missing Voices: A study of religious voices in mainstream media

Next Strategies for LGBT Jewish Movement Building

One Creator and Progressive Liberation Theology

Organizing Pro-Equality Catholics

Powerful Voices: Leading the Way to the Liberating Jesus

Raising Your Faithful Voice

Rethinking LGBTQ Pride: Pride as Social Witness

Sex Ed Across the Spectrum: Creating and Promoting Inclusive Sexuality Education for Teens

Spiritual Renewal for Our Community Using the Seven Chakras

Strength for the Journey: A Reflective Workshop

The Joys and Challenges of Faith-Based Organizing for LBGTQ Equality and Justice

The Process of Coming Out: Implications for Ministry

Two Spirit: Language, History and Historical Trauma

Umoja: LGBT inclusion within African-American Congregations

Using Peacekeepers to Oppose Spiritual Violence

Racial Justice

Bring the Peace

Latino Identity 2.0

So you want to have kids some day: An exploration of anti-supremacy queer family planning

Research and Policy

How to Have Conversations About LGBT Equality in the African American Community

Reflections on 40 Years of LGBTQ Grantmaking

Rural

Advancing LGBTQ Issues and Services in Small Communities

School Issues

Achieving Safe Schools in Every State: State Based Approaches to Preventing Bullying and Harassment

Anti-Oppression Models for Safe Schools Organizing

Building a Gay-Straight Alliance

Gender anti-bias work with children: exploring and expanding the possibilities

GSA Caucus

Princess Boys, Two Mommies, and Youre So Gay: Current Issues and LGBT Advocacy in Elementary Schools

Working It Out in Rural Schools Settings: LGBTQ Youth

Sexual Freedom

All Our Kin: Creating & Sustaining sex connects, partnerships, family & community

Butch & TransMasculinities

Consent & (W)holeness

Doing Justice: A place for polyamorous/non-monogamous communities in the LGBTIQA movement

Femme Beyond Gender

FILM: (A)sexual

Kink, Race & Class

Mapping Our Desire

Polyamory/Nonmonogamy Caucus

Positive & Sexy Bodies

Sex Positive Trans Sex

Sex Workers’ Caucus

Spirit & Sex

The Future of Sexual Orientation

Transgender Community & Issues

Creating Our Destinies: Building Transgender Employment and Advocacy Programs

Cutting Edge Issues in Identity Documents

Examining Pronouns

Gender Identity Legislation in Maryland

I AM: Trans People Speak  Creating a Community-Driven Media and Public Education Campaign

Injustice at Every Turn: The Results of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey

Taking the Research Further: Brainstorming Next Steps in Research for the National Transgender Discrimination Survey

Training the Trainer: Learning to Present the Results of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey

Transgender Healthcare Organizing: Mobilizing for Community Healthcare

Transgender Parenting

We Got the Laws Passed. Now What? Educating about trans-inclusive civil rights gains.

Workplace

Activating an Employee Resource Group for Advocacy

Economics and Equality: Economic Development for the LGBT Movement

Engaging Corporations for Local Support

Youth

A Tale of Two Models  Twin Cities and Chicago Host Home Programs

Balancing Act-ivism

Beyond the GSA… Meet the Justice League!

Building a Youth-led Movement

Day of Silence

Other, Please Specify: The Lives of Gender Nonconforming Youth

The Magic of BAGLY: An Approach to LGBTQ Youth Work

The Ruth Ellis Center: A Model for Serving Homeless, Runaway, and At-Risk LGBTQ Youth

The Trevor Project Lifeguard Workshop

Trans Youth & Schools: Creating Advocacy and Policy Change

93 Responses to “Creating Change 2012: Lesbian and Women’s Workshops Rejected- CALL FOR ACTION”

  1. la redactora Says:

    “Lesbian 60 and over caucus.”

    Well, in twenty or thirty years that won’t even be there. Because younger women don’t even call themselves lesbians any more. We’ve erased ourselves out of the English language. Of all my friends in high school and at university, it was “gay,” “queer,” and “bisexual.” Because lesbian is such an “old-fashioned,” and “limited” term, and “so un-nuanced + manichean” and “left out the boys.” And if it were *just* the word I suppose I wouldn’t be too bothered, but all of them, regardless of how far they were toward “homosexual” on that bullshit Kinsey Scale were sleeping with men or forcing themselves to do so.

    Lesbians aren’t welcome at the post-modern party.


  2. God! What’s the matter with those people?? Why all the hate?? Since when is lesbianism so evil?? What the fuck is wrong with them???

  3. KittyBarber Says:

    I re-posted this on Kate Clinton’s Facebook page after I got a message today promoting Creating Change. I doubt that they’ll be a response from Kate, but I’m sure others will have something to say. Kate is moderating the plenary sessions–whatever that means. Thank you, Gallus, once again.

    • GallusMag Says:

      Thanks for this Kitty. Looks like Kate Clinton censored your post which raised concerns about the absence of Lesbian workshops and the wholesale rejection of Lesbian and Women’s issues from the Creating Change 2012 Conference. Thanks for letting us know.

  4. Kathrin Says:

    Looking over the list on the website, it looks like they added “I Can Marry a Princess!” and “Butch/Femme Dialogue” to the schedule. I have a feeling that there will be a fair number of trans people at the latter – anything to make themselves validated.

    Co-opting lesbian identities under an umbrella, then ignoring them seems to be a common occurrence. People claim to speak for everyone, then attempt to silence those who would dare to speak for themselves. As usual, the trans community behaves in aggressive, male ways and demands to be heard. It is all about their needs, and everyone else will hear if they aren’t met. They get their voice, and gay men do too, but women don’t matter to them.

    It is also telling that they have “LGBTQ Anti-violence Advocacy”, rather than recognizing that there is a big difference between violence against men (usually gay-bashing), and violence against women. I guess that’s “transphobic”, though, as visibly trans individuals tend to get treated as men, and they would be upset if they were excluded, no matter the feelings and harm to others. Individuals with a female anatomy obviously have different risks (including pregnancy), but to recognize that is to “oppress” them.

    The really disappointing thing is that even if there were (for example) a violence against women workshop, the trans crowd insist on their “right” to be there. Females behave differently when men are around, and forcing rape survivors to associate those they see as potential rapists in order to talk with others like them is abhorrant. Lesbians don’t go out of their way to invade trans spaces, but asking for the same respect is oppression.

    Thank you, GallusMag, for speaking up about this.

  5. Mary Sunshine Says:

    Seems as if you’re not allowed to be a lesbian in that outfit unless you’re over 60. Nice message, eh?

  6. RoseVerbena Says:

    Never fear! Valerie Keefe / Sean P Tisdall — or some other lesbimanz — will be there, representin’.

    Natural-born women are sooooooo last century.

    (Meh.)

  7. GallusMag Says:

    Thanks to everyone responding to this post both publicly and privately.

  8. GallusMag Says:

    Looks like some feathers are being ruffled by this post. Stand by. Much more to come.

  9. Noanodyne Says:

    Thanks for doing this, Mag.

  10. SheilaG Says:

    Wow, good work on this Gallus. Let’s blast the internet with this information and blow the b.s sky high. Every lesbian should just pull out of that conference unless radical change, and lesbian workshops flood the place.

    We need to get very aggressive quickly on this.
    I’ll forward to my network. Let’s get out the word, and get out the truth about all the lesbian workshops that were rejected. And also for lesbians attending the conference, you can create your own workshops and get the word out with facebook and leaflets… kick the trans to the curb too.

  11. GallusMag Says:

    You’re absolutely right Sheila. We already know of several Lesbian and Women’s workshops which were rejected, including one on the history of and current state of Black Lesbian Activism.

    Readers, please post this article on your Facebook feeds, post it on your local Lesbian lists, raise the issue on the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Facebook page: (http://www.facebook.com/thetaskforce)

    HELP GET THE WORD OUT.
    This conference starts in ONE WEEK so we need to act quickly.

  12. GallusMag Says:

    And please post updates especially if/when you are censored as Kitty was on conference MC Kate Clinton’s Facebook page.
    Thanks Everyone!


  13. folks – i am of two minds, —
    1. as i agree w/you that there is not enough feminist or lesbian-specific programming at CC nor in the LGBT movement in general. I have felt that way for a long time and been working on it for a long time in the national work that i do. While not at all a lesbian separatist, lesbian separatism from the 70s taught me a lot about the importance of articulating identity and expressing it freely.
    2. However i also feel your statement jumps to unwarranted conclusions in how you classify the workshops that ARE listed. You are judging by titles I assume. I know that at least some of those you classify as “not lesbian-feminist” most certainly are inclusive of such concerns. There is nothing that disqualifies kink or spirituality or anti-racism or sex work or sexual healing or people of color or trans focused workshops from being lesbian and feminist … it depends upon who’s running them and participating in them and the connections they make and the values/visions they assert, and/or don’t.
    Loraine (someone who’s a feminist from way back, who’s loved women all her life, and has always worked to affirm the feminist critique in every group I’m in and to support the rights of lesbians everywhere, we are all connected, we are one)

    • GallusMag Says:

      Actually LGB and T are NOT all the same.

      I see that your “Bisexual/Pansexual/Fluid Organizing Institute” has NOT been rejected for participation in Creating Change 2012 (as Lesbian workshops have been), and has been accepted as a day-long event.

      I note that your “Bisexual/Pansexual/Fluid” event is NOT being conducted under a general “LGBT” event title:
      “Spend a focused, fun and productive day with bisexual/pansexual/fluid activists discussing current issues in bi organizing and building connections between participants.”
      “We will share recent bi visibility campaigns and organizational strategies for building bi community.”

      Your workshop at last year’s Creating Change Conference was titled “Bi Any Other Name: A 20 year Anniversary Dialogue”: “Twenty years ago, Bi movement pioneers Loraine Hutchins and Lani Ka’ahumanu published their landmark anthology of bisexual politics and experience: Bi Any Other Name. In this workshop, Bi visionary Loraine Hutchins leads a discussion with movement leaders on the impact of the book, its affect on the trajectory of the bi movement, and the state of bi organizing liberation today.”

      It seems startlingly hypocritical for you to suggest that Lesbian interests “might” (?) be addressed tangentially in general topics when you personally as a Bi/Pansexual/Fluid person advocate for Bi/Pansexual/Fluid- specific workshops and forums.

      You come here as a Bi/Pan/Fluid workshop presenter, who has NOT (unlike Lesbian presenters) been rejected by Creating Change 2012, to inform Lesbians that we have no need for Female-centered programming while you maintain that Bi/Pan/Fluid people DO have such a need. That speaks for itself. And the language it is speaking is Lesbian-phobia, Female-phobia, disenfranchisement and Female-hatred.

      • Dyksfunctional Says:

        Gallus sooooo ROCKS! This sight CONSTANTLY reminds me to pay the fuck ATENTION. Thank you so very much

  14. GallusMag Says:

    Please post comments everywhere you see the 2012 Creating Change conference advertised or receiving press coverage also.
    Thanks.

  15. RoseVerbena Says:

    Just for the record, crap like this is why I no longer consider myself “LGBT…x” — in fact, I’m sick to death of the whole false association and reject it without hesitation or reservation.

    I’m sick and tired of being a fourth-class alphabet in the alphabet soup.

    I’ve been excoriated by more gay men than I can count — despite the fact that I ended up in the ER once after defending a gay man from physical assault by three gay-bashers who had him on the ground, kicking him. (Which I would do again today if I were presented with the same situation.)

    Furthermore, no one ever asked me to vote on including T’s in the soup, some of whom are the most anti-female heterosexual men on the planet Earth.

    Political “solidarity” without a strong understanding of sexism and the vital role of feminism in a patriarchal world? That’s a hollow, false-ringing bell if I ever heard one. Clunk!

  16. SheilaG Says:

    Are local Dykes at the Creating Change city — Baltimore going to organize ad hoc workshops?
    It would be great if 300-500 lesbians showed up outsidde the event, passed out leaflets for lesbian only workshops, got spaces ready to go, and hosted rejected workshop leaders too.

    We need number, we need loud and in their face.

  17. Bev Jo Says:

    Thank you, Gallus. I don’t know why I’m always surprised when it’s this bad, when they show how much they do hate us. And I’m surprised at Kate Clinton.

    This is what it was like pre-AIDS. The gay men didn’t want us there. (I remember that being said about a pool party once because Lesbians would make the pool dirty.) Bisexuals just wanted to leech off us. And the trans cult is an even worse parasite because some bisexual women do decide to come out.

    Some of us were never taken in by any of the “LGBT” crap. I never gave permission to be included in that line up. My people are Lesbians, and some women. Not men. And especially not men pretending to be Lesbians. Trannies are not our allies. They are our enemies.

    Sadly, I’ve been seeing a lot of Lesbian-hatred from het women in some “feminist” groups also.

    So, now the female-hatred and Lesbian-hatred in the LGBT con is becoming more clear again. These men and their allies want a segregated community.

    I so much agree, Gallus, Kitty, Sheila, Rose….

    They hate us. No more pretending if they aren’t getting money, and Lesbians are the poorest of the poor.

    I will post on fb. Thank you, our Champion, Gallus Mag!!!


  18. […] Update to this post: https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/creating-change-2012-lesbian-and-womens-workshops-reje… […]

  19. S Says:

    You censored my comment, Gallus? What? I pretty much agree with what you usually write on here, but the only reason I can think of to get rid of my comment is to promote a sense of victimisation regardless of the truth, which under-representation of gay men (being even worse than that of lesbians) would bring into question.

    I’ll try again. And if you choose not to post it I would appreciate being told why: [REMOVED-GM] @ hotmail . com

    [Did I?? I’ll check the spam-GM]
    [“..promote a sense victimisation regardless of the truth, which under-representation of gay men (being even worse than that of lesbians)..” HA HA- why would anyone ever spam that? lolol. -GM]

  20. S Says:

    This event does seem to have quite a “queer” bias. It does come to my attention though that there are no events for gay men either, leading me to think this is not an anti-women slight, more of an attitude of “straightforward” homosexuals aren’t an interesting enough minority anymore, or somesuch.

  21. SheilaG Says:

    Loraine, I can’t believe you would think that something that doesn’t NAME lesbians and lesbian feminist concerns in the title would somehow magically “include” our concerns. Just to be blunt, I am not interested in working with men, I want to work with women, and lesbian issues. I don’t want to “share” a workshop with everyone else. And no, just because lesbians want to meet other lesbians, means just that. We don’t get anything from discussing sexism and male supremacy with men, but we do educate lesbians everywhere on tactics, on protesting, and dealing with lesbian life in general.
    And no, I don’t want to deal with bi-women, don’t want to have sexual relationships with them, I want lesbian space and I want to hear lesbian voices. Now what is so hard to understand about this? My time is limited, and I’m not interested in gay men, trans or bi’s.

    We know from lesbian feminism 101 that if you don’t put a correct title on an event, lesbians won’t be heard, and we want to hear each other. Isn’t it suspicious that KINK, BDSM, and leather all have groups but the huge group LESBIANS don’t have this same space? It says that NGLTF doesn’t give a damn about us, and so I’d say, why is it that KINK separatists, or bi separatists get honored, but lesbian separatists don’t? Why is so much hate heaped on women who have always been separatist, or thrive in lesbian only groups or women on groups— why is this hated on, or made fun of as a “70s” relic? It’s not the 70s anymore, and yet lesbians are still fighting to have our voices heard and our workshops honored. Reject all the lesbian proposed workshops? It means you deprive lesbians of leadership opportunities on a national stage, it means you deny that we are a community, and that our issues aren’t your issues. That is a very real life issue, and we take seriously our mission to pass the torch of lesbian nationalism to a new generation of lesbians who are being so short changed by the trans invasion, the bi invasion, the kink, the BDSM… all that garbage that has nothing to do with LESBIAN identity, LESBIAN nation, and LESBIAN visibility, and the promotion of new lesbian leaders within an all lesbian context. If I hear one more damn woman harken this desire to the 70s I’m going to scream loud and clear…. SEXISM, LESBIAN ERASURE, hatred of lesbian organizing for its own sake away from the penis people, and the women who have sex with men, no thank you!!!

  22. mel Says:

    I identify as lesbian – dyke – queer … I have been a Creating Change junkie off n on since the early 90’s … I have seen myself represented every where I look at Creating Change. I wonder how many who are so ripped by feeling invisible have been to Creating Change and experienced first hand invisibility? When I think of Creating Create I think it to be a haven of amazing dyke- lesbian energy and focus. I feel far from a “4th class’ citizen at Creating Change.

    I find statements like … they hate us… Trannies are not our allies. They are our enemies… to be un-founded.

    The leadership of the Task Force stems from lesbians: who identify as African-American, Black, Latina, Asian-Pacific, etc… and a host of others … gay, dyke, trannie, queer… fill in the blank. These folks are daily working for the rights of all of us. All the issues the TF works on may not directly effect me or be my issues… and still I appreciate that there are ones daily working on the rights and betterment of my time here on the planet. Creating Change is not a lesbian separatist conference nor is it a conference of lesbian haters and dismisser’s.

    In the 80’s I identified as separatist, lived on dyke land and had nothing to do with men when ever possible. Act-Up began to bring me around, the men who were directly involved with that work were getting the message to work on their shit if they wanted the energy and commitment from lesbians. In my mind progress had begun. Working on the Class Institute curriculum for Creating Change, with a gaggle of amazing brilliant folks, I began to open up on a deeper level that there were men on the planet who were working on their misogyny and supported separatist space. The further I was involved with Creating Change and the Task Force the deeper I came to understand and embrace that not all men were evil and some were even on my side.

    I still value and crave women only space. I seek those spaces out often. I also, am filled up, challenged, grow and thrive at every Creating Change I attend.

    Honestly gals, I do not think that the Creating Change folks are wanting lesbians to feel invisible and un-wanted. Quite the contrary. Creating Change seems to me to a organic ever changing space. There is no agenda here to shut ones out. But how would ones know if they don’t give it check and see. Here is a good time to not be so quick to pre-judge.

    Cheers,
    Mel

    • GallusMag Says:

      What is the point of your comment. This is a post on the total absence of programming specifically directed to issues of lesbians and women. Your point is that you see no need for such programming? Because you are not a “man hater”? And only “man-haters” would see a need for programming specifically addressing sexism, feminist issues and Lesbian issues?
      Dear Lord. Do you think before you type?

      I find it deeply offensive that you would characterize programming specifically directed at women and lesbians as “separatist”. Is the programming on trans issues “trans separatist?” Is the programming on racism “Black separatist?” Is the programming on ageism “age separatist?” Why aren’t you complaining on the sites of people running those workshops telling them that programming specifically addressing those issues are unnecessary?

      Most importantly, you say:
      “There is no agenda here to shut ones out.”
      Clearly the rejected workshops submissions HAVE been “shut out”. Please put up or shut up. Post the list of rejected workshop submissions so we can all see who has been “shut out”. Kthanx.

    • GallusMag Says:

      “There is no agenda here to shut ones out. But how would ones know if they don’t give it check and see. ”

      Why on earth would Lesbians spend hundreds of dollars, airfare, and hotel fees to “check out” an activist conference that has ZERO programming directed to specifically Lesbian or Women’s interests????

      • mel Says:

        It seems that anything I post here your going to twist and manipulate. I am not going to banter.

        Nope not a manhater.. I hate ignorance and prejudgment. Yep I am the Mel of Lesbian.com.. but again your information is twisted.. we WOULD NOT sell to the Adult web world which is why its still in the hands of dykes.. the Advocate took off and made that all up on their own.

        I’m thinking your not really gonna really hear anything I have to contribute here.. how sad is that.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Oh, we’re hearing you. That’s the problem.
        “Banter”? Try actually addressing the issues raised in my response to your comment which I was kind enough to take the time to write. And Sheila’s response too. No one “twisted and manipulated” anything. Your words are here for all to see. As are your words and those of your partner re: the brokering of the Lesbian.com domain.

        So the Advocate “made that all up on their own”? You are claiming that they fabricated quotes? They are not the only site that wrote about it. Did all the sites “make it all up” and fabricate direct quotes? Or did they “twist and manipulate”?

        Let’s face it the only reason porn stars with long fingernails aren’t poking each other for pay on Lesbian.com right now is that you didn’t get your price and you are convinced that you can somehow turn the domain into a personal cash cow. Why is the domain sitting there abandoned and looking like shit? Because you insist on CHARGING Lesbians to participate on the site! Hahaha! Jesus.

        That’s why it’s just sitting there looking like a turd. You’re trying to gouge Lesbians, or sell the domain for porn- whatever will make you a buck.

        Well hey Mel- why don’t you give the domain to women who can actually do something with it? I’ll give you fifty bucks for it.

    • GallusMag Says:

      OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. You’re the same “Mel” that tried to broker a deal selling Lesbian.com to pornographers for 2 million dollars.
      All becoming clear now.


    • Mel,

      “In the 80′s I identified as separatist, lived on dyke land and had nothing to do with men when ever possible. Act-Up began to bring me around, the men who were directly involved with that work were getting the message to work on their shit if they wanted the energy and commitment from lesbians. In my mind progress had begun. Working on the Class Institute curriculum for Creating Change, with a gaggle of amazing
      brilliant folks, I began to open up on a deeper level that there were men on the planet who were working on their misogyny and supported separatist space. The further I was involved with Creating Change and the Task Force the deeper I came to understand and embrace that not all men were evil and some were even on my side. ”

      I hear where you’re coming from. Do you not think the shift away from lesbian feminist culture also had something to do with your inner change? I guess I just don’t see how we can separate the personal from the rest of society.

      • Thursday's Child Says:

        the men who were directly involved with that work were getting the message to work on their shit if they wanted the energy and commitment from lesbians.

        Even if they “work on their shit”, why should they get the “energy and commitment” of lesbians? Do lesbians get “energy and commitment” from gay men for anything? Is the “energy and commitment” of lesbians some kind of pay gay men can expect if they are not “evil”? And what if lesbians no longer give their “energy and commitment”? Are the gay men then perfectly justified in being misogynist? What kind of crap is this? We don’t owe them anything for not being bigoted, misogynist or “evil” against us.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Such a good point Thursday’s Child.

  23. SheilaG Says:

    If we are thinking of attending a conference that supposedly “includes” lesbians, and it will probably cost over $1000, including air fare, meals, lost time at work etc., then how would you make sure that lesbian concerns were being addressed if there is only ONE event with the word LESBIAN in it?

    And all we want to know is how many lesbians submitted workshop proposals for LESBIAN workshops and were rejected? What were the names of the lesbian workshops, who got rejected, and why did only one workshop have the word lesbian in it?

    And why is it when lesbians want lesbian only space we are called separatists but all other groups like bears, KINK, trans, bi, genderqueer or transbutch are not labeled separatist as well? If African American lesbians want to meet, do we compare them to NOA? Do we insult their need for solidarity and sisterhood away from white supremacy?
    Do women always have to be thrown in with everyone else? Why is our desire for lesbian workshops awful? Again, I think there is still a lot of lesbian self-hatred out there, dissing of radical lesbian feminist politics, dissing of separatists who really don’t want anything to do with men.

    So Mel, why is there only one workshop for lesbians over 60? Are they age and dyke separatists who don’t deserve a place to meet and deal with age and lesbian issues germaine to an over 60 lesbian?

    Now they’ve included a one hour lesbian caucus, because of our letters and activism pointing out the total lack of lesbian labeling in the workshop titles… one hour out of a five day program. Sure lesbians go to all events. But the issue here is the lesbian need to have lesbian only time, because we don’t own West Hollywood, we don’t have millions of dollars the way the gay boys do, and we don’t have huge fundraising events like AIDS life cycle that caters to men with AIDS, excluding all lesbian health needs.

    It’s one reason so many lesbians want to know upfront just how lesbian centered a so-called LGBT event really is. I’ve had so many lesbians tell me how much they miss lesbian only space, how they feel left out, how their age group is excluded and marginalized, and how economically unaffordable so much of LGBT land has become.

    So our concerns are valid, and if you were once a separatist on lesbian land mel, then you should be able to understand this. And no, ACT-UP did not address lesbian concerns, and it didn’t support women’s AIDS fundraisers in San Francisco, where gay male money went to other gay men, but women and children with AIDS be damned. Yeah, I was there, I was a witness, so I know what happened.

    Do lesbians have a right to over 20 workshops with LESBIAN in the title? If I’m going to pay big bucks for a conference, I’m going to meet lesbians from all over the country or world, and I love lesbian conferences for this reason.

  24. SheilaG Says:

    Did you try to sell lesbian.com to pornographers Mel?

  25. Bev Jo Says:

    “Separatist” is the scare word that is used to make women shrink away and cry out “But I’m not one, I love men, etc.,” just as “Lesbian” or “Dyke” is the scare word to keep het women in line. It’s completely irrelevant to this conversation.

    Of course we know that we are not welcome as Lesbians if we are not named at all! This reminds me of an earlier Gay/Lesbian conference right in my city where I could not afford the $200 to get in (no sliding scale), while a middle-aged husband and father who recently decided he was a Lesbian was invited for free and had thousands spent on his transportation and housing from New Zealand.

    This is not unusual. Women are valued less than men, and Lesbians are valued the least. We are also not likely to bring in much money to organizations, though we usually pay more than our share for “LGBTQ” crap.

    I’ve recently had only one experience in a mixed working group (for Audubon, protecting burrowing owls) and I never went back. The women were completely ignored — even Audubon hierarchy — while the men completely dominated. There are a lot of reasons that Lesbians rarely work politically with men. Some of us remember when the Shanti Project for dying Lesbians and Gay Men was turned into an AIDS-only project and so dying Lesbians had nowhere to go. Gay men who had joked about not wanting Lesbians at their pool parties (because we would contaminate the water with our dirty vulvas) suddenly advertized in newspapers “Our Boys Need Blood” (for gay men with AIDS) because Lesbians had the cleanest blood. Yes, a few gay men do care. One recently told me that they would never have helped Lesbians if we had had an epidemic like AIDS, even though they have far more money, businesses, their own neighborhoods.

    Yes, Mel, as Gallus asked, “Did you try to sell lesbian.com to pornographers?”

  26. Mary Sunshine Says:

    There’s a Mel Bramyn mentioned here:

    https://www.lesbianvoices.com/about-lesbian-voices

  27. Bev Jo Says:

    Love your style, Gallus!

  28. SheilaG Says:

    If you are not named, it means you are not welcome.
    It’s that simple. Thanks for that insight Bev. Loved your post and overview. We should wonder why women are so afraid to use the word LESBIAN. This should be a clear warning.

    But then again, we have created a world where young people want to distance themselves from the old, so they make up new words and terms to do this.
    The NGLTF gang interesting kept the word LESBIAN for wommin over 60, because that group will not tolerate erasure, and are immune to “hipster” malestream coercion.

    I’ve been speaking up for separatism of late, and getting some interesting responses. One time I brought it up at UCLA, and the whole discussion abruply ended after I brought up the ethics of taking lesbian separatist materials out of lesbian spaces, and putting them where men get access to them….
    One woman came up to me later and thanked me for defending separatists, but she didn’t back me publically… just a hush hush whispered “attagirl” type thing. She is a femme.

    And it’s true that fundraising has utterly taken over the so-called LGBT community. So if you aren’t an object who can bring in the bucks, you then get turned into a “client” social work style. It means there is a deliberate effort to separate poor dykes from middle class dykes, and it bugs the hell out of me. If we can’t create a class unified movement, the hell if I’m going to “donate” to the social service bureaucrat assimilationists who just don’t get it.

    There is a radical lesbian economics that could be advanced and refined. I’ve seen it work well in the past, and there is no reason we can’t do it again.
    With all this critique of capitalism, it’s amazing how the LGBT fundraising establishment keep promoting economic separation.

    And I don’t see those gay boys in occupy screaming about women being less than men for hundreds of years. Nope.

  29. SheilaG Says:

    The big question I have, if we know for sure that gay men never would have stepped up if AIDS was decimating the lesbian community, is why did lesbians abandon each other to give scarce resources to gay men (volunteer work, blood) during the epidemic? I was in the middle of it, and saw all kinds of outrage. A food pantry was converted for AIDS patients only, and before it had been equally available to women and men in the Castro. Then they’d have a woman do volunteer work with men with AIDS, but the minute a man got the job, he suddenly and mysteriously got a salary.

    On and on it went. We set back the lesbian movement lightyears with this male serving detour, and we’re still paying the interest on that bad investment of time and energy. I couldn’t believe it at the time, and I’m still reflecting on why lesbians refused to stay the course for radical lesbian communities. Goddess help us now, it’s all about non-taxable corporations (called non-profits), $250 a plate star studded “dinners” straight women movie stars getting ooohh and ahhed over by lesbians…
    hollyweird… oh and it’s all so “queer.” Yeah, it’s queer all right, but my word is horriqueer!

  30. fmnst Says:

    The problem with workshops labeled “LGBT” etc. is that even though, technically, lesbians are part of the title, lesbians and our specific concerns as lesbians, as women, as feminists–our differences from those of gays, bis, and so-called “trans”, and most of all, our oppression specificially as women, lesbians, and feminists–get overlooked and subsumed. I’d have to back and check, but I didn’t notice the term “feminist” or “lesbian feminist” in the titles, either. WOW, is that ever telling.

    It’s the same as with calling women and men “people” or “humans” or even “women and men”: because men are the oppressor group, their interests, concerns and VOICES predominate and drown out feminist lesbians’ concerns (and by lesbian, I am most certainly not referring to any man patriarchal enough to consider himself “trans” or a woman). It makes it far more difficult for women to speak out about our specific concerns, and our oppression, because in a co-ed group, we are always getting objected to, criticized, questioned, derailed, laughed at, or ignored: and therefore pressured into denying and minimizing our differences and the myriad ways in which patriarchy is the foundation of every detail of our cultures. There certainly is no opportunity to explore, and deeply and innovatively think about the ways in which women and lesbians are oppressed, and how we can be as effective as possible in ending our and women’s oppression.

    To this day, women (and even lesbian feminists) often find it extremely difficult to have the floor, let alone have any in-depth conversation about our experiences, our oppression, and be able to even identify even a little of the complexities and depth of that oppression.That is why we need women-only, lesbian-only, lesbian-feminist only, radical-lesbian-feminist only, radical lesbian-feminist-trans-free-only, radical lesbian-feminist-trans-free-lesbian-of-color only spaces, and so forth. We could add in class, ableism, and other oppressions to these lists, in a terrific, endlessly diverse, invaluable and crucial array of configurations. We have so much unpacking and unraveling to do.

    Virtually everyone in the US, it seems, has this collectively fantasy belief nowadays that we live in a post-patriarchal world where women enjoy some incredibly mythical “equality,” and we are at risk or in fact actually oppressing men(!) when in fact, we are probably thousands, if not tens or hundreds of thousands of years from sex equality for women. Patriarchy wasn’t built in a day. It has been laid down, day by day, man by man, since the beginning of human evolution, some 200,000? years ago. People of color, feminists, and lesbians have hardly gotten started deconstructing patriarchy, let alone replacing it with anything even beginning to have a sliver of “equality” in it.

    To even be able to identify the innumerable facets of our oppression requires women-only, lesbian-only, etc., space: forever. That is where the insights begin to bubble up, to come together, to bounce off of one another’s study, analysis, and epiphanies.

    I agree with BevJo, who never fell for the LGBT lie. I’m so glad, BevJo, that you did not, and that you are here to write about it – thank you!

    The “LGBT” lie was founded not for the purpose of including, empowering, and ending the oppression of lesbians and lesbian-feminists, but for bringing us back into the fold of men (gay men), for the purpose of silencing, subsuming, USING, and colonizing us into worker bees for the gays’ agenda when they were engulfed with the AIDS crisis and couldn’t get the government or ANYONE ELSE to help them. They looked around, realized we were the least homophobic at the time, and turned their sights on us to bail them out of their crisis: politically, financially, and as workers for them.

    • fmnst Says:

      (cont.) But there was one big problem for gays with turning to lesbians in the 1980s, when AIDS was engulfing gays: those of us who were feminists, in particular, wanted little if anything to do with gays. We were all too familiar with gays not being interested in feminism or ending women’s oppression. We knew all too well the major gay organizations, and most gays, just wanted into straight men’s wealthy, super-capitalist, privileged clubhouse and using women and lower-income people the world over for labor and profit.

      I remember sitting in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza in 1986 on so-called Lesbian and Gay Pride Day, listening to the line-up of speakers on the dais. A very interesting thing happened that day. It just so happened that ALL of the speakers on that dais had coordinated speeches around one theme:

      why lesbians should “set aside our differences” with gays “just for now, until gays got the AIDS crisis under control” and help gays fight against AIDS; and then we could go back to advocating for our (feminist) issues and grievances.

      (Yeah, right.)

      And of course, by differences, they meant we should “set aside feminism” and our complaints and demands regarding gays’ sexism and patriarchal “gay rights” agenda (to challenge homophobic discrimination by straight men against gays, but no other aspect of patriarchy; no dismantling of patriarchal institutions such as the military, corporations, our male-written Constitution and male-created government, marriage, breeding, etc.)

      Obedient, barely- or anti-feminist lesbians in the gay rights organizations were on the dais, as were gays, someone acknowledging in a rare and fleeting moment how “gays hadn’t always been there entirely” for lesbians, and all of them reciting long lists of how serious the AIDS crisis was and why lesbians should sell ourselves and feminism out and help gays.

      The talking points included that lesbians could get AIDS too, and that “if lesbians were to have a terrible health crisis, gays would be there for you,” at which point all the lesbians around me (I was sitting in a mostly women’s area) started laughing hysterically.

      And yet, as the gay rights activists started coming around with white donations cans, I watched in horror as lesbians dropped money into those cans. Every ounce of my being was screaming inside, “No!! What are you doing? Don’t do this! Don’t support gay men, they are the ones with the money, not lesbians!” And I’m sure I made some loud comments as lesbians’ hard earned change clinked into those cans.

      And on those lists of talking points was another one: that lesbians withholding our political, labor, and financial support from gays with AIDS by “refusing to set aside our differences” was tantamount to killing gays, letting them die.

      • fmnst Says:

        (cont.)

        …That is why lesbians donated. Lesbians–women–can be guilt-tripped into doing anything for just about anyone. Except stand up for ourselves and other women or lesbians, as women, lesbians or feminists.

        Over the next several years, in the Bay Area and beyond, I kept hearing at pride rallies and reading in the emerging LGBT press, and LGBT community centers that I avoided as much as possible, that lesbians needed to “set aside our differences,” and that any insistence on or even mention of any feminist grievances or even feminist interests or concerns was “taking the focus off of AIDS” that we “need to focus on what unites us, not what divides us,” and that raising feminist issues was “killing gays.”

        That is how lesbian feminists got bullied and silenced into dropping any mention of anything feminist, anything lesbian-feminist. It was taboo; it was murderous to gays; it was divisive. Oooooh. How baaad, to be divisive, to be feminist.

        What an f’ing trap.

        I wanted to cry out at that pride rally in 1986, “It isn’t FEMINISM that’s divisive, it’s GAY SEXISM that’s divisive!”

        I wish I had. I wish I’d had the guts to write that to the LGBT newsletters. But I knew I would have been ostracized, a pariah. I wonder how many other lesbian feminists felt the exact fear and were silenced.

        I believe that we are all a product of herstory: of everything that has come before us, especially within our own culture and family lineage, whether we realize it or not.

        I think the LGBT and the young, up and coming lesbians within it, on some level, have learned, have absorbed, if even just intuitively, that there is a taboo against being lesbian feminist in the LGBT community, that there is something sinister, evil, hateful, cruel and unsympathetic toward gays, and unacceptable to even consider themselves feminist, and to identify with other feminists and lesbians, to want women-only space (for sure), and to identify with the older generation of lesbian feminists. (That’s so anti-male and passe…those poor males.)

        So now they do everything possible to be as male as possible: that’s radical, to be male and reject anything female or feminist.

        So I avoid LGBT organizations, groups, activists, and publications like the plague. They are deeply anti-feminist.

        It’s great to be having this dialogue here. I have wondered where the other lesbians have been who were suspicious of and saw through the LGBT and the using of lesbians for AIDS work.

        I know a working class, partially disabled, very hard-working bi woman in the area where I live now, who has a horrific job working in a large psych facility for convicted men, who still volunteer-drives hundreds of miles every weekend to deliver food for gays with AIDS, to a gay resort town and all over our county. Meanwhile, in that resort town and in the gay publications are all kinds of pricey vacation homes and restaurants owned and frequented by gays, and travel agencies offering ultimate gay vacation excursions around the world.

        Why is any lesbian or bi woman donating a minute, or a dime, for AIDS when so many gays have so much money to live the good life?

      • moira Says:

        fmnst: You said, “I think the LGBT and the young, up and coming lesbians within it, on some level, have learned, have absorbed, if even just intuitively, that there is a taboo against being lesbian feminist in the LGBT community, that there is something sinister, evil, hateful, cruel and unsympathetic toward gays, and unacceptable to even consider themselves feminist, and to identify with other feminists and lesbians, to want women-only space (for sure), and to identify with the older generation of lesbian feminists. (That’s so anti-male and passe…those poor males.)

        So now they do everything possible to be as male as possible: that’s radical, to be male and reject anything female or feminist.”

        I am of that generation and have been in serious self-examination about this, considering the very conclusions that you suggest here. I can confirm that lesbian feminist books and ideas were treated outright as taboos, and people I trusted equated them with violent hate speech. I don’t know anyone (besides on the internet) I can talk to about this. I want to hear more of your stories and would love to discuss all of this. Email is [REDACTED- I’m not sure you are prepared for the threats and attacks from “male lesbians” that will ensue if I publish your email address so I am going to opt out of doing so. Sorry. -GM]


  31. Well, this is totally fucked up.

  32. Bev Jo Says:

    Thank you so much, fmnst and Sheila, for all that you said. I wish every woman, and every feminist, and every Lesbian would see what you wrote and realize not just the magnificent communities that were lost (no more bookstores or even bars, rare publications, women-only space, etc.), but what we are still losing and what we could change.

    When our movement was so exciting, it wasn’t very large. We could do it again. We are, here, and in some other places.

    Thank you, Gallus Mag, our champion.

    • fmnst Says:

      Thank you, BevJo. Feel free to post what I wrote wherever you want, if it is useful (If you do, please let me know where.) I’m so glad we’re telling our stories here. It was eye-opening to read what Sheila G. wrote about lesbians no longer being served by a food pantry, and a lesbian working unpaid in the food pantry then being replaced by man getting paid for the same work, etc. Very sad.

      Also, my apologies to any women or lesbians here who *did* donate or volunteer for gay AIDS work for tromping on you in what I wrote. All women are raised by this culture innundated with messages that it is our job to do for men and if we don’t, we’re selfish you-know-whats; and the pressure on women and lesbians to help out with AIDS was enormous. I still do things for men at times and then sometimes conclude it wasn’t in my best interest.

      From BevJo,

      “When our movement was so exciting, it wasn’t very large. We could do it again. We are, here, and in some other places.

      “Thank you, Gallus Mag, our champion.”

      That’s inspiring, BevJo. You and others here, and the way Gallus Mag creates a wonderful space for us to come together here, is making me think that is a possibility. GMs writings are articulating beautifully what many people/lesbians probably think or are explaining issues re: trans in a way people can understand. Her writings give me hope that it will be possible to turn back the tide of trans-foolishness and guilt-tripping.

      I have been forwarding posts from this blog (mainly to straight feminist politicians and activists) and would like to link young and older lesbians to this blog.

      I think we who want women or lesbian-only space are the ones who need to create it, from scratch. It is hard enough to do that without being attacked, vilified in the community, and our efforts torn down or women afraid to attend even when the organizers themselves understand the importance of women or lesbian-only space, let alone asking LGBTQLMNOP groups to ‘allow’ us our spaces.

      An advantage is that if we create such spaces on our own, we can do so from a radical feminist perspective and ensure that it is ultra-low-cost or perhaps even free and therefore be class-inclusive and not treating low-income women like charity. Starting small might be a good thing, with just a very small group of women/lesbians who value and don’t have an issue with “-only” space. This can certainly keep it affordable if it’s only for a tiny group of women.

      Thanks for giving me hope, BevJo, Feisty, GM, SheilaG and to the radfems here. I’ll respond to Feisty’s nice post tomorrow.

      • GallusMag Says:

        “Also, my apologies to any women or lesbians here who *did* donate or volunteer for gay AIDS work for tromping on you in what I wrote. All women are raised by this culture innundated with messages that it is our job to do for men and if we don’t, we’re selfish you-know-whats; and the pressure on women and lesbians to help out with AIDS was enormous.”

        We helped because our gay male friends were dying, horribly, in the most horrific ways imaginable, en masse, in a deadly plague that was deliberately allowed to spread by the medical, government and health powers-that-be.
        An entire GENERATION of gay men died the most awful deaths imaginable before our very eyes. No one had to “ask” us to help. We had no choice. We dropped everything and did ANYTHING we could to help because we had to. And would do again.

      • Thursday's Child Says:

        One of the reasons the women’s movement died on the vine at that time was because lesbians dropped it to run and help gay men with AIDS. This resulted in the deaths of many women worldwide as the backlash immediately rushed into the void to take advantage of that and push their anti woman agenda.
        There certainly *was* a choice, we didn’t have to “drop everything” and help gay men. Call me whatever you want, but my choice then as now is to give my all to women, and none to men.

      • GallusMag Says:

        You ignored the mass death! Good for you. And you did it all for women.

      • Thursday's Child Says:

        At that time, the balance of the worldwide population changed from a preponderance of women to a preponderance of men, the gynocide had increased so much. You ignored the mass death! Good for you. And you did it all for men.

  33. fmnst Says:

    (cont.)

    …and time on their hands to party, travel, go clubbing, antiquing, and decorating, while this bi woman is slavishly driving miles to their area to deliver food to gays with AIDS? On her weekends, at no pay?

    And what really gets me is reading in an LGBT paper half a dozen years ago about a then-latest trend among gays: “bare-backing.”

    Have you heard of this?

    In the article, it described that this is where gays have all-HIV-positive sex parties, and they have orgies with each other without condoms, figuring since they all have HIV, there’s no harm in having sex with each other.

    AS IF VIRUSES DON’T MUTATE AND BECOME MORE DRUG-RESISTANT!

    This made me sick.

    It might be fine for rich or government-supported American gays to pass around more virulent forms of HIV they can pay to get treated, but what about for people in Africa who are dying en masse of AIDS, many of whom can afford no treatment for any form of the disease?

    Lesbians have been donating their time and money for this irresponsible community?

    Sorry, but any lesbian or anyone else donating to AIDS work for gays, at this point, in my view, is simply enabling. Enabling continued irresponsible gay sexual behavior to the extreme, reckless disregard for those who won’t be able to afford treatment of new strains of STDs, and enabling some gays to spend money lavishly on themselves for niceties and luxuries at lesbians’ expense instead of supporting their own gay community. If gays wanted to take risks that could (mythically) be contained to their own community, fine, but even then, why the hell should lesbians pay for it.

    And we’re paying for it alright. Not only for some lesbians, financially, but for all lesbians in terms of the annhilation of lesbian feminist space, dialogue, and communities (online and offline), and the co-optation of women’s studies courses overrun by gay and trans anti-feminist theories and unwarranted, guilt-tripped sympathy for our oppressors. And all these LGBT organizations pushing their anti-feminist, lesbian-feminist silencing agendas ever further.

    I talked to a young lesbian at my college, with a gay man teaching the only Feminist Theory course, who, when I simply said I was feminist, reacted by saying that meant I hated men. That was her take-away from a feminist theory course! That the definition of feminism is “man-hating,” not “pursuing an end to the domination of men over women and nature” or something along those lines.

    After a short conversation, I went to the college bookstore to see what the hell she’d been reading in her class. Oh my god, it was a book trashing Adrienne Rich’s ‘Compulsory Heterosexuality,’ Marilyn Frye’s “Politics of Reality,” and other feminist classics.

    The young lesbian later told me her gay teacher didn’t have the class read the original essays by Rich, Frye, etc., that were panned in their text. She said she didn’t need to, to know that they were man-hating, etc., garbage. She only needed to read the anti-feminist critiques in her textbook, with occasional, out-of-context quotes from the originals. That is what is passing for college Feminist Theory in a Women’s and Gender Studies program.

    • GallusMag Says:

      About the bare-backing: One of the “complaints” trans activists outlined in yesterday’s most recent glitter-bombing of Dan Savage referred to his:
      “..his campaign in the mid-2000s where he called out AIDS activists that he thought were not aggressive enough in insisting on a condom-only approach to sex. Savage created the impression that “bug chasers” and “givers” were a major trend in the gay community and went so far as to advocate that drug-support payments should be stopped for people who have unsafe sex.”

      http://www.xtra.ca/public/Vancouver/Dan_savaged_by_glitter_before_Vancouver_talk-11397.aspx

      • RoseVerbena Says:

        My reply : “I’m glad to see “trans” people acting out in this obviously inappropriate, abusive way towards a famous gay man only because it will shine a bright light on how abusive “trans” activists have been towards lesbians and feminists for many, many years. I don’t use LGBT because T has no business in the mix — it has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Most of the “trans women” I have encountered are among the most sexist, anti-lesbian, anti-feminist heterosexual men I have ever met. They are obsessed with propping up and perpetuating sexist “gender roles” and many of them openly and lividly hate feminists for not ascribing to their ideas of what a “feminine female” should be.

        Natural born women are constantly under attack by these “trans” activists. Maybe Dan Savage will open his eyes to their abusive sexism now that he’s been made a target of their insanity himself.”

      • Rich Says:

        Aww, so Savage has been saying horrible stuff about female biology for decades and generally being a rape-apologist (anyone who gets drunk is fair game for other drunk people who are like totally innocent and not to be blamed for their behavior!) but he doesn’t get physically attacked until he’s mean to a group that includes biological males. And now that the “lavender menace” presumably includes dudes who have subscriptions to Soldier of Fortune, I hope he keeps his head down.

        The marriage line is awesome: it’s like they’re attacking him for being all “bougie” in his concerns (as if making free cosmetic surgery available to all americans when many can’t even afford flu shots is the radical anarchist solution!) but it’s not like most trans people have a problem getting married if they want to. It’s like when Sadie of Sadie vs. Michfest claimed all women are the same and then played the male card to smuggle her foreign girlfriend into the country.

  34. FeistyAmazon Says:

    fmnst, thanks for that above. I NEVER got into the whole ‘saving gay men’ routine, and have lived out here in the SF Bay Area for over a 1/4 century. I ALWAYS put my energy first into the women’s and Lesbian communities I was part of, and when they started getting coopted, I put them into other womyn’s communities. I also attended ‘Creating Change’ in the late ’90’s when it came to Oakland. We had a couple of Lesbian workshops which the FTM’s crashed, even though there were TONS of workshops for FTM’s and Trans…..one was on ‘Feminist Butches’ which I enjoyed, and of course the trans in the feedback part of it had to get their voices in. One was so sexist that ‘he’ got booed off the mike. It really pissed me off, the FTM’s crashing our space, when they had plenty of their own. Alixx Dobkin questioned in their workshop their longterm association with the male medical field for the rest of their lives, and she was shushed up and the workshop ended. There weren’t too many more Lesbian workshops either, which pissed me off, and I did work exchange to get into the conference. $200 is alot of money for me too…

    The same thing happened with Butch Voices, which was exceedingly expensive too…and the first Butch Voices in Oakland, MANY Female Centered Butches proposed workshops by and for Female Proud Butch Dykes, including myself, Bev Jo, Pippa and others, and WE ALL had our workshops rejected, except for one led by a former FTM, and part of Butch Voices……the second Butch Voices held last summer was even worse. At least in the first one, there was a workshop for disabled Butch Dykes…and all the Butches in that workshop WERE Butch Dykes, not FTM’s.

    I see everywhere bio female Lesbians of ALL STRIPES being silenced when it comes to Lesbian specific workshops, and the youngsters are engaging in essentially Lesbian sex (bio females together) and NOT OWNING their Lesbianism at all! Femmes/genderqueers/butches/FTM”s all saying they are ‘queer'(not even wanting to own the word ‘woman’, or if they do, it’s only for the Femmes) and DEFINITELY NOT the word “Lesbian”.

    I do not consider MTF’s female or women, and so many try to argue me out of that position, but what hurts me the most is when my own Lesbian ‘sisters’ try to humilate me or argue me out of that stance, but NEITHER would they ever consider actually fucking an MTF, cuz they know deep inside that they are essentially male…or may still retain vestiges of their male penis bio flesh equipment, and yet so many are buying illusions than the truth of Lesbian and Female lives and the oppressions we live under daily. And so many HAVE NEVER been in womon or lesbian exclusive spaces so they cannot speak to the power of them, and if I agitate for them, and long and lust for those spaces, and being in the presence of exclusively women,much less exclusively Lesbians, I’m automatically ‘Separatist'(which indeed I am)for doing so…I just had to argue that point when I mention to a group that was putting on an event at a mixed space, where they’ve always had a room for women only, since our group is for women only, that to allow times where their male or ‘other’ spouses/partners can come in, that those women COUNTING on that room being women only, to get away from the male energy, will be sorely disappointed, and they said ‘well this is NOT a Lesbian event’, and I said “I never said it was a Lesbian event, but since OUR event is for women only, those Lesbians and women who WANT women only space will be turned off when they EXPECT our space to be women only, and males are present!”

    I am sick to death to CONSTANTLY have to defend Lesbian space, women’s space, Lesbian and Butch Dyke identity to EVERYBODY and being accused of the ‘S’ (Separatist)word, or they mention the ‘S’ word immediately if you should want a women only space(much less a Lesbian only space or group)thus demonizing us, and every Dyke, Lesbian or womon who wants a separate space from men, or women who associate with men who can’t handle leaving the man or the wanna be or ex man out of that space! Sometimes I just want to be around Dykes and flirt with our own, converse with our own, talk to our own about OUR OWN issues, without hearing about transitioning, men of any stripe, male issues, or catering sexually to men. When do Dykes get to talk about OUR issues, without IMMMEDIATELY including the Bisexuals and Transsexuals???????Gay men still get to have their spaces, but we do not get to….cuz we’ve been so thoroughly coopted as Dykes/Lesbians, and other Lesbians have allowed it to happen, while each of us gets villified for holding down our identities and our spaces without cooptation.

    -FeistyAmazon

  35. FeistyAmazon Says:

    And Creating Change came back to Oakland a second time, and I chose not to go for just all your reasons stated above: nor would I go to Creating Change again: as long as there aren’t a good number of different kinds of Lesbian only workshops, by and for Lesbians and Female Centered Butch Dykes……in fact, I have NO DESIRE to have ANYTHING to do with the GBTLMNOP communities…’Just the L(or the D for Dyke) for me’!

  36. SheilaG Says:

    Well, all the above is very well said. And I think this is a good start to get back to the basics. We have to get serious about what lesbians need to do to build and maintain community, to become much more self-sufficient in so many ways. I never fell for the “drop everything” to come to the aid of men, and a lot of really sexist, horrifying men died of AIDS. They were sexist pigs who did nothing to help lesbians before they got sick, but they sure accepted lesbian help when they were on their death beds. One jackass even apologized to me for all the woman hating and lesbian hating things he had done in the past. I just looked him in the eye and said, “hey, leave all your worldly goods to lesbians in your will,” and that stymied him. I would not relent, and would not give in the guilt tripping of women.

    This is how patriarchy works, there is always some male thing that is more important than what women can be doing for each other.

    Go down Valencia Street in San Francisco today– once upon a time there must have been over a dozen lesbian owned or feminist businesses, and every last one of them is gone. Go see the movie MILK and see how the boys erased all the lesbian activists of that era and made the world think that it was only gay men who defeated Prop 6 in the 70s, so they are still erasing lesbians, they have not paid back the political debts to the lesbian community for the AIDS work that was done. That is what men do, they steal women’s resources, and I’m saying here and now, this insanity has got to stop.

    I don’t know what it will take, but at least women commenting here is a start. It is such a relief for lesbians to tell the truth about how many of us were horrified at the end of lesbian feminist activism, the end of lesbians who were dying of cancer not getting help from Shanti, because dying men are supposed to be cared for by women… that is the role, to serve men, to do it for free, to give up everything to take care of men. Now lesbians should be free of this, but a lot of lesbians were suckered. We know the sexual idiocy of gay men, we know about their bath houses, we know about their money, their foreign trips, spreading the illness worldwide. I didn’t go along with the whole charade back then, and I certainly am putting out the word now– we are in the mess we are in because we stopped working on behalf of lesbian communities.

    If you gave one dime to those males, you were contributing to poverty in the lesbian world. No lesbian can afford to not support other lesbians, we don’t have the wealth, we don’t have the resources.
    I think it was an economic thing… lesbians wanted jobs in the AIDS industry and many did profit off of it, but at what price?

    • GallusMag Says:

      “I never fell for the “drop everything” to come to the aid of men, and a lot of really sexist, horrifying men died of AIDS.”

      Well that’s the difference between you and me. If we witnessed a car accident and you saw that it was a man you’d keep walking. Me, I’m going to stop and help no matter who it is. If I see flames shooting from some horrible prick’s windows, I’m going to call the fire department and pound on the door to see if anyone is inside, even if that causes me to cancel my lesbian organizing meeting. When all the beautiful young gay-boys started dying en mass in the most merciless ways imaginable, everyone did what we had to do. We didn’t ask “what was in it for us.” We had no choice. Same as we have no choice but to apply pressure to the hemorrhaging artery of the guy in the automobile accident- who may very well be a sexist prick. The first ten years of the onset of the AIDS epidemic was a slaughterhouse. That robbed us of some of the most beautiful, kindest men ever born on this planet. Lesbians had no choice but to put everything else, including ourselves, aside and help as best we could. It was the right thing to do.

      Would gay men have responded the same if it was us who got hit by the plague? Who knows. My friends would have. But Lesbians didn’t do what we did because of the patriarchy. We did it because our gay friends were dying. All of them. (or so it seemed at the time). Horrifically. Abandoned by families, communities, the medical profession. We did the right thing.

      “If you gave one dime to those males, you were contributing to poverty in the lesbian world. No lesbian can afford to not support other lesbians, we don’t have the wealth, we don’t have the resources.
I think it was an economic thing… lesbians wanted jobs in the AIDS industry and many did profit off of it, but at what price?”

      Are you fucking kidding me? Were you even there? There was no “AIDS industry”. There was nothing. No one knew what was causing it or why it was happening. There was just: Death.

      • RoseVerbena Says:

        It was a horrible time and we did what we could because we are thinking, feeling human beings.

        Anyone who could watch that f’ing disease ravage an entire generation and do nothing was made of ice cold stone.

        I remember seeing KS lesions on the back of a friend’s neck and having to put my head between my knees because the thought of what he was facing made me almost faint with horror.

        HIV/AIDS before they had any medications for it — when no one cared to help and everyone was scared it would go airborne — was a nightmare of hideous proportions. Of course we helped whenever and however we could.

    • GallusMag Says:

      I agree that AIDS did derail Lesbian Feminist activism and community. Through no fault of our own. It was an extraordinary circumstance and one we reacted to appropriately at the time. And our lack of cohesion at the end of the crisis phase (when supports were finally in place medically and structurally from the wider culture) did gravely harm the next generation of lesbians. But hey, shit happens. No one could have planned for a deathly pandemic among a marginalized population to go (willfully) ignored by the powers-that-be. We did the best we could.

      And now it is time for us to re-group and address that grave harm that was caused to the Lesbian community by those unforseen circumstances.

  37. SheilaG Says:

    The AIDS industry was built during this time, and many lesbian leaders got jobs in this industry. APLA (AIDS Project Los Angeles) had huge hollywood star studded extravaganzas, it brought in millions and millions of dollars. I personally know at least 20 lesbians who were in dire straights because of cancer, chronic fatigue, and other illnesses and went to APLA for help, and guess what? Those lovely selfless gay men that you’re singing about Gallus did nothing, wouldn’t even help them with resources, wouldn’t even help them get food, emergency funds or even rides to the doctor. That’s right, they were too busy with gay men, and didn’t do a damn thing because guess what? The lesbians didn’t have AIDS. But they had cancer, that didn’t count.

    So if there is no pay back, and this is what goes on, and lesbians did get jobs in the AIDS industry, and it is a medical industry worldwide now. Shanti dumped it’s support for lesbians who were dying. We lost out on quite a bit. I don’t have compassion for men who steal lesbian resources, I just don’t.
    I actually don’t care if men live or die, and if they would get their sexual acts together you’d wouldn’t have these huge billboards in West Hollywood trying to get gay men to stop giving each other syphillis… it’s another epidemic they seem so fond of now.

    If you saw people running in front of cars everyday, and you told them not to do it, and they kept doing it, would you give your money and time to help these deluded people?

    APLA, SHANTI — oh by the way, SHANTI was involved in all kinds of financial scandals, APLA misappropriated funds, APLA treated its few (less than a dozen) lesbian employees like dirt. Would they use the millions of dollars to even fund ONE safe sex program for lesbians? NO. I had several friends who worked in that hostile woman hating environment for several years, and the stuff they saw day in and day out was awful.

    A woman had to siphon funds out of the huge AIDS trough to fund a lesbian health conference, a lot of begging, pleading, just to get lesbian health concerns some funding, and again, it was all because funds were designated for AIDS only… clever way to lock lesbians out of the health care loop. So Gallus, you don’t know about this obviously, but I do. And I’m reporting it here, because I know how much those men treated the women employees like dirt, and I know how hard lesbians had to work at the gay and lesbian center here to get the most meagre of resources for lesbian health concerns, and even that was diverted to trans (read male impersonator) issues.

    I won’t be guilt tripped or fooled or forced to work with men politically under any circumstances, and i won’t apologie for exposing the utter lesbian hating hypocracy of these AIDS mega- non-taxable organizations. And I know for damn sure that gay men have never risen up in outrage over women getting raped, women getting underpaid at APLA, women not getting jobs, women getting sexist treatment on the job. Not one peep out of these “brothers”– I call them theives of women’s sympathy, the same thing women have been cajoled and guilt tripped into doing for decades, for hundreds of years, and look where it has gotten women worldwide?

    Have you ever seen hundreds of gay men doing an anti-rape fundraiser? have you ever seen hundreds of gay men out on the streets to protest anything that only affected women? Never seen such a protest? never went to a fancy hollywood hills fundraiser for a lesbian health concern? Hmmm is all I can say.

  38. SheilaG Says:

    APLA, SHANTI, Gay Men’s Health Crisis–all became part of the AIDS industry. None of these groups helped lesbians who were struggling with fatal illnesses. And when women had a fundraiser in 1988 or so to raise money for a home for women with AIDS and their children, men just didn’t cough up one dime for it. That’s how concerned they were with the lives of women back then. Guess they saw a woman in a car crash and walked on by.

    • Noanodyne Says:

      During the AIDS crisis, Kittredge Cherry, a lesbian, wrote this about helping the men who were dying:
      “Making this kind of connection — between Jew and Christian, female and male, gay and straight, black and white, parent and child — is what eschatological living is all about. With the end in sight, we do more to savor and value life, including the people we once viewed as hopelessly different from ourselves. As a church with AIDS, we try to embody eschatological living. AIDS is killing us at the same time that it heals us.”

      I wonder what you would say to her, SheilaG.

      That statement reminds me of how we all came together at the time and tried to do what we could. It wasn’t an all-or-nothing, zero-sum game. The AIDS crisis and our reaction to it brought massive amounts of resources into GLB community centers of the day and those resources were shared widely in the cities where I lived. The meals programs that were started then are now helping lesbians with cancer, degenerative diseases, and disabilities. There is a LGB youth homeless shelter in a major U.S. city where I used to live that routinely has 60% and higher lesbian residents — the money for that program comes from gay/lesbian community funds that were set up originally during the AIDS crisis. The political fights that came in some cities and states in the U.S. against lesbian/gay rights in the early 90s were well-funded on our side by money that came through AIDS charities.

      Fighting the fight for lesbians is all fine and wonderful, but you’re plainly saying in these comments that lesbians haven’t always stepped up for their own, while I know for a fact that LGB community resources HAVE been used to benefit lesbians. The world isn’t black and white, sorry.

  39. Bev Jo Says:

    Oh Gallus, I understand if you and other Lesbians had friends who you loved and who you saw getting ill and dying — of course you want to support them — or, as you said, anyone needing help in an emergency. I’m guessing you were in a smaller community where you also bonded with Gay men in oppression and knew each other’s stories of being disowned by families, kicked out of school, locked up in institutions, assaulted.

    The issue is loaded too because Gay men were scapegoated and the government (I believe) was rejoicing that they were dying. So of course that involves Lesbians, who so often fight injustice. But now, far more money has gone to researching AIDS than illnesses killing Lesbians.

    I worry that it looks as if Lesbians who did not help Gay men are cruel and heartless, but many of us just did not have that personal experience of seeing gay male friends get ill and die. It was not a case of seeing suffering and ignoring it. It was being aware of the Lesbians who were ill and dying with no support, while men who we did not know and, as a community, had expressed revulsion for us, who were asking for support.

    Perhaps it’s the size of where I live that I was in a community just of Lesbians. We heard about gay events and bars, but if we went, the gay men there, owners and patrons, made it clear that they did not want to be around us. They did not hide that they hated us. They owned so many businesses, from bars to restaurants to resorts, while Lesbians had to rent church halls for dances or meet in our poor rented group houses (which we don’t even have any more). When there was a rare gay event that seemed to welcome Lesbians, like a pool party benefit in a rich neighborhood, we heard the jokes that they didn’t want our filthy vulvas to dirty the pool. I don’t even go to the Castro (Gay men here do have their own entire neighborhood, which we never have had — there is also a resort community north of SF that is famous for being gay-owned — it’s a whole other world) because they make it clear they don’t want us there.

    The Lesbian Feminist community that I had found in 1970 was already completely separated from Gay men — not because the Lesbian founders of our movement were separatists and hadn’t tried working with Gay men, but because of how badly they had been treated. Even Del Martin wrote an article (“Goodbye to All That”) about how/why she could not keep working with Gay men. As a group, they hated us. So for many of us, these men who had expressed being disgusted by Lesbians were now asking us to help them. And not once did I see concern shown for ill and dying Lesbians in the years of articles I saw from men asking for Lesbian support.

    It is only recently that I even met gay men who were friendly and welcoming. And they tell me they feel better with Lesbians because Gay men criticize their relationship. They also tell me that they know that gay men would never have supported Lesbians the way that Lesbians supported gay men.

    The way I and friends found out about AIDS was in the local “Gay and Lesbian” newpaper, later LGBTetc.) in which we already were barely represented because it was full or porn and male prostitution ads and stories about Gay men getting into politics in San Francisco. (And when Harvey Milk was assassinated, the Lesbian who was his closest political support and ally, was passed over so a Gay man could take his supervisor seat.) Lesbian Separatists get criticized, but male separatism is business as usual.

    I was dealing with myself and friends being poor, ill, no support or awareness about the illnesses we were getting. (And we still don’t have that.) It was a different kind of epidemic, but it was devastating too — constant fever, flu symptoms that never left, joints hurting, being unable to work. And then all the Lesbian friends and aquaintances with cancer, most of who died.

    What I saw in the gay paper (which at that time was the main/only way most of us found out about SF gay politics and what was happening to Gay men) focused on asking support for Gay men, but some of it was in a way that betrayed Lesbians. Jackie Winnow, who was dying of cancer and who founded the Women’s Cancer Resource Center, wrote and spoke eloquently about what was happening. The Shanti Project, for dying Lesbians and Gay men suddenly refused anyone who did not have AIDS, making it for men only. Dying Lesbians, already with less support and resources, were abandoned. (And we were well aware of the local out Gay men who were millionaires.) Yet, ads in the gay paper asked Lesbians specifically for our blood because we have the cleanest blood — “Our Boys Need Blood.” Yes, some of us were upset that the men who looked down on us and wanted nothing to do with us were asking us for our blood literally while denying dying Lesbians support. Meanwhile, we did read the articles in the gay paper by Gay men saying how they would not use condoms and would not stop fucking dozens a night.

    Now AIDS is almost entirely preventable, and is clearly an STD, yet I still hear Lesbians doing volunteer work for Gay men with AIDs, with very few mentioning helping ill and dying Lesbians. I do not know how else to interpret this other than that men are always more important (which is what we see in there being more support for men identifying as Lesbians than for actual Lesbians.)

    I never mean to upset you, Gallus, but part of why I write about this is because I often see and hear comments from Lesbians who are younger who discuss how our Radical Lesbian Feminist movement was ended by all Lesbians stopping support for Lesbians in order to help Gay men. It is important for our history to not be re-written. Some of us didn’t, for varying reasons, including knowing Lesbians desperately needing help. We were also in completely different worlds with no contact at all. No one I knew even knew a Gay man personally.

    The difference is that this issue is very personal for you, Gallus, because of your friends who you loved and tried to save. For others of us, this issue brings up our friends who died who did not get anywhere near the public support Gay men have gotten. We have lost many of those who created our movement way too young. And many of us are chronically ill with no support and virtually no health insurance.

    I do not criticize any Lesbian who helped Gay men during such a terrible time. I’m just upset that most Lesbian energy still is going to men and very little to Lesbians. I’m so sorry that you and your friends went through that pain, Gallus, and that you are still grieving them of course. It doesn’t help that the government does know that the actual cause of AIDS, which they are implicated in and which they should be held accountable for, just as they are responsible for creating other illnesses which devastate our community.

    Yes, let’s work towards a stronger Lesbian community.

  40. FeistyAmazon Says:

    It was more than that, Gallus, and while I did give to a few A.I.D.S. charities now and then, and supported gay male friends emotionally in meetings I was at..their sexism was still rampant, and it was still quite clear they would GLADLY and expectantly want Lesbian help, and give very little in return. Nor have they, while they still run the community at large and their male networks, still have the lion’s share of resources and money, still have the ability to hire and fire, and now the future generation engages in ‘barebacking’.

    My first priority were all aspects of the Lesbian/Women’s community, and I lived with a disabled Dyke, and there were many Disabled Dykes who had needs that were going utterly ignored, whereas gay men had the tight networks, political clout and MONEY to put their own first and foremost, with Lesbian help. Another thing that tore dykes apart later on was the whole artificial insemination/male baby issue, and allowing their boys to crash basically Lesbian/womyn’s space.

    When I first hit town in SF in 1984, there was Old Wives Tales Books, Osento Bathhouse(strictly women only, run by a Dyke for dykes, and completely nonsexual), Artemis Cafe(a Lesbian Cafe), Good Vibrations sex shop, Women Crafts West(a Lesbian Jewelry, Arts and Crafts store of Lesbian and female art by and for the Lesbian/Womyn’s communities), and Amelia’s a Dyke Bar, and many, many Dykes living on Valencia. It was a vibrant Lesbian alternative to the gay male dominated Castro. ALL but one of those businesses are gone now. As rents went up, Lesbians lost loyalty to supporting their own, those businesses failed or closed. In the East Bay, we lost Mama Bears Bookstore, A Woman’s Place Bookstore, The Brick Hut Lesbian run cafe, Bodecia’s Books, and so much more. There are almost NO Lesbian run by and for businesses or bars exclusively for Lesbians anymore. It is very, very sad…nor do I have a womyn’s/Lesbian bookstore to hang out anymore, to meet dykes and read our latest literature, mags, newspapers, have conversations or flirt. These were OUR community centers!

    The yuppies moved into Valencia, and took over with their white hetero upscale businesses, chi chi restaurants and even an Oxygen Bar. All the Dyke businesses, and many of the Dykes were driven out…and the rents shot up where women could no longer afford to live there or do business there, by and for OUR communities. I still mourn this loss to this day. In the East Bay, it was very hard to maintain any independent bookstore, against the B Dalton’s, the Borders and Amazon.com(how they stole our word!).

    These are amongst our hugest losses, partly the fault of the community, who even at a book reading I attended at Mama bears, said they’d buy their book at Amazon.com, vs Mama bears who was hosting the author at that moment! And also the owners would reach burnout and be snippy and rude with the customers, so Lesbians would go take their business elsewhere….but in the long run, like other minorities, this hurts us….so many minorities have come up by supporting their own, their own businesses, ventures, commmunity happenings, services ect…and I remember this heyday. There are still older Lesbians loyal to this philosophy, who employ each other and keep what we have left of our networks going. But sadly, the younger generation has NO loyalty to ANY of this, nor do they have the experience of what it was like to have OUR OWN spaces, separate from men or the rest of the ‘queer’ community, autonomous, BY AND FOR OURSELVES!

  41. doublevez Says:

    Did gay men make changes because of AIDS? JAMA today: “Prevalence of Oral HPV Infection Higher Among Men Than Women”

  42. FeistyAmazon Says:

    “And yet, as the gay rights activists started coming around with white donations cans, I watched in horror as lesbians dropped money into those cans. Every ounce of my being was screaming inside, “No!! What are you doing? Don’t do this! Don’t support gay “men, they are the ones with the money, not lesbians!” And I’m sure I made some loud comments as lesbians’ hard earned change clinked into those cans.

    And on those lists of talking points was another one: that lesbians withholding our political, labor, and financial support from gays with AIDS by “refusing to set aside our differences” was tantamount to killing gays, letting them die.”-fmnst

    Sally Gearhart in the original “WanderGround” a Lesbian utopian novel that I took to heart when the Lesbians left the patriarchal and dying cities to live on the land amongst each other because the backlash against them as Lesbians and independent women as a whole was so great(imagine the right wing 10 times stronger than it already is….)and after about 70 years they began to gain psychic powers, they did have alliances with gay men in the city environments, which they visited infrequently, disguised as men, and to rescue other womyn. The gay men initially came to the Lesbians on the land, and they were dying(she didn’t say in the novel what from, but it was right before A.I.D.S. hit, presciently), and the LESBIANS TURNED THEM AWAY. The reason the Lesbians went to the forests, to the land, to Mother Earth was to live separate from men, because men and women could not live together nonviolently, without the men taking advantage of the women, or the Mother Earth. They said “NO” to the gay men, because the men would have to look inside FOR THEIR OWN HEALING RESOURCES, and not suck womyn and especially Lesbians dry anymore…..and so the Lesbians could look to building their own communities strong and also work to the healing of Mother Earth and ALL WOMYN!

    This book did so much for me in my spiritual outlook, I knew it was one step away from a real psychic reality…and definitely my dream and vision ever since at that tender age of 20 when I first came out, along with the Dyke Witches and their influence, in 1981. I think THIS is why I did not wholeheartedly give my energy to gay men, that and my first California lover at that time being a Lesbian Separatist Witch. I had plenty of contact with gay men both socially and politically back in Colorado, and one thing they’d say to me some nights was “I don’t want to be seen with any fish tonight.” This hurt me on such a deep level….that they’d be my friends when convenient, but when some piece of ass came by, they were gone, and I felt abandoned.

    So here comes along a book, a partner, and the strength of our Lesbian communities back then that were vital and vibrant, but not without conflict, conflicts I wouldn’t choose to go through again. I knew the two areas of my life I could and have continually held down my Separatism was my sex life, as a 100% Dyke, and my spiritual life, as a DykeAmazon Witch/Amazon Warrior…that I do not ritual, circle or share my spirituality with men, male dieties and the like….in this way Sally Gearhart’s book, and so many others, were completely empowering. Lesbians and womyn come first and foremost. Gay men are not going to give up their sexism, because THEY WORSHIP the MALE. Even in pagan gatherings I’ve gone to, they defend Christianity and male religion, and talk about their status, credentials and such, whereas the womyn always talk about the Goddess, and their connection with Mother Earth and each other, before the ego stuff. Not to say that there aren’t some Dianic Lesbian Priestesses without ego, there certainly are…but you look at a male or gay male equivalent, and they are even worse…much worse. They still have the vestiges of the Patriarchy within them, as discriminated against as they are as gay males, they still have MALE PRIVILEGE, and worship the male, the penis, the phalli FIRST AND FOREMOST. Me? I worship at the Yoni of my choice……including my own! There is a world of difference. We like circles, spirals and lozenge shaped doorways and images, they like towers and spires and pointy objects and rockets that destroy, all imitating their phalli.

    So, it might seem cold and cruel to say “well we put our focus on OURSELVES, and in not rescuing gay men”, but on the other hand, who is gonna put their focus on a bunch of Dykes anyway that nobody else in society really wants or will even acknowledge? Do you notice how rarely if ever Butch or Big Butch or other very obvious Lesbian images are shown, even in the gay press/gay Pride magazines? The Lesbians that are shown are so androgynous or femme…so willowy, so skinny, they’ve been so windblown and decorated just like the gay men do to straight women in all their fashion magazines. And what disgusted me was no real Butch images, and yet the FTM’s were absolutely glorified in these same magazines adding to further Butch Dyke and Lesbian invisibility.

    Because the alphabet soup movement no longer reflects us, I do think we should completely withdraw our support, our money, our labor, our resources, our energies from their networks and COMPLETELY create our own: Lesbian organizations BY AND FOR Lesbians, not coopted by trans agendas, bi or gay male agendas or institutes. If a Lesbian decides to transition to male, then she can be politely asked to leave, because this organization no longer fits her needs. Same if she decides to marry a man. Make the organization with either a religious or a club status, a membership organization and one can have what rules one wants. If it’s organized the wrong way, then the gatecrashers can take over, like they have with NGTLF, and with National Center for Lesbian Rights. Other than the Marriage Equality work, which I have appreciated, which has given equal status(at least in CA) of my relationship with my partner, NCLR has done NOTHING FOR THE DISCRIMINATION AS BUTCH LESBIANS that my partner or I have faced on the job. They only take high profile class action lawsuits, and now with a huge Transgender Law Center as part of that. Mostly Lesbians with children cases and such, but not basic employment discrimination against out Lesbians and Butch Dykes. And we both asked several times when we were going through the worst of it. Equal Rights Advocates did far better for me. We NEED to hold these organizations accountable, and create Lesbian organizations truly for Lesbians, that won’t allow themselves to be MANipulated by the trans cooptation and threats.

    -Anyway, my two cents for now,
    -FeistyAmazon

    So we’re saying “WE ARE TIRED OF BEING INVISIBLE, IGNORED, and your rampant sexism against us which is NEVER addressed! WE ARE TIRED OF YOU COOPTING OUR COMMUNITIES(ftms and mtfs alike)” But perhaps we should be saying: “We are creating our OWN networks again, and leaving you assholes behind!” And MEAN IT! Maybe, and this is truly radical, maybe we have NOTHING IN COMMON WITH GAY MEN, that is, beyond our homosexuality. We worship the Female, the Sacred Female some of us, the Yoni, the Female mind, body soul and spirit, and we WANT to have even ONE Matriarchy to choose from, to overthrow patriarchal rule. We want a time when womyn are powerful and acknowledged again, spiritually, physically, psychologically, mentally, in every field and endeavor, and totally respect. They worship the male sexually, emotionally and in every other way, and some of them hate anything female, or disavow themselves from it….and especially male power, which if they only hide their homosexuality or align with those who look the other way, they can partake of it…and still be controlling over women’s lives. Just look at the horrors of the fashion industry which so many gay men control and all the young women who hate their bodies because they cannot be rail thin. Nor should they be. Women come in ALL SIZES!

  43. SheilaG Says:

    if lesbian culture, society and politics is to survive, we have got to get real. We lost Mama Bears, Old Wives Tales, Osento, Amelias, Artemis Cafe, Baybrick Inn, and so many other businesses. When I meet lesbians in their 60s it’s poverty poverty and more poverty. There is huge social pressure on women to support men, or to put men first. I have to deal with lesbians who have sons! They chose to birth future oppressors.

    Gay men actively hated, discriminated against, and made life miserable for lesbians. When Nancy Pelosi first ran for congress, the Bay Area Reporter, the gay male paper in SF wrote an editorial calling her the “party girl” and supported Harry Britt instead.
    They insulted the woman who became the first speaker of the house, while no one in America even remembers the plodding dulling Harry.

    We had all lesbian communities in many different cities, and were so sick of gay male contempt and sexism back in the day, that there was no reason to be with men. I can’t name the number of times lesbians were insulted and humiliated in restaurants and cafes in the Castro, or refused service in bars.

    So that’s the herstory, and it’s not a pretty story. Bev and I always wonder, why is it so radical for a community to support its own? Why does every other crisis come first? And who holds commemorative memorials for all the lesbians who’ve died? Lesbians are powerful and visionary, all gay men did was kill each other and spread an illness far and wide, they killed each other by the hundreds of thousands and still they have to be bullied into safe sex practices. Gay men are about sex, they are not visionaries or about women’s freedom. They are not the allies or supporters of women, they hate women, but always steal resources from women the way straight men do all the time.

    To not face this truth, and to honor those of us who stuck to our guns trying to maintain lesbian nationa against all odds… now I have to fight with other lesbians who think it’s ok for trans to be welcomed at Michigan. We can’t even have one week of women only on private land per year, without Male to trans threatening, stalking and causing violence. But other lesbians want to be ‘fair.” They support castrated men over other women. if we keep doing this, we will lose everything we’ve worked for.

    When was the last time some gay man stepped up with thousands of dollars to support anything lesbian only? I’ve never seen it, because they steal and don’t pay back. What can I say? Thanks Bev, because I lose my mind over this stuff.

  44. SheilaG Says:

    I think Bev and I have made very valid points, and we know our politics to the core. What we know is that men are trained from birth to assume women will take care of them. We know that men are used to using women for their own political ends, and we know what happens when women refuse to serve men. We also know what happened to lesbians who worked in these organizations run by men and how they were treated.

    We have seen no massive outpouring of financial support or emotional support for lesbian exclusive issues on the part of the gay male community, that means never. And we know that it is politically incorrect to point these things out.

    Bev and I are immune to the emotional man-i-pulation foisted on lesbians all the time, but the fact is, many lesbians don’t know the herstory of how badly gay men have treated lesbians for over half a century. Most lesbians haven’t read Del Martin’s goodbye to all that, most lesbians don’t even realize that Harvey Milk really had no close interactions with women until he wanted women’s votes, and even men who personally knew Harvey say this. They still seem genuinely confused when all of this his-tory comes out of the closet.

    So the thing is, we can learn from this, and be brutally honest about this, or we can be stuck on the patriarchal merry-go-round which does not lead to lesbian agency, lesbian financial health, or lesbian power… all it does is play into the het woman’s role of taking care of men, and giving away resources we are short on. Choices have to be made, and if you are completely sure every lesbian you know has a health plan, or if she doesn’t have health insurance, then some gay male organization was created to raise money for lesbian heath plans, for example. A bunch of gay men got so upset over thousands of poor lesbians who have NO HEALTH INSURANCE, and so they stepped up and they created the Lesbian Health Insurance Fund (LHIF).
    If you are a lesbian activist, or even a bartender at a lesbian bar, you can apply for this fund. It has revolutionized health care for lesbians. There was another gay male group that created the Lesbian Health Research Project LHRP, and this gives millions of dollars to researches to find out what the health needs of lesbians really are.
    Gay men were so outraged over the fact that over 3000 federally funded studies have been done on gay male health, but only about 2 have been conducted on lesbians, and this was as of around 2003. So they got together and said we must have more health research on lesbians, and did massive fundraisers, got their guys in Washington to lobby, marched in the Pride Parades, passed out little white cans to collect money at the gay male leather bars… men on a mission. (I made all of that up, there is no LHIF or LHRP).

    When you have an illness that really doesn’t impact lesbians, and then you have a fundraising industry within the LGBT “family” that only focuses on funding this one illness, you have a huge problem structurally. If you have fundraisers that raise money and it is divided equally (50-50 split) between male health concerns and female health concerns, this is a start. But that’s not how it is structured, and we all know that a structural bias always seems to favor the male. What about the children? What about the dying men? What about? You can say what about anything, but when you focus lesbian money, lesbian time and lesbian energy on real lesbian issues… well it’s radical.

  45. SheilaG Says:

    When lesbians were dying of cancer, Shanti turned them away, when lesbians were suffering from severe debilitating illness, gay men fired them. Bev Jo and I have clearly explained that we were working for lesbian nation, I was working overseas, again for lesbian nation. Gay men were going on sex tourism trips to Southeast Asia, even as Japanese feminist groups were protesting male sex tourism in Asia, and Korean women were asking Japanese women for help.

    The gay male sex industry did one heck of a job… it created the environment for mass death, and yet they still don’t fess up to what it was all about. They still think they were innocent victims… yeah, a lot of guys who bought boys in Thailand are long dead, but that doesn’t change the fact that they went over there and bought those boys, does it?

    Lesbians and straight feminists protested the sex tours, we were vilified and made fun of and called the equivalent of sex negative back in the day.

    Go buy a book called “Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?” Turn to page 91 to an essay by Shepperton Jones called “The Unlikely Barebacker”
    This book was just published in 2012, no it’s not from 1980 before these innocent men had no idea what they were doing. This came out in 2012.

    Look it, most lesbians are just not going to back lesbian nation 100% and that’s fine with me, just don’t complain the next time a lesbian bar closes, or a lesbian can’t afford health insurance. Or someone like Bev Jo who devoted her whole life to lesbian nation is poor. Her whole life dedicated to lesbian nation before most of the women here were even born, and yet I see women carping at her, supporting gay men, and dissing everything that is and was lesbian nation.

  46. SheilaG Says:

    P.S. I wasn’t even living in the U.S. when all of this began. I was doing work for international lesbian feminism, and doing activist work with Japanese women. The gay men were off partying at discos while we founded magazines, rape crisis centers and sent delegates to the UN Conferences on Women, among other things. The only thing those gay boys published were bar guides.

    So I get back to the U.S., and I’m seeing the poverty, the lack of jobs, the marginalization of lesbians. I’m seeing all these gay guys with fancy homes, huge salaries, neighborhoods, heck some were even movie moguls.

    Do what you want about how “we all came together.”
    Who is we? I came together with lesbians worldwide. I came together to help create lesbian businesses, help lesbian authors, help women get off the streets and off drugs. Heck, we even had get togethers so women could have food to eat, that was after they closed the food pantry to lesbians, so that gay men could be fed. Now why not have food for everyone, but that’s not what happened noanodyne, they closed the food pantry that poor lesbians got food from. They paid women less than minimum wage to do this AIDS stuff, less than miniumum wage… I wondered what this was really all about, because I don’t know about you, but back in the day, I certainly didn’t have money to throw around, and I had lesbian friends who were going through some rough times. Several attempted suicide, but this seemed to go beneath the radar of gay male socialservicedom.

    Come together? Why do I have to come together with men? Why?

    • Noanodyne Says:

      @SheilaG: “Who is we?” Lesbians who have and continue to minister to the LGBTQ community, just for one example. That’s why I mentioned Kittredge Cherry, who is still ministering to all people in that group, not just lesbians, even though she’s a lesbian with a lesbian wife. You’ll have to ask women like that why it matters that they keep doing it.

      And no one I’ve ever met has more experience than I do of working for lesbians. Big deal. It is not the zero sum game. I can work on human rights, lesbian issues, AND have a fulltime job and online work. Stop making it out to be an all-or-nothing proposition.

      And if you have the facts, please provide evidence that anyone has ever “closed a food pantry to lesbians” and then I will believe your rabid hyperbole. You do lesbians no good by claiming the worst possible things you can think of whether they’re true or not. It makes it easy to dismiss your claims as fear mongering. Hundreds, if not thousands, of lesbians are getting help right this very minute from food delivery services that were set up during the AIDS crisis. That is verifiable fact.


  47. […] 1, 2012 * UPDATE to this and this previous post. * Lesbian Caucus 24th Annual Creating Change Conference Baltimore City, […]


  48. […] following is National Gay and Lesbian Task Force director Sue Hyde’s response to rejected Lesbian workshops and complete lack of Lesbian-specific  programming at NGLTF’s Creating Change […]


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