March 22, 2017
The Fayetteville Arkansas Goddess Festival BANNED a scheduled Lesbian event after men who identify as transwomen complained that female homosexuality excludes males. The BANNED event was ironically titled ‘The Disappearing L: Erasure of Lesbian Spaces and Culture’.
March 19, 2017
This is a GUEST POST by Bev Jo.
Defending Our Lesbian Lives and History from Male Erasure
By Bev Jo
We know about the trans cult appropriating our Lesbian and feminist identity, our organizations, our communities, our lives. Whatever they can’t take over and mark as their territory, they destroy. Throughout this female-hating, Lesbian-hating vendetta, there is also a steady re-writing of Lesbian history by gay men and some women collaborators.
Some rewritings are conscious and aggressive, while others are just lazy erasure, such as the “alternative facts” in the recent gay male-produced and directed television “docu-drama” mini-series on the major US network channel, ABC. “When We Rise,” is set in San Francisco, starting in 1972 and continuing over decades. They combine bad drama with actual videos of the time, and include stories of some of the people who lived then, giving an air of authenticity to their travesty. This altering of Lesbian history is so upsetting that it would be better if they just called the show, “When Gay Men Rise.” But continuing the myth of Lesbians being part of their “LGBTQIXYZ” mess increases the power of not just gay men, but also their het brothers who identify as women. (No Lesbian I know, and I know hundreds, ever agreed to join the alphabet mess. We were added against our will.) This is too close to the trans cult’s claiming all dead Lesbians from the past as “transmen.” I worry that this series will be linked to and referred to in the far future, including in university classes, as if it IS our history.
This is personal to me. Very personal. This is my life and community they are lying about for profit and propaganda. I am daily aware that when those of us who lived then are gone, no one will be able to protest the lies. So we have to keep telling the truth now. For those who came later, please be very careful about what you say about our history and our lives, to make sure it’s not altered, and help continue the truth. (I can’t believe I have to argue with Lesbians not even born by the Seventies who insist what they read about my own history is more valid than what I lived.)
So, were the producers/director of “When We Rise” being lazy, rather than deliberately re-writing Lesbian history? It’s hard to know when it was such a sloppy, badly done show. Yes, there are tender, moving, and enraging moments, like when African-descent Ken Jones’ Euro-descent longtime lover dies and his lover’s family kicks him out of their home with only what he can carry in his arms because they had no legal protection. (This is part of what those against marriage rights forget. If marriage offends you, first remove het’s marriage rights, but please allow Lesbians and gay men to finally get the same rights for basic survival, medical control if those we love can’t communicate, immigration, etc. that hets have. No other documents are strong enough to protect us if Lesbian-hating families are powerful enough.)
So much of the show was trite and badly acted. Particularly jarring is how the later actors don’t seem remotely connected to the earlier actors playing the same characters. Ken Jones becomes a born again christian and denounces himself for a while, but the earlier version of him is strong and courageous. The Cleve Jones’ character suddenly has annoying exaggerated “faggot” mannerisms that his younger representation didn’t have. It was annoying to see so much time wasted that could have instead focused on our real history spent by showing his various contorted expressions meant to convey emotion and pathos, including the side drama about his sudden obsession with wanting to adopt a baby — perhaps to humanize him to the het audience? They do the same thing with the two main Lesbian characters whose life suddenly is all about having a baby, in spite of the young version of Roma Guy being adamantly against it. With so little time to show our community or gay men’s community histories, why place major focus on baby obsession other than that it’s about assimilating Lesbians?
Particularly infuriating is when the series just lies, appropriating well-known NYC Lesbian history by portraying it as happening in San Francisco — like when Lesbians in NOW came out with their Lavender Menace shirts to protest Betty Friedan and NOW’s Lesbian hating. Roma Guy, showcased in the series, is credited with that protest though it happened two years earlier than when the series begins and thousands of miles away. How can they just erase the real Lesbians who made that demonstration? It’s not like it’s a secret history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavender_Menace
The Roma Guy character also refers to Lesbian Feminist support for Inez Garcia, who had been on trial for murder, but repeats the myth that Inez acted in self defense. Inez said that after she was raped, she got a gun and went after the men who had attacked her (one had raped her and the second man had held her down). She killed the second man. She was convicted until she got help from a feminist attorney and massive support from our Lesbian Feminist community. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inez_Garc%C3%ADa
The filmmakers also appropriate the NYC Stonewall rebellion against police brutality as if happened in San Francisco – including plagiarizing the ““God Save Us Nelly Queens” quote from documentaries about Stonewall. I wasn’t around gay men, but I do remember drag queen shows in North Beach in San Francisco in the Sixties and later that were a significant part of the tourist industry where hets paid to see drag queen performers. Were the police as violent to gay men in SF as elsewhere? Yes, Harvey Milk was killed by another city supervisor, and yes, gay men burned police cars, but it’s a different history than what happened at Stonewall.
I object to the mini-series erasing gay men in other ways also. They don’t even seem to know how Lesbians and gay men looked. How hard could it have been to get accurate photos of gay men? Most of the gay men I saw in the Seventies looked like the gay men in photographs at Stonewall and many videos of the time, which was counter-culture young hippies and political activists. Later, there was the distinct “Castro Clone” look, which Freddie Mercury emulated. (An ageist reference to Harvey Milk in the series was that he looked like a hippie, but was too old — until he changed to get elected. Old hippies still can be seen in the Bay Area.)
I’m guessing the reason they altered our history was because they didn’t know and didn’t bother to try to find out. But it’s even more upsetting when they present actual famous Lesbians and caricature them, like dynamic, outspoken Phyllis Lyon, who we owe so much to and who barely speaks in the series. Her lover, Del Martin, was played by Rosie O’Donnell as a caricature, with longer hair than Del. She’s portrayed as being annoying because she was a Lesbian Feminist who cares about women, as opposed to prioritizing men. They attribute a quote to Del that I remember as being from Jackie Winnow, who wrote about the lack of support for Lesbians with cancer before she died at age 44.
“Jackie Winnow was a feminist, lesbian and progressive activist who played a major role in transforming health care activism. She was the first coordinator of the Lesbian/Gay and AIDS unit of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, where her work focused on discrimination both within and without the LGBT communities. In 1985, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and she founded the Women’s Cancer Resource Center in Berkeley the next year with Joanne Garrett, another friend of mine.
Winnow’s involvement in the feminist health movement inspired her cancer activism. She once said, “We have to stop being nice girls and start fighting as if our lives depend on it, because they do.” She became an outspoken cancer activist and infused the movement with energy and focus.
She also was a forceful voice for people with AIDS and once stated, “Both of these diseases are life-threatening and yet I have seen my community rally around one and overlook the other…No one takes care of women or lesbians except women or lesbians, and we have a hard enough time taking care of ourselves, of finding ourselves worthy and important enough for attention.”
The series is full of digs and asides thrown in to discredit Lesbian Feminist activists, such as when Roma Guy is at a women only meeting, and her friend Cleve Jones rushes in to talk with her, belittling and ignoring the Lesbians objecting to his invading women only space, saying he’s a “feminist.”
Even worse was the series’ scapegoating our beloved Pat Norman, who was played by a bizarrely feminized Whoopi Goldberg. I’ve seen a lot of documentaries and reports about the history of AIDS in SF, which names various male politicians in San Francisco as being the main obstructionists in education about how AIDS is spread, but never, ever saw a reference blaming Pat Norman – until this series. Why did they do this to her?
It’s as if they had a list of a few Lesbians and toss them out to make it look like they know Lesbian history. Meanwhile, the many Lesbians who were changing the world were just ignored. One segment of the series included the actual people talking about the history, and a gay man said how much more Lesbians were doing, but no details were shown in the series. A big fuss was made about the Women’s Building in SF, which does have an exquisite mural, but I never thought of it as our space. A friend said they did have some good things in the early Eighties, but now it’s available to anyone with enough money. Even soon after it began I remember hearing from a friend who did security there that businessmen would hire rooms to have strippers at their luncheon meetings. When we had our Separatist Gathering there in 1983, no one bothered to tell us that a man had called in a bomb threat.
I think there is racism and classism also in their ignoring Oakland and Berkeley, which was not separate from San Francisco. In that era, our Lesbian communities were combined. There is also ageism, as in the scene when Cleve Jones chastises younger “gay people” for not being as activist as he was. I see the charge of age divides among Lesbians being pushed by men claiming to be Lesbians, but the reality I still see is that Lesbian Feminists, and particularly Radical Lesbian Feminists, are allied across all ages.
I’ve been living in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1966. As soon as I was able, I tried to find Lesbians, but it was difficult since I was underage and so not able to join the Daughters of Bilitis or go to the bars. In 1970, I found the Lesbian Feminist community, which was a dream come true. I joined Gay Women’s Liberation, which met in Berkeley at Alice Molloy and Carol Vorvolakos’ house, and also alternated in SF at Judy Grahn and Wendy Cadden’s apartment. (This was before “Lesbian” and “Dyke” became associated with proud Lesbian Feminism, while “gay woman” seemed to be used more by women afraid to say the terrifying word “Lesbian.”)
Just look around now and see how Lesbians have gone backward to where women are still terrified and so choose to name themselves “genderqueer” and “queer” or anything but “Lesbian.” Never underestimate the fear of being called a Lesbian. (Even my mother who I talked to openly about being a Lesbian since I was a teenager seemed incapable of saying the word, and so would mumble something like L..s..b..n. I’d keep asking what the hell she was trying to say, until she’d switch to “they,” as in “they can get married now,” which wasn’t even true at the time.) Continually trying to rename us into something less clear and less explicitly Lesbian feels like yet another kind of “Lesbian and gay conversion therapy.” Too reminiscent of “I don’t care what you do, but just don’t use ‘that’ word!”
It’s overwhelming to try to tell our true history since that would take a book (which I am writing). Also there was just so much that it’s hard to remember it all. I’m sure I’m leaving a lot out, but just wanted to at least protest the series, which will be considered accurate as our/my history, unless we speak out. For instance, there are a large Bay Area Lesbian of Color communities and sub-communities based on race and nationalities, like Gente. Many Euro-descent Lesbians still don’t know about the NIA Collective, created by and for Lesbians of African descent, begun in|1987.
1970 and afterward was an incredibly dynamic and exciting time. At first, our events, were usually in the large cheap rundown houses where Lesbians rented rooms and had collectives, and also in rented or donated spaces. (Few Lesbians owned houses, though that changed when there was a massive influx of ex-wives coming out who had money and property from their het marriages.
Everything was assumed to be women only, so we no longer had to deal with men perving on us or man-splaining to us. We had concerts, poetry readings, dances, parties, and then there were women’s coffee houses, like the Full Moon café and Artemis café in SF, and bookstores, like Old Wives Tales in SF, A Woman’s Place, in Oakland, and later Mama Bears in Oakland, and Bodacia’s in Kensington.
There had always been Lesbian bars in the Bay Area, but there were more after Lesbian Feminism (like Ollie’s and the Bacchanal) that had Lesbian Feminist concerts, dances and plays. Where now Lesbians go to a gym, Lesbians then often went to women’s martial arts dojos and self defense schools. (I taught self defense for ten years.) All we accomplished is gone now. Even the bars that existed before Lesbian Feminism are gone. And no, it’s not because we don’t still need a community, as some say. We need community spaces more than ever. I’ve heard Lesbians talk about how important “inclusivity” is, yet don’t see rich gay men expected to share their resources.
It was incredible to be in predominately Lesbian women only spaces. It is just not the same when men are present, even when they aren’t leering and groping as they do now. (For years, men claiming to be Lesbians have in particular targeted anything defined as “women only” or “Lesbian.”)
In 1972, some of us organized one of the first Lesbian Feminist conferences in the world in Berkeley. We had several Feminist newspapers in the Bay Area, and in 1973, I co-wrote and published Dykes and Gorgons, a Dyke Separatist newspaper. I also drew the cover. (The reference to “East Bay Queers” was about a Lesbian Feminist t-shirt that had Lesbian symbols and said “East Bay Queers,” and was not a reference to the way “queer” is used now as a trendy term meaning anyone.)
We also had publications that were appearing all over the US, including the books printed by the Women’s Press Collective, like “Lesbians Speak Out,” published in 1974, which had photos by and of our local Lesbians and friends.
In 1980, the first Black Lesbian Conference began in San Francisco with nearly 200 Lesbians. (The Black Lesbian Caucus was created as an offshoot of the Gay Liberation Front in 1971, and later took the name of the Salsa Soul Sisters, Third World Wimmin Inc. Collective, which was the first “out” organization for Lesbians and Women of Color in New York. The Sisters are now known as African Ancestral Lesbians United for Societal Change, and is the oldest black lesbian organization in the United States.)
One of the only ongoing Lesbian only organizations that ever existed in the Bay Area was the NIA Collective, which was created by and for Lesbians of African descent in 1987, “HELPING TO EMPOWER LESBIANS OF AFRICAN DESCENT.”
And the music! We had strong political Lesbian Feminist and even Lesbian Separatist music, albums and concerts. If you ask most Lesbians about what they think of as “Women’s Music,” they will name the later bland music with lyrics that could mean anything or nothing, that many of us remember as being what was the beginning of the loss of our Lesbian-identified culture. This diluted “women’s music” was career-focused and drew more privileged Lesbians who were closeted, so they could bring their families and het friends and not have to worry they would be offended by our culture or even have to hear the word “Lesbian.” Similarly, collectives morphed into organization with Boards of Directors and hierarchies, with the goal being to get money and status rather than build community.
We had had wonderful music that proudly said “Lesbian” and talked about our real lives. The Berkeley Women’s Music Collective (Susann P Shanbaum; Debbie Lempke; Nancy Henderson; Nancy Vogl; Janet Lampert; Bonnie Lockhart) might sound dated because they didn’t have money to make more professional recordings, but in retrospect, the lyrics and politics are amazing. “Thorazine,” by Suzanne Shanbaum, described a Lesbian girl incarcerated and drugged in mental hospitals by her parents (as many in our community had experienced). “Janet’s Song” was about being discovered with her lover by her parents and disowned. “The Fury” was about being oppressed as a woman and Lesbian, and how her she uses her anger to fight back. I still haven’t heard another feminist song like Bonnie’s “Class Mobility.” (Bonnie joined for their second album.)
Mary Watkins made Something Moving, an album of her instrumental music. (The cover is from the Lesbian-owned Brick Hut Café.)
There was also the fantastic dance band, BeBe K’Roche, formed in Berkeley by Jake Lampert, Pamela “Tiik” Pollet, Peggy Mitchell, and Virginia Rubino in 1973. There were Lesbians and bands who never were able to record, which is a terrible loss. Some who did record, like S’irani Avedis, left out their most powerful and threatening Radical Lesbian Feminist songs.
Later, there were public organizations supposedly for Lesbians, like the National Center for Lesbian Rights in SF, which actually betrays Lesbians on behalf of men pretending to be Lesbians. The Lyon-Martin clinic for Lesbians in SF is now advertising as being for “HIV, Transgender Health Services, Gynecologic Care, Mental Health,” in that order. The Berkeley Women’s Health Collective became the Berkeley Women’s Health Center (for profit) and now is the Berkeley Women and Men’s Health Center.
Though our community was very separate from gay men, I do know some of their history, such as that gay men have many things Lesbians never did, like an entire neighborhood (the Castro), countless businesses, clubs, bars, cafés, restaurants, etc. around the Bay Area. As surviving here became too expensive for many Lesbians, gay men seemed to be doing fine.
I just wanted to be with Lesbians but did read the free Bay Times newspaper, which was one of the only ways to find out about upcoming Lesbian events. That meant wading through pages of gay male porn, male sado-masochism, and male prostitution ads. I also remember one gay male pool party where they advertised that Lesbians were not welcome because they said we were too “dirty.” Never once, in spite of all their privilege and resources, did I see any outreach from gay men to Lesbians – until they asked for our blood (literally) and other help, even as dying Lesbians were kicked out of the Shanti Project (previously for dying Lesbians and gay men.)
For years, there was just one Lesbian and Gay Parade, and it was possible for Lesbians to just start marching with signs, without having to pay, unlike now, where the “LBGTQI” parade is corporate and expensive. (Meanwhile, the “North American Man-Boy Love Association” marched for years with a huge banner, which is another reason we were not in a community with gay men.)
And there was no “T” anywhere on banners, signs, etc.
Every Lesbian portrayed in the series who I know or knew personally is portrayed insultingly, including Del Martin, Phyllis Lyon, Pat Norman, Sally Gearhart, etc. And so many Lesbians who helped create our community aren’t mentioned at all. One way to see what they really are or were like is, and is an essential antidote to the lies about our community, is to watch the video “No Secret Anymore: The Times of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon” by JEB (Joan E. Biren.) Phyllis and Del did so much to create our Bay Area Lesbian community. The video includes Del’s famous public letter published now in 1970, and almost impossible to find online, “Farewell to the Gay Men,” explaining why she can’t work with them any more due to their sexism and Lesbian-hating — and Lesbian-erasure, like the mini-series, almost fifty years later.
Below is the video and other links and photos and some of the work of Bay Area Lesbians who transformed our lives and helped create our community. They must never be forgotten. It’s a travesty that such a heavily-funded, mainstream “history” just erases or lies about them. Keep spreading the word. Know that there are so many more Lesbians and stories I didn’t include. We need more books that tell the truth.
We have lost our women only and rare Lesbian-only spaces, but continue to meet as Lesbians always have, gathering in public places, but as a community still. They cannot stop us.
Our Lesbian Feminist movement and culture in the Bay Area was influenced by and still influences Lesbian Feminists and communities across the world. We continue, with far less resources than before, but with far greater numbers, in so many countries, and in spite of other lies, all ages.
More of my personal and local RLF history is at my blog: https://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/
Some of Del’s history:
— 1921 – Born on May 5 in San Francisco
— 1950 – Met the love of her life, Phyllis Lyon
— 1955 – Co-founded groundbreaking lesbian organization Daughters of Bilitis
— 1960 – Took over as editor of the Ladder, a monthly lesbian magazine
— 1964 – Helped found the Council on Religion and the Homosexual, formed to overturn laws that criminalized homosexual behavior
— 1972 – Co-wrote with Lyon the book “Lesbian/Woman”
— 1972 – Co-founded with Lyon the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, the first gay political club in the United States
— 1976 – Published the book “Battered Wives,” which focused on domestic violence
— 1976 – Appointed chairwoman of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women
— 1995 – Served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging
— 2004 – Wed Lyon in the first of about 4,000 same-sex weddings sanctioned by San Francisco but later ruled invalid by the California Supreme Court
— 2008 – On June 16, married Lyon again, this time with the blessing of the state Supreme Court, which found the state ban on same-sex marriage illegal.
For further information about Lesbian history, there is Myriam Fougère’s film, LESBIANA—A PARALLEL REVOLUTION/LESBIANA—UNE RÉVOLUTION PARALLÈLLE, which shows many Lesbian Separatists, including at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. (Though it doesn’t include our West Coast communities, it’s still a wonderful history and conveys the spirit of what we had, which is even more important, now that after forty years, MichFest is gone.)
There also are books that are autobiographies about our community, like Judy Grahn’s “A Simple Revolution.” http://judygrahn.org/book/a-simple-revolution/
And Patricia Lee Jackson’s “It Takes an Uprising.” http://takesanuprising.com/
The video of Pat Parker and Judy Grahn’s record of their poetry:
THREE POEMS BY PAT PARKER
WORK BY A RENOWNED AND REVERED LESBIAN-FEMINIST POET
In her writing, Pat Parker developed a fully authentic and revolutionary voice grounded in her experiences growing up Black and female in south Texas of the 1940s, and coming out as a lesbian in California of the late 1960s. The power of her poetry was profoundly fueled by three murders that directly impacted her life. Of course, all the usual harassments, injuries, insults, deprivations, exotifications and objectifications—heaped on Black women especially—came her way. The terror of being publicly gay, of losing community support as a person of color, of being misunderstood by her parents, also came her way. But I would say the murders pushed her over some edge of motivation to either withdraw completely or go to the front of the line with a big bad sword in hand and lead a revolution. This latter is what she did.
In English Lit., they told me
Kafka was good because he created
the best nightmares ever –
I think I should go find that professor
& ask why we didn’t study the S.F. Police Dept.
For the white person who wants to know how to be my friend
The first thing you do is to forget that i’m Black.
Second, you must never forget that i’m Black.
You should be able to dig Aretha,
but don’t play her every time i come over.
And if you decide to play Beethoven – don’t tell me
his life story. They made us take music appreciation too.
Eat soul food if you like it,
but don’t expect me to locate your restaurants
or cook it for you.
And if some Black person insults you,
mugs you, rapes your sister, rapes you,
rips your house, or is just being an ass –
please, do not apologize to me
for wanting to do them bodily harm.
It makes me wonder if you’re foolish.
And even if you really believe Blacks are better lovers than
whites – don’t tell me. I start thinking of charging stud fees.
In other words – if you really want to be my friend – don’t
make a labor of it. I’m lazy. Remember.
The documentary, Last Call at Maud’s, shows one of our favorite bars. The owner, Ricky Streicher, had another very popular bar called Amelia’s. Every year, during the time of the Dyke March, the current bar owners, though it’s now called Finnegan’s Wake, commemorate Maud’s, and the owners of the bar where Amelia’s was, put up a the “Amelia’s” sign so Lesbians marching past can see it.
B.J. Maillette, who was the Butch who created our women-only self defense and JuJitsu Dojo:
April 12, 2016
Historic thirty year Lesbian Breitenbush “Women in the Woods” event eradicated by Transgender Activists because “lesbianism discriminates against males”
February 23, 2015
Lesbians no longer have any right to hold social events that exclude males. Such events cause heterosexual males to commit suicide, claim transgender activists.
The Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat and Conference Center, host of the Historic ‘Women In The Woods’ caved to the suicide threats of “Male Lesbians” who claimed that the existence of Lesbian events makes men want to kill themselves.
“A big stir around our circle recently has been a conversation/debate about what defines gender and who gets to decide,” posted Breitenbush Business Director Peter Moore, whose space has hosted the historic Lesbian event for the last thirty years. And the answer was “Men”. Men get to decide what lesbians do. Heterosexual Men get to decide when and where and how Lesbians get to gather and organize, and the decision these men have reached is: “never”. After this year’s event (contracts were signed prior to the decision to defer to anti-lesbian male rights activists) this historic lesbian event will no longer exist.
More from the Breitenbush missive:
“For this group of women, Breitenbush has for 30 years provided a refuge from their daily experience of a world dominated, passively or aggressively, by men. Their retreat has been a time to do what humans do in the wonders of nature when security and material needs are met—love, laugh, listen, share space, work out issues, play and generally go deeper together. To meet these women’s felt need for safety and sanctuary, people who have had all the privileges that come of being born male have been excluded.
In these women’s youth, lesbianism was classified as a form of mental illness, and gay and lesbian people who “came out” faced physical and emotional violence, marginalization, and loss of financial and family foundations, among other cruelties.
In human history, such women have been considered pariahs in mainstream society, but this generation of women fought back and chose a different path. These women chose Breitenbush as a place to meet and freely associate with other women having similar life experiences.
Today, many in this group face the same challenges that a majority of people in their dotage face. Yet they have one challenge that most aging people do not have. Once seen as pariahs of conventional society, now they are characterized by some as pariahs of the very movement they helped to initiate and build. Why? Because they choose to exclude anyone born male. And now, in the evolution of socio-cultural consciousness pertaining to the human right of gender equality, the leading edge is about self-statement of one’s gender, not birth assignment or any group identity that would exclude an individual regardless of their stated gender identity. The cause of transsexual people is described precisely by this evolution.”
See more on the Breitenbush decision to eliminate the rights of lesbians to meet at their Hot Springs away from men here: http://www.breitenbush.com/community/community-news/news-current.html
Leader of the successful (!) anti-lesbian initiative to destroy the historic event, is heterosexual white male Will Radik, alternately calling himself Miranda Radik, Miranda Raven, and Miranda Brooke Raven. Today Radik/Raven scolded a black lesbian on PQMonthly: “You’re the Oppressor!” he stated.
“You piece of shit”, accused another heterosexual white male Rosalynda Stone, adding: “There is literal blood on your hands”.
Blood on the lesbian’s hands. The “piece of shit” lesbian. The blood of heterosexual white males. Because she desires the human right to gather with fellow lesbians in sisterhood at the hot springs in an annual weekend, in celebration and sisterhood, as lesbians, the same as they have done for thirty years. (This entire exchange is archived in the comment section below).
Will Radik, the white heterosexual male who persuaded other men that black lesbians “oppress” him, and who lobbied (successfully!) to eliminate the historic lesbian event, is best known previously for his one-man protest against the “All Jane No Dick” comedy tour. Although the tour included male “transwomen”, Radik/Raven protested that the inclusion in the advertising tagline the phrase “No dick” verbally discriminated against the honor of his penis (!). Unlike the male powers-that-be who run the Breitenbush Hot Springs, the female organizers of that event told him to go hush himself.
Do you believe that Lesbians should have the human right to hold gatherings and events with other Lesbians? Are you a lesbian? Are you an LGBT ally that supports the human rights of lesbians as female human beings to gather together at the hot springs as they see fit? Do you think it’s a bit creepy that heterosexual men are claiming that lesbians oppress them and that historic lesbian events must be eradicated because they hurt the feelings of males who wish to attend? Are Black Lesbians the oppressors of heterosexual white males?
How can a historic thirty-year lesbian event that means SO MUCH to the lives of the women attending be shit-canned by a handful of deranged straight white males concerned with Penis Pride? Holy shit!
Take a moment, hell, take five- and share your perspective with the Breitenbush Hot Springs management:
Breitenbush Hot Springs PO Box 578 Detroit, OR 97342
August 2, 2012
As a public service GenderTrender has compiled todays Lesbian-related stories from the mainstream LGBT “blogosphere”:
The Advocate: “fascinating” article by Diana Anderson-Minshall, featuring Professor Bambi Lobdell, a heterosexual woman promoting her new book on “reclaim[ing] transgender men from lesbian or passing woman history.” The specific lesbian that Lobdell attempts to “reclaim” as transgender is distant relative and 19th century marksman Lucy Ann Lobdell , known as “The Female Hunter of Delaware County”. Heterosexual Lobdell’s rewriting of lesbian history is called “A Strange Sort of Being: The Transgender Life of Lucy Ann/Joseph Israel Lobdell, 1829-1912”.
How “fascinating” is this het woman’s rewriting of lesbian history? From Anderson-Minshall’s first paragraph:
“Now Lobdell’s distant relative, professor Bambi L. Lobdell, has written a fascinating account of Joseph Lobdell — who she calls Lucy-Joe — and what happened after he moved to the frontier, married a woman, and bucked 19th-century social restrictions and gender expectations. It’s a fascinating story of forced marriage, arrest, and incarceration in an insane asylum. Although 20th-century scholars have labeled Lobdell a lesbian, the author, while incorporating queer theory and Lobdell’s own writings, makes a fascinating argument in A Strange Sort of Being: The Transgender Life of Lucy Ann/Joseph Israel Lobdell, 1829-1912 that there never was a “female hunter” but really a transgender man who would eventually be locked away from society and his beloved for insisting on being a man.”
Sounds pretty fucking fascinating, No?
Then again the author of the piece (and fascinated party) is Anderson-Minshall, the Advocate’s executive editor and long-time editor of lesbian media, now “heterosexually” married to her ex-lesbian “transman” partner.
Lobdell hetsplains to the lesbian reader how the lesbian subject, in her 1855 autobiography “The Female Hunter” erroneously identified herself as a women’s rights activist: “The autobiography presents an intelligent and strongly worded feminist manifesto for equal pay and opportunities for women and a personal refusal to live an oppressed life in the domestic sphere; she also presents her bold plan to seize freedoms and opportunities that women did not have legal rights to at the time by going out into the world in men’s clothes. The few newspaper articles available were modern retellings of older newspaper articles that often only featured Lucy as a woman who refused to stay in the place society set for her.” Hetsplainer calls the subject’s autobiographical assertions about herself “cissexist ignorance”. Hetsplainer informs lesbian readers that lesbians in history who “passed” as males to steal some form of freedom from “the man” would not do so unless they were “transgender”. Why on earth else would females risk it? “Considering the great deal of harassment and incarceration Joe experienced because of his gender presentation, I conclude that his reason for doing so was that he felt he was a man and brave enough to live as one openly.”
Gosh hetero lady! So all the persecuted lesbians and “passing” females in history must have been “male brained”! Who knew? What would we do without heteros erasing lesbians in articles written by “ex-lesbians” in the Advocate???
Hetero lady goes on to use Chaz Bono’s appearance on Dancing With The Stars as an example of how “We see variations of backlash when female-bodied persons who claim to be women enter traditional male spaces like sports, politics, or business, but when that person identifies as male, the amplified backlash reveals its transphobic fear.” But gosh hetero lady: there has NEVER been a lesbian or gay couple featured on that show. Much LESS a gender-nonconforming lesbian. Oops!
Lobdell goes on detail her anti-homosexual agenda: “I identify as straight, but am a strong ally for LGBTQ people. I teach gender studies classes at SUNY Oneonta, where I have been turned loose to teach classes in queer studies and transgender studies and queer literature, which the students seem to be hungry for. I love working with student groups exploring any gender or queer issues, and am trying to find time to reach out to communities near me to get more involved with queer youth, especially trans kids.”
Professor Lobdell explains how lesbians and gays have it all wrong:
“When sexual attraction is reduced to a mere pairing up of opposite sets of genitals in our cultural understanding, the aspect of gender is absent. There seems to be an assumption that desire experienced by straight women is based on longing for sex with a body that has a penis, and desire experienced by lesbian women is based on longing for sex with a body with female genitals, as if gender is not a consideration. But what if desire and sexual satisfaction for some women are built around a desire for masculinity and masculine qualities and characteristics, but not a penis or traditional male body or person? We have such rigid boxes for what sex styles people can subscribe to, which greatly limits the potential for human sexual experience. Even today with the boxes of gay and lesbian more acceptable, those categories are still based on the genitals each body has, as if genitals alone are the source of truth about identity and desire. What if they’re not? What if genitals are not the core of a person’s identity or the single criteria for how to form intimate relationships?”
Oh Gosh! She’s a hetero professor of The Cotton Ceiling! THANKS Advocate for your ONE “lesbian” article of the day, erasing women’s history and telling lesbians how we are “doing it wrong” by rejecting the LADYPEEN.
Lets bail from the Advocate and see what Bilerico has for us today:
Oh my! What do we have here? ANOTHER article by heterosexual male pretendbian, pornographer and prolific anti-lesbian and anti-female activist Tobi Hill-Meyers instructing us about the “issue” of “prejudice” involved in lesbians and gays that don’t want to DATE opposite sex people! Two mainstream LGBT Cotton Ceiling posts written by heterosexuals “educating” gays and lesbians about “how we’re doing it wrong” in one day. Whew! My irony-expressing quotation marks are getting exhausted! Yawwwwwn…
Lets move along to AmericablogGay:
Editor John Aravosis has added a new blogger to the all-male roster. But this time it’s….. ANOTHER MALE. Shockingly, even John NOTICES this, stating he “would love to have more women bloggers on the blog, but it’s been tough finding them – am checking out two right now, but if you know of anyone – for the main or gay sites – please send them my way: john at americablog dot com. Thanks!”
HAHAHAHAHA. He doesn’t KNOW of any lesbian bloggers. Oh, and by “have more” women bloggers on the Gay site, he means “any”. BECAUSE THERE ARE NONE. Goddammit John for making me use more quotation marks you sonofagun.
Moving on to JoeMyGod, Towle and Pams:
Joe and Andy are wise enough to just skip covering any lesbian news today, Pam’s has Chick fil A.
That’s today’s wrap-up of Lesbian news in the U.S. mainstream LGBT blogosphere. GenderTrender is pleased to provide this service of keeping you up to date. Cheers!
[all bolding by me-GM]
March 22, 2012
- Target: Planned Parenthood Toronto
- Sponsored by: Men and Women in defense of sexual freedom
Support Women’s Sexual Autonomy — No Means No!
- Target: Planned Parenthood Toronto
- Sponsored by: Women Defending Our Right to Say No to Sex
The cotton ceiling is a theory proposed … to explain the experiences queer trans women have with simultaneous social inclusion and sexual exclusion within the broader queer women’s communities. Basically, it means that cis queer women will be friends with us and talk day and night about trans rights and ending transmisogyny, but will still not consider us viable sexual partners.
The term cotton ceiling is a reference to the “glass ceiling” that second wave feminist identified in the workforce, wherein women could only advance so high in the workforce but could not break through into positions of power and authority. The cotton represents underwear, signifying sex.
Please sign this petition and ask Planned Parenthood to withdraw their support from this workshop and to continue their legacy of support for women’s sexual autonomy.
Information about the conference can be found here.”
And this video:
And THESE POSTS:
NGLTF Creating “No Change” 2013: Sue Hyde non-‘splains to the Lesbian Caucus, outlines Future Non-changes
March 9, 2012
The 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 conference.
This response was NOT freely offered but was prompted by the following inquiry sent by Lesbian Caucus facilitator Shannon Avery:
Dear Sue, Read the rest of this entry »