Old Lesbians Organizing for Change (OLOC) stands with #BlackLivesMatter and #SayHerName and all involved in the work for racial, economic, and social justice, including protesters all over the world calling for accountability in every country.

On This Page:

Go Fund Me
A Message from OLOC About the Pandemic
Zoom Summary: Where do We March From Here, 1/21/21
Rhode Island Zooms
OLOC Mission Statement
OLOC Vision Statement
OLOC in Action
OLOC Works for Change

Old Lesbians Zooming into the Future

Spanish version appears after the English text.
La versión en español aparece después del texto en inglés.

OLOC has started a Go Fund Me campaign. In addition to needing funds for operating expenses, in order to expand membership we now offer American Sign Language translation during our zoom meetings and closed captioning for those with hearing loss. We  welcome Old Lesbians whose first language is Spanish so we need money to pay for Spanish translations of our materials and interpretations of our meetings. Therefore, we come to you for your generous support.”

GoFundMe DONATE NOW!

OLOC ha iniciado una campaña Go Fund Me. Además de necesitar fondos para gastos operativos, con el fin de ampliar la membresía, ahora ofrecemos traducción en lenguaje de señas estadounidense durante nuestras reuniones y subtítulos para personas con pérdida auditiva. Damos la bienvenida a Lesbianas Mayores cuyo primer idioma es elespañol, por lo que necesitamos dinero para pagar las traducciones al español de nuestros materiales y las interpretaciones de nuestras reuniones. Por lo tanto, acudimos a ti en busca de tu generoso apoyo.

¡GoFundMe Done Ahora!

A Message from OLOC about the Pandemic:

The coronavirus is having a tremendous effect on our all lives. Many of us have been instructed to shelter in place and stay in our residences as much as possible in an attempt to slow and stop the spread of the virus. This can pose a major problem for Old Lesbians, who are often already isolated. However, there is no need to despair! OLOC is still active and thriving. The only thing that has changed at this point is that we are not meeting in person. But the chapters and the Steering Committee are finding other ways to carry on, primarily by Zooming. We are also having exciting National Zoom programs for all members, some of which are open to everyone. So far, these have included panel discussions with Lesbian musicians and feminist bookstore workers (see below), which have been wonderful experiences for the hundreds of Lesbians who attended.

There is something that almost all of us can find some way to do: reach out to others, stay connected to those who are important to you, ask for help if you need it, and look into the many opportunities to help others, whether that be with practical or financial assistance, a friendly check-in, or simply a smile. Spread some kindness around! Make THAT contagious.

And if you are interested in another way to connect with other members, you can check out our online forum at groups.io/g/NationalOLOC.

Please stay safe, everyone. You do not need to distance yourself socially from others, only physically! We are survivors and we will get through this.

OLOC Zoom Summary—”Where Do We March from Here?”
Thursday, January 21, 2021

In this Post-Inauguration Zoom, we considered the challenges we face as we move along with a new President and the many on-going challenges still with us: COVID-19, inadequate healthcare, institutional racism, financial/housing/food insecurities, Trumpism, voter suppression, ageism, etc.
This video features Mandy Carter, who introduced our Post-Inauguration Discussion. In the first 17 minutes, she shares her reflections about the Biden/Harris inauguration and other current events. The participants then went to small group discussions. The last part of the video shares Mandy’s thoughts following the small groups and what she heard. 

By Marie Emee, 1962
The OLOC Zoom meeting [Where Do We March from Here? on January 21] started with Mandy Carter’s informative walk through history, as seen through the eyes of an African American Lesbian educator and survivor who forged a strong backbone as she navigated the child welfare system as an orphan. The 1964 Freedom Summer, the Poor People’s Campaign that went on despite the slaying of MLK in 1968, the building of Resurrection City on the National Mall in DC … all of these events came alive as seen through Carter’s eyes.

Black men won the vote in 1870, and here is a Black woman standing proud in her herstory, reminding us that she could not vote until the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. That’s real. History comes alive when you have a strong elder who takes the time to tell her story. Sister Carter, thank you for a walk in your shoes.

Mandy asked us: What is the seed we will plant in the future? What drives us? What is the thing deep within us that we will shelter, tend, and grow from seedling roots into leaves, flowers, and fruits? Where do we go from here? Our answers: social justice, ending racism and sexism, destroying the illusion of white supremacy, protecting our land, water, air, and animals… 

Some of us tend to the preservation and protection of our Lesbian culture and our hard-won sex-based rights.

From this point in the Zoom meeting, questions came: Is this an emergency?, one sister asked. Another question: can Lesbians tell our stories without anger, to elicit empathy, while we are pinioned with threats and hateful slurs for protecting our culture and our spaces? Can we move forward with mutual respect, love, and compassion for others? And can that happen with folks who do not seem to respect our culture and our safe spaces? Where is the compassion for Lesbians? Where is the understanding? And what can we do to foster these?

Is there a way to show the world that the Lesbian community, especially the feminists among us, cannot be reduced to a slur? How do we define ourselves as Lesbians, and how can that definition protect our Lesbian culture and prevent the appropriation of the Lesbian moniker by people who do not fit that definition? How do we protect and nurture young Lesbians, especially young butch Lesbians?

How do we create a brand for ourselves, and is that needed? How can we foster understanding for the righteous rage of those who lament the attack on our community by people who have no understanding of us, and show no compassion for us? If we were understood, would there be compassion and respect, and if so, how do we build bridges to that understanding?

Sheila Jeffreys

The Lesbian image has been hypersexualized and misappropriated in what our sister Sheila Jeffreys, 1948 [pictured], calls the “malestream media.” How do we counter this? Can we hate the acts of the perpetrators and still respect their humanity, even as they deny our very existence?

How do we foster unrelenting compassion for ourselves that is steel-strong, so that when we reach out in compassion to others, we do not lose compassion and respect for our Lesbian culture and for ourselves? How do we resist erasure into the gullet of Queerness? How do we preserve and protect the L? We are a culture, not just a sexual orientation. How do we project that culture out of the archives and into the world? The answers to these questions are, I suspect, as diverse as the sacred seeds we carry within us.

Recent Zoom Programs

OLOC Rhode Island Zooms!

The Rhode Island chapter is meeting biweekly via Zoom. “It’s been a relief, blessing, and touchstone support for all of us. We enjoy it a lot and are grateful to have this way to stay in touch!” — Mev

OLOC Rhode Island Zooms

Top l-r: Dee Bird (1951), Sally Hay (1950), Nancy Howard (1953), Mev Miller (1955), Deb Valletta, (1952). Middle l-r: Elda Dawber (1944), Cathy Gorman (1946), Marj Moskol (1932), Joan Dermody (1946). Bottom: Thea Ernest (1954)

OLOC Mission Statement

To eliminate the oppression of ageism and to stand in solidarity against all oppressions.

OLOC Vision Statement

OLOC will be a cooperative community of Old Lesbian feminist activists from many backgrounds working for justice and the well-being of all Old Lesbians.

OLOC in Action

We are a national network of Old Lesbians in our 60th year or older working to confront ageism in our communities and our country. We use education and public discourse as our primary tools.

Our national organization is directed by a Steering Committee that works to form and support local groups who will work in their own communities.

We hold biennial National Gatherings allowing us to come together to share experiences and ideas and recharge our energies for the tasks at hand.

We believe that we have a great deal of wisdom, experience, and strength to share with our communities as well as among ourselves.

Everyone will have her older life made better by the work we do.

We are dedicated to preserving and enhancing the Lesbian voice as well as increasing Lesbian visibility in a world that stifles it and threatens to erase it.

OLOC Works for Change by Supporting:

  • comprehensive immigration reform
  • elimination of violence against women
  • enactment of universal single-payer healthcare for all
  • an end to corporate “personhood”
  • an end to any curtailment of voting rights
  • the Black Lives Matter movement
  • the Say Her Name! movement
  • the civil rights of all indigenous people
  • efforts to achieve net zero CO2 emissions
  • efforts to reduce climate crisis impacts that fall disproportionately on the poor and vulnerable