Behind the Scenes in Women’s Music and Culture, The Early Years, Part 1: Production
Thursday, May 27, 2021
Do you remember your first women’s music concert? These presenters are remarkable Lesbians who were involved in various festivals and events… as we all built and sustained a network dedicated to woman-loving music and culture.
Panel Discussion facilitated by Margie Adam, 1947, and Melanie DeMore, 1954.
Facing Death and Dying with Dignity
Monday, May 3, 2021
Death and dying – two words we don’t talk about and prefer not to think about. But they are a part of all of our lives and since none of us is immortal, let’s talk. We hope this OLOC Zoom demystifies the topic. Join your OLOC sisters to share thoughts, ideas, options and fears about the end of life. Facilitated by Sue Reamer, 1942, and Ruth Debra, 1944.
Download Death and Dying Resources
Still Here: Lesbian Writers Continuing on from the 70s
OLOC Zoom Presentation Recorded April 26, 2021
Enjoy the inspiration of several gifted Lesbian writers reading their own words. Curated and introduced by Elana Dykewomon, 1949, and Jewelle Gomez, 1948. Readers Include: Cheryl Clark, 1947; Dorothy Allison, 1949; Kitty Tsui, 1952; Irena Klepfisz, 1941; Terry Baum, 1946; Jewelle Gomez, and Elana Dykewomon.
Download the book list and author bios
Download the Still Here Report
Keeping the “L” Relevant: Archiving Our Lesbian Herstories
Sunday, March 21, 2021
In this panel presentation, Lesbians with experience talked about how they archive and share relevant herstories of Lesbian lives. Presenters included: Sharon Raphael, 1941; Deb Edel, 1944; Krü Maekdo; Bonnie Morris, 1961; and Alí Marrero Calderón, 1948; with Facilitator, Mev Miller, 1955.
Download the Resources List for Keeping the “L” Relevant
NOTE: Due to privacy issues, ONLY the panelists are included and NOT the Q&A.
Women of the Harlem Renaissance
A Multimedia Presentation
Thursday, February 18, 2021
After World War I, Black people flocked to New York City from the American South and the Caribbean Islands. Many settled in Harlem, and from 1918 to the mid-1930s, they created a cultural, artistic, and intellectual revolution that influenced other artists around the world. At the time, it was called The New Negro Movement, and many brilliant women were a part of it. Who were they, and what did they do? In this presentation we’ll talk about the experiences and unique talents of a number of these women — many of them Lesbian or bisexual, all of them groundbreaking. Join us for a glimpse into this historic, dynamic era and into the lives of the amazing Black women who shaped it. Presented by Jorjet Harper.
Book Club Possibilities
Friday, February 5, 2021
These are recommended titles from the chat participants for the whole group and Breakout Group One. Many thanks to Christine Pattee, 1941, for compiling this list.
- Olivia on the Record, by Ginny Z. Berson, recently released by Aunt Lute Press, auntlute.com/olivia-on-the-record
- Cantoras, by Carolina De Robertis (novel set in Uruguay and totally about Lesbians). Great.
- Val McDermid is a Scottish Lesbian author with Lesbian characters. I love her Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series! Dark and gritty murder mysteries, though, so beware, LOL!
- A Light on Altered Land, by Becky Bohan. OLOC member. Novel about Lesbians.
- All of Marti Bellinger’s about Ruth.
- Anything by Elana Dykewoman
- Beyond the Pale, by Elana Dykewoman
- Wildfire: She/volution, by Sonia Johnson
- Never Anyone But You, by Rupert Thomson
- Poppy Jenkins, by Clare Ashton
- Pull of the Stars, by Emma Donahue
- Anything by Sarah Waters
- Paris Was a Woman: Portraits from the Left Bank, by Andrea Weiss
- Juliana, by Vanda. Set in New York in the 1940s and 1950s.
- Film: Vita and Virginia on YouTube.
- Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl
- Patience and Sarah, by Isabel Miller
- Paris Was a Woman, by Shari Bentock
- Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation: A History of Literary Paris in the Twenties and Thirties, by Noel Riley Fitch
- The Sixty-fourth Day, by Rowena Winik
- Anything by Jane Rule or Jeanette Winterson
- Lillian in Love, by Sue Katz
- A Raison in my Cleavage, by Sue Katz
- Alix Dobkin, My Red Blood, story of her red diaper baby life before she came out [mentioned by two participants]
- Djuna Barnes’s collection of her newspaper articles
- This Bridge Called My Back
- Tribe of Dina
- Fiction: Girl, Woman, Other, by Bernadine Evaristo
- Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
- “Literary Ladies Guide,” an email list with stories about famous women authors
- The Lions of Fifth Avenue, by Fiona Davis (Lesbian content. Heterodoxy)
- ebookwoman.com – Highly recommend.
“Where Do We March from Here?”
Thursday, January 21, 2021
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?
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.