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“Your Young Lesbian Sisters”

Queer Girls’ Voices in the Liberation Era

Amanda H. Littauer

it was scary. Today, all these things are more visible—more accepted—more a part of society. It's easier for young lesbians today. No, sisters, it's not. Because today, we knock on your doors and they remain shut in an airtight seal. We come to your

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Beyond the Myth of Lesbian Montmartre

The Case of Chez Palmyre

Leslie Choquette

From the 1870s, lesbian Montmartre emerged as a popular subject for writers and artists seeking to represent Parisian modernity. Whether celebrated by Toulouse-Lautrec, caricatured by Forain, or castigated by Zola, Montmartre’s lesbians were

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Amanda H. Littauer

In 1979, Beth Kelly published a letter in Toronto's Gay Community News that began with the words: “It's time.” Entitled “On ‘Woman/Girl Love’ or Lesbians Do ‘Do It,’” Kelly's piece appeared in the midst of an explosive controversy that followed

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The Kids Are All Right But the Lesbians Aren't

The Illusion of Progress in Popular Film

Vicki L. Eaklor

The film The Kids Are All Right, centered on a lesbian couple and their two teenage children, was released in 2010 following a media blitz selling it as a groundbreaking film. Many queer viewers (like this author) eagerly awaited this supposed step forward in lesbian representation, only to be disappointed once again by mainstream stereotypes and tropes. This article takes a close look at the film against the backdrop of lesbian images and themes in “Hollywood“ films, particularly in the last twenty years, and argues that continuities, while sometimes more subtle, override the illusion of progress in portraying lesbians. Finally, there is speculation about why genuine change in mainstream film may be impossible under current societal and economic systems.

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Tom Boellstorff

It is remarkable how few Westerners know that Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation (after China, India, and the United States), or that Indonesia is home to more Muslims than any other country. These basic facts should be enough to establish Indonesia’s importance for current world affairs. In this essay, however, I argue for paying attention to the life-worlds of gay and lesbian Indonesians. While this might seem an unconventional topic, these Indonesians’ lives provide valuable clues to how being ‘Indonesian’ gets defined and to the workings of nation-states more generally. They teach us how heteronormativity—the assumption that heterosexuality is the only normal or proper sexuality—plays a fundamental role in forming nation-states as “imagined communities.” In Indonesia and elsewhere, nation-states are modeled on a particular archetype of the nuclear family (husband, wife, and children, with the nation’s president as parent). In line with this model, nation-states often portray themselves as made up not just of individual citizens but of families, which almost always are assumed to be nuclear families despite the staggering range of family forms found in the world’s cultures. Restricting the family model to the heterosexual couple has been a key means by which the idea of the Indonesian nation (and other nations) has been promulgated and sustained. Thus, rather than see the exclusion of homosexuality as a latter-day response to an encroaching global gay and lesbian movement, this exclusion is most accurately understood as a point of departure by which the idea of ‘Indonesia’ comes to exist in the first place.

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Siobhan B. Somerville

This article offers a first-person account of the author's experience teaching an undergraduate course on local queer culture, using her own campus as the site for primary research. The course asks how students might understand the role of Midwestern public universities in the production of queer culture. And how might such knowledge revise understandings of queer culture and its locations, both in the past and in the present? The author describes the course design, the goals of introducing undergraduate students to two scholarly methods (archival research and ethnography) and a number of original research projects undertaken by students.

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A Woman Would Marry a Woman

Reading Sifra on Lesbianism

Laliv Clenman

Sifra, otherwise known as Torat Kohanim, an early Palestinian midrash to Leviticus, has the dubious distinction of including the only prohibition of lesbianism in the entire corpus of classical rabbinic literature. 1 This prohibition consists

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Ernst van der Wal

The negotiation of and resistance to national borders are central themes in the stories and images that lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender refugees produce in a contemporary global environment where forms of transnational movement is of

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Talking My Way In

Reflections on the Journey of a Lesbian Feminist Queer Rabbi

Elli Tikvah Sarah

ordaining LGBT rabbis by Leo Baeck College on 23 June 2014. 1 The day was an acknowledgement of the achievement of the college – and also of the two lesbian rabbis, Sheila Shulman, z’l, and myself, who had set LBC on a new path, not just twenty-five years

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Gazing at Medusa

Adaptation as Phallocentric Appropriation in Blue Is the Warmest Color

Marion Krauthaker and Roy Connolly

of a lesbian encounter and assert feminine desires, emotions and subjectivity against widespread heteronormative and male-oriented productions. The cover is the first element in a long series to challenge the male gaze by asserting a ‘matrixial gaze