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
Amanda H. Littauer
The Case of Chez Palmyre
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
Queer Girls’ Voices in the Liberation Era
Amanda H. Littauer
Drawing on letters and essays written by teenage girls in the 1970s and early 1980s, and building on my historical research on same-sex desiring girls and girlhoods in the postwar United States, I ask how teenage girls in the 1970s and early 1980s pursued answers to questions about their feelings, practices, and identities and expressed their subjectivities as young lesbian feminists. These young writers, I argue, recognized that they benefitted from more resources and role models than did earlier generations, but they objected to what they saw as adult lesbians’ ageism, caution, and neglect. In reaching out to sympathetic straight and lesbian public figures and publications, girls found new ways to combat the persistent isolation and oppression faced by youth whose autonomy remained severely restricted by familial, educational, and legal structures.
Hungarian Lesbian Herstory, 1950s–2000s
The article explores the personal narratives of middle-aged and elderly Hungarian lesbian women based on oral history interviews. The stories open a window into the Kádár era from a special perspective, allowing us to get a glimpse into the women's self-recognition and coming out process; their different (sexual, professional or maternal) identities, relationships, informal social scenes, and communities; their thinking about gender roles, as well as the available representations of lesbians over the decades. The women also discuss the freedom and greater visibility—as complex as it was—that came after the democratic transition. The article contributes more detailed knowledge about the situation of LGBT people in the region during the state socialist period and around the 1989 regime change.
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.
Reading Sifra on Lesbianism
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
Reflections on the Journey of a Lesbian Feminist Queer Rabbi
Elli Tikvah Sarah
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 ago
Two Hong Kong Women Filmmakers’ Perspectives on Sex after 1997
globalization and the local demands of the city. Their sexuality becomes part of this struggle over bodily integrity and identity as they navigate questions of gender expression; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) rights; sexual labor
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.
Same-Sex Attraction between Girls
Wendy L. Rouse
; Faderman 1981 ; Osterhuis 2000) Havelock Ellis, a British sexologist, expanded on the ideas of Krafft-Ebing in both defining sexual inverts as abnormal and in recommending some degree of tolerance. Ellis’s marriage to Edith Lees, who was a lesbian, may have