Everybody has an opinion about lesbian/feminists. Love ‘em or hate ‘em—the truth is they fueled the movements that changed the shape of life for women in this country. It was not safe but they risked it all to live out and open. The radical challenges they presented to the status quo laid the groundwork for much of the social change we can take for granted today.
The women’s health movement, economic parity (remember when women earned 59 cents on every dollar instead of the 72 today?), women in democratic politics, women in music (way before the Lilith Fair and Melissa Ethridge!), sexual experimentation, were all pioneered by lesbian feminists, many of them Baby Boomers riding the Second Wave of feminism.
Well SURF’S UP! And they’re still demonstrating and creating. Keeping the waters roiling so social change can rise to the surface. Old lesbian radicals don’t die they just keep writing poems! Elana Dykewomon, Carla Trujillo, Reid Gomez and Jewelle Gomez will read from new work and old, sing with Debbie Fier and talk about what makes a revolution—mostly sex and politics.
This is a pot luck of love and activism, so bring your favorite finger food (that’s an old dyke joke!). Plaid flannel shirts, red lipstick, Frye boots, leather bustiers and wheel chairs all welcome!
Photo: Cathy CadeElana Dykewomon published her groundbreaking first novel, Riverfinger Woman, in 1974. She was an editor of the international lesbian/feminist journal, SINISTER WISDOM, in the 1980s and contributor to others such as COMMON LIVES/LESBIAN LIVES and BRIDGES a journal of writing by Jewish women. Her novel Beyond the Pale won the Lambda Literary Award and she’s the winner of this year’s Mid-Career Writer’s Award from Saints & Sinners. Her newest novel is called Risk.
Debbie Fier has been performing for 25 years as a vocalist, percussionist, and pianist as well as being a teacher and composer. She’s performed throughout the US…including Michigan and Europe working with people from Bobby McFerrin to Sistahs Steppin in Pride. She has three recordings: ‘In Your Hands,’ ‘Firelight’ and her most recent, ‘Coming Home.’
Jewelle Gomez began her writing career working with the lesbian feminist journal CONDITIONS in 1980. She’s written for ON OUR BACKS, THE ADVOCATE, MS MAGAZINE AND CURVE. Her double Lambda Literary Award-winning vampire novel, The Gilda Stories, has been in print since 1991. Her forthcoming novel about ‘60s Black radicals is called Televised. She’s also writing a play about James Baldwin.
Reid Gómez is a Navajo writer and independent scholar. Her work focuses on language, sovereignty, and class. My stories detail the memories and migrations that the tribal, the detribalized, and the descendants of slaves, make and the relationships forged in light of those migrations. Her previous novels are California Wasn’t Good for Us and Fire in Electric Lady Land. Her new novel is called Urban Nizhoni.
Carla Trujillo is the editor of Chicana Lesbians: The Girls Our Mothers Warned Us About which won a Lambda Literary Award and the Out/Write Vanguard Award. It’s in its third printing. She also edited Living Chicana Theory. Her novel, What Night Brings, won the Latin Literary Foundation Book Award. She’ll be reading from her new novel.
Sharon Page Ritchie is accomplished in the art of Middle Eastern dancing, the ancient celebratory movement known is the west as belly-dancing; and has performed professionally for more than 20 years. She is also a textile artist with special interests in clothing, surface design, and knitting.