Tag Archives: herstory

ILD: Lesbians under the Third Reich

Few historians have been interested in the existence of lesbians under the Third Reich. Raids, rapes, prostitution therapy, being forced into hiding – these are some of the atrocities they suffered under the Nazi regime. … That we know hardly anything about them is surprising, especially when we know that the National Socialist ideology considered homosexuality to be a vice and that any woman who did not respect her role as wife and mother in perpetuating racial purity was repressed. Today, we offer you a dossier and collective portrait of the lives of these lesbians, all too often overlooked.

MALE HOMOSEXUALITY VERSUS FEMALE HOMOSEXUALITY
What do we really know about lesbian life under the Nazi regime? Virtually nothing. Their existence has rarely interested researchers which is astonishing, especially when we know that the Nazi ideology condemned homosexuality and decreed that women should respect their role as married women but also as mothers. Moreover, while homosexual relations between men have always been subject to criminal prosecution in much of Germany, female homosexuality has not been condemned. But for what reasons exactly? This phenomenon can be explained by the fact that women had to occupy a very special place at the time in German society. Furthermore, unlike male homosexuals, lesbians were not a political or social threat, even after 1933 and under the Nazi regime.

Lesbians, much more than homosexual men, also strongly participated in the homosexual emancipation movement that began in the 1890s in Germany. Nevertheless, women were not allowed to join political organizations until 1908 and frequented bars more discreetly. After World War I, sexual morality opened up more. Subsequently, the Weimar Republic offered other social and political freedoms for the majority of homosexuals, women and men alike. Big cities like Berlin then became real centers of German homosexual life: clubs such as the Tanzpalaste Zauberflöte or the Dorian Gray , for example, allowed urban lesbians to live as freely as rural lesbians. In addition, magazines such as Frauenliebe (Love for women) or Die Freundin (L’Amie in French) were also created thanks to a softening of censorship.
(Translated)

Peu sont les historiens à s’être intéressés à l’existence des lesbiennes sous le Troisième Reich. Rafles, viols, thérapies par la prostitution, forcées de se cacher… voici certaines des atrocités qu’elles ont subies sous le régime nazi. Néanmoins, nous ne savons quasiment rien à leur sujet. Constat surprenant, notamment lorsque l’on sait que l’idéologie nationale-socialiste considérait l’homosexualité comme un vice et que toute femme ne respectant pas son rôle d’épouse et de mère afin de perpétuer la race pure était réprimée. Aujourd’hui, nous vous proposons un dossier et portrait collectif de la vie de ces lesbiennes bien trop souvent passée sous silence.

L’HOMOSEXUALITÉ MASCULINE FACE À L’HOMOSEXUALITÉ FÉMININE
Que savons-nous réellement de la vie des lesbiennes sous le régime nazi ? Pratiquement rien. Leur existence n’a que rarement intéressé les chercheurs. Étonnant, notamment lorsque nous savons que l’idéologie nazie condamnait l’homosexualité et que les femmes se devaient de respecter leur rôle de femme mariée mais aussi de mère. Par ailleurs, alors que les relations homosexuelles entre hommes ont toujours été passibles de poursuites pénales dans une grande partie de l’Allemagne, l’homosexualité féminine n’était quant à elle pas condamnée. Mais pour quelles raisons exactement ? Ce phénomène peut s’expliquer par le fait que les femmes se devaient d’occuper une place bien particulière à l’époque au sein de la société allemande. De plus, contrairement aux homosexuels masculins, les lesbiennes n’étaient pas une menace politique ou bien sociale, et ce, y compris après 1933 et sous le régime nazi.

Les lesbiennes, bien plus que les hommes homosexuels, ont également fortement participé au mouvement d’émancipation homosexuelle qui a vu le jour à partir des années 1890 en Allemagne. Néanmoins, les femmes n’avaient pas le droit d’intégrer d’organisations politiques jusqu’en 1908 et elles se retrouvaient de manière plus discrète dans des bars. Après la Première Guerre mondiale, la morale sexuelle s’est également ouverte davantage. Par la suite, la république de Weimar offrit d’autres libertés aussi sociales que politiques ainsi que pour la majeure partie des homosexuels, femmes et hommes confondus. De grandes villes comme Berlin sont alors devenues de véritables centres de la vie homosexuelle allemande : des clubs tels que le Tanzpalaste Zauberflöte ou encore le Dorian Gray ont par exemple permis aux lesbiennes urbaines de vivre aussi librement que les lesbiennes rurales. De plus, des revues comme Frauenliebe (Amour féminine en français) ou encore Die Freundin (L’Amie en français) ont également pu voir le jour grâce à un adoucissement de la censure.

Continue reading at: https://dailygeekshow.com/lesbiennes-troisieme-reich/

A Queensland Herstory project – telling the stories of 8 older lesbians

A Matter of Time Heather Faulkner

A spotlight is being shined on LGBT rights — or, more accurately, the historic lack thereof —  in the Australian state of Queensland. The beam is in the form of an upcoming book, North of the Border, by cross-media storyteller and documentary photographer Heather Faulkner. The book builds on Faulkner’s doctoral thesis research project, A Matter Of Time, and through six years of interviews and photography, tells the stories of eight lesbians who grew up in Queensland. The women range in age from their mid-50s to 70s.

“I want older lesbian and gay readers to know that their stories are important,” she told The Huffington Post. “That what they lived through matters.”

Faulkner realized that no one had investigated the Queensland lesbian experience before, especially not in a documentary. “So I decided to do it,” she said.

She describes a Queensland under the rule of Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen (the longest serving premier of Queensland) from 1968 to 1987 as an ultra-conservative state where women’s rights were minimal. Domestic violence was rife and women needed male signatories to purchase things like refrigerators or to get a bank loan; indigenous rights, homosexual rights, education, disability rights, environmental rights, etc. all needed redressing.

“Those who didn’t fit the government-prescribed norm — straight, white, married with children, Christian and conservative politically — didn’t fit in at all. This included feminists, homosexuals, aboriginals, academics, environmentalists, unmarried women or single moms,” Faulkner said. “The government made demonstrations illegal, a policy that resulted in several mass arrests … known demonstrators were ostracized from work places, spied on, bullied or beaten by police,” she describes.

Continue reading at: https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/telling-the-story-of-the-lives-and-loves-of-older-lesbians_n_55fb19e1e4b08820d917e311(Source)

Black Lesbian Resistance and Resilience: Sheila Alexander-Reid

Women in the Life 1994

Women in the Life Magazine in its second year of publication in 1994.

“In 1992, I started Women in the Life, Inc., an events management company that created safe spaces for Black lesbians to interact through dance parties, concerts, fundraisers, and open mic poetry sessions in over 50 locations in Washington, D.C. alone, not to mention Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and Atlanta. Some of the many artists featured at Women in the Life events included Grace JonesC+C Music FactoryCeCe PenistonMeshell Ndegecocello, R. Erica DoyleSamiya A. BashirKarma Mayet JohnsonPamela SneedMichelle ParkersonVenus ThrashMichaela HarrisonBarbara Tucker, ONYX, and Staceyann Chinn. Over a ten-year period, with the help of friends Charlene Hamilton, Darlene Rogers, Chris Vera, Lois Alexander, the late Phyllis Croom and so many more, I published a total of 86 issues of Women in the Life Magazine, which addressed issues that impacted our community both in Washington, D.C., throughout the United States, and internationally. The magazine was distributed nationally.

Continue reading at: https://thefeministwire.com/2019/02/black-lesbian-resistance-and-resilience/