Tag Archives: lesbian activism

India: From “Darling Chef” to “Dirty Lesbian”

by Ritu Dalmia

chef

The next two years were strange for me. I had a constant barrage of nasty messages being posted on my Twitter account. Until then, I was only used to getting fan mail. I had the word ‘lesbian’ sprayed on my car window, a stone was hurled at me, a man spat at me at the Delhi airport in front of everyone… I was no longer the darling chef of the country but the dirty lesbian who had the cheek to file this petition.

Yes, there were times when I regretted my decision, when I wondered if I had acted foolishly. The strange part was that after a few agonising hours of self-doubt, I always arrived at the same answer: I had done the right thing by filing the petition, and if I didn’t do anything I had no right to complain, like Ella had said to me.

6 September 2018: It was 6 am in London – where I was on work – when the judgment was read out in the Supreme Court of India. I was stunned, shocked and so happy that my jaw started hurting.

When I had decided to file this petition, I truly did not believe that I would see a change happening in my lifetime. And on this day, two years after filing the petition, history was finally being rewritten. I am not an activist and never wanted to be one; yet for me this was my life’s biggest accomplishment and nothing else in my life till then had ever given me this sense of pride.

 
 

Spinifex Press: Celebrating Radical Lesbian Publishing

Sue_and_Renate Spinifex Press

by Claire Heuchan

AfterEllen.com

Spinifex was founded in March of 1991 by Susan Hawthorne and Renate Klein. The press began as a pushback to the cuts that threatened feminist and literary publishing during Australia’s recession. Susan and Renate started out with four titles. Since then, Spinifex has gone from strength to strength. They publish everything from fiction to poetry to political tracts.

Almost 30 years on, Spinifex Press has now published over 200 books. They’ve shared writing by some of the most relevant and necessary voices in the modern feminist movement. Among their authors are Robin Morgan, editor of the iconic Sisterhood is Powerful anthology, and Rachel Moran, an abolitionist campaigner. Other notable writers include Julie Bindel, Unity Dow, and Sheila Jeffreys.

Continue reading: https://www.afterellen.com/general-news/574816-spinifex-press (Source)

Violence Against Lesbians – A Powerful Panel at #FiLiA2019

by Claire Heuchan
AfterEllen.com

There aren’t enough spaces where violence against lesbians can be openly discussed. But FiLiA – Britain’s biggest feminist conference – is one of them. The Violence Against Lesbians panel took place in the Bradford Hotel on Saturday 19th October. Over a hundred women attended the session. Consuelo Rivera-Fuentes, Susan Hawthorne, Hilary McCollum, and Angela Wild made up the panel, chaired ably by Sally Jackson.

The purpose of FiLiA, as Sally opens by reminding us, is to amplify women’s voices. In particular, to amplify the voices of women who are seldom heard and often silenced. Lesbians’ voices aren’t always listened to – in mainstream society, feminist spaces, or even the LGBT community. And so, if the numbers are anything to go by, a lot of women feel a sense of relief that lesbians are a priority at FiLiA.

Continue reading: https://www.afterellen.com/general-news/573318-violence-against-lesbians-a-powerful-panel-at-filia2019 (source)

20 Lesbophobic Things My Male Friends Have Said to Me

by Amy Dyess

Several of my straight, gay, and bi male friends said those lesbophobic things to me. I’m butch and look very gay, which made me a visible target for sexual harassment. It’s partially why I moved from the American South, where all of this happened. I decided to share because recently the memories have been triggered. I want them out, and maybe writing about my experiences will help other lesbians.

Male friendships are tricky, no matter what a man’s orientation is. As you can see, many straight and bi male friends are really trying to hook up. Gay men project their own fears onto lesbians. Gay men have also groped me in dark, sweaty gay bars. Lesbians have to be careful around all men.

Continue reading: 20 Lesbophobic Things My Male Friends Have Said to Me by Amy Dyess (source)

Brazil: The lesbian activist who defends LGBT rights in the Amazon

dani-lesbiana-indigena

Dani is the indigenous woman who stars in the second chapter of ‘Rainforest Defenders’ and one of the leaders, at only 21 years old, of the Amazonian resistance to the logging, mining and agrarian threat. But Dani is something else. She is one of the first indigenous women to say openly that she is a lesbian and use her visibility to fight for the LGTB cause in the Amazon.

She belongs to one of the communities that live on the banks of the Tapajós River, a mixture of ancient native settlers, indigenous people, descendants of African slaves and whites of Portuguese origin. Communities that are trying to avoid the exploitation and destruction of their land.

Dani’s community has an advantage over the majority, as it is considered [in] a Conservation Reserve, and therefore temporarily protected from indiscriminate extraction. But the young woman still has to fight against the threats that the extensive cultivation of soy exerts on her land and also against the prejudices of her own community, of the evangelist church, religion they profess, and of her own family .(Translated)

Dani es la indígena que protagoniza el capítulo segundo de ‘Rainforest Defenders’ y una de las líderes, a sus solo 21 años, de la resistencia amazónica frente a la amenaza maderera, minera y agraria. Pero Dani es algo más. Es una de las primeras indígenas en decir abiertamente que es lesbiana y usar su visibilidad para luchar por la causa LGTB en la Amazonia.

Pertenece a una de las comunidades que viven a la vera del río Tapajós, mezcla de antiguos pobladores autóctonos, indígenas, descendientes de esclavos africanos y blancos de origen portugués. Comunidades que están tratando evitar la explotación y destrucción de su tierra.

La comunidad de Dani tiene cierta ventaja frente a la mayoría, pues está considerada como una Reserva de Conservación, y por tanto, protegida temporalmente de la extracción indiscriminada. Pero la joven sigue teniendo que luchar contra las amenazas que el cultivo extensivo de soja ejerce sobre su tierra y también contra los prejuicios de su propia comunidad, de la iglesia evangelista, religión que profesan, y de su propia familia.
(Original)

Continue reading at: http://www.mirales.es/dani-la-indigena-lesbiana-que-defiende-los-derechos-lgtb-en-la-amazonia/ (Source)

Chicago, USA: Lesbian Activist, professor Jackie Anderson dies

JackieAnderson

Chicago lesbian pioneer and civil-rights activist Jackie Anderson died after a short illness on Jan. 7, surrounded by family and friends. She was 75. Anderson is survived by her daughter Tracey Anderson and her grandson Torrence “Doc” Gardner. The family requests privacy at this time.

Born in Chicago, Anderson graduated from Roosevelt University and retired from a long career as assistant professor of humanities and philosophy at Olive-Harvey College, where she started work in 1975. She twice served as department chairperson. Her brilliant academic mind was among things her friends remembered most about Anderson. A steadfast feminist, she especially supported African American lesbian projects on Chicago’s South Side.

Continue reading at: http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/PASSAGES-Activist-professor-Jackie-Anderson-dies/61537.html (Source)

Who was Jackie Forster? Google Doodle pays tribute to lesbian pioneer

Following her divorce, Forster embraced her gay identity. She moved in with her girlfriend in the mid-1960s, although she would not officially “come out” until 1969. When she did, it was in spectacular style, The Independent recalled in her 1998 obituary, “announcing to the world at Speaker’s Corner: ‘You are looking at a roaring dyke!’”.

Continue reading at: http://www.theweek.co.uk/89514/who-was-jackie-forster-google-doodle-pays-tribute-to-lesbian-pioneer (Source)

5 lesbian activist groups who fought for us

Lesbians have always been at the forefront of the fight for LGBT rights, but sometimes lesbian activist groups were needed to fight for space on lesbian rights and issues.  This is because, as Canadian journalist and activist Judy Rebick had noted, that while lesbians were part of the women’s movement, their issues were invisible in the movement.  Aside from Daughters of Bilitis to the Lesbian Avengers, here are five more groups that let people know that lesbians can’t be pushed around.

Continue reading at: 5 lesbian activist groups who fought for us | Lesbian News (Source)

Honoring Del Martin, Lesbian Rights Pioneer

Sometimes you just want to fox-trot or cha-cha. Since it was often illegal for same-sex couples to dance together in public places in the 1950s, Del Martin and her partner, Phyllis Lyon, founded the Daughters of Bilitis, one of the first lesbian organizations in the United States, in 1955. But the DOB was much more than just a place to dance freely: In those dark days, it was a beacon of light, a refuge, and a bit of a miracle.

Continue reading at: Honoring Del Martin, Lesbian Rights Pioneer – Vogue (Source)