Tag Archives: Lesbian Herstory

USA: Boise 7 fired for lesbianism in police force in 1977 – telling their story

Image courtesy of Sarah Ward

BOISE, Idaho — An all-female production crew is working on a documentary telling the story of ‘The Boise 7’.

In 1977, seven women — Mary Morris, Janine Townsend, Lavonne Woody, Vardell Laursen, Judith Baker, Theresa Silva, and Sue Krohn — were fired from the Boise Police Department for “suspected lesbianism.” The firing followed an internal investigation where the seven were wiretapped on a telephone used for personal conversations. The wiretap was later ruled illegal by a judge.

Mary Morris was Boise’s first female patrol officer.

Sue Krohn said her supervisor at the time called her into his office where he played a recording of a phone call between Krohn and another woman. The call was recorded on a phone designated for personal calls.

“I said, ‘What is this all about?’, and he said some of the women had been inappropriate, I think is the word he used at that time with me, at work so we’ve let them go, and I don’t think you’re a part of it, I don’t think you’re a lesbian, but you lived in the house with all these women and plus that phone call — you need to make a decision. Either you can quit, or we’ll terminate you.”

The story quickly garnered national attention. The women had to not only deal with being fired but also being publicly forced out of the closet.

“I couldn’t tell my parents, but I had to. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to tell them I was gay, that I was fired, and then my dad disowned me. He wouldn’t talk to me. It was too much. I couldn’t deal with that,” said Janine Townsend.

Continue reading at: https://www.kivitv.com/news/the-boise-7-were-fired-from-boise-police-for-suspected-lesbianism-now-an-all-female-team-is-sharing-their-story (Source)

A Chat with Pride Founder Ellen Broidy — Protest, Life Lessons and Historical Revisionism

By JD Robertson

The Velvet Chronicle

“Every now and again, as you’re marching forward, turn around and wave back at us. We’re still here… Much the same way as I needed to acknowledge the shoulders that I stood on, I would like others to acknowledge us. We did a lot of work. And it wasn’t easy.”
Last year, Stonewall vet, Fred Sargeant, told me all about his dear friend Ellen Broidy, one of the four founders of Pride. He was concerned about how media underplays (or ignores altogether) the contributions lesbians have made. Broidy tells me that since 2018, this has changed — that in the last few years, media has contacted her for interviews, lining up whenever Pride month rolls around. She says, “I feel like a bear that hibernates all winter, and then June comes, Pride month comes, and everyone is lined up in front of my den.”

And they should be lining up… Ellen Broidy, a Jewish lesbian shero from New York, holds the key to the past. A past that’s been aggressively revised over the last several years.

Continue reading at: https://thevelvetchronicle.com/a-chat-with-pride-founder-ellen-broidy-protest-life-lessons-and-historical-revisionism/ (Source)

Brazil: Angela Ro Ro talks about coming out as a lesbian: “I was beaten four times by the police”

In an interview, Angela Ro Ro shared the experience of being one of the pioneers of the LGBTQ + movement in Brazil.

She said: “Coming out as a lesbian cost me the blindness in one eye and half in the other and a half of my hearing. I was beaten four times by the Military Police and once by the Civil Police. I suffered physical aggression in 1981, 1983, two episodes in 1984 and in 1990 by brass knuckles, iron bars and baton. It was during a dictatorship, but I think that has no direct connection.”

The singer also compared reactions from that time to the present day: “Don’t you see how many children are killed today by stray bullet in Rio? At the time, I also suffered many homophobic attacks in other ways and I was even raped. I am proud to have been a pioneer, I was the first artist to call myself a lesbian in Brazil.”
(Translated)

Angela Ro Ro contou em entrevista como foi a experiencia de ser uma das pioneiras do movimento LGBTQ+ no Brasil.

Ela disse: “Me assumir lésbica me custou a cegueira de um olho e meio e metade da audição. Fui espancada quatro vezes pela Polícia Militar e uma pela Polícia Civil. Sofri agressões físicas em 1981, 1983, dois episódios em 1984 e em 1990 por soco inglês, barras de ferro e cacetete. Era ditadura, mas acho que não tem ligação direta”.

A cantora ainda comparou reações da época aos dias atuais: “Você não vê quantas crianças são mortas hoje em dia por bala perdida no Rio? Na época, também sofri muitos ataques homofóbicos de outras formas e cheguei a ser estuprada. Me orgulho de ter sido pioneira, fui a primeira artista a se dizer lésbica no Brasil”.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://observatoriodemusica.uol.com.br/noticia/angela-ro-ro-fala-sobre-se-assumir-lesbica-fui-espancada-quatro-vezes-pela-policia-era-ditadura (Source)

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)