Loading...

Follow Lesbian.com: Connecting Lesbians Worldwide on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

By Mary Zegarski
special to Lesbian.com

In the early 1980s, Merril Mushroom wrote BAR DYKES, a one act play about the gay bar culture of the 1950s. A longtime resident of Dowelltown, Tennessee, Merril has a rich, influential herstory as a prolific writer and a “back to the land” lesbian, both locally within her neighborhood and the larger world. The area where she has lived the last forty years has an extensive history of collective land projects established specifically for gays/queers/gender nonconforming people. Merril is an iconic fixture with her sharp wit and casual no nonsense attitude. A respected elder, she is an inspiration to many, both residents of Tennessee and its yearly visitors. While influenced by the radical culture of the 1960s/1970s, Merril and her work remain a timeless and formidable force to be reckoned with.

This summer of Stonewall 50 and World Pride, The Other Side Of Silence (TOSOS), NYC’s oldest and longest-producing LGTBQ+ theater company, continues to honor our community’s history by bringing Merril Mushroom’s long-lost play, BAR DYKES, for it’s premiere on the NYC stage.

The audience steps behind a nondescript door where it’ll find a very distinct clientele and world of butches and femmes. Playwright Mushroom, drawing on her experiences as a lesbian in the Deep South and New York City in the pre-Stonewall era, transports us into the hidden subculture of lesbian society in mid-century America, and into the women and their relationships in a precarious time.

Follow 11 bar dykes as they drink, dance, date, duke it out, and grab a few undisturbed moments. BAR DYKESwill be an immersive staging so the audience can experience and eavesdrop on a girls’ night out captured in time as it once was.

This production seeks to preserve not only the cultural legacy of Merril’s work but share her herstory with a larger audience. Contemporary conversations surrounding queerness and gender nonconformity have made massive strides towards breaking down ignorance, intolerance, and hate. These advancements have been wrought with persecution, police brutality, and death.

This play doesn’t only celebrate the life and work of Merril Mushroom but also honors those who have fought to live freely, love whom they want, and make the world a safer, more accepting, and interesting place. TOSOS is proud to produce this amazing work, and honor its author, her life, and vision. We recognize there is still a long way to go—Bar Dykes offers new perspectives on our past, acting as a catalyst for progression into the future.

Merril Mushroom came out in the fifties as a bar dyke. Her writing has appeared over the years in a wide variety of anthologies and periodicals. Her stories about the fifties’ bar scene in Florida were first published in Common Lives/Lesbian Lives magazine, and she was a frequent contributor to early issues of Maize magazine. Her out-of-print lesbian sci-fi novel, Daughters of Khaton, is looking for a new home. She lives on a rural Tennessee hill farm and is grateful for her gardens, friends, families, and her activist life. She is a member of Womonwrites, OLOC, and several rural grassroots organizations.
She is still the butch.

TOSOS (The Other Side of Silence) is New York City’s oldest and longest producing professional LGBTQ+ theater company. In 1974, Off-Off Broadway veteran Doric Wilson (1939-2011), cabaret star Billy Blackwell and director Peter dell Valle, started the first professional gay theatre company in NYC. It was called The Other Side of Silence; TOSOS for short. In 2002, directors Mark Finley and Barry Childs and playwright Wilson resurrected TOSOS. The company has produced over 30 mainstage shows and so many readings of new plays and works in progress we have trouble counting them all. http://www.tososnyc.org

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Oakland, CA | April 29, 2019 一 Oakland-based film company Frankly Speaking Films, LLC is in post-production on its documentary, AHEAD OF THE CURVE, directed by Jen Rainin, produced by award-winning filmmaker Rivkah Beth Medow, and created by an all female-identified crew.

AHEAD OF THE CURVE is about Franco Stevens, who founded the most successful, longest running lesbian magazine in the world, and the impact of her mission to raise lesbian visibility. When Franco realized she was a lesbian in 1989, she left her husband and her parents turned their backs on her. She was 20 years old, homeless, and furious that all the gay publications seemed to be aimed at men. She founded Curve magazine to guide her new life and create community, raising the money by cashing out 12 credit cards in one day and betting it all at the horse track.

Melissa Etheridge recalls of Curve, “There wasn’t a glossy, actual magazine for lesbians anywhere – this is amazing!” AHEAD OF THE CURVE director Jen Rainin recounts, “Franco’s magazine had incredible impact on society by building lesbian community, creating the lesbian market for mainstream advertisers, and lifting the profile of queer women in a positive way to the straight world.” Stevens adds, “I didn’t do this by myself, and I hope it changes generations to come.”

Although we’ve come a long way since the 90s, LGBTQ rights remain under attack. Fortunately, women like Franco are still doing lesbian visibility work today. The AHEAD OF THE CURVE team has interviewed dozens of women fighting for LGBTQ rights, specifically featuring YouTube star Arielle Scarcella, activist Kim Katrin Milan, and poet Denice Frohman. The film draws a throughline from the intersectional visibility that Franco fought for 30 years ago to the creative visibility work happening today.

As part of their Kickstarter campaign now through May 29th, the AHEAD OF THE CURVE team will release videos that explore the power of lesbian and queer representation. The videos highlight visibility as a principal of social change, the highly original way Franco raised the money to start the magazine, the inside scoop on the original name of the magazine, and a case for passing the Equality Act to protect LGBTQ rights.

First published in 1990, Curve is the nation’s best-selling lesbian magazine. It spotlights all that is fresh, funny, exciting, controversial and cutting-edge in the lesbian community. Curve produces four issues per year and is still shipped in an opaque wrapper, because it remains crucial to protect queer women’s anonymity and safety.

Frankly Speaking Films is the Oakland-based company of filmmaker Jen Rainin. Produced and filmed by a mighty all female/non-binary crew, AHEAD OF THE CURVE wraps production this summer with plans to release in festivals and SVOD/VOD in 2020. Visit the AHEAD OF THE CURVE Kickstarter campaign to learn more and become a backer.

All donations are tax deductible.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

A message from Shannon Minter, NCLR Legal Director

The LGBTQ community is facing a critical challenge at the Supreme Court this fall, one that could either protect all LGBTQ workers nationwide or gut employment protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

I’ve written an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times that lays out the high stakes of these cases. I hope you’ll read the op-ed for an overview of why we should win and why a loss would be devastating, not only for LGBTQ people, but for all employees – and for women in particular.

These three cases may well be as consequential for the LGBTQ community as the marriage cases and other landmark decisions that affirmed our right to equality under the law.

NCLR has been a leader in litigating Title VII cases, and we are working hard to ensure that the Supreme Court does not undo decades of hard-won victories, which have provided critical protections to our community. But we cannot afford to be blindsided by what could be a devastating setback to not just LGBTQ rights, but women’s rights in general.

So please share this op-ed in your networks. As the Supreme Court considers these cases, it is essential that we shine a light on why they matter so much.

Thank you for standing with us as we prepare for this latest assault on our community. I’ll update you as developments warrant.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Carly Thomas - Virginia Is For Lovers - Live at The Sugar Shack - YouTube

Carly Thomas is an accomplished singer/songwriter who was born in Thailand and raised in Argentina, France, and various parts of North America. Along with her powerful lyrics, Thomasʼ music is characteristic of various sub-genres including modern folk, rock, and country.

She grew up playing everywhere from street festivals in Paris to the folk circuit in Manhattan, influenced and inspired by a life of constant change. After spending almost a decade on Canada’s west coast, she returned to London to record her EP, “Explode,” which won her a 2015 Jack Richards on music award (and again in 2017) leaving a mark on the London music scene.

She has gone on to participate in various outreach projects, with a strong commitment to giving back in her community. She has toured Canada and Europe, performed at several festivals including Home County, CMW and NXNE. Writing with honesty and integrity, Carly has a voice easy to relate to, and makes folk“ish” music interesting and intelligent.

What gives you the heebie jeebies and why?
I have a huge fear of hospitals and anything medical. I think they call it “white coat.” I’ve fainted several times just after getting a shot, but strangely enough I can handle tattoos and piercings like a pro. I have no idea why, it started in childhood and I haven’t been able to desensitize no matter how many ex-girlfriends have tried.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done while driving?
Probably changed my pants once or twice on way to a show.

If you could host a dinner party and invite any five people — past or present — to attend who would be on that guest list?
Shara Nova, Ani Difranco, Joni Mitchell, Margaret Atwood, Tina Fey. I will quickly move on because this is definitely a question I would overthink and have a million rough drafts.

What’s the last book you read?
“The War Of Art” by Steven Pressfield

What are the biggest culinary differences between the United States and Canada?
Vinegar on fries.

Learn more about Carly Thomas.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Lizzo - Tempo (feat. Missy Elliott) [Official Audio] - YouTube

Nice Life Recording Company/Atlantic recording artist Lizzo has released her latest track from her upcoming full-length debut album Cuz I Love You. “Tempo” featuring labelmate Missy Elliott is available now at all DSPs and streaming services.

“Tempo” follows last month’s release of title track “Cuz I Love You” along with companion video, which already boasts over 1 million views on YouTube. CUZ I LOVE YOU is available for pre-order now HERE, with all pre-orders receiving instant grat downloads of “Cuz I Love You” and the LP’s blockbuster first single, “Juice.” A special CUZ I LOVE YOU T-Shirt Bundle – joined by an exclusive Lizzo T-shirt – is available now HERE.

Lizzo will celebrate CUZ I LOVE YOU with her upcoming sold out “CUZ I LOVE YOU TOUR,” set to get underway April 22nd at The Warfield in San Francisco, CA. For complete details and ticket information, please visit http://lizzomusic.com. Additionally, Lizzo will perform eagerly awaited sets at a series of global festivals, including Indio, CA’s Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (April 14th and April 21st), Barcelona, ES’s Primavera Sound (June 1st), Beekse Bergen, and Hilvarenbeek, NL’s Best Kept Secret (June 2nd).

Lizzo kicked off what is already an extraordinary 2019 with the release of her acclaimed new single, “Juice,” available now via all digital music retailers and streaming services. The track is joined by a new companion visual, streaming now at Lizzo’s official YouTube channel HERE following its YouTube Live premiere last month. That same day also saw “Juice” played every hour on the hour on MTV Live and MTVU, along with two screenings on the Viacom Times Square billboard screens.

What’s more, Lizzo marked the impending arrival of CUZ I LOVE YOU with a number of high profile TV appearances, including performances of “Juice” on the nationally syndicated Ellen DeGeneres Show and NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (streaming HERE) as well as a guest appearance on HBO’s “2 Dope Queens.” Lizzo is also currently featured on the cover of New York Magazine’s Spring Fashion Issue, the cover of Allure’s Spring issue as well as a feature spread in the current issue of Playboy.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

“A meticulously researched and thoughtful analysis. Through interviews and archival research, Allan offers a compelling argument for the foundationally gendered dynamics that structure Equatoguinean and Sahrawi political resistance.”
—Mahan Ellison, Bridgewater College

“Silenced Resistance is a ground-breaking study of the gendered dynamics of resistance to colonial and post-colonial authoritarian regimes in North and West Africa. Drawing on extensive archival and field-based research in Western Sahara and Equitorial Guinea, Allan forcefully analyses the complex relationship between women, feminist resistance to patriarchy, and political resistance to authoritarianism.”
—Alice Wilson, University of Sussex

Spain’s former African colonies—Equatorial Guinea and Western Sahara—share similar histories. Both are under the thumbs of heavy-handed, postcolonial regimes, and are known by human rights organizations as being among the worst places in the world with regard to oppression and lack of civil liberties. Yet the resistance movement in one is dominated by women, the other by men.

In this innovative work, Joanna Allan demonstrates why we should foreground gender as key for understanding both authoritarian power projection and resistance. She brings an ethnographic component to a subject that has often been looked at through the lens of literary studies to examine how concerns for equality and women’s rights can be co-opted for authoritarian projects.

She reveals how Moroccan and Equatoguinean regimes, in partnership with Western states and corporations, conjure a mirage of promoting equality while simultaneously undermining women’s rights in a bid to cash in on oil, minerals, and other natural resources. This genderwashing, along with historical local, indigenous, and colonially imposed gender norms mixed with Western misconceptions about African and Arab gender roles, plays an integral role in determining the shape and composition of public resistance to authoritarian regimes.

LEARN MORE.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

BY LEE LYNCH
Special to Lesbian.com

It’s nice that some non-gay writers include us in their stories. I’m thinking of Lawrence Block’s Matt Scudder detective novels in which he has an amusing lesbian friend who is a dog groomer. Very respectful and matter-of-fact that she’s a dyke. But that doesn’t make the novels lesbian any more than the presence of Robert B. Parker’s gay male bartender and strongman in his Spenser series makes the books gay male.

How about Sylvia Plath’s much revered novel The Bell Jar? The writer implies that a secondary character, who typically for that era commits suicide, is gay. Or Mary McCarthy’s The Group, in which one of eight old college friends has a woman lover. Should we consider these lesbian books?

And Mary Oliver, a lesbian, but the reader must hunt for allusions to her affectional orientation, and then be uncertain. Her beloved books are probably included every lesbian library and the poems express the experience of one lesbian. Can they be claimed as our literature? Hardly.

Leonardo Padura Fuentes, novelist, critic and essayist, wrote, “I bury myself in Cuba deeply so that I can express what Cuba is, and have not left Cuba because I am a Cuban writer and I can’t be anything else.”

Padura Fuentes creates Cuban literature. Substitute the word “lesbian” for “Cuba” and his sentence describes an author of lesbian literature. Genre doesn’t matter, nor era, fiction or non-fiction. Truly lesbian writing delves deep into the lesbian psyche, not to the exclusion of the rest of human experience, but through the unique perspective of gay women.

Jeannette Foster’s renowned and lengthy history and analysis of writings which hint of, refer to, or portray lesbians, is titled Sex Variant Women in Literature. Itself decidedly a prime example of what I call lesbian literature, the book does not pretend to examine that subject, but only to identify dykes in writings since the Bible. That is lesbians in literature, not lesbian literature.

Again, when Barbara Grier published her bibliography, she included hundreds of works that may only have brushed against the rare gay female individual. The title she chose was The Lesbian In Literature, not lesbian literature.

Neither author claimed to address actual lesbian literature. There was little of it to examine in any case.

And now the label is being slapped on all sorts of books, and categorized that way by LGBTQ people themselves. This trend is not encouraging queer women to tenaciously explore and document our lesbian experiences. It only encourages the assimilation that manifests in crossover books, books written to appeal to all readers. It only discourages most publishers from accepting submissions whose focus is fully and earnestly lesbian. It only denies lesbian readers works that reflect the reality of our lives.

While it’s true that we can only write that which inspires us, when teachers, editors, agents and awards administrators, among others, hold mainstream writing as the standard, and all but ignore books with an exclusively lesbian focus, they lead us away from serious, in depth examination of our lesbian selves. No matter how popular or literary, including a gay female character or a dalliance between women or a minor character who is questioning—none of those are legitimately part of lesbian literature.

This may smack of separatism and early gay liberation, but we have a right to our own cultures, whatever kind of queer we are. As we focus our words on ourselves, we build a legacy for the future-dykes of two or two hundred years, whether next door to us or in a place where queericide is the norm.

When I see today’s writers of unabashed lesbian stories who show the same spirit as Jane Rule, Isabel Miller, and Radclyffe Hall not getting their due, I wonder how far have we really come? These are the women who are struggling to communicate the essence of who we are by writing from their very lesbian hearts.

Copyright Lee Lynch 2019

March 2019

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Carine De Mesmaeker is the founder and producer of Velvet Ibiza, Europe’s most epic queer women party.

Velvet Ibiza is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year and taking the festivities to the next level — one for the books!

Happening May 7 – 12, 2019 in idyllic Ibiza, Spain, Velvet Ibiza, the all-inclusive 5-day/5-night party, has, in only a few years’ time, become a holy ground for queer women who continue to descend on the pine-covered isle to enjoy one the most life changing and bonding experience.

The all-inclusive nature of the event (tickets include 5 nights in bungalow, all 3 meals, day and night activities & parties, transportation from airport to resort, and all drinks t’il 11pm) creates a safe and unique environment that imparts a palpable sense of belonging – a real “family” event.

No need to venture anywhere, the party is literally on your doorsteps as De Mesmaeker rents out the entire resort. Having everything in one place is key for the event producer who strives to create a great community vibe allowing people to organically connect.

From the pool parties, sports tournaments, club nights and now the infamous duck race to the top female DJs from Europe and America dropping the sickest beats, and live music from Sarah Bettens, the openly gay artists artist best known as the smoky voice of Belgian nineties rock band K’s Choice, Velvet Ibiza has it all!
www.velvetibiza.es

1. Do you have any phobias? (please enumerate with embarrassing details)
As a child I had a phobia of ducks. I was chased by several and was scared by the quacking noise they made! Over time I got better and turned fear into fun with our now legendary duck race! Velvet IBIZA has become known for it’s cute ducks we throw in the pool and the lucky girls who jump in and grab a duck can keep the duck or find themselves with a “golden duck” where they’ll win a free trip to Velvet Ibiza next year! It’s one of the funniest moments of the weekend with 1 giant duck in the pool and hundreds of little ducks up for grabs.

2. What song can you not get enough of right now?
A song that’s on my mind for a while now: Calvin Harris, Promises – not a recent song, but so damn good.

3. Which celebrity would render you totally star struck if you were to meet him/her?
That has to be Angelina Jolie. A cliche but I would be very shy and probably speechless. Timeless beauty.

4. What would be your best piece of relationship advice?
The best relationship advice and the most difficult: Stay yourself and don’t expect your partner to change for you.

5. If you could wake up tomorrow with one talent or skill you don’t presently have, what would you want that to be?
I am absolutely a zero when it comes to drawning or painting. … In my next life I would love to be a famous painter!

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

“Still on my Mind” was written and recorded in England, a result of the fruitful and incredibly natural production/songwriting partnership with her long term collaborator and brother (Faithless founder) Rollo.

Dido describes the making of this album as “an absolutely magical experience”. She says: “I wanted to capture the feeling I still get from listening to music, just that rush like you don’t need anything more than this”.

Called “stunning” by Forbes, “a strong return to form” by Consequence of Sound, and a showcase for Dido “crafting her own vision of pop, untouched by the outside world” by Newsday, ’Still On My Mind’ finds Dido’s trademark vulnerable songwriting and soothing vocal essence fully evolved for the 2019 musical landscape, inspired by her love of hip hop to her folk roots, but ultimately carrying a dance and electronic music sensibility, even on the tracks with no beats.

Watch the gorgeous video for the cutting break-up anthem and current single “Give You Up.”

Dido - Give You Up (Official Video) - YouTube

The multi-million selling singer goes on a world tour throughout 2019 which includes several dates in the US.

June 13 – Chicago, IL – Vic Theatre

June 17 – Boston, MA – House of Blues

June 19 – New York, NY – Terminal 5

June 21 – Washington DC – Lincoln Theatre

June 22 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer

June 25 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern

June 26 – San Francisco, CA – The Masonic

June 28 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater

June 30 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SODO

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Julia Pels is an LA based stand up comedian, queer activist, model, actor, social justice warrior and humanist. She was recently named by WhoHaha as one of their favorite 35 LGBTQ creators in the nation. A few months later, she was written up in the UK (@unite_uk1) about her coming out experience and how that helped shape who she has become.

Julia also produces her own comedy show, KILLER UNICORNS that is a nationally recognized show. It was JUST written up in VULTURE and has been running for three consecutive years now.

1. Do you have any phobias? (please enumerate with embarrassing details)
Fear of heights (i was dropped on my head by the cheerleaders on my squad).

2. What song can you not get enough of right now?
Not Ready to Make Nice: by The Dixie Chicks

3. Which celebrity would render you totally star struck if you were to meet him/her?
Bill Hader & Kristen Wiig

4. What would be your best piece of relationship advice?
SLOW down! it doesn’t work until you’re ready.

5. If you could wake up tomorrow with one talent or skill you don’t presently have, what would you want that to be?
A skill I want would be able to read better. I have a reading comprehension disorder and I get sad that reading can be so challenging at times.

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview