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"We Are/We Have Always Been"

A Multi-Linear History of LGBT Experiences at Bryn Mawr College, 1970-2000

Brenna Levitin, Author

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Susan Messina, class of 1986

"I was a feminist before I was a lesbian (I didn't come out until spring of senior year). At the time there was a phrase 'Feminism is the theory and lesbianism is the practice' and it stung. I definitely felt "less than" in terms of my feminist commitment.

When I came out in February of 1986, it was in a relationship with my classmate and co-editor of The College News. It was like I'd earned my "street cred." Or, maybe it was all in my mind; I don't know.

I do know that it was incredibly empowering, freeing and wonderful to claim my lesbian identity. From my perspective, Bryn Mawr in the '80s was not the easiest place to be a lesbian--there was virtually no support from the administration or even much acknowledgement--but it was a whole lot better than on coed campuses for sure."

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