Dynamite Damsels1 media/Dynamite Damsels_thumb.jpg 2022-08-17T07:15:53-07:00 Margaret Dahlstrom b09d7a6d81572eb5143ab94775de79a428d832d6 40803 2 Dynamite Damsels by Roberta Gregory plain 2022-08-17T13:37:12-07:00 Dynamite Damsels Roberta Gregory Margaret Dahlstrom b09d7a6d81572eb5143ab94775de79a428d832d6
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What does it mean to be a Lesbian?
Out of all of the commonly recognized queer communities, lesbians have been among the most visible for the longest time, and have gone through the most radical change in culture. Existing primarily as a word for the experience of women loving women, inside the community lesbians have been challenging gendered labels, presentations and expectations longer than anyone. As queerness has diversified however, culture has homogenized leading to the disappearance of some of the key traits that once marked the community, such as bars and a semi-rigid system of roles. While today the term lesbian provides identity to many people, one can only imagine what it will mean to be a lesbian in the future.
Lesbians represent a significant challenge to cultural norms and expectations for the role of women in society by decentralizing the role of men in their relationships allowing for a greater diversity of experiences. As a consequence of this, lesbians have historically faced a significant amount of stigma forcing them out of most spaces. This, however, encouraged lesbians to build their own culture and define the roles they want to pursue in society.
Lesbians Through History Lesbian Misconceptions
1960's and 70's
The 1960's and 70's represent the first time that queerness was visible in the United States. Government workers including Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings fought to bring an end to legal discrimination via respectability and calls to normalcy. Growing queer rights riots including the Dewey's Lunch Counter Sit-in, and the Compton's Cafeteria Riot demanded a more radical acceptance based off of other movement's political actions, such as the Black power movement and general counter-culturalism.
The media publicity surrounding these acts of revolt against oppression and societal expectations gave a name and a rallying point for queer people who had before been mostly isolated and confused.
In the 1970's the first comic books by out lesbian women were published by Roberta Gregory and Mary Wings, and calls for community only continued to grow. The 70's represented a massive surge of queer activism and revolution as queer people found each other and began to build out community, from queer unions on college campuses, to drag and ballroom culture in major cities.