Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Back in the day...

A long time ago when I was just a baby dyke there were no positive lesbian role models.

I'm talking about before even Martina Navratilova came out.  Before k.d.lang, before Melissa Etheridge, before Rosie O'Donnell, before ELLEN!  It was no surprise that Martina Navratilova was having a relationship with Rita Mae Brown because after all they were, after all, the ONLY two lesbians on Earth!

I just read this story, unfortunately I can't find the author's byline...

Dallas Voice story re death of Barbara Grier

The author makes the point more eloquently than I can, what a difference organizations like Naiad Press made to young lesbians around the world.  Barbara Grier and her partners were instrumental in making lesbian literature accessible to all of us.  It saddens me that such an institution faded away with the retirement of Ms Grier and her partner Donna McBride and yet it is really a credit to them that it did.

It seems that there is an aspect of planned obsolescence in a movement like the 'Lesbian Movement' or the 'Women's Movement' and even in things like the 'Civil Rights' movement.  If such a movement succeeds in it's primary objective, which in it's simplest form is full acceptance/integration, then the movement which fought so hard and so long becomes redundant.  It is paradoxical that success begets failure, if not failure certainly the reduction of purpose.

There was a time, in my lifetime, when a statement like "I kissed a girl and I liked it" would have landed you in at least therapy, perhaps aversion therapy and in the worst case maybe even in a mental hospital.  Those of us who thirsted and hungered for lesbian role models were saved by organizations like Naiad Press and by pioneers like Barbara Grier.

To Ms Grier, and others like her, all lesbians of today owe a debt of gratitude.

I salute you.

1 comment:

  1. Talking of literature, I remember reading The Well of Loneliness in high school and wondering how that got past the library censor and onto the regular shelves :-). Although I don't identify as a lesbian I'm glad that these days because of people like Ms Grier there is so much for acceptance for LGBT people, that LGBT folk have as much right to be considered 'normal' as heterosexuals. (oh, except in Australia they can't get married to each other. Hmm.)