Lesbian Activism from 1970s to the Present

Exhibit curated by Chanel Ward ’08 and Anna Steffens ’10
Published Spring 2009

In the early 1970s, lesbian activism became a powerful social force as women drew strength from both the gay rights and feminist movements. Throughout the next four decades, lesbian and queer activists tackled a broad range of issues: sexual identity and sex itself, pop culture, race, class, violence, and many others. From early activists who advocated complete lesbian separatism to modern queer organizers who work in partnership with multiple identity groups, the “lesbian activist” movement has generated a huge variety of social formations and political ideologies. This exhibit, drawing from BCRW’s extensive collection of LGBT-related materials, showcases just a few documents from this long history of struggle and social change. The following articles, photographs, zines, and pamphlets shed light on the many transformations and incarnations of lesbian activism over the past 40 years.

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