Lesbian Spaces

Over 100 people attended “The Production of Lesbian Spaces in the 1970s” panel discussion, the inaugural event for In Amerika They Call Us Dykes: Lesbian Lives in the 1970s Spring Series. The panel discussed the creation, perception, and experience of lesbian space and place in the 1970s. After brief statements from the panelists, the audience members joined in an exciting multi-generational discussion about the nature and role of lesbian spaces today, particularly around confronting oppressions and making further inroads towards justice. Topics such as the role of consciousness raising in the 1970s and today, confronting racism among lesbian politics and beyond, and the shifts in gender roles and identities were considered. Participants included Madeline Davis (founder and director of the Madeline Davis GLBT Archives of Western NY, and co-author of Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold—winner of the 1993 Lambda Literary Award), Deborah Edel (activist and co-founder/ long-time treasurer of the Lesbian Herstory Archives), Julie Enszer (poet and founder of the online Lesbian Poetry Archives), Joan Gibbs (co-founder of Azalea and Dykes Against Racism Everywhere), and Stina Soderling (Ph.D. candidate at Rutgers University studying lesbian separatist spaces in the 1970s). The panel was chaired and organized by Jen Gieseking (Ph.D. Candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center studying lesbian and queer spaces from 1983 to 2008 in NYC and Berlin).