LGBTQ Women’s Herstory Resources

People regularly ask me about accessing LGBTQ women’s herstory when I talk to them about the project, because it can be challenging to find good accounts of queer history, particularly when it comes to female-identified folks. So I’m listing some of the best sources that I have come to know through my own research for this project, as well as through the queer communities that I am a part of.

Digital Transgender Archives

June Mazer Lesbian Archives

Lesbian Herstory Archives

Madeline Davis Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Archives of Western New York

NYC Trans Oral History Project

ONE Archives

Sophia Smith Collection of Women’s History

 

Printed Matter

Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community by Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy and Madeline D. Davis

Lillian Faderman’s Books

Mr Elvis’ Zines

Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence by Christine Handhardt

Shawnta Smith’s Zines

Transgender History by Susan Stryker

 

If you know of resources that aren’t listed here that have great resources focused specifically on LGBTQ women’s comunities, please use the contact form on my website to let me know about it so I can keep adding to this list.

Also, be sure to check out my ever-evolving list of related documentaries that you should check out.

Other Documentary Films & Web Series to Watch

I know from experience that it can often seem like there’s not much media out there about LGBTQ women, but in my time working on this doc, I’ve come across a growing number of docs that offer glimpses into different communities.

This list is in no way exhaustive, it’s just a running list of things I’ve come across, watched, or been told about. For my own interests, I’m focused here on documentaries, not fictional works.

B.D. Women by Campbell X

Being Bisexual

black./womyn.:conversations with lesbians of African descent by Tiona McClodden

Black and White by Kristy MacDonald

Georgie Girl by Annie Goldson and Peter Wells

Kiki by Sara Jordenö

Kuma Hina by Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson

Last Call at Maud’s by Paris Poirier

Lesbiana: A Parallel Revolution by Myriam Fougère

Lesbian Herstory Archives: A Brief History, Love Letter Rescue Squad, and other related short films by Megan Rossman

No Secret Anymore: The Times of Del Martin & Phyllis Lyon by Joan E. Biren

Not Just Passing Through by Jean Carlomusto, Dolores Pérez, Catherine Gund, and Polly Thistlethwaite

Orchids: My Intersex Adventure by Phoebe Hart

Outlaw by Alisa Lebow

Paris is Burning by Jennie Livingston

Pay it No Mind: The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson by Michael Kasino

Radical Harmonies by Dee Mosbacher

Rebel Dykes by Sian Williams and Harri Shanahan

Rise Above: The Tribe 8 Documentary by Tracy Flanagan

Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria by Victor Silverman and Susan Stryker

Shinjuku Boys by Kim Longinotto

SIGNIFIED (web series) by Anna Barsan and Jessie Levandov

Some Ground to Stand On by Joyce Warshow

Stormé: The Lady of the Jewel Box by Michelle Parkerson

Thank God I’m a Lesbian by Laurie Colbert and Dominique Cardona

The Revival: Women and the Word by Sekiya Dorsett

The Same Difference by Nneka Onuorah

We Came to Sweat: The Legend of Starlite by Kate Kunath and Sasha Wortzel

 

Projects currently in development by other filmmakers:

Untitled Black Lesbian Elder Project by Tiona McClodden

Untitled personal film project by Arisleyda Dilone

Theater of Desire (WOW Documentary Project) by Shelby Zoe Coley

Sister Spit Documentary by Samuael Topiary

Full-length Lesbian Herstory Archives Project by Megan Rossman

 

If you know of a doc that’s not listed here that should be, please use my contact form to let me know about it.

Maps, Maps, All the Queer Maps

Since starting this  project, I’ve noticed more and more projects to map LGBTQ spaces – even the National Parks Service is getting in on the game. Truth be told, I was even planning to make a map a big part of this project, which may still happen, but it’s also been fascinating to watch as so many others have taken up a similar task.

Here are a few of the LGBTQ mapping projects that I’ve found or been told about, with a particular emphasis on those that highlight queer women’s spaces:

Most recently a friend living up in Maine directed me to sociologist Greggor Mattson’s map of lesbian bars that have closed between 2006 and 2016, which you can view in the embed above and also on his website here.

Though I only came to know about it soon after President Obama declared the Stonewall Inn a National Monument during New York City Pride in the summer of 2016, it seems this map of LGBTQ heritage sites was posted back in May 2015. You can learn more about their map here.

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The OUTgoing project above was created by Jeff Ferzoco, who has done some work in data visualization. It’s an attempt to map LGBTQ bars in New York City from 1859 to 2015. It definitely leans a bit heavily on spaces for men, but, then again, you can’t blame Jeff for that, given that the vast majority of LGBTQ spaces are created by and for other queer men.

What’s tricky about lumping all LGBTQ spaces together is that it can give a picture of a fairly robust number at a given time in history, which masks the sharp disparities in the numbers between bars generally intended for cis gay men, those intended for cis lesbians, and those that welcome or are intended for trans folks of different genders.

Above is a slide deck from a talk given by All We’ve Got National Advisory Board Member Jen Jack Gieseking, PhD. Read more about the talk and Jack’s work to challenge the way we think about the mapping of and narratives around queer space on Jack’s website.

In the above map, some members of the LesbianActually forum on Reddit have placed themselves on a world map. According to the forum’s post about the map, some internet trolls went after the map not long after it was posted and so now, one of the forum moderators is approving each pin that someone places on the map. Comments on the forum would indicate that this was done partly out of an effort for those who physically live near to one another to be able to connect if they wanted to.

The above maps lays out the locations of the Daughters of Bilitis’ New York chapters between 1958-1971. It was put together by doctoral candidate and Lesbian Herstory Archives Coordinator Rachel Corbman. And in this blog entry titled “Problems with Putting Lesbian Organizations on the Map” she talks about the reality of queer women’s spaces being highly transient primarily for reasons of affordability and access.

A couple other examples (will add more as I find out about them):

Name That Lesbian or Queer Bar!

A friend of mine here in New York is working on an upcoming performance and used Facebook to crowdsource the names of lesbian and queer bars past and present. An avalanche of responses poured in, and with her permission, I am embedding her post so you can see people’s replies.

And feel free to add more in the comments on this site if you like. I will pass them along.

Click on the image below to visit the live post:

DamiensPost-LezQueerBars-June2015

I’ve also done a screengrab of the full list of 250+ replies that Damien got as of 10.30am EDT on 16 June 2015. Click the thumbnail below to view that screengrab.

 screencapture-www-facebook-com-damien-luxe-posts-lezbars-updated2

Where do you gather with your community?

UPP-ResearchQuestionVisualization-Web2

One of the things that I’ve been asking people since this project began is, where do you gather with your community? It’s intentionally an open-ended question. People bring to it a variety of meanings of community. A number of people feel deeply ambivalent about the question, and for some, it pisses them off.

If you haven’t had a chance to answer this question for the project yet, please do so using this form.

The image above is a rough draft of a visualization of the results that I’ve compiled through December 2014 from people I’ve spoken with for the documentary, people who have attended events, as well as donors and supporters of the project. I’ve grouped specific answers into general categories to help simplify the visualization a little bit, and I’m tinkering with how to represent the spaces on a spectrum from very private spaces where you must be invited in to spaces that are entirely open, public spaces.

This is obviously not a “scientific” study in any sense and my sample is highly biased because most of the people who have answered the question have some connection to me or to the project. It’s just an attempt to get a rough sense of where people meet up with people they consider to be part of their community.

Below are some of the responses that aren’t yet represented in the visualization; specifically the ambiguity, the uncertainty, and/or the dislike for the question.

Meanwhile your question brings up more questions, like what is/are my communities at this point?

I don’t seem to actually know more than one or two other gay women here.

Where do I spend time with my community…..

This question resonates and sucks for me because I feel so stretched trying to fit into many communities…

Your question, however, is a little tough. Since I became disabled in 1999, many gathering spots have been off-limits to me…

To answer your survey question, I don’t really “gather with my community.”

Your question is an odd one for me. Essentially, I am an introvert. Yeah, I know when let out of my box I talk a lot, but I need lots of quiet time and tend to socialize one on one rather than drawing together in a community.

I don’t really think about gathering with community much—it doesn’t feel like a big part of my life, to be honest.

Please feel free to use the comment section below to challenge or ask your own questions about how things are organized, categorized, or represented. It’s a work in progress—very much a first draft.

San Francisco’s Lexington Club Closes

LexClub

This post is meant to document some of the media and commentary circulating around the closure of San Francisco’s Lexington Club, also called The Lex.

Below is a post from the Lexington Club’s owner Lila Thirkield on Facebook. (In case the embedded post doesn’t work for you, click here to view a screenshot of it from about a week after it was posted.)

The primary conversation in most of the posts is focused on gentrification, per Thirkield’s concise Facebook comment:

When a business caters to about 5% of the population, it has tremendous impact when 1% of them leave. When 3% or 4% of them can no longer afford to live in the neighborhood, or the City, it makes the business model unsustainable.

Another point that came up in the article by Yael Chanoff for The Bay Area Reporter has to do with the Lex’s embrace of crowds that were not exclusively lesbian. The point is less in relation to why the bar closed and more focused on what might be lost:

[Professor Nan Alamilla] Boyd said that this safe space for gender variance is part of the Lex’s unique place in queer and feminist history. ‘A lot of the early lesbian, trans community formation was in opposition. There was this turf war about it,” Boyd said. “The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival is emblematic of that political contest over territory, different queer territory. But the Lex was a place where that didn’t happen … a lot of queer women’s spaces were inhospitable to the trans community. The Lex bridged that somehow, in a seamless way.”

Articles about the closure:

  • “Oh No! The Lexington Club To Close After 18 Years” by Jay Barmann on 23 Oct 2014 at SFist.com (web link | PDF)
  • “On the Closing of the Last Lesbian Bar in San Francisco: What the Demise of the Lex Tells Us About Gentrification” by Jen jack Gieseking on 28 Oct 2014 at Huffington Post (web link | PDF)
  • “Patrons surprised at lesbian bar’s closure” by Yael Chanoff on 30 Oct 2014 at Bay Area Reporter (web link | PDF)
  • “San Francisco Gentrifies Out Its Last Remaining Lesbian Bar” by Kevin Montgomery on 23 Oct 2014 at Gawker (web link | PDF)
  • “The Lexington Club is Closing Because the Mission Has “Dramatically Changed”” by Anna Roth on 23 Oct 2014 at SF Weekly (web link | PDF)
  • “The State of the Lesbian Bar: San Francisco Toasts To The End Of An Era” by Robin Yang on 11 Nov 2014 at Autostraddle (web link | PDF)
  • “Why SF’s iconic dyke bar, the Lexington Club, is closing” article and interview by Marke C. with owner Lila Thirkield on 23 Oct 2014 at 48hillsonline.org (web link | PDF)

You can also watch the video from HuffPost Live (start at 6:00 minutes to get the segment on the Lex) featuring Jen Jack Gieseking:

From Across the Great Divide

Good-Luck-Finding-A-Lesbian-Bar-In-Portland-«-The-DishI’m posting this for anyone who believes that we’re past the decades-old stereotypes of lesbians as ugly man-hating brutes that roam the streets just waiting to cut off male genitalia at every opportunity.

EXHIBIT A

Andrew Sullivan re-blogged a couple of quotes from June Thomas’ interview with me about the project for Slate. Shortly after posting the piece, he chose to update it with a quote from a male reader. In that update the male reader posits the following:

I think that there are fewer lesbian bars because lesbians are much less at war, or at least high tension with straight men.

If you just look at the logic of that statement, it would imply the following:

  1. the only reason lesbians created bars for themselves was their “war” with straight men, no other reason; and
  2. the “war” with straight men ending is the only reason the bars are closing, not economics, not demographics, not dramatic shifts in the landscape of LGBTQ identities, not political shifts within the US, no, straight men. STRAIGHT MEN are the reason that lesbians bars are closing and they are also the reason they opened in the first place. [Pause so I can enter that into my research log.]

But it doesn’t stop there:

In the ’70s through ’90s, the tough-ass-dyke-man-hater was a local fixture. At some point there was a shift, and the poster person for the lesbian community became much younger and less confrontive [sic]. Still tough, but not defined by anger towards males. This new model is also happy to show off her beauty, and less likely to buy into butch/femme sterotypes [sic]. I think that this generation doesn’t want to be beholden to a way that they are “supposed” to act.

I can’t even with this… I can’t even. Not only are straight men the reason for lesbian bars, but it’s better now because lesbians are hotter to this guy. FUUUUCCCCKKKK YOOOUUUUUUUUUU!!!!

This is where we’re at.

In the face of this we work to create images of ourselves. There’s a long and important history of that work. I hope this project is one tiny drop in that very big bucket.

Sincerely,
Alexis “tough-ass-dyke-man-hater” “the war has barely begun” Clements

CONTEXT NOTE: Andrew Sullivan is a writer who has been given a lot of time, space, and resources from many major media companies to discuss his particular viewpoint on certain issues impacting LGBTQ people. He’s often been treated as a kind of spokesperson for LGBTQ folks, despite many LGBTQ disagreeing vociferously with his politics and viewpoints. As is regularly the case with such circumstances, regardless of the group in question, this wouldn’t really be an issue if there were also lots of women and trans* folks and people of color who got the same platform and resources as Sullivan, but they don’t. Hence the problem.

Download PDF of the piece as it appears on The Dish here.

UPDATE: There was a follow-up post made to The Dish that also includes not a single positive word about lesbians anywhere in it. Read it here or download a PDF of the post here. In addition, that update links to an interview with a longtime employee of Phase 1, now the oldest continuously operating lesbian bar in the US, located in Washington, DC. Read the interview here or download a PDF of the article here.

Reactions to Curve Magazine Facebook Post

Earlier today Curve Magazine posted the online version of my article talking about the disappearance of lesbian spaces and it has gotten a pretty strong response—lots of likes and lots of comments. I’m embedding the post and the accompanying comments here so that you can have a look at them as well, many include people’s memories and thoughts about lesbian and queer spaces.

[Embedded Facebook post should appear below, click here if you have trouble viewing it.]

In case you have trouble viewing the comments, below is a screenshot which you can click on to view the comments that people made.

CurveMagJune2014Post-CommentsScreenshot

Queer Pilgrimages: Road Trips Past & Present [UPDATED]

PhotographsAlexisDanzig

One of the first people I spoke to upon starting the documentary was Alexis Danzig. After mentioning the project to a researcher working at the Lesbian Herstory Archives, I learned that in 1996 Danzig had taken a solo motorcycle journey across thousands of miles of the US. Along the way she made 28 stops (give or take – the copy of her itinerary from the Archives notes a couple of changes of plan). And at each stop she arranged to give a slideshow and talk about the Archives. She did slideshows in living rooms, bookstores, hidden bars, not-so-hidden-bars, community centers, and one hydroponics shop owned by a Lesbian Avenger. You can watch a tiny excerpt from my chat with her here.

Danzig is hardly the only queer person to take to the road in order to search out and share time, space, and community with those far from home, but each time I’ve come across another story of similar pilgrimages I’m struck by how personal and important these journeys have been for the people who took them and for many of those they visited.

Below is just a handful of other projects and journeys I have come across since this project started percolating in my brain.

Mobile Homecomeing Project

timthumb

I learned about this project back in 2012, while reading an issue of Bitch Magazine and stored it away in my mind, catching up with it now and again since then. According to their website, “Mobile Homecoming is an innovative and loving response to a deep craving for intergenerational connection.” In early 2011, Julia Wallace and Alexis Pauline Gumbs headed out on the road in an RV to visit a variety of people and communities in order to gather herstories focused on “black women, trans men, and gender queer visionaries who have been refusing the limits of heteronormativity and opening the world up by being themselves in the second half of the 20th century.” They have created a variety of media documenting their travels, some of which you can view here. You can also have a look at some of their itineraries here. And, as I’m learning, like many queer travelers, they have developed a deep and abiding attachment to their particular mode of transport, so be sure to learn about their Revolutionary Vehicle here.

Heels on Wheels Roadshow

HOW-13-web-575x383

This project I learned about while volunteering at Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls when someone else invited everyone to one of their local events. Co-produced and founded by Heather Acs and Damien Luxe in 2010, this ever-evolving group of artists has now completed five road trips and out of that has grown a monthly artists’ salon in Brooklyn, NY. According to their website: “Our mission is to use theatre to incite wonder, joy, critique, and dialogue; to bring visibility and complexity to diverse experiences; and to strengthen LGBTQ cultural communities in NYC and across the USA. As a multiracial & working-class led queer organization, we commit to anti-oppression and activism as art, as well as in our art.” And they too have developed intense love for their mode of transport. Luxe has even written a zine about it titled VANIFESTO: A Meditation on Van Lust, which you can download for free here or purchase print copies of for $5 by reaching out here (for possible roadtrippers, there is very helpful and very detailed info about how to buy and maintain used custom conversion vans in this zine).

Lesbiana: A Parallel Revolution

Lesbiana

This film was screened at the Lesbian Herstory Archives a little while back. When I and a handful of others arrived it was already too full for more people, so they did a second screening for the rest of us that same night. In it, the creator of the film, Myriam Fougère, takes a journey from Canada down through the US, retracing some of her experiences and relationships from the lesbian separatist movement that began in the 1970s, looking back at a movement that continues in some ways today but is very different for the passing of time. She combines both footage and imagery from her past travels with contemporary interviews and road footage. Learn more on the film’s website (available in both French and English).

The Van Dykes

R18171

By way of Damien Luxe’s van zine I came to learn about the Van Dykes, a traveling band of lesbians who not only decided to dedicate their lives to living and traveling in their vans from wimmin’s land to womyn’s land, but also adopted, at least temporarily, a new surname honoring their choice. Read more about them in this New Yorker article by Ariel Levy.

Solo Road Trips

cascades_wa

I’ve heard about a large number of solo road trips since starting to think about this project, from people hoping to someday travel to the home of their queer icons to those striking out in order to claim power, agency, and space for themselves. The website Autostraddle has offered a platform for a number of queer people to chronicle their travels. One of my favorite Autostraddle travel chronicles begins this way: “I have peed on sacred ground and no deity has struck my hot trans* ass down.” Read the full travelogue, titled “Leaving a Mark on the American Heartland With My Solo Queer Trans* Woman Roadtrip,” here.

Lesbian Avengers’ Pride Ride, June 1994

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This one I learned about while reading the book The Girls Next Door: Into the Heart of Lesbian America by Lindsy Van Gelder and Pamela Robin Brandt, which is itself a travelogue of the authors’ own road trip (a book I have to admit feeling a little conflicted about, but that’s a discussion for another time). The main point is that they joined along for part of the Lesbian Avenger’s June 1994 Pride Ride. From the Avengers’ website: “One of the most ambitious joint actions, Avengers from all over the country converge on New York for the International Dyke March and Stonewall 25. One caravan of Avengers crosses through the Midwest from Minneapolis via Lansing and Pittsburgh staging visibility actions on the way. Another caravan takes a southerly route, originating in Austin.” Again with the vans, but this time rentals, and with much less love.

Fall (In Love and War)

This project I came to know about only recently and it isn’t represented much at all on the web as of yet, so I don’t have any links to share. A friend connected me to the creator, Kyla Searle, after he heard me describe my own journey. For hers, Searle ventured away from California around the time of Proposition 8 with serious and personal questions about whether or not there was such a thing as a “gay community” after hearing so much talk in the media and elsewhere about the “gay community” wanting marriage rights. She spent a couple of months on the road collecting interviews with a wide variety of same- and multi-gender-loving people (to borrow her language), most of whom identified as female at the time she interviewed them. And from those interviews she has since created a play titled Fall (In Love and War). As more information about the play becomes available, I will post it here.

This collection of trips only just begins to scratch the surface of a much larger and longer history of queer pilgrimage, and so I have a feeling it won’t be my last post on the subject, but it’s a start.

Where would you go on your queer pilgrimage?

 

UPDATE

Many of the posts above focus on the upside of road trips, but it’s also worth mentioning that traveling is not so easy for a lot of queer women. This post from Autostraddle contributor  talks about some of the challenges and, to borrow her word, “perils” of traveling as a trans woman.

autostraddle-travelingtranswomanpost

“Please Step Over Here: The Perils Of Traveling As A Trans Woman”

Music Festivals – Beyond Michigan

MichFestGateFrontgate

The conflict around the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival’s exclusion of trans* people has been ongoing since the 1991 Festival when Nancy Burkholder was expelled from the land and the event because she was transsexual. (Read Burkholder’s description of what transpired that night.)

The following year, the producers published a statement in the program articulating that the Festival was intended for “womyn born womyn.” At that time the Festival was being produced by Lisa Vogel and Barbara “Boo” Price, since 1995 Lisa Vogel has been the sole producer. For the Festival producers, the meaning of “womyn born womyn” is those who were assigned female at birth, who were raised as female, and who identify as female today. This policy, by and large, continues today, despite numerous and ongoing efforts by a variety of people both inside and outside of the festival to change it, and despite the fact that many people who don’t fit neatly into that category have always attended the festival.

I was struck by a couple of things as I’ve been researching Michigan, and am left with some questions that will be part of my ongoing research:

  1. According to a survey of festival goers taken in 1992 the policy announced that year ran counter to the desire of many festival goers.
  2. One person, now the Festival’s sole producer, Lisa Vogel, appears to be making the decision for the entire festival community. (I am still searching for more information to better understand how the decision is being made, but each of the histories and testimonials I have read up to this point all reference the producer(s) as being responsible for the policy.)
  3. The festival was started in 1976 by a small collective of women with a mix of feminist and lesbian feminist intentions (among other intentions), and each year it is literally constructed and operated by hundreds of volunteers who give hundreds of hours of their time and labor to the event. What led to the current power structure that appears to give one person authority over the community, at least when it comes to this particular decision? How does that decision jibe with the larger festival community—do they feel they had a role in making that decision? Is everyone cognizant of the power structures and does it matter to them in a context that is frequently described as a collective experience of women building community together?

Which is to say, as much as I’m interested in “womyn born womyn” policy, in some ways I’m more interested in the organizational structure that arrived at it and maintains it.

BEYOND MICHIGAN

Another thing that became immediately clear as I’ve started to research this topic is that while Michigan garners an enormous amount of time and attention, the reality is that most of the other music festivals that exist today that are intended to support lesbians, queer women, and feminists, including two that were inspirations for Michigan, do not share Michigan’s policy of excluding trans*, intersex, and gender-nonconforming people.

Here is a quick listing of some of the festivals that remain in operation today (as of March 30, 2014):

Midwest Wimmin’s Festival
Founded: 1974
Location: Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
Organizational Structure: Unknown, but founded by Judith Jerome
Participation Policy (from website): “Wimmin and girl children welcome – boys under four years – childcare is not provided.”

National Women’s Music Festival
Founded: 1974
Location: Started in Champaign–Urbana, Illinois, now help in Madison, Wisconsin
Organizational Structure: Board of Directors
Participation Policy (from website): “Attendees come from all genders and cultures, cutting across ethnic, racial, sexual, age, and ability boundaries. Likewise, Festival programming reflects many points of view; a diversity of ideas and topics are explored and discussed in a safe environment. Festival is an environment in which philosophies and politics are open for discussion, not mandated or judged.”

SisterSpace
Founded: 1977
Location: Started in Poconos Mountains of Pennsylvania, now takes place in Darlington, Maryland
Organizational Structure: Board of Directors
Participation Policy (from website): “The Weekend draws an incredibly diverse crowd in terms of age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and identity. We encourage any woman interested in attending the SisterSpace weekend to ask any questions about the organization and the weekend, and gather as much information as possible so that each woman can make the best decision for herself and the space we’ve created. It’s the hope of SisterSpace that every woman who attends feels comfortable in an extraordinarily freeing, encouraging and safe environment. Each woman who enters the space is asked to do so with an enormous amount of respect, understanding and appreciation. We trust that each woman is capable of evaluating her own potential presence at SisterSpace with regard to these guidelines.”

Ohio Lesbian Festival
Founded: 1988
Location: Pataskala, Ohio
Organizational Structure: Volunteer staff
Participation Policy (from website): “One of the only remaining spaces dedicated to creating a festival for all womyn-lesbian, straight, bi, trans, etc; regardless of their age, socio-economic status, race, gender identity, religion or sexual orientation.”

Virginia Women’s Music Festival
Founded: 1991
Location: Louisa, Virginia
Organizational Structure: Campground (originally named INTOUCH, now CampOut) and festival founded by Janet Grubbs, now run by Billie Hall, land owned by “three elders”
Participation Policy:
(from website): “CampOut is a members only, private campground for women.”
(quote from May 21, 2013 article about CampOut, where the Festival is held, posted on Gay Richmond Virginia/GAYRVA.com): ““We allow trans [sic] if they live with a woman, and they have drivers license that shows that they are a woman. And while they are here on the property, if they conduct themselves like a woman in their dress. We don’t expect you to show that you’re not a woman by your body parts.””

Iowa Women’s Music Festival
Founded: 1993
Location: Iowa City, Iowa
Organizational Structure: Founded by Laurie Haag, now run by a small non-profit called Prairie Voices
Participation Policy (from website): “All people and well-behaved pets are invited to enjoy two action-packed days at the Johnson County Fair Grounds.” (from FAQ page) “The entire community is invited. The IWMF is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to celebrate women in music and the arts.”

radical-harmonies-lrgRADICAL HARMONIES DOCUMENTARY

To better understand some of the context that gave rise to some of these women’s music festivals and the musicians that have been part of them, you might consider watching Dee Mosbacher’s 2002 documentary film Radical Harmonies. It’s available for streaming on YouTube (for a fee of $1.99).

The website for the film also has a useful bibliography.

SELECTED REFERENCES

USE OF “TRANS*” AND “WOMEN”

Please refer to my notes on terminology.