casual reminder that lesbian history is bisexual women’s history, too and we don’t need to be lectured on what femme and butch mean, historically speaking, nor do we need to be lectured on “why you can’t use it,” because yes, we can, we’ve always been there, hahaha, i know, it sucks 2 be you, but it’s true
a fabulous bisexual femme
Alison Bechdel: “The moment with Small Alison singing about the butch delivery woman feels huge. To have a child sing about desire and identification; it’s brilliant.” (x)
I thought it was supposed to be wrong
But you seem okay with being strong
I want… You’re so…
It’s probably conceited to say,
But I think we’re alike in a certain way
i hope you’re all aware of the 300 recently discovered love letters between two gay british soldiers during ww2 that are going to be possibly adapted into a film.
they’re beautiful and poetic and tragic and heart-wrenching and brave. i highly suggest going and reading the excerpts.
here’s the one that broke my heart:
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all our letters could be published in the future in a more enlightened time. Then all the world could see how in love we are.“
In 1986 Grandma was worried I wasn’t settling down. So I told her I was having a relationship—with a woman. “I am settling down, in my own way.” And the sunlight settled on the dust on the mantlepiece and the cat settled in Grandma’s lap and Grandma said there were two nurses boarding in her mother’s house in Yorkshire in 1916. And Grandma said she was in love with one of them.
70 years later, she still remembered waiting at the bottom of the boarding-house stairs to blush and smile hello at the funny, dark-eyed nurse she loved.
Love between women? Unforgettable.
Bisexual actress Gertrude Lawrence was born on this day in
1898 and is remembered for having ascended her impoverished,
Cockey-accented roots to become a legend in both Broadway and London’s West End.
Although famously claimed by the Brits, Gertrude’s true surname of Klasen was given to her by her Danish birth father. She later adopted the name Lawrence from her father’s stage name of Arthur Lawrence (x).
Gertrude Alice Dagmar Klasen was born on July 4, 1898 in
Newington, London. Her parents’ show business careers kept the family in
poverty, which was exacerbated when her father’s alcoholism caused them to
separate. Gertrude’s mother eventually remarried and it was on an outing with
her stepfather when Gertrude got her first taste of the spotlight; while
attending a concert in Bognor, young Gertrude was invited on stage to sing a
song and was given a prize for her participation. The experience planted in Gertrude
a love of performing that would stick with her for the rest of her life. In
1908, Gertrude joined the chorus of a Christmas pantomime at the Brixton
Theater and began taking dance lessons with Italia Conti. At the age of 16, she
left home and joined the Bohemian world of the theater in earnest when she
moved into the Theatrical Girls’ Club in Soho.
She worked and toured steadily with various theater troupes,
but it was her multiple relationships with powerful men such as Captain Philip
Astley, who was a member of the Household Cavalry, and the wall street banker
Bert Taylor that really cemented Gertrude’s position in British high society.
In 1923, she performed the lead role in the musical London Calling! and became an overnight sensation in her own right.
Throughout the years, Gertrude would also perform in other iconic musicals such
as Oh, Kay!, Treasure Girl, Private Lives,
and of course, The King & I for which she won a Tony Award in 1951.
Gertrude performs a scene from The King & I with her co-star and lover
Yul Brynner, 1951 (x).
In her day, Gertrude was known as one of theater’s most
voracious “man eaters.” She was married twice – first to a director named Francis
Gordon-Howley in 1917, with whom she had her only child, and then later to a
theater owner named Richard Aldrich. However, one of Gertrude’s lesser-known
affairs was with the famous playwright and novelist Daphne du Maurier. The two
first met in 1948 when Gertrude played the lead in one of Daphne’s plays titled
September Tide, and both Gertrude’s
second husband and official biographer agree that the two had an instant and
unmatched connection. Daphne’s nicknames for Gertrude included “dear Gert” –
which she used in their letters to each other – and “Cinder” in reference to
the rags-to-riches story of Cinderella. The relationship was maintained through
frequent letters and infrequent visits from 1948 to Gertrude’s death;
reportedly, it was Daphne’s location in London that caused Gertrude to always
return home from her excursion trips to New York, and in her later years, Daphne
joked with friends about Gertrude’s sexual prowess.
Daphne (left) and Gertrude (right) are photographed on a public outing together. Although to the public the two were simply good friends, their romantic relationship was later shown in the 2007 film Daphne (x).
As she grew older, Gertrude began a career in film and television.
Her most famous roles included Amanda in the movie adaptation of The Glass Menagerie and a televised
production of the play The Great
Catherine. She eventually took a teaching position at Columbia University
where she taught courses such as “The Study of Roles and Scenes.” On 16 August
1952, she fainted backstage during a production of The King & I and it was discovered that she had liver cancer.
Gertrude passed away on September 6, 1952 at the age of 54. Over 6,000 people
crowed the streets of New York City for her funeral and today she is remembered as one of the greatest theater legends to ever live.
Happy birthday, Sarah Waters!! The Welsh author and queen
of lesbian historical fiction turns 51 today!
In an interview with The Independent, Sarah proclaims, “I pay attention to women’s secret history and lives” (x).
Sarah was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales on July 21, 1966. Her
father was an engineer, her mother was a stay-at-home mom, and she recalls her
childhood as being “pretty idyllic.” Encouraged in her creativity especially by
her father, Sarah spent her youth making crafts, writing poems, and overall
being “a bit of a nerd.” After graduating high school, she went on to earn
degrees from the University of Kent, Lancaster University, and Queen Mary,
University of London. Her research for her PhD thesis, Wolfskins and Togas: Lesbian and Gay Historical Fictions, 1870 to the Present,
served as the foundation for many of her future novels.
Her first novel, Tipping
the Velvet, was published in 1998 and was an instant success. Telling a
love story between two women in 1890s London and named after Victorian slang
for oral sex between women, Tipping the
Velvet has been translated into over 24 different languages and was adapted
into a popular BBC miniseries in 2002. To date, Sarah has written 6 novels in
total which have earned her several Lambda Literary Awards and two separate “Writer
of the Year” awards at the Stonewall Awards. Her 2002 novel Fingersmith was also been adapted into a
miniseries in 2005 and also served as the inspiration for Park Chan-wook’s 2016
film The Handmaiden.
The Handmaiden, adapted from Sarah Waters’s novel Fingersmith, was the breakout film from 2016′s Cannes Film Festival (x).
In a 2015 interview with AfterEllen, Sarah reflects on how
her own identity affects her writing by saying, “I’m writing with a clear
lesbian agenda in the novels. It’s right there at the heart of the books…That’s
how it is in my life, and that’s how it is, really, for most lesbian and gay
people, isn’t it? It’s sort of just there in your life.“ Sarah currently
lives in London with her partner Lucy Vaughan.