Different Daughters: A History of the Daughters of Bilitis and the Rise of the Lesbian Rights Movement

Different Daughters: A History of the Daughters of Bilitis and the Rise of the Lesbian Rights Movement Nearly Fifteen Years Before The Birth Of Gay Liberation, The Daughters Of Bilitis DOB Was The World S First Organization Committed To Lesbian Visibility And Empowerment Like Its Predominantly Gay Male Counterpart, The Mattachine Society, DOB Was Launched In Response To The Oppressive Anti Homosexual Climate Of The McCarthy Era, When Lesbian And Gay People Were Arrested, Fired From Jobs, And Had Their Children Taken Away Simply Because Of Their Sexual Orientation It Was Against This Political Backdrop That A Circle Of San Francisco Lesbians Formed A Private Club Where Lesbians Could Meet Others In A Safe, Affirming Setting The Small Social Group Evolved Over The Next Two Decades Into A National Organization That Counted Than A Dozen Chapters, And Laid The Foundation For Today S Lesbian Rights Movement Different Daughters Chronicles This Movement And The Women Who Fought The Church And State In Order To Change Not Only Our Nation S Perception Of Homosexuality But How Lesbians See Themselves Marcia Gallo Has Interviewed Dozens Of Former DOB Members, Many Of Whom Have Never Spoken On Record Through Its Leaders, Magazine, And Network Of Local Chapters, DOB Played A Crucial Role In Creating Lesbian Identity, Visibility, And Political Strategies In Cold War America

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  • Hardcover
  • 336 pages
  • Different Daughters: A History of the Daughters of Bilitis and the Rise of the Lesbian Rights Movement
  • Marcia M. Gallo
  • English
  • 10 February 2019
  • 9780786716340

10 thoughts on “Different Daughters: A History of the Daughters of Bilitis and the Rise of the Lesbian Rights Movement

  1. says:

    Learning about our lesbian foremothers I m reading it now.

  2. says:

    Important history organized and told well.

  3. says:

    from the libraryfrom the library computer Booklist ReviewsDespite continuing intense racial segregation in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the groundbreaking lesbian organization the Daughters of Bilitis DOB provided opportunities for women to work together and socialize without color bars and with less of the armor of conformity outside the home that the concurrent cold war climate of fear mandated Against a repressive backdrop of homophobic bar raids, arrests, and firings, the initially secret society of northern California lesbians was founded in 1955 as a social club that in 1956 produced the nation s first lesbian newsletter,The Ladder So doing, DOB made an all important outreach that broke through fear and isolation to affirm lesbians throughout America, albeit via protective pseudonyms DOB and The Ladder also spread through word of mouth, expanding for 20 years into a national sociopolitical effort with regional chapters that paved the way for the lesbian rights movement and helped change history Gallo s engrossing, detailed history is an essential addition to the popular literature of sociopolitical issues, women s studies, and gay lesbian history Reviewed November 1, 2006 Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.Choice ReviewsGallo s excellent history of the Daughters of Bilitis brings deserved attention to a pioneering but neglected lesbian society The Daughters began as a private club in the highly repressive anti gay atmosphere of the 1950s, but quickly turned to political activism Gallo traces the group s evolution and contributions to both gay and women s rights movements, despite its extremely small size it rarely totaled than 300 members at one time She looks at the fractures that developed within the leadership over issues that continue to plague lesbian organizations today Should the club provide a place for lesbians to socialize, or agitate for greater legal protection Should it concentrate on research to demonstrate that lesbians are just like the heterosexual population, or protest unfair treatment Should it reject or embrace butch femme roles Gallo does a particularly fine job of highlighting the irony of the Daughters demise In their formative years, the suggestion that homosexuality was not evil was a daring move, but by the mid 1960s, pleas for acceptance struck the new generation of radical activists as quaint The movement that they helped make possible rejected the Daughters Summing Up Highly recommended All levels libraries Copyright 2007 American Library Association.Publishers Weekly ReviewsThe Daughters of Bilitis DOB may be little known today, but Gallo makes clear how crucial this organization was to the nascent lesbian rights movement Beginning as a tiny San Francisco social club in 1955, the group soon organized local chapters in New York, Los Angeles and beyond, incubating many figures on the lesbian political and literary scene until the organization waned in the 1970s In this easy, well ordered read, Gallo draws on many interviews with pivotal DOB figures, focusing less on juicy gossip than the tensions that drove the group s evolution lesbian commonality versus race, class and ethnic differences political activism versus social activities collaboration with other homophile organizations versus independence women s rights versus gay rights Gallo gives considerable space to the history of The Ladder , which began as a mimeographed newsletter and soon became a lively, highly literate forum for lesbians nationally and even internationally She evokes the tense atmosphere of DOB s beginnings, when being out was nearly synonymous with being outcast, while highlighting the several black leaders of the group and how DOB found allies in San Francisco s religious community This is a respectful, respectable look at an organization overdue for recognition Nov Page 57 Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.Table of Contents Acknowledgments ix A Note About Naming xv Prologue xvii Qui vive 1 20 Climbing The Ladder 21 18 Some Facts About Lesbians 39 18 A Look at the Lesbian 57 20 Removing the Mask 77 16 A Conclave of Ladies with Crew Cuts 93 28 Ten Days in August 121 16 Changing Times 137 22 If That s All There Is 159 26 Lesbos Arise 185 22 Epilogue 207 8 Appendix Oral History Interviews 215 4 Bibliography 219 18 Endnotes 237 28 Index 265

  4. says:

    I have a new book for College Girl She had popped in over the weekend and managed to snatch it up real quick The usual for her of course But I do wish to thank Seal Press for sending me Different Daughters Not Your Average Freedom Fighters This is a history of the lesbian rights movement in San Francisco, California It was a organization called the Daughters of Bilitis or DOB And was from the 1950 s to the 1970 s Now College Girl was excited to be able to read this history in the equal rights movement Having finished off on the Harvey Milk history this last summer, she has been sorta swimming around looking for her next bit of history to learn.In reading over Different Daughters I was interested in learning of these strong women who fought so hard for their equal rights I found that his started with only eight members Wow such a small group to make such a large impact The idea was to create a place they could be safe at And as us ladies do they would meet monthly to socialize, share meals and talk over the issues within their community They eventually became a national organization A unique feature of this book is the original works from The Ladder, a newsletter that they had created This was a very motivating book and quite informative I am so happy that I have it to share with my College Girl.

  5. says:

    always on the search for queer histories, this book details the daughters of bilitis, the first organized and so named Lesbian organization in the US it is told in a sort of storytelling gossip style, which is sometimes nice because you realize that the people who are talking were the ones who were there, but also is a little annoying at times understanding that it was only a little while ago that lezzers had to meet in secret to protect their jobs and lives stands in sharp contrast to the life i lead a good reminder and a good history lesson.

  6. says:

    from the libraryfrom the library computerTable of Contents Acknowledgments ix A Note About Naming xv Prologue xvii Qui vive 1 20 Climbing The Ladder 21 18 Some Facts About Lesbians 39 18 A Look at the Lesbian 57 20 Removing the Mask 77 16 A Conclave of Ladies with Crew Cuts 93 28 Ten Days in August 121 16 Changing Times 137 22 If That s All There Is 159 26 Lesbos Arise 185 22 Epilogue 207 8 Appendix Oral History Interviews 215 4 Bibliography 219 18 Endnotes 237 28 Index 265

  7. says:

    This is a great book explaining the history of the lesbian rights movement starting in the 1950 s It s just a little dry for me and extremely detailed I skimmed through it and found the information very interesting, just too much of it for me As a side note, I requested this book through interlibrary loan and the title is actually wrong in the system it is called Different Daughters A Book by Mothers of Lesbians which is what I had wanted, but I got this book instead.

  8. says:

    It s a decent book, but it is one of the only books I could find that dealt only with the DOB The history is good, and it s a very easy read.

  9. says:

    SPWCFDOB Rose Bamberger Rosemary Sliepen

  10. says:

    So far this is an extremely informative and dense historical work It is proving a bit of a chore to get through, but the information about early lesbian rights movements is worth the struggle.

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