Struggling with Gender in the Early 1970s: An Archival Posting in Honour of Leslie Feinberg’s Birthday

Leslie Feinberg, author of the fictional book Stone Butch Blues, showed us a side of 1960s lesbian butch culture that had not been well known: a good number of butches either transitioned, or experimented with hormones. Feinberg’s book illuminates the struggles ze and zer friends had around gender, struggles that intensified as the women’s and gay liberation movements took aim at what they called “role playing.” Since liberationists saw … Continue reading Struggling with Gender in the Early 1970s: An Archival Posting in Honour of Leslie Feinberg’s Birthday

One step forward, ten steps backward? #LoveWins #MarriageEquality

While the decision today by SCOTUS is a huge victory for lesbians and gays in the United States, it is troubling how Justice Kennedy’s decision elevates marriage to the level of the supernatural. “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once … Continue reading One step forward, ten steps backward? #LoveWins #MarriageEquality

Congratulations, America!

Today the Supreme Court of the United States voted 5-4 to prohibit states from banning same-sex marriage. I have always been deeply ambivalent about the marriage equality movement because of the way it has emphasized the normalization of queer people, but if there is one thing I have learned in my research, it is that people on the ground do not necessarily buy into the … Continue reading Congratulations, America!

Husband? Wife? What’s In a Name?

Getting married and calling oneself married – are they different things, or just two sides of the same coin? My research on same-sex marriages in the 50s, 60s and 70s is driven by a desire to understand what draws people to the act of saying “I do,” so I am most interested in wedding ceremonies such as this one between Millie and Jean Carbollo in … Continue reading Husband? Wife? What’s In a Name?

Were same-sex weddings in Philadelphia a “thing”?

The last time I went on an archives trip for this project it was to the ONE institute Archives in Los Angeles where I had the good fortune of being the first to see an amazing set of photos of a wedding ceremony that took place in Philadelphia in the mid-1950s. You can read the fascinating story of how they came to be at the … Continue reading Were same-sex weddings in Philadelphia a “thing”?