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Lesbian bar culture: An ode to ‘Baby, you happen to be My personal Religion’


aby, You Are My Religion: Females, Gay Bars and Theology Before Stonewall (2013)

by Marie Cartier explores the important society spaces developed by lesbians in America in the middle 20



The name was lifted from one regarding the author’s ex-lovers: “In 1995, I found myself internet dating a butch lady just who at one-point thought to me, ‘Baby, you happen to be my personal faith,’ in reaction to my personal hoping the woman to attend Catholic Mass at Easter.”

The ebook is actually well researched and tends to make many relevant things towards close-knit communities of this lesbian pubs in america when you look at the ’50s and ’60s in particular, and just how they truly performed save your self schedules.

Marie interviewed an extensive enough cross-section of lesbians to offer visitors a very clear image of exactly how these pubs operated, and how crucially vital they were with the numerous lesbians exactly who virtually had nowhere else to go to be themselves.

Joan Nestle, certainly one of over 100 individuals who were interviewed, today lives in Melbourne and it has already written about lesbian club the ocean Colony in ny (in

A Limited Country

). Nestle is obviously a motivation for Marie’s investigation into an era Marie herself was too-young are element of.


ne of the most fascinating and unexpected tales portrays Lillian Faderman, another Jewish working-class lesbian creator just who moved from someone that checked out the bars for intercourse, to graduating from following training Lesbian Literature at UCLA.

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Other individuals who had been questioned included Judy Grahn, just who moved through the homosexual taverns to feminism and wrote

Edward the Dyke, along with other Poems

(the ladies’s hit Collective, 1971); Deborah Edel, co-founder with Joan on the Lesbian Herstory Archives in NYC; Jeanne Cordova, a self-identified butch which wrote

Whenever We Were Outlaws

(Spinsters Ink 2011), plus the comedian Ivy Bottini.

Baby, You May Be My Personal Religion: Ladies, Gay Bars and Theology Before Stonewall

Whenever Marie began authoring the 70s and 1980s, I believed on a lot more common region. As a lesbian feminist, I’d presumed that the bar-dykes have been superseded until their unique unignorable existence from the Kingston resort in Richmond, Melbourne, inside the 1980s proved normally.

Badges from the seventies,

WITCH – Woman altogether power over Herself,

or, on top of that,

Women’s Foreign Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell

, reflected the hardcore feminist ideology of that time period.

In Australian Continent, we did not have the alleged ‘sex wars’, or otherwise not into same fanatical degree anyhow, in which lesbians in the usa either assented with those attempting to free the feminist action of butch femme, leather-wearing, s/m lesbians and intercourse workers, and people who had been anti-censorship and decided that all lesbians, in spite of how they acted out their unique lesbianism, were appropriate.

Because of the later part of the 1980s, lesbian feminism was on wane in america and unwrapped just how for all the rise of Queer country in 1990s.


espite Marie’s obvious objectives as a Catholic to put the lesbian taverns in a spiritual context, it wasn’t up until the last third for the guide that I lost interest in exactly what she had to state. Its all a question of perception, really: she really does and I also never.

That said, i did so take pleasure in reading concerning the ladies of Forty positive cluster in longer Beach, the lesbian and homosexual retirement apartments in Los Angeles labeled as Triangle Square, and the politically-oriented over-60s team Old Lesbians Organising for Change. On one and other of my check outs towards the me, we might attended meetings and gatherings or had contact with these companies.

Carolyn Gage composed examination

Baby, You’re My Personal Religion

that has been included in

Sinister Wisdom: Southern Lesbian Feminist Herstory

: “As a lesbian just who was released during the era of lesbian-feminism, I found Cartier’s ideas did offer me with a missing back link.”

I discovered Marie’s guide to be both an essential share to lesbian tradition and a significant herstorical document.

“to all the with the homosexual ladies who emerged before me, cleared the trail for my situation, and stepped the path with me…butch, femme, kiki, androgynous, lesbian and transgender… whom dared to walk into a gay women’s bar and acknowledge themselves and their neighborhood making a residential area for me personally simply to walk into.” – Marie Cartier


Baby You Happen To Be My Personal Religion

right here

Jean Taylor is a revolutionary lesbian feminist that is an author and activist based on Wurundjeri country in Melbourne. The woman latest publication is

Lesbians Ignite! In Victoria Inside 1990s.

A lot more of Jean’s work is found at

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