Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dory Previn, another closet lesbian, dies.

For a 25 year old lesbian doin’ and sufferin’ through non-monogamous (polyamorous) relationships in 1974, Dory Previn’s hit album, “Dory Previn Live at Carnegie Hall” was a comfort and a relief to me.
Here was another woman writing startling genius lyrics about some of my own traumas—my first Holy Communion, child sexual abuse, the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church, a lover who don’t love you back, and my favorite—a song about my new home’s signature-- the Hollywood Sign.
Listening to how “Hedy Lamar jumped off the third letter O”—not the first letter O, or the second, or just jumped off the damn sign, which hung over my house, but the 3rd letter 0 told me that Previn was a gifted lyricist who saw life’s minutely sad underbelly. I bought the album in 1974 and learned every track, every line, by memory.
Decades later I introduced my spouse to Dory. She too was amazed by the lyrics of a songwriter who captured the debris of catholic girlhood and the lost of a mate (to budding bubblehead actress Mia Farrow) in such agonizing detail. Listening to the album for decades I’d always been convinced that coming out as a lesbian would have solved most of Dory’s problems.

Coming days after losing another closet-case singer, Whitney Houston, makes me all the more sad that talented young women still have to weigh losing fame and talent against living their authentic selves.

We dykes celebrate their lives with the prayer that living openly as a lesbian can one day be embraced as a better alternative than alcohol, drugs, & mental hospitals to women in the music industry.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Shades of butchly difference

Malinda Lo just recently posted this quote from Jack Halberstam on her tumblr

I’ve watched Dr. Jack Halberstam’s successive definitions of herself over recent years and wondered at how similar she and I are in terms of our butch identity. Yet when I posted a month ago that I also thought of myself as “trans butch” I got some “Ah, JC, say it ain’t so!” comments from other women identified butches, like myself, who seemed threatened by it.
Most of Jack’s definition above fits me also. We are similar, but have shades of butchly difference.
I seek to be read by others as a woman who is masculine. I feel unseen by my bio-sister who relates to me as a guy and thinks that’s what I want. She can be forgiven because she is straight and reads almost nothing accurately, but I do agree with Jack, our butch community can and should tolerate variations among us.

When I grew up in the '60s we called deep-butch bulls “cross-gendered.” Today the synonym is transgendered, but this word holds many meanings. It may also includes us women who refuse surgeries, hormones, etc. but prefer masculine dress and have masculine body language, thought patterns, and are sexually attracted to femmes and/or other butches. My lesbian feminist generation was a bit late to the nuances of gender identity, but those of us still involved with the movements need to catch up and be open to how our younger generation is developing.
Come on dykes! We don’t need to feel afraid of the “trans” word. We just need to stand up for who we are.

Reviews for 'When We Were Outlaws'

Check out some of these Reviews for 'When We Were Outlaws: a Memoir of Love & Revolution'
"A riveting unique first hand telling of a dangerous, fractious, creative lesbian time, the lesbian feminist 70s with their messy, sexy, bold social and personal visions live again on Cordova's pages; she was thick in the middle of things, as a journalist, as an activist, as a lover."
--Joan Nestle, editor of A Persistent Desire, A Femme Butch Reader and GENDERqUEER, Voices from Beyond the Sexual Binary.
"For LGBT people who care about activism, especially those young enough to have no memory of those iconic times, Córdova's "memoir of love and revolution" should be a must-read.”
--Patricia Nell Warren - Bilerico Project
"When We Were Outlaws is content-rich and driven by a compelling plot. These two things make reading When We Were Outlaws a joy."
--Julie R. Enszer -
Lambda Literary Review
"When We Were Outlaws, is such an important addition to the literary cannon of LGBT non-fiction. The book manages to be captivating, heartbreaking, and gratifying all at once.”
--Diane Anderson Minshall - The Advocate
PLUS just out... an Interview with Jerry L. Wheeler / Out in Print about Outlaws - he posed some very thought provoking questions about activism, writing (& love!)