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Women of Pride
Explore the stories of women activists, artists, politicians, and everyday woman of the LGBT movement from the 1960s through today.
“Women of Pride” follows a movement from prejudice to empowerment. It is an introduction, through a California lens, to women who challenged social norms rendering them criminal, immoral, or insane for loving another woman or wearing men’s clothes. Inspired by the 1950s Civil Rights Movement, they struggled against discrimination based on sexuality, gender, class, race, age, and ability. Merriam-Webster Dictionary added intersectionality in 2017, acknowledging feminists’ exploration into the complex and cumulative ways that different forms of discrimination combine and overlap.
Activism to end homosexual discrimination was influenced by the Women’s Rights Movement—and vice versa. As 1960s feminists demanded equality, women fought to have the word “lesbian” included in the male-dominated Gay Rights Movement. After the National Organization for Women (NOW) received backlash for excluding lesbians, in 1971 NOW expressed the combined struggles: “a woman’s right to her own person includes the right to define and express her own sexuality and to choose her own lifestyle.”
Women were up for the fight: they organized, educated, lobbied. They wrote pamphlets, books, plays, newsletters and bumper stickers. They marched, sang and performed. They saw victory in visibility, self-worth through self-expression, and produced a legacy that informs this exhibit.
Thank you to Lambda Archives for their partnership on this exhibit