Lesbian Pride [Exhibit Panel]


Initially, men and women had worked together for Gay liberation. In the early 1970s, some women reacted to the domination of the men in Gay organizations. Many Lesbians espoused separatism and encouraged Gay women to form their own caucuses and committees, and their own organizations. Lesbian feminists ceased calling themselves Gay and embraced the word Lesbian and the pejorative Dyke.

Prominent in the separatist movement was a Washington-DC based collective called the Furies, founded in 1971. They believed that Lesbians had to build their own political movement, and rejected working with men, Gay or straight.

In 1975, the Lesbian Feminist Liberation organized the first Lesbian Pride Rallies in New York City which grew to become Lesbian Pride week in 1978. That same year, under increasing pressure to embrace the word Lesbian, New York’s Christopher Street Gay Pride Rally changed its name to Gay & Lesbian Pride Week. Increasingly thereafter, other cities included Lesbain in their Pride names.

The 1979 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights was the first time Lesbian was used before Gay in a public forum.

The first Dyke March held in Washington, DC, was organized by the Lesbian Avengers as part of the 1987 March on Washington.





“Lesbian Pride [Exhibit Panel],” Rainbow History Project Digital Collections, accessed June 15, 2024, https://archives.rainbowhistory.org/items/show/1865.

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