Last night my love and I went to a release party for the newest issue of Sinister Wisdom (#98 Landykes of the South). We went hungry for connection and community with our Lesbian Separatist elders, bolstered by our experiences at Fest and eager to learn. We hoped there would be other young womyn to bond with who still valued Female-Only and Separatist space.
Listening to the Crones recount their years of being Landykes living on and from and intimately with the land was an incredible experience. We heard about the ingenious ways that they figured out funding to purchase their land, and the cottage industries they set up to fund the minimal monetary needs of womyn on the land. One womon spoke of her life traveling and documenting wimmin’s lands, and how she finally came to put down roots right outside of Our Town. In the 70′s and 80′s, prior to electronic communication, it was common for our Dyke foremothers to just drop in on each other and travel from land to land to help out where they could and where they were needed. They spoke of beginning to see portraits of themselves in the bark of trees and the ways they worked to share their knowledge with every sister that asked for it. There was open discussion of the struggles and difficulties of the Landyke life, but every womon’s eyes sparkled with joy and laughter broke out often as they remembered their lives on the land.
We found our community, although we will be the youngest by almost two decades. There are Lesbian-only writers groups, and Lesbian potlucks, and they all get together for holidays, and there are frequent parties. The womyn tentatively asked us if we were Lesbians, and were surprised and relieved when we responded so enthusiastically that yes, yes we are. They no doubt expected us to be curious onlookers from the queer community, and we heard from several of them that none of the young ones call themselves lesbians any more. We all know this to be too true. The way to combat this is to join with our elders and begin to build a community for our younger sisters to be able to relate to and come to. We must take the pride and strength we feel from being Dykes and Amazons and Separatists and wear it on our chests as much as we are possibly able. We must give our cause positive representation.
It is important to seek out your Crones. Find out where they will be, and go there. Listen to them with respect and intention. Ask them where you can fit in to help strengthen our Lesbian community and keep our proud herstory alive. It is up to us now, and it is time for us to step up. I say this especially to my Fest Sisters, or any sisters who support the Intention and Female-Only space: you must go to them now. They need us as much as we need them, and it has become urgent that we find each other and begin to work together.
Patrick Wilson, Richard Dreyfuss, Penelope Mitchell, Mora Stephens, Alexandra Breckenridge, Dianna Agron and Christopher McDonald of ‘Zipper’ pose for a portrait at the Village at the Lift Presented by McDonald’s McCafe during the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.