Phyllis Lyon and Margie Adam
DescriptionMargie, 63, interviews Phyllis, 85, about her work in the lesbian rights movement and the influence that she has had on Margie’s life.
Subject Log / Time Code
- Phyllis Lyon
- Margie Adam
Recording LocationSan Francisco StoryBooth
- anecdotes (humorous but true stories)
- Anne Fergueson [pen name for Phyllis Lyon]
- Betty Friedan
- Boo Price
- cohorts (groups of friends)
- Coming Out
- community worthies
- Council on Religion and the Homosexual
- craft, skills, and procedures
- cross dressing
- Daughters of Bilitis
- Daughters of Bilitis National Conference
- Del Martin
- Dr. Blanche Baker
- Gavin Newsome
- Gay marriage
- Gay Rights
- GLIDE Church, San Francisco, CA
- historical events/people
- human sexuality
- Influential People
- lesbian books
- lesbian rights
- Mabel Tang
- memories of former times
- memories of growing up
- National Center for Lesbian Rights
- National Organization for Women
- personal experiences
- political beliefs and practices
- Proposition 8
- San Francisco, CA
- school day memories
- Sexual orientation
- social beliefs and practices
- social organizations
- The Ladder [magazine]
- The Lesbian Woman [book]
- valentines day
- women’s institutes
- women’s music
- Coming Of Age
- Community Characters
- Community History
- Community Organizations
- Customers and Clients
- First Meetings
- Job Satisfaction
- Lost Friends
- Traumatic Memories
- Urban Life
- Workday Life
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00:03 My name is Margie Adam. I'm 63 years old. Today's date is the 6th of June 2010. I'm in San Francisco.
00:13 With my beautiful lesbian mother Phyllis a lion
00:21 My name is Phyllis Lyon. My age is 85.
00:27 And that today's date is the 6th of June 2010 in San Francisco.
00:34 Am I relationship to this wonderful person my day Adam whom you should hear Sing is as a friend and as a NSF fan actually over many years.
00:55 I was 15 when I came out as a lesbian.
00:59 And when I went out looking for my people.
01:03 One of the first things I found was a magazine called the ladder.
01:08 And inside that magazine was your name.
01:13 I think of you.
01:15 Of all the ways I think of you.
01:18 I think of you as my welcoming committee.
01:22 That you welcomed me.
01:24 Into the world of women loving
01:28 In so many ways that have made me help me become.
01:33 The open-hearted in open-minded woman I am I'm so happy for the opportunity to talk with you today, and I'm just as happy to be able to talk to you as if we hadn't talked before but not like this I guess.
01:49 Come you never told me about that. Well, I know this has been an opportunity for me to think back. You know, when was the first time I ever saw your name or heard about you and it was in print.
02:02 It's really made me think about.
02:06 The different ways that lesbians come out some of us know from very early age that were that we love other women that were drawn to girls all of that and some of us have no idea that that's true until we meet someone in particular. Let's see, how was it for you feel that's about the way it was for me. I certainly had no idea as I said, I'm 85. So when I was in school many many many years ago, they weren't teaching anything about sexuality or I don't even know if they ever mention the word goodness gracious. And so I had absolutely no idea and I didn't really find out about let that lesbians existed.
02:49 I had a vague idea that one of the boys that I had been in a drama class with and who committed suicide had done it because he was a homosexual and I remember thinking that that was a ridiculous reason for god sakes wife, and I would that happen.
03:09 But I never heard the word lesbian. I never had any idea that women could be attracted to women. Although I when I think back on it, I do recall that there were times when I had some sort of a little Inkling.
03:26 But I didn't know what it meant her anything and so and it wasn't until I was in my
03:35 Long mid-twenties sort of that. I met the woman that I spent the rest of my life with and that was still Martin who came to work in the place in Seattle that I was working. Is that associate editor on a magazine up there and
03:55 I was excited about her coming up there because she was from San Francisco and so was I and so I thought that was exciting and so one day and we were all the women in this Shopper in the this is work cited about her coming and so one evening after work and I and another woman we work with Pat went off to the Press Club to have a after work and before dinner drink and we sat there chatting away and having a drinking.
04:35 Adele somewhere along the line got on the subject of homosexuality.
04:42 And so has she went on and on about this so I know one of us, I don't know. If I don't remember it was mere Pat said how come you know so much about this homosexuality and she said because I am one and we all started went and
05:05 So that was
05:07 And I think she must have been use the word lesbian. What was it about her?
05:13 But got a hold of you.
05:16 What was it about Dell?
05:19 Well, you mean as as a person as a person, I don't know. She was a very interesting person. I miss you a lot and she was from down here and we were up in Seattle and
05:38 Were you surprised when you actually found yourself moving towards her?
05:44 That the energy between you as not only emotional but also physical his sexual. I don't think it became physical or sexual or anything else at the beginning. I mean I had to stop and think about what in the world does lesbian mean dumb. Can you be and
06:10 Well, I was startled as far as I can recall. I like thinks I thought well, that's interesting or Bots to that extent. I think I really didn't know enough about the situation to really figure out what in fact. In fact, when I got home that evening. I called all the women at work and say guess what I found out tonight tells a lesbian and they almost lease it out. That's good or that's nice or something or other and the only problem that came back was one woman whose husband said while after that she could never have anything to do with me again as well. As long as I had anything to do with Bill. I was only that one there about five or six of us.
07:09 So I had you can tell I didn't have a clue as to what I should be there should not be difficult, but you fell in love with each other three or four years.
07:24 And at
07:25 At some point you had to have told your mother now.
07:30 Never did mention it to my folks. They figured it out somewhere around when you put out the book lesbian woman or L. I don't know when but cuz we were all living dead girl living up here in in San Francisco at that time. So and they weren't dumb and
07:52 But I was I was still a little bit confused as so what you did about things like that. And I just let it go. And so I never did have to tell him they obviously they obviously knew that I told my sister Del told her sister house our sisters new and they didn't care. They were fine. Did you ever have an experience in your early relationship with Dell where you were intimidated or bullied by anyone as a result of being a lesbian?
08:27 We got together. We knew it we knew each other we met up in Seattle and then when my sister graduated from UC Berkeley, we have planned and promised that we would go on this trip around the country with the
08:46 Together and get a car and and drive all over the country and see the concert. So I was committed to that and so is she is so I guess I was going to do that regardless of anything else and so we started out and and as we drove up along and I had told her about Dale being a lesbian and that didn't bother her and
09:12 And I got to the point where I was missing talking to death. So I started calling her collect as she always said and it was true, you know, they didn't have any phone cards or anything like that, but no space and any Allen and then by the time we reached, Texas
09:33 Where my college roommate and her family lived?
09:44 We stayed a couple of days with them and we went swimming and we know it was hot and so on and then we headed on up to towards New Orleans and my sister began to feel sick.
09:56 And by the time we got to New Orleans, she was really sick and I turned out that she'd come down with polio. That was at the very
10:05 Beginning of the polio epidemic
10:11 So on Lamar Collect Calls was right there for you. Yeah, but anyhow, so I'm going to change the subject. I'm going to take you off into two years in your relationship with Dell meeting another lesbian and finding out that there was a gathering of a few lesbians which then evolve to the founding of the daughters of bilitis. Would you talk a little bit about that? Sure we got together 1953 on it was dad's idea, but never forget our anniversary. She said and that we never did so
10:55 But we also wanted to meet more lesbians and we didn't have any luck. We went to the lesbian bars and didn't get I mean we were too shy to go talk to them and they didn't come around talk to us. So it was kind of a losing battle. We did meet a couple of gay men that lived around the corner and occasionally we went out together and one time we went to a after-hours party where we met and talked with for quite a while with another lesbian, which is the first chance we'd had filthy.
11:34 So we gave her our phone number and then very shortly after that. We went looking for another apartment instead. We bought a house.
11:42 And oh, I mean we don't want to have you in this house has a terrific views on the desk.
11:52 So in September of 53
11:57 55 we got a phone call from this woman asking us if we would be interested in coming to a meeting with six other couples. No fight six other women sexy ass six other women to start an organization as a social organization. And of course we said yes. Yes that we were going to meet more lesbian and it turned out that what they what they wanted was to have a social organization really and they were going to call it the daughters. I believe this because of the fault of the poem by French man whose Name Escapes me the songs of the latest.
12:46 And they said cuz nobody else would know what the name that but all the lesbians would because every lesbian knows about that. We never heard of it so we can believe that all lesbians knew about it. So went to the library to find lesbian Social Club split in the sense that week we had a problem will first of all day like that is involved in we find out about the two male organizations that were existed that matter shine Society Madison society and one Incorporated down in Los Angeles and
13:30 And we discovered also that there were a lot of laws that were anti-gay and a lot of things that needed to be done and so on it and that there were more things to do than just party and we also had trouble we lost a couple of members because they moved away and you know the original people and then it was hard to get other women to join because they were afraid to
14:00 And so in order to we finally decided towards the end of the first year. We had gotten a few new members who are very good and worked really hard and so on and we decided we needed to do something besides what we were doing which was mostly having parties at our house cuz we had the space and so on and so we we decided we put on a newsletter and that we would also
14:38 Have some kind of what was the other thing? Why is it escaping me the newsletters and the discussion groups and well the newsletters the newsletter was 100 and then we decided that we would have a series of lectures and we had help from heterosexual women that we knew in and one of them got us a hard chiropractor got us a good space to have these pictures and and we got friends that were
15:16 Dr. Blanche Baker who is the psychiatrist and who was it was? Okay to be lesbian or gay and so in all of this kind of stuff. So what you were doing with early dob was going directly at these biases that lesbians will after the first as as illegal immoral. And so and so you begin to organize on purpose to address those prejudices and also get more members. I mean I may I think I major
15:52 Need at the moment was to get more women involved more lesbians involved. Are you allowed to advertise counter that done that chronically examiner, but whatever would take any kind of an ad that has homosexuality and if they'd write letters about people getting arrested, but when I read the ladder magazine, I was struck by the fact that I had to be 21 years old in order to order it. It was very very hard on me to lie to write to the ladder and lie that I was 21 years old and I also made up a fake name, you know, it was my address but a fake name. I don't know what I thought it was doing with that little detail, but so desperate as so many of us were to make contact with other lesbians but also terrified because it was illegal deal be had a its first National Conference.
16:52 In 1960 in San Francisco, you told me once about that story with the San Francisco 6 detail and all of that well.
17:02 That was fun. We finally decided that we got enough membership. And then the ladder which we had not expected to turn into a magazine that turned into a magazine. I want to ask you about an Ferguson.
17:17 Well, I was the first editor of the ladder and I thought I'd God if I put my name in it then it'll be on the newsstands. Now it never got on the new stamps for PC. And I thought maybe Dad and Mom will find it.
17:37 I just finished stupid so I decided I better take a nom-de-plume. So I took my middle name and mother's maiden name and Ferguson. I lasted about four issues and the fact was it when we had the lecture, some people would want to meet and Ferguson and then Dellwood call and hand.
18:01 And I turn around so that was a stupid thing to you. Had to kill her. I killed her.
18:11 The latter was started out as just as what we thought was just the newsletter and and the first issue we did on the mattachine society mimeograph and we
18:26 I think we got about a hundred copies of it and we mailed it to every lesbian that anybody and I knew because that's all we knew if they knew somebody somewhere and I remember hearing from one friend who was in New York or DC at the time when she got her first copy.
18:51 She said every month when it came she
18:56 All these other lesbians in the city descended on her house, cuz she wouldn't let him take it out of her house.
19:04 And I'm but they didn't subscribe and we had we had said in the first issue. If you would like to get this issue continued to get it a send us a dollar a dollar and we'll put you on our list.
19:22 So it did just began to grow after that. So and then I was the editor for a couple of years then Dale was the editor for a couple of years and then we have lots of different editors over the years. Would you talk a little bit about the first. National government conference was in in 1960 by that time? We had a couple of chapters in other places. There was one eye Los Angeles my forgotten where I went someplace else and we want to hear we figured we could have chapters all over the country as long as people more people got to know about it and so on.
20:03 We we rented the Whitcomb Hotel the top floor of it which had a great View and have a not only have place to have a conference but also dining room and we had to start out with a meeting with a lunch and I think in the dining room and Del and I were entering and Son Alex and we saw these two guys that were from the sex detail on the police department. We knew them cuz we talked to them before and these are the same kind of guys would be roasting women in the in the lesbian bars doing and so what they said their problem was that they wanted to make sure that nobody know women were here dressed like men.
20:53 At and we said well look around, you know, and they sort of looked around I need.
21:02 Left what was the issue of women dressing like that? It was a lot. It was illegal to wear the clothes of the opposite sex now and end in those days women did not go downtown in San Francisco without having on heels and gloves and hats and all dressed up and he went downtown. Are you saying that all the lesbians at this conference were dressed up where they were not necessarily Jessup they all had on dresses and stuff some women. We found out had never had a dress on before.
21:40 And and I don't recall that we said anything in the invitations or anything about dressing like women, but somehow I that maybe we did I don't have any how can you talk a little bit about the Council on religion and the homemade later that came later?
22:03 That came after I went I have been doing I've been working for a company that did export-import and I have become there.
22:17 And the women knew I was a lesbian. I don't know if the men ever knew who cared and and they didn't care and
22:30 And I decide I want to quit that and do something else that was more interesting. It wasn't really what I plan to do with my life. So
22:40 So I left and
22:44 It turned out that. Glide church here in San Francisco had at that point had started an organization called them.
22:57 Keep forgetting these those names. I know so will any other way, they start a separate group something or something like that. But this was about bringing more Progressive religious leaders into a dialogue with the lgbtq community a running back who know it was said the whole idea was to bring in The Minister's from other parts of the country and introduce them and get them to know all the different kinds of people that we're here in San Francisco the black slave in Spanish and also the LGBT stand they hired me as an assistant because I was a lesbian.
23:45 Which I thought was hysterical and it was very handy too. And I spent quite a time there and ended up with 10 Mac of the time. We start of class of courts in human sexuality and then moved it from glide into a separate place that still exist The Institute for advanced study of human sexuality, but there was a fundraiser that took place which many of us feel like was really really predate Stonewall. There was a fundraiser that took place with religion of the only Methodist Church I know of it is so open to gays and lesbians and who has anybody
24:45 Penmac Havana one of the ministers that I work for but it would be a good idea. Maybe we might want to get together and talk about starting an organization like the Council on religion and the homosexual and so we did have a meeting and we did decide we were going to start something like that those of us who were at this meeting and which was I think Dylan I were the only lives fancier.
25:19 And we
25:24 We talked we told them.
25:28 We do we need to make money. So we decided what we would do it be to have a dance and we were dumb to knock you will see if we rented a place down town Ted and some of the other ministers went down to the police department told him what we were going to do told him. It was going to be just a dance it was going to be doing anyting they didn't need to get excited about it Baba blah blah blah and so on and so forth and they thought they had convinced them that there wasn't going to be any problems and they didn't need to
26:01 Create new problems, but the police department lied a lot. I think and when they land I got there early and there was nothing we were a little surprised to see that there were several paddy wagons. They're parked around but we went on in and we were taking tickets. That's what part job lights. We were the ticket takers and we had arranged it. So you weren't nobody was paying they all have gotten their tickets ahead of time and so on so forth. We were following every law in the world I think and
26:39 As time went by and people were coming in when we begin to notice that people were looking very strange and they'd come by and give us their tickets and stuff me. They looked sort of startled and sort of scared so on and it turned out
26:55 That the cops had
26:59 Lined up by long that there was a big set of stairs going up to the front door. They line up on both sides. They had flies those spot lights shining on everybody. They were taking movies but films have everybody going in a lot of people saw that and just went on by and
27:19 So this must have really radicalized part of the community that may have been stepping senior pictures taken right right gay people. Don't know they were gay people. But also there were the ministers are already there. The minute just came out and talked to the police and they they were Furious the ministers and their wives. I remember seeing them all lined up on the front. They're telling the police to the way you felt when you learned that that was happening.
27:59 We were really mad the whole thing and they arrested a couple of people.
28:09 And I must say for San Francisco that when we got into court.
28:14 The people that were arrested we're all let go. Let me know it was just they never got any further than than the way with those of us who testified on the side of the case and so on and so forth. I never got any further than that in the judge just called it quits and so on and so forth. What was the trial? What was the issue at the trial where you were testifying? Well, the fact there was a fact that the that's far as I can recall. Anyhow, it was the fact that these were people going to
28:54 Party who are all lesbians and all homosexuals and homosexuals were supposed to get together. So it was actually the issue of assembling a whole bunch of gay people assembling basically and wouldn't have anything to do with that in 1972. You and Dale published a book called lesbian woman the dedication read this to the daughters of bilitis.
29:23 And all the other daughters throughout the world are struggling with their identity as a lesbian woman still story behind that particular title. I don't recall how we decided. I think we wanted to they have a name we wanted.
29:45 We had seen something at about company in New York. I've looked at me had wanted to see something about homosexuality and we wrote to the guy and said there's some books out on homosexuality male homosexual, but nothing on lesbians we would like to do is look on lesbians and so he talked to us and looked at what we said we wanted to do and said that was fine and so on and so we went up there a little spotty, but we ran it up and dinner and spend a month up there.
30:26 Writing the book a month. It took you a month to write and only a month to write that book when we were all going to do it in two weeks. But my boss said why don't you and I said, can I get two weeks off to go to write a book and he said take a month. So we did and and then we got Sally Gearhart to look it over to
30:49 Make sure we hadn't been horrible things in terms of the English language and so on and
30:58 And then we eventually by this time the guy that we were working this with a company had left and there was a woman in his place and she had said just go right ahead with what you're doing. You know. I'm so that was fine and they had given us a check for $1,000. So we were happy and
31:20 So we sent the manuscript back to her and the next thing we knew was we got this letter back from her that said that you didn't do what you said you were going to do it. You didn't do anything. You said you were going to do you have to rewrite the whole thing as terrible as awful you're somebody, and so I know we're going huh? And then she said she saying mind you have to send the check back. So we stuck on you and we went down and asked Don to the Reverend Don Kuhn who was head of Glide Publications if he would probably sit and he jumped all over its cuz he said I would have probably slept on the beginning if you'd only given it to me and and so they did they published it.
32:05 Navigate the thousand dollars back to that other books have neither of all the responses you had to that book that you've had to that book.
32:15 What are the ones that have been most affecting for you would have been the ones most gratifying to you if it is amazing. Mostly how difficult it was for so many women to get the book. I mean they'd see it but they didn't they're like they didn't dare take it out of the library, but they would get it in the library and then they would hide it somewhere so they can go back and finish reading it and funny funny stories of
32:45 How women went and found a book in the drugstore and a paper came out in the paper today? We're just Wyatt gotten so so much.
33:00 How many copies?
33:05 And I remember this one group and they have a bit and they were all lesbians. Apparently. They were back East summer and they didn't know what to do and they sell well, we'll just get a bunch of books. So they got a whole bunch of them together in a pile intercourse with a woman with checking him out. She was taking one at a time and that didn't seem to bother her that they were getting this but call us being woman. So we heard from so many people that it saved their lives and I'm still every now and then
33:38 Somebody else a
33:40 You know your book say my life. I remember being in the Sanford in the Chicago airport and seeing the book there among all the rest of the mainstream books and just crying my eyes out. So moving for me to see what that one book moved a whole community of people within the lgbtq community right into the mainstream that one single book. So you did work you went on you and Dale continue to be involved very actively with the Democratic party with the women's movement for the Civil Rights Movement through the 80s to the 90s, but in 2004
34:23 You step back into the Limelight. You got a phone call from Kate Kendall of the national Center for lesbian rights. What was that call about and what happened next?
34:34 It's something to do with you and Dale stepping out and maybe the mayor of
34:41 San Francisco wanted to have you all all all that but we had not been fans are getting married. We had done all the other stuff. We've been signed up for Partnerships and whatever and whatever and whatever there was but we were with the feminist movement in the feminist movement was and time there is a so because well because I felt it into a hell of an advantage over there why this isn't which I think was true and and and women didn't really have a way to fight back some women anyway.
35:22 And so we haven't even given that a thought. But when Kate Kendall from the national Center for lesbian rights call this it was in 2004.
35:34 And she said how would you like to get married? And we said huh? The mayor wants to arrange for gay marriages and there's a little bit of an argument with his staff. And so and we're not sure but we think that it would be you and Dad should be the first ones to get married and said well, let us know when you find out what is going on. So we talked about it said I guess we could do that in. Oh and what was your reasoning given that you hadn't agreed with the idea in general because is that then if we can start something and then they people could get married then lesbians weren't going to do the same thing men and women did so what they help but there a lot of advantages to being married.
36:23 Your money advantage
36:31 We didn't hear till the next day. And so the next day she said okay with we've arranged it. He's not going to do them. They didn't come visit me or he's he was he'd only been in an office and that he's sick and they had convinced him that that was enough and he didn't need to be the one that did the married so they had the Mableton Abel saying who is this?
36:58 Comptroller I think anyway, so so that's what happened on the morning of
37:09 Valentine's right, but then what happened next was it there was a hole? I don't know what 10 days or something y'all isn't trying to get married hit the hit the front page of the next day's newspaper and that picture of Dylan me.
37:32 Not only that paper right way clear around the world. We got calls from my guy in Melbourne, Australia calls from people in Europe and and all over it and
37:47 But at the end of those 10 days those marriages were nullified I say, yeah, so you Court said no way. So then a few years go by. How did it feel when you learn that your your marriage was nullified?
38:06 We thought it was a dirty trick. I think they didn't really bother us as Miami we had Theoden is much m
38:16 As we could to have our money in both hands and you know, everything was in both names and so on we were pretty organized is that size that was concerned and we were sorry for everybody that wanted to get married and so on but it didn't really bother us too much feel like in 2008 when they called back and said well that we could get our family to come to the wedding so that this which is not been possible at the time before so that we did have Kendra and your daughter. My daughter and and my sister and me and all our friends and so on.
39:13 I could come and watch it.
39:23 Oh, yeah, I was very different. I was much fancier and then the mayor did Gavin Newsom did the the ceremony himself and we had a heck of a Time filling out the form in the first marriage who still couldn't exactly remember her.
39:44 She had a stepfather.
39:47 That's she couldn't remember her real father's name, and I don't know anything.
39:55 It'll never that and so on but this II marries they just used all that.
40:01 That record left over from 04.
40:08 And 2008
40:12 Well, we were both in our sixties or seventies.
40:16 Or maybe the old can get maybe our 80s, but that was three years older than me.
40:27 It was a lovely event. It really was having the kind of reception after the fact that everybody standing around and people who really wanted to say something to the two of you many couples came up to the two of you to thank you. And without it was really a beautiful. It was beautiful during an interview.
40:52 I'm interested to know.
40:55 Was there ever a time in this work that you've done?
41:00 All the different issues that you felt so passionately about was ever a point where you thought this is just too much. I just feel burnt out.
41:08 Well, I don't think so honey. I think that there were so many different things happening. We did we did that.
41:20 Move away from the OB Princeton sin. And that's all we got more involved in the net in the National Organization for Women.
41:30 We Made It Adele insisted on running as a lesbian for the board of directors which was certainly I give Betty for Dan's wishes along with a lot of other people's wishes and she went anyway because the lesbians and now we're for it and so on so we did a lot of other things that time that we were always involved with the with the gay and lesbian no matter what else is there one particular challenge for you
42:06 In your life in the work that you've done as a lesbian feminist activist. What would you say your largest challenge has been
42:20 Well, I think
42:24 I think we haven't reached.
42:27 I'm not sure what the biggest challenges but I think we have reached a lot of we are much closer to the idea that women are totally equal to men and that's how it should be into doesn't matter who they're married to or living with her or whatever and so on that everybody is just as equal as an equal person. I think we're a lot closer to that. Although I don't think we've actually reached it. Totally you can see these days he'll
43:02 But the issue of gay and lesbian Princeton is not a big problem in San Francisco at all, and then lot of other places at all and then lot of states that it is legal to get married and other states and so on and in some other states is totally illegal.
43:23 Spell so there's a long way to go, right?
43:30 I'll give you some type of UF. I have one more question.
43:34 Is there anything you've changed your mind about?
43:39 In the war that you've done issues that you really committed yourself to. Have you changed your mind about anything. Well, I think probably about the issue of marriage. I can't think of anything else is obvious that it's should be illegal for us to get married and have all the same and still we still don't have we get married here in California, but we can't get all the benefits that from the federal government. For instance when Dale died, you know, I don't get her social security and if we were a heterosexual couple I would
44:18 But those are you know.
44:22 So there's still a long way to go and a lot of States including California. Don't allow gay marriage, though.
44:32 Wow, well, I have so many questions and we only have about 5 minutes left. So I will ask them and then if Margate any questions cuz you feel free to jump in and ask as well, but
44:44 Little bit more about when you were 15 and you were coming out and when you saw the letter, where were you how did you find out about the ladder?
44:58 As a young person
45:01 It was so shocking to me that I had slipped through this set of expectations into a new world.
45:11 I had no information about it. All I was 15 years old and you know in a real Brave New World looking around going. Wow, where is this? And who am I and what's this all about? So I went to the library and tried to get information from books and I found this book written by Jess Stearn called the Grapevine and in the back of that book was a description of a daughter's abelita meeting.
45:37 And in that description there was a footnote that said that there was a literary magazine called the ladder that was associated with
45:47 With the daughters of bolitas not I looked for that magazine everywhere. I looked and looked all my gay and lesbian literature all have little brown paper bags. They were all of my bookshelf but they all had brown paper bags around them. I mean 15 years old, but I knew I had to hide this even as I was becoming more whole and where did you live? I lived in a tiny little town called Lompoc, California population 5000, but I came out at a girl's school in Santa Barbara and my girlfriend said she wanted to travel to Berkeley California to spend a weekend. We're going to have a holiday away. She was one year older than me and we went to a book store called Shakespeare & Company and this was a very radical bookstore still is and they had magazines. They had outlawed magazines there and I knew they did and way behind five or six copies of this thing in that thing. I found three copies of a ladder and I spent
46:47 An hour-and-a-half walking around the book Stacks trying to get the nerve up to put those up on the counter and I had seven or eight other books just like you described as one of the other beings and finally thought this is it, you know, it's it's as bad as buying Kotex, you know, it's worse. I don't know. I haven't up whatever it was. I was saying to myself I was so panicked, but I was so desperate to know what was inside those magazines. I screwed my courage up and went up there and did that tonight. You know, I I've heard so many people talk about buying the books going to the concerts walking in the book stores, you know going to the dance events going to the Poetry readings that lesbians have done in the last 30 years 40 years in tiny towns in big cities. And but for me, it was the ladder the ladder was the first time I ever.
47:37 You know, I took a deep breath and said this is who I am. This is why I love I deserve that magazine. I want that magazine close to me. I see my path if I can just get those magazines. I know that's where my people are.
47:51 And when you got that magazine, how did it did it live up to those expectations?
47:58 Oh, yes. I I think there were poems. There were literary pieces. There were news items. I got the sense that there were lesbians in Kansas City and in Chicago and New York that it wasn't just a California reality. I got a sense of our diversity even from just these few magazines. I got the sense that I was a part of a community. You got it after it grew up in 1963. That's right.
48:32 And Phyllis. How does it feel to you to hear?
48:38 To hear Marquis a dozen to hear the other people who say your book saved my life. What is how does that feel? I feel good in that market has also been a singer.
48:54 A lesbian singer and has been concerts all over the all over the country all over the world.
49:02 For gay and lesbian
49:06 I took my I studied you and I studied. Oh and I saw what you did and I saw how you stood in the world and I simply wanted to be like you and I wrote music and so my music just had to be about loving women and about being clear about that being just fine and about all of whatever it was. I need you to sing about and what you and Dale both taught me was that there's no argument to be made. Once you accept yourself. There's no argument to be had one simply steps into the world fully formed. That's what I saw you and Dale doing stepping through the world fully formed not looking for any kind of acceptance not looking for some kind of approval but simply being yourselves and you made a space for me to do the same thing to my music.
50:01 Good thing cuz we couldn't sink for nothing over time. But very low.
50:11 To my Tia
50:13 Years ago
50:17 Eunos Garcia's a fundraiser for in S Garcia at Lone Mountain College in San Francisco in 1975. You and Dale came my manager and lover Booth price had invited you and she had been working with you two around lesbian mother custody issues and also the American Psychiatric association are very first lawyer. That's fine. That's exactly right and she invited the two of you to come and hear this woman who had become her lover at this concert. And I remember the two of you walking down the aisle and me going on. I can't believe that they're here. Just that I am about to meet these two women and I'm you know, it's a joy to come to know you and to be your friend at this time, but I to put flesh on an idea, you know, it's pretty stunning for this young person at the time it was
51:17 And I remember seeing you sitting in the front row in this is the special seats with Adele singing best friend The Unicorn Song and feeling like well, this is the ultimate compliment my two lesbian mothers are singing my song probably added to EU.
51:42 Thank you both so much.