Nearly fifteen years before the Stonewall Rebellion and the birth of gay liberation came the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB). Like its predominantly gay male counterparts, the Mattachine Society and ONE, Inc., DOB was launched in response to the oppressive antihomosexual climate of the McCarthy era, when lesbian and gay people were arrested, fired from jobs, and had their children taken away simply on the basis of their sexual orientation. It was against this political backdrop that in 1955 a circle of San Francisco women formed a private club where lesbians could meet other lesbians in a safe, affirming setting. A year later, they produced The Ladder, the first ongoing monthly magazine for lesbians. Over the next two decades, what began as a small social group evolved into a national women's organization that counted more than a dozen chapters.
In Different Daughters, Marcia Gallo draws on interviews with former members of DOB, many of whom have never spoken on record before, as well as extensive research in both archival and personal collections. She chronicles how through its leaders, magazine, and international network of activists, the Daughters played a crucial role in creating lesbian identity, visibility, and political strategies in Cold War America-–and in the process laid the foundation for today's lesbian and feminist movements.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have a new book for College Girl. She had popped in over the weekend and managed to snatch it up real quick. The usual for her of course. But I do wish to thank Seal Press for sending me "Different Daughters-Not Your Average Freedom Fighters" This is a history of the lesbian rights movement in San Francisco, California. It was a organization called the Daughters of Bilitis or DOB. And was from the 1950's to the 1970's. Now College Girl was excited to be able to read this history in the equal rights movement. Having finished off on the Harvey Milk history this last summer, she has been sorta swimming around looking for her next bit of history to learn. In reading over "Different Daughters" I was interested in learning of these strong women who fought so hard for their equal rights. I found that his started with only eight members. Wow such a small group to make such a large impact. The idea was to create a place they could be safe at. And as us ladies do they would meet monthly to socialize, share meals and talk over the issues within their community. They eventually became a national organization. A unique feature of this book is the original works from The Ladder, a newsletter that they had created. This was a very motivating book and quite informative. I am so happy that I have it to share with my College Girl.