The Audacity of a Kiss: Love, Art, and Liberation

The Audacity of a Kiss: Love, Art, and Liberation

by Leslie Cohen
The Audacity of a Kiss: Love, Art, and Liberation

The Audacity of a Kiss: Love, Art, and Liberation

by Leslie Cohen


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Shortlisted for Lesbian Memoir/Biography Lammy Award

Rendered in bronze, covered in white lacquer, two women sit together on a park bench in Greenwich Village. One of the women touches the thigh of her partner as they gaze into each other’s eyes. The two women are part of George Segal’s iconic sculpture “Gay Liberation,” but these powerful symbols were modeled on real people: Leslie Cohen and her partner (now wife) Beth Suskin. 
In this evocative memoir, Cohen tells the story of a love that has lasted for over fifty years. Transporting the reader to the pivotal time when brave gay women and men carved out spaces where they could live and love freely, she recounts both her personal struggles and the accomplishments she achieved as part of New York’s gay and feminist communities. Foremost among these was her 1976 cofounding of the groundbreaking women’s nightclub Sahara, which played host to such luminaries as Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Pat Benatar, Ntozake Shange, Rita Mae Brown, Adrienne Rich, Patti Smith, Bella Abzug, and Jane Fonda. The Audacity of a Kiss is a moving and inspiring tale of how love, art, and solidarity can overcome oppression.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781978825116
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 09/17/2021
Pages: 265
Sales rank: 843,023
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 16 - 18 Years

About the Author

LESLIE COHEN has been a museum curator, a nightclub owner and promoter, a limousine driver, and a lawyer, as well as a writer whose work has appeared in such publications as Curve and The New York Times Style Magazine. Now retired, she and her wife Beth live in Miami, Florida with their cat, Birdie.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Author's Note xi

Prologue xiii

Part I Youth

1 Secrets and Dreams 3

2 Confetti on New Year's Eve 20

3 Touching God 37

4 Awakening 47

5 Crawling out of Darkness 59

6 Acceptance 76

Part II Freedom Calling

7 Les Femmes 91

8 Water in the Desert 106

9 Jagged, Dirty Thoughts 115

10 An Antidote to Boredom 129

11 Permission 142

12 Virginia Slims 162

Part III A Posse of Outsiders

13 Lone Riders 171

14 Style Gets Used Up 184

15 Bashert: Fate, Meant to Be 196

16 After the Desert 204

Postscript 219

Gay Liberation Timeline 223

Acknowledgments 225

Notes 229

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