LGBTQ History Month Starts Now: An Epic Autostraddle Reading List

It’s LGBT History Month, a month-long annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, a topic which is near and dear to our hearts because it is definitely NOT near OR dear to the hearts of anybody in charge of public education. (Except in California, kinda.) Also, history is really fun and you have to know where you came from to know where you’re going.

We’ll have a some more herstory content than we usually do this month, including a Vintage Vapid Fluff series I am very excited about. But to kick off I wanted to put together a list of some of the work we’ve already done, and um, wow! We’ve published A LOT of herstorical stuff around here, folks.

So: here’s a place to start. Dig in!

Our Top Ten Most Popular Herstory Posts Of All Time

Epic Gallery: 150 Years Of Lesbians And Other Lady-Loving-Ladies

16 Lesbian Power Couples From History Who Got Shit Done, Together

15 Ways To Spot A Lesbian According To Some Really Old Medical Journals

100+ LGBTQ Black Women You Should Know: The Epic Black History Month Megapost

12 Women They Didn’t Tell You Were Queer In History Class

15 Lesbian Couples Time Forgot

15 Ladies Who Were Writing Sexy Lesbian Love Letters Before You Got Born

Top 10 Most Sexually Prolific Lesbians and Bisexuals Of Old Hollywood

I Saw The Sign: LGBT Symbols Then And Now

How Dare They Do This Again: Stonewall Veteran Miss Major on the “Stonewall” Movie

Lists of Important LGBTQ Women & Non-Binary People

38 Lesbian and Bisexual Women From History Who Did That Thing First, by Riese Bernard

What do the first Chinese-American filmmaker, the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and the first woman to wear man-tailored shorts at Wimbledon all have in common? They had romantic feelings about other women, just like you!

“Hollywood Lesbians”: This 1994 Interview Book Valiantly Attempted To Out Over 31 Legendary Ladies, by Riese

“Numerous Hollywood actresses — Garbo, Gish, Dietrich, Jean Arthur, um, Kay Francis, Stanwyck, Bankhead, Del Rio, Janet Gaynor, etc., etc., — have enjoyed lesbian or bi relationships. Have you ever…?”

10 Trans Women Pioneers They Definitely Didn’t Tell You About In History Class, by Mey Rude

While it’s important to acknowledge famous names like Christine Jorgensen and Lili Elbe, it’s also important to talk about other trans women who might be less well-known, but have had their own big impact on trans history.

The Lesbian or Bisexual Heiress: 22 Women Who Had It Made, In Theory, by Riese

From Winnaretta Singer to Nats Getty, the evolution of the lesbian heiress.

41 Super-Hot Butches and Tomboys of the Early 20th Century, by Riese

Just a little vintage eye candy for you.

Rebel Girls: These 6 Queer and Trans Trailblazers Made Political History, by Carmen Rios

These six women crashed the glass ceiling and are queer as f*ck.

18 Influential Lesbian & Bisexual Jewish Women To Remember Today, by Riese

Some very cool ladies to remember in all that we do

Top 10 Lesbian, Queer or Bisexual Celebrities We Remember Being Out Back Then, by Riese

On our recent survey of Autostraddle readers over 29 we asked “who was the first lesbian or bisexual celebrity/public figure you remember being aware of?” These are the scientific results of that particular investigation.

The Radtastic Black Lesbians Who Changed LGBT History and Our Lives, by Helen McDonald

Understanding and respecting black history means examining these Black lesbians’ political and community work.

9 Lesbian and Trans Women Activists In the Spotlight Of “When We Rise,” by Riese

A look at the historical events chronicled in “When We Rise” and background on some of the incredible women portrayed in this historical miniseries, debuting tomorrow on ABC.

Lesbian Couples:

18 Lesbian Power Couples From History Who Made Really Great Art For You, by Riese

These are the ladies who made kickass sculptures, movies, music, children’s books, regular grown-up-books and, of course, wrote fabulous, sick, neurotic, tortured love poems to one another.

10 Very Gay Excerpts from Vita and Virginia’s Love Letters, by Alice Lesparance

Here are some of the gayest things they wrote to one another.

The Ladies Of Llangollen: Runaway Romantics In 18th Century Ireland, by Una

The story of two women who escaped their homes in the middle of the night, lived in a castle and loved each other for over 50 years.

24 Very Gay Excerpts from Eleanor Roosevelt’s Love Letters with Lorena Hickok, by Kayla Upadhyaya

“Most clearly I remember your eyes with a kind of teasing smile in them, and the feeling of that soft spot just northeast of the corner of your mouth against my lips.”

Rebel Girls: Meet (Some Of) the Gal Pals of the Suffrage Movement, by Carmen Rios

We’ve broadly written off intense and deep relationships between these fearless suffrage leaders as “friendships” for years, but it’s worth considering what we’re erasing when we do.

12 (More) Ladies Who Were Writing Sexy Lesbian Love Letters Before You Got Born, by Carolyn Yates

“I slept in your place and on your pillow — it was most as good as the cigarette you lit and gave me all gooey — not quite, for we had you and the sweet taste too — I am foolish about you I admit.”

Queer Music, Television & Movie History:

10 First-Ever Lesbian Characters On American TV: Killers, Tramps, Thieves and Therapists, by Riese

From lesbian gangs killing old ladies in a nursing home to actresses with Mommy issues to inspirational schoolteachers, these are ten of the first-ever lesbian characters on American primetime television, 1961-1977.

Black Queer Music History In Four Parts, by Alaina: “Black queer artists have been killing the game forever.”

105 Trans Women On American TV: A History and Analysis, by Riese

Autostraddle walks you through the entire history of trans female characters on American television from 1965-2015.

Grrrls! Grrrls! Grrrls!: What I Learned From Riot, by Phoenix Casino

Riot showed us what revolution could look like. We had a new concept of what power could be. We could find it within ourselves and in each other — and we didn’t have to ask.

Lesbian Kisses On American TV: The Definitive History Of Everybody Freaking Out Over Nothing, by Riese

We’ve come so far since same-sex kisses on television only happened once in a show’s entire run, rarely involved lesbian or bisexual characters and generally were obscured by somebody’s hair!

“Mädchen in Uniform”: Girl-on-Girl Culture Circa 1931, by Becky Fonticoba

It’s queer film history time! Girls In Uniform was made by lesbians in 1930s Germany. It’s about an all girls Prussian boarding school.

When After School Specials Made Gay People Seem Not-So-Special, by Riese

Curated video from 80’s and 90’s afterschool specials in which being gay was a lot like being a tornado or a flesh-eating virus.

Lesbian Publishing History

Our Legacy: Six Lesbian Magazines From The Then Before Now, by Riese

Looking back at Vice Versa, The Ladder, The Furies, DYKE Magazine, Azalea and HOT WIRE.

The Complete History of Transgender Characters in American Comic Books, by Mey Rude

The most comprehensive and expansive look at trans representation in American comics you’re likely to find.

Before “The L Word,” There Was Lesbian Pulp Fiction, by Brittani Nichols

Unfortunate representation of queer communities may piss us off but it doesn’t mean it won’t help in some wacked out way. Just look at lesbian pulp fiction novels.

38 Lesbian Magazines That Burned Brightly, Died Hard, Left A Mark, by Riese

Dyke, Girljock, On Our Backs, OurChart, The Lesbian Tide, Better Homes and Dykes — the fascinating history that got us all her.

The True Price of Salt: On the Book that Became “Carol”, by Gabrielle Bellot

“There are many American readers for whom The Price of Salt would still be a revolutionary, shocking, immoral novel, the kinds of readers who have never, to their knowledge, met a lesbian or bisexual or pansexual woman before and who imagine us all as monstrous caricatures.”

100 Awesome Magazine Covers Starring Lesbians, by Riese

This gallery is seriously epic, and will appeal to anyone who likes lesbians and/or time travel.

25 Pictures Of The Lesbian Internet, 1997-2007, by Riese

Once upon a time in a land far far away, lesbians found the internet and covered it with rainbows!

See The Fascinating Evolution of Cover Art From 12 Legendary Queer Books, by Riese

Looking back at a century of cover designs from all over the world for beloved queer books like Tipping the Velvet, Orlando, The Color Purple, Annie on my Mind, Rubyfruit Jungle and more.

15 Lesbian Pulp Fiction Novels You Can Judge by the Covers, by Molly Priddy

“A delicate theme, treated honestly and candidly.”

 26 Triumphantly ’90s Lesbian Book Covers, by Riese

What a colorful decade for us all!

Portraits of Lesbian Writers, 1987-1989, by Riese

Robert Giard took 500 photographs of queer writers in the 80’s and 90’s. They’re pretty f*cking awesome.

Wonder Woman’s 10 Gayest Comic Book Moments, by Heather Hogan

“In the Golden Age, Wonder Woman was constantly telling women not to marry men or be beholden to them in any way.”

Lost Lesbian Spaces

The State of the Lesbian Bar: San Francisco Toasts The Lex and The End Of An Era, by Robin Yong

“Iconic lesbian bar The Lexington Club is closing. Let’s pour one out for it and examine the State of the Lesbian Bar in these sad times.”

12 Lesbian Resorts You Could Visit This Summer If You Have A Time Machine, by Riese

Hot women-only hotels, resorts and cabins to check out in Ohio, New Jersey, Florida, Oregon, Palm Springs, Delaware, Key West and Montana — just be sure to check in before 1998.

Lesbian Bar Names of the Past, Ranked, by Erin Sullivan

RIP sweet girls.

The State of the Lesbian Bar: Portland Sees Popups Replace the E Room, by Alley Hector

A rich LGBT watering hole history, the last lesbian bar’s betrayal, and thoughts on the current landscape of queer women’s parties and spaces — a dramatic tale of Portland, Oregon bar culture.

State of the Lesbian Bar: Were DC’s Legendary Lesbian Bars Just a Phase?, by Carmen Rios

“I practically grew up in that bar. I’ve dedicated so much of my life and time to that place.”

Sisters Nightclub Closes, Leaves A Hole in Philly’s Lesbian Nightlife and Our Hearts, by Laura Mandanas

It was 2008, I thought I might be gay, and I had gone to the only lesbian bar in Philadelphia in fearful hope that someone else might be able to figure things out for me. Now that bar is closing.

10 Great Places To Meet Lesbians If You Have a Time Machine, by Riese

If you’re really sick of the lesbian scene where you live, why not build a time machine and go back to when everyone hated us? Here are some excellent places to meet ladies from history.

Last Call: Stories from New Orleans’ Disappearing Dyke Bar Scene, by Rachel Lee

A new podcast dives deep into New Orleans’ dyke bars of the 1970s and ’80s. Here are a few of the funny, sweet and powerful stories from Last Call.

Booths for Ladies: An Unauthorized History of the Lexington Club, by Ivy Schlegel

The idea of this building housing regular, straight people drinking regular, straight drinks was peculiar to me. So I set off into various archives to learn more, uncovering a total of at least eight proprietors of a tavern at the corner of 19th and Lexington that dates back to 1910. To present my findings, I shall now show you 10 reasons that the building is completely 1000% well-suited to be San Francisco’s most loved dyke bar.

15 Awesomely Named Yet Totally Defunct Lesbian Bars Of America, by Riese

Whatever happened to the way we used to be, Meow Mix and Mother’s Brew, Push and Wetherbee’s?

25 Queer Parties You Should Go To If You Have A Time Machine, by Riese

Vintage event posters, flyers and ads from 1914 – 1995.

Historical Movements, Moments, Cultures and Ideas

The Lesbian Avengers – Time to Seize the Power & Be the Bomb You Throw!, by Vikki Reich

“In my years with the Minneapolis Lesbian Avengers, we defaced anti-choice billboards, participated in visibility actions at schools, constructed a giant paper machè bomb piñata filled with lube and dental dams, helped plan the first of many Dyke Marches, designed and built a boat out of milk cartons for the Aquatennial Milk Carton Boat Race (dubbed The “Lez Boat” and pronounced with a hard “z” – no mystery there) and ate fire on countless occasions.”

Rebel Girls: This Is What A Lavender Menace Looks Like, by Carmen Rios

By the time straight women of the second wave had caught up to the times, queer women had already f*cked up their movement — and built one all their own.

“United in Anger” Shares History of ACT UP Through Original Footage, by Gabby Rivera

“The birth and life of the AIDS activist movement from the perspective of the people in the trenches.”

“Lavender Scare” Exposes The US Government’s Cold War Era Gay Witch Hunt, by Carolyn Yates

Maybe you’ve heard about the McCarthy-era Red Scare. But how about The Lavender Scare, “a vicious and vehement purge of homosexuals which lasted longer and ruined many more lives”?

Queer Histories Matter: How Ancient History Played a Starring Role in the Marriage Equality Case, by Emily

“Queer histories matter not only for our own sense of identity and pride, but because they impact our legal realities, too.”

Fill In Your Butch History With This Coloring Book, by Carolyn Yates

Why learn about butch lesbian herstory when you can learn about butch lesbian herstory by way of babes?

Queer Harlem: From LGBT Icons of the Harlem Renaissance to Invisible Me, by Cairo Amani

Even when someone doesn’t know the range of the artistic revolution that was the Harlem Renaissance, they know the name. They know writers like Claude Mckay or singers like Ethel Waters but they may not know them as Queer Black Americans. Why is this?

20 Years Ago Today in Gay History: The AB101 Veto Riots Would’ve Blown Your Mind, by Rachel Kincaid

Twenty years ago today, the queers of San Francisco set fires, broke windows and got arrested, and they did it for you.

Rebel Girls: On Building a Better Separatism, by Carmen Rios

There is a power in building communities on our own terms as marginalized people. There is a freedom in escaping, even for a moment, the weight of oppression and the burden of society’s expectations for who we should be. And there is a revolution to be had in building better, more inclusive spaces for marginalized folks.

Rebel Girls: The Illustrated (And Quite Condensed) History of Women’s Studies, by Carmen Rios

Women’s studies. What the f*ck is that? And how the f*ck did it get that way? Let’s find out!

Six Ways that 1950s Butches and Femmes F*cked with Society, Were Badass, by Laura

“Butches & Femmes paved the way for tons of fantastic lesbians, radical queers, revolutionary feminists, and really awful (and awesome) hairstyles that came after them.”

We’ve Always Been Here: Honoring Bisexual History, Imagining Bisexual Futures, by Audrey White

Historical texts often subsume bisexual activists into the Gay movement or ignore their contributions altogether. Recognizing the historical work of bisexual activists and movements is key to our continued struggle and survival, bi leaders say.

Swords, Satan and Sexuality: Queer Nuns of the Past, by Siobhan

“Somehow convincing the convent that she genuinely wanted to take holy orders Julie entered the nunnery with her girlfriend. Around a month in an elder nun died of natural causes and the two of them saw their chance; putting the dead nun in the girlfriend’s bed they set the nunnery on fire and ran off into the night.”

A Muslim RuPaul At The Dawn Of Islam: Tuwais and the Mukhannathun, by Maryam

“The mukhannathun are an inspiration for queer Mulims, and queer non-Muslims alike. They’ve certainly inspired me.”

Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts: Talking to Ohio’s Queer Ghost Hunters About LGBT Hauntings and History, by Rachel Kincaid

The all-LGBT ghost hunting team of Ohio tells us about their real-life ghost experiences, fighting heteronormativity in the afterlife, and what it’s like to talk to LGBT history with dowsing rods.

Gay Liberation Front Manifesto: Still Revolutionary 30 Years Later, by Araguaney Da Silva

Thirty years later the “Gay Liberation Front Manifesto” goals remain revolutionary. The same can be said about “Sexo y Revolución.”

Kickass Women Who Made History

Jeanne Córdova Dies At 67: Goodbye to the Activist and Writer Who Lead The Way We’re Going, by Riese

“We built a movement by telling each other our lives and thoughts about the way life should be. We cut against the grain and re-thought almost everything.”

We Need to Talk About Angela Calomiris, Lesbian FBI Informant, by Maree Hamilton

“It was one of those rare moments in American history when there was something worse than being a lesbian, and that was being a Communist.”

Gloria Casarez, Organizer, Activist and Total Badass, Dies at 42, by Maddie Taterka

“The work she did at City Hall enabled us to position Philadelphia as the greatest LGBT city in the country.”

Judith Butler 101: One Is Not Born a Queer Theorist, One Becomes One, by Julia

Did you wake up today feeling a little too sure that you understood the relationship between sex and gender? No fear, Autostraddle is here! Guest writer Julia is here to learn you all about Judith Butler, and to make you feel smarter than you have all day.

Idol Worship: Mabel Hampton Is Gay History, by Carmen Rios

Mabel Hampton preserved our story when it was first starting. Now I wanna tell hers to you.

Jewelle Gomez, Lesbian Trailblazer: The Autostraddle Interview, by Sarah Fonseca

“There was a great heyday in the 80’s in which I felt like you could publish anything, you could say anything – any of the initials, L, G, B, or T.”

“This Shit Has Got to Change”: The Autostraddle Interview with Black Lesbian Feminist Legend Barbara Smith, by Hannah Hodson

This past Saturday, just a few hours before the Millions March in NYC, I sat down with Barbara Smith, a Black lesbian feminist legend.

Idol Worship: Brenda Howard, Bisexual Curmudgeon and Mother of Pride, by Carmen Rios

“She could be difficult, she could be stubborn, she could be outrageous and she always stood up and spoke out for bisexual people and challenged biphobia even in the most hostile environments. Blessed Be.”

The Unaccountable Life of Gender-Bending Rebel Charlie Brown, by Jemima

“This little book… is to my mind the progenitor of all funny queer blogs written in the first-person. Yes, this is the story of the first queer blogger.”

Rebel Girls: Bessie Smith Was a Queer Pioneer, and We’re Finally Gonna Get to Talk About It, by Carmen Rios

When HBO’s Bessie premieres May 16 to bring the Empress of Jazz back to life, nobody will be skirting the issue of Bessie Smith’s bisexuality.

Sappho Was a Right-On Woman, by Marisa Meltzer

“I kinda only care about lesbian poets.”

Idol Worship: Angela Davis Is My Ultimate Feminist Icon , by Carmen Rios

Angela Davis will never be silenced, and her speaking out means that the rest of us are safely carried on the backs of giants when we do so ourselves.

Idol Worship: Ten(ish) Questions with Eileen Myles, by Carmen Rios

“Recently I wrote a poem on the notebook on my iPhone on the subway platform. I like to move around.”

“Regarding Susan Sontag”: A Style Guide for the Young, Queer, and Whipsmart, by Sarah Fonseca

Nancy Kates’ new documentary, now airing on HBO, is a portrait of the queer woman who made knowledge sexy.

Ann Bannon, Queen of Lesbian Pulp Fiction: The Autostraddle Interview, by Carolyn Yates

“And so while I would have loved to have done what Laura did, to go to New York and try to find myself, I did the more conventional thing, and I think I was not alone in that.”

Idol Worship: Frida Kahlo, Brutal and Vulnerable, by Carmen Rios

They never told us in school that Kahlo was bisexual and I feel conned by that, feel robbed by it. I’m proud of it.

Herstory Spotlight: Vita Sackville-West Wrote Words, Wooed Women, Wanted Woolf, by Sawyer

On the lady who wrote this to Virginia Woolf – “You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don’t love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defences. And I don’t really resent it.”

Artemis Is the Queer Girl Goddess BFF of Your Dreams, by Siobhan

The mythology has her securing a promise of perpetual “virginity” from her father and immediately skipping off into the mountain forests with a group of like-minded nymphs. Together she and her women hiked, swam, lived off the land and viciously murdered any man who walked in on them naked.

The Very Lesbian Life of Miss Anne Lister, by Laura L

“I give you a selection of the extremely gay life of Miss Anne Lister, a contemporary of Jane Austen and a precursor to Shane McCutcheon.”

All The Things They Said:

Investigations into how lesbian and bisexual women were talked about in mainstream discourse.

10 Hilarious And Historical Sex Scenes From Lesbian Pulp Fiction, by Carolyn Yates

“Wildly, the girls locked to each other. Their bodies were gleaming now with sweat. Lip to lip, breast to breast, thigh to slippery thigh, they heaved and gyrated, ecstasy rising like a lava wave.”

Listling Without Commentary: Things Women Said About Lesbianism In The 1976 Hite Report on Female Sexuality, by Riese

“Sex with a woman for me has involved pressing mound of Venus against mound of Venus on each other’s leg.”

10 Theories About How Lesbians Have Sex From Straight People In History, by Carolyn Yates

“Probably the devil is involved”

Rebel Girls: 5 Bad Theories on Gender and Sex From Way Back When That Still Impact us Today, by Carmen Rios

Not everything science has given us has made our lives better.

15 Ways To Spot A Lesbian According To Some Really Old Medical Journals, by Riese

“Has a firmness to her walk, a long step, and a rather heavy timbre to her voice.”

14 Lesbian Sexual Fantasies Submitted By Anonymous Women To 1973’s “My Secret Garden”, by Carolyn Yates

“I had slight lesbian tendencies before going into the convent…”

14 Locations Conducive To Lesbianism According To 1954’s “Female Homosexuality,”by Riese

“The fact that both male and female homosexuals congregate on one island no doubt gives them a sense of what might be called herd-security, much like sheep gathering together under a tree during a storm.”

6 Special Ideas About What Lesbian Sex Is, 1900-1953, by Riese

“From midday until 2 pm, during the hours of greatest heat, when all are in this condition and the mistress falls asleep on the sofa… all the girls, without one exception, masturbate themselves.”

More Than Words: 11 “Queer” Questions From 70 Years Of Gallup Polls, by Cara Giaimo

What do other people think of us?! The country wants to know.

Gal Pals In History: 8 Ways To Avoid Using The Words “Lesbian” or “Bisexual”, by Carolyn Yates

“God-insulting grannies.”

21 Indications That This 1892 Teenage Murderess Was Insane, and By “Insane” I Mean “Gay”, by Riese

“She was regarded as mentally wrong by young men.”

18 Keen Insights On Lesbian Sexual Activity From 1966’s “The Lesbian Handbook”, by Riese

“It is true that sapphism is also to be met with in quite young girls, but only if they live in houses of prostitution or in girls’ colleges.”

16 “Hard-Core Facts” About Lesbians From 1963’s “A New Look At The Lesbian”, by Riese

“Conversations among their own group consist of sexual gossip, certainly in excess of what we might have designated as “good taste.”

Masters of Homosex: 9 Vintage Books That Lied About Lesbians, by Riese

Are you the college girl, the office girl, the career gal, the prostitute, the matron, the man-hater, the bohemian, the frigid wife, the dull dyke or the unsuccessful heterosexual?

10 Times These Fake Sociologists Marveled That Lesbian Femmes Exist, by Riese

“These women are called femmes, and their appearance is often deceiving. They dress in clothing associated with wholly feminine women, and an uninitatied person would never suspect them of sexual deviation.”

How Herstory Gets Made

Queering The Library: Collecting Downtown, Riot Grrrl, Feminism & You, by Vanessa Friedman

Vanessa chats with Marvin J. Taylor about Kathleen Hanna, Kathy Acker, lesbian comics, secret lesbians of early Hollywood and other fascinating secrets uncovered at Fales.

In 1973, Pamela Learned That Posing in Drag With A Topless Woman Is Forever, by Gabrielle Korn

“During Gay Pride Week, Pamela’s father came to the Village to take her out to dinner… and that’s when Pamela saw it: plastered literally all over the place, on every wall and phone booth, was her own face staring back at her.”

Trials and Titillation in Toronto: A Virtual Tour of the Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives, by Chandra

“Happily, in the rainbow-tinted future we are surely headed for, where queer history is included in high school curriculum as a matter of routine, textbook editors will have somewhere to turn for their chapter content: The Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives.”

The Lesbian Herstory Archives: A Constant Affirmation That You Exist, by Vanessa

“I wish that people thought of it as a place to come on a Saturday afternoon, because it is important and it’s special. It’s not just about the things. It’s about having this home.”

Browse Feminist Archives Online, Observe History With Your Eyeballs, by Carmen Rios

Collegiate libraries, non-profit organizations, and plucky websites alike have been collecting and archiving the history of the women’s rights movement for decades — and that means average people like you and me can sometimes spend hours fawning over what they’ve gotten their grubby little hands.

The Queer Zine Archive Project: If You Don’t Know, Now You Know, by Rachel Kincaid

Queer zines on the internet!

Queering The Library: Collecting Downtown, Riot Grrrl, Feminism & You, by Vanessa Friedman

Vanessa chats with Marvin J. Taylor about Kathleen Hanna, Kathy Acker, lesbian comics, secret lesbians of early Hollywood and other fascinating secrets uncovered at Fales.

Queer Language

More Than Words: Bi Bi Bi, by Cara Giaimo

“When identity terms get thrown in the pressure cooker.”

More Than Words: Drag It Out Of Me, by Cara Giaimo

“We’re born naked and the rest is drag”

20 Lesbian Slang Terms You’ve Never Heard Before, by Riese

You’ll never hold a bowling ball the same way again.

Roundtable: The Lesbian Toaster, by Erin Sullivan

Everyone on staff tells me WITHOUT LOOKING where they think the lesbian toaster thing came from.

More Than Words: Dyke Pt. 1 — Baby Dykes, by Cara Giaimo

Was the world’s first dyke a snappy dresser, a 1st-century warrior queen, or a tiny antelope?

More Than Words: Dyke Pt. 2 — Dyke Dynasty, by Cara Giaimo

In which some Dykes on Bikes take on the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Start your engines.

More Than Words: Sisterhood of the Sapphic Pants, by Cara Giaimo

“Yeah, Sappho was a right-on woman, but that’s pretty much all anyone really knows about her. Today we’re going all the way back to the birth of the word ‘sapphic.’

More Than Words: Queer, Part 1 (The Early Years), by Cara Giaimo

“Queer” set itself up as “not straight” centuries before “straight” had even thought about being a sexual identity.”

More Than Words: Queer, Part 2 (Growing Pains), by Cara Giaimo

From Queer Nation to queer theory to alphabet soup and umbrellas and the always-dicey process of reclamation.

More Than Words: Tomboys R Us, by Cara Giaimo

“Is all your delite and joy in whiskying and romping abroad like a Tom boy?” This post is for you.

More Than Words: Coming Out Party, by Cara Giaimo

Skeletons and debutantes.

More Than Words: Pride Rock(s), by Cara Giaimo

Why are our parades always in the summer? Because Pride goeth before a fall! Thank you, thank you.

More Than Words: Keeping It Pronouns (Pt. 1), by Cara Giaimo

“Runes, ships, rebellious quakers, and the world’s first female grammarian.”

More Than Words: Pronouns Pt. 2 — How’d Gender Get In Here?, by Cara Giaimo

“I’d skipped a really basic question: why do some languages, including English, have gender woven into them in the first place?”

More Than Words: Pronouns Pt. 3 – They Said/Ze Said, by Cara Giaimo

The grammatical is political.

More Than Words: Gay Pt. 1 — We’re Going Gay, by Cara Giaimo

Happiness, Latin vaginas, northern winds, and flaming quarrels. And we’re just getting started.

More Than Words: Gay Pt. 2 — Gay Cats, by Cara Giaimo

Come on, you knew there’d be cats involved.

More Than Words: So Androgynous, by Cara Giaimo

The word that gives “you do you” a whole new meaning.

21 More Lesbian Slang Terms You’ve Probably Never Heard Before, by Riese

Are you a running shoe lesbian who likes to make vulva hands? There’s only one way to find out.

Just For Fun:

12 Retrobad/AWESOME Moments In Lesbian Blazer-Wearing History, by Riese

Lesbians have always mastered the blazer, but this also means that we were especially vulnerable to the late ’80s-’90s terrible/AWESOME Blazer Situation. You know the situation I’m talking about.

22 Things Lesbians Said About The Internet In 1994, by Riese

“I know more about dyke cultures by being net-connected. It expands my world. We are definitely trail-blazing and cutting edge.”

Rebel Girls: It’s Time For Queer Herstory Trivia Night!, by Carmen Rios

Time for a pop quiz! JK, it’s more like trivia night.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3199 articles for us.


  1. To whoever wrote that article on “Mädchen in Uniform” in 2012:
    Here’s the full 1958 movie with English subtitles on YT:

    P.S.:The rumors about Romy Schneider’s and Lilli Palmer’s affair stem from the interview with the director which is featured as a bonus on the DVD.

    Off to the other articles on this list.
    Thanks for the compilation! I haven’t stumbled across the majority of these, yet!

  2. I hope when you were compiling this list that you were bowled over by the incredible body of work that’s been created on this site over the years!

  3. Holy shit this is a lot! <3

    I am envisioning my poor teen child, whom I will force to learn all the lesbian history I didn't know when I was a teen. Will they grow up to hate me and become a conservative republican as rebellion? Who can say?

    • Nah, conservative republican gossip is not nearly as interesting as lesbian history gossip, I think they’ll stay true to their (queer) school

  4. Wow, this is all so impressive! I will forever be tempted to use the footage of Madonna and Sandra Bernhard taking over Letterman in their matching outfits for any educational purpose or presentation.

  5. Thank you so very much for sharing this reading list! Reading and enjoying something related to a different exciting lifestyle is my favorite! I have been enjoying my online browsing time for example this website helps people for communicating with the rest of the world. They have some opportunities for having joys, depressing themselves and making an event with singing or doing something exciting with the wonderful girls across the world.

  6. Perhaps, thanks to these people, modern society is becoming more and more loyal to the LGBT community. And the number of sites/mobile apps aimed at popularizing this community is only growing every year. For example, gives everyone the opportunity to broadcast online and talk about everything you want, including LGBT. In general, I hope that society will actively develop and we will all be more tolerant.

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