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History Lesson

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Fat Ephiny

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I would like to make a recommendation about not-so famous lesbians.

A couple years ago I read a book about lesbos in old Hollywood, that focused specifically on Marlene and Garbo, etc. This kinda led to some other books dating back further, like one about Oscar Wilde's niece, Dolly. And from this I started reading about Natalie Clifford Barney - an expat lesbo living in Paris in the early 20th century. She was an old money white woman who never had a 'real' job, but she's still really interesting to read about (if you like long biographies). So the book is called "Wild Heart" and it's pretty cool to put things in perspective.

I wish that I had heard more about famous lesbians when I was in school, or coming out, or just younger in general. Even Women's Studies courses didn't cover this stuff and it's pretty empowering. (Hard to think of Victorian Ladies kicking ass, but this one did!)


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I'm reading the biography of Marty Mann right now -- she was a lesbian deeply involved in the early years of AA, and she founded the National Council on Alcoholism. She's a little know woman who was instrumental in changing the face of alcoholic and alcoholism.


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I think I read the book you mentioned, Ephiny. "The Girls: Sappho Goes to Hollywood" or something like that. I loved it, but there are some segments I question the validity of (not about Dietrich and Garbo being lesbian or bi, but some of the more conspiritorial stuff about spies and the USSR...). Marlene Dietrich has been a bit of a role model for me over the years in certain regards.

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