For the last seven years, Jane Traies has been recording and re-telling the life stories of the oldest generations of lesbians in the UK (some of whom feature in her book The Lives of Older Lesbians: Sexuality, Identity and the Life Course). Last year Jane and some of her interviewees appeared in Esme Waldron’s short film Now You See Me. Her next project will be a collection of lesbian life-stories. Jane says:
“50 years on from 1967, as the story of half a century of progress and liberation begins to ‘set’ into a generally-accepted historical narrative, it is important not to let LGBTQ history become a single, unvaried story, as if that journey was the same for all of us. It wasn’t. Listening to the memories of lesbians born before 1950 has reminded me of some of the ways in which, in the second half of the 20th century, the lives of lesbian and bisexual women differed from those of gay men. No, we were never illegal – but we were second-class citizens nonetheless!
In 1967, lesbians still faced the ‘double whammy’ of homophobia and deeply embedded sexism. Equal rights for women were still in the future. Their experiences make a clear case for a more complicated view of LGBTQ history, one that takes into account not just LGBTQ people’s collective difference from the mainstream, but also the great variety of experience within the LGBTQ community.”
Jane with be presenting at:
OUTing the Past: Coventry on Saturday 4th February 2017
OUTing the Past: York on Saturday 11th February 2017
OUTing the Past: Shrewsbury on Saturday 18th February 2017 &
OUTing the Past: Manchester on Sunday 26th February 2017