Category: uk

Tumblr: @avamadueno Follow me and I’ll follow …

Tumblr: @avamadueno
Follow me and I’ll follow back 🙂

DECEMBER 29: Elsa Gidlow (1898-1986)

One of the most
famous lesbian poets of all time, Elsa Gidlow, was born on this day in 1898.
Her 1923 collection titled A Grey Thread was the first instance of openly
lesbian love poetry to be published in North America.

image

Elsa Gidlow photographed in 1925 at age 27 (x).

Elsa Gidlow
was born on December 29, 1898 in Hull, Yorkshire, England. When she was only
6-years-old, the Gidlow family emigrated to Canada and settled down in Tétreaultville,
Quebec. When she was 15, they would move once again to Montreal. Elsa’s very
first contact with the literary world occurred when a friend of her father’s
hired her to work as an assistant editor to his magazine Factory Facts.

In 1917, she began seeking out fellow gay and lesbian writers to collaborate with. Along
with the journalist Roswell George Mills, she eventually published Les Mouches
Fantastiques
, which was the first magazine to be published in North America that
openly discussed LGBT issues. Elsa being relatively unknown at the time, the
magazine only came into the mainstream when the famous author H.P. Lovecraft
publicly attacked its contents. Despite the backlash, Elsa would eventually publish 13 books of lesbian love poetry throughout her career. 

An original copy of Elsa’s 1923 collection of poetry, On a Grey Thread, is preserved in the collection of San Francisco’s GLBT Historical Society (x).

Elsa’s partner
was a woman named Isabel Grenfell Quallo. The two originally lived in San
Francisco together before moving to Mount Tamalpais, California and starting a ranch
they called Druid Heights. The ranch became a meeting grounds for many famous
artists and activists throughout the years and Elsa is known to have
entertained the likes of Neil Young, Margo St. James, Alan Ginsberg, Maya
Angelou, and many more. In 1977, she was featured in the PBS documentary Word Is Out: Stores
of Some of Our Lives
, which chronicled the stories of LGBT people living in America. In
1986, Elsa made history once again when her autobiography, Elsa, I Come with My
Songs
, was published and became the very first lesbian autobiography to not be
written under pseudonym.

In the last
years of her life, Elsa suffered a series of strokes. She refused to seek
medical care and died at home in Druid Heights on June 8, 1986. According to her
will, her ashes were mixed with rice and buried underneath an apple tree. The
Gidlow Estate posthumously donated Elsa’s personal papers to the San Francisco
GLBT Historical Society in 1991.

-LC

Kimberley//18//Gay//Scotland So just a couple…

Kimberley//18//Gay//Scotland

So just a couple disclaimers:
Scorpio / Slytherin / Avid Jack Daniels drinker / Currently unemployed but in education

I had started longboarding during summer and now have to wait for winters weather conditions to pass before i continue, animals are awesome, save the bees, memes, sharks can fuck off, i want a snake, hopefully i’ll live in Canada before i die, hopefully i don’t die at 25, i like red things, i have a tendency to use a lot of Glaswegian slang, fairy lights can be cute when they don’t set things on fire, talk to me if ye aren’t put off thus far, btw I’ve been told i have a weird vocabulary and speak as if i come from the victorian era with some of the profanity i hit out with.

Oh and my pet peeve is bad spelling but if yer cute i’ll overlook it 🙄🥂submission

DECEMBER 18: Joe Carstairs (1900-1993)

The famous lesbian athlete and
British socialite, Joe Carstairs, passed away on this day in 1993. Joe, as she
was nicknamed, was most well-known for her success as a power boat racer.

Along with being “the fastest woman on water,” Joe was also dubbed “the boss of the Bahamas” after buying her own island in the 1940s (x).

Marion Barbara Carstairs was born in
1900 in Mayfair, London, England. Her mother was an wealthy heiress from
America who had married Captain Albert Carstairs, a respected officer in the Scottish
army. Joe’s parents divorced soon after her birth and her mother, an alcoholic
and drug addict, would remarry multiple times throughout her childhood. The
relationship between Joe and her mother was complicated and became even more so
when it was revealed that Joe was not allowed to access her inheritance until her mother died or unless she married.

This lead to Joe marrying her
childhood best friend, a French aristocrat named Count Jacques de Pret, on
January 7, 1918. The marriage was simply one of convenience that allowed Joe to
access her inheritance and to lead a life socially and financially
independent from her mother. After her mother finally passed away, the married was
immediately annulled on grounds of non-consummation and Joe also returned to
using her maiden name of Carstairs. For the rest of her life, she lived as an
out and proud lesbian. She dressed in men’s clothing, sported several arm tattoos, and romanced women such as Dolly Wilde, Greta Garbo,
Tallulah Bankhead, and Marlene Dietrich.

Joe photographed smoking on her treasured speedboat (x).

During World War I, she worked for
the American Red Cross driving ambulances in France. She quickly developed a
passion for cars and started the X Garage – a chauffeuring service that
employed a women-only staff. In 1925, Joe inherited a second fortune from her
maternal Grandmother and purchased her very first boat; this lead to her
discovering an even greater passion – speed racing. She soon established
herself as “the fasted woman on water” and took home the Duke of York trophy
for powerboat speed racing.

In her later years, Joe retired
from racing and purchased an entire island in the Bahamas, called Whale Cay, where
she entertained her rich and famous friends. Both Marlene Dietrich and the
Duchess of Windsor were frequent visitors to Joe’s party island. Joe would pass
away in Naples, Florida on December 18, 1993 at the age of 93.

-LC

Hello, my name is Claire Education Major 22 …

Hello, my name is Claire
Education Major
22 years of age
Lover of Anime and Games
Looking for some nice people to talk to and enjoy a good conversation with.
Snapchat: Dodieclaire
Tumblr: Pushingthetardis
@pushingtheta

h-e-r-s-t-o-r-y:

h-e-r-s-t-o-r-y:

🔥 In 1978 Annie Lebowitz spent four days photographing Joan Armatrading at home for her album TO THE LIMIT. #lesbianculture #joanarmatrading #annieleibovitz http://ift.tt/1rF5bId

DECEMBER 9: Joan Armatrading (1950-)

Happy birthday to Joan Armatrading!
The lesbian musician and singer has been working for over 40 years and is a
three-time Grammy nominated artist.

Some of Joan’s most popular songs from throughout her career have been “Love And Affection,” “Me Myself I,” and “Drop The Pilot” (x).

Joan Anita Barbara Armatrading was born on
December 9, 1950 in Basseterre on the Caribbean island of Saint Kitts. She was
the third of six children and her father worked as a carpenter while her mother
was a housewife. When Joan was only three years old, her parents and brothers moved to Birmingham, England and she was sent to live with her grandmother on
the Caribbean island of Antigua; when she was seven, Joan was finally
able to move to Birmingham and be with her family. As an adolescent, she and her
siblings were forbidden by their father to ever touch a guitar. However, Joan’s
love of song writing and playing piano lead her mother to secretly buying her a
guitar from a pawn shop when was 14.

She started pursuing a musical
career in earnest during her time at Birmingham University when she performed nightly at local bars and clubs. After meeting lyricist Pam Nestor
in 1970, Joan’s career began to take off and her debut album, Whatever’s For Us, was released by Cube
Records in 1972. To date, she has released 18 full studio albums along with
several compilation albums and live recordings. The highlights of her career
have been being nominated for a Grammy on three separate occasions, two nominations
at the BRIT Awards, as well as receiving two Lifetime Achievement Awards first
in 2012 and then in 2016.

In the beginning of her career,
Joan was often asked about ambivalent approach to using gendered pronouns in
her songs, to which she was reluctant to answer and would simply deny to speak
about her private life. Although she has never had an official coming out, it
is known that Joan currently lives in the Shetland Isles with her wife Maggie
Butler.

-LC

NOVEMBER 30: I Can’t Think Straight premieres …

On this day in 2008, the lesbian
film I Can’t Think Straight finally received a wide release in the United
States after initially hitting select theater on November 21, 2008.

The British drama is based on the
book of the same name and was directed by Shamim Sarif, a notable writer and director
of South Asian and South African descent who is openly lesbian and has
extensively explored gender and sexuality in her work. I Can’t Think Straight
follows the story of a Palestinian woman named Tala who is living in London and
engaged to a man named Hani. While Tala’s wealthy family eagerly make
arrangements for her wedding to take place in their home country of Jordan,
Tala is slowly coming to the realization that she likes women. The object of
her affection is the girlfriend of her best friend, a British Indian Muslim
woman named Leyla. As Tala’s wedding day approached, both women struggle with
their family’s cultural expectations and their secret relationship.

Upon its release in 2008, I Can’t
Think Straight
was awarded by many LGBT film festivals from around the world
such as the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, the Melbourne Queer Film
Festival, and the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. Lesbian publication sites such
as AfterEllen and Autostraddle delivered lackluster but ultimately endearing
reviews of the film. Autostraddle dubs it “another film that lesbians either
love or hate, but this is the film that opened our hearts forever to…Tala and
Leyla, two women from very different backgrounds that fall in love on accident.”

-LC

NOVEMBER 26: Mathilde Blind (1841-1896)

Renowned writer and leader
of the New Women, Mathilde Blind, passed away on this day in 1896. She is most
well-known for her pioneering feminist literature such as the poem The Ascent of Man, written as a woman’s response to
Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Mathilde Blind photographed circa 1870 (x).

Mathilde Blind was born on March 21,
1841 in Mannheim, Germany. Her father was a banker named Jacob Abraham Cohen and
she was his oldest child of three. After her father died in 1848 and her mother
remarried the famous political writer Karl Blind, Mathilde and her brothers
changed their surname to Blind. The family moved to London around this
same time and Mathilde began attending St. John’s Wood Ladies’ Institute.
Throughout her adolescence, her mother adn stepfather kept the company of leftist
revolutionaries such as Karl Marx and Louis Blanc, and therefore, Mathilde herself
began to develop a radical political perspective from an early age.

At the beginning of her literary
career, Mathilde used a male pseudonym, but she abandoned it for her real name
in the 1870s. It was this act that launched her to feminist icon status and made
her one of the premier figures of London’s bohemian literary scene. She wrote
over 15 texts throughout her lifetime; her only fiction novel was a romance titled Tarantula that saw little success, while her masterwork is largely considered to be the 1889
poem The Ascent of Man. The majority of Mathilde’s work dealt
with the Victorian gender system and took on a feminist slant. 

She never
married during her lifetime and often publicly criticized the institution of
marriage. It is common belief that Mathilde was a lesbian due to her
prioritization of women in her life and her association with many lesbian figures
of her day such as Olive Schreiner and Violet Paget. She lived with the famous painter Ford Madox
Brown for over 20 years until his wife Emma’s death and it is often believed
that Mathilde and Emma were romantically involved. Mathilde Blind would eventually away on
November 26, 1896 from uterine cancer. Her property was given to Newnham
College, Cambridge per her request and she left the English literary world with
a lifetime of progressive writings and political work.

-LC

NOVEMBER 25: Myra Hess (1890-1965)

The English composer and pianist
Myra Hess passed away on this day in 1965. Although her lesbianism has often
been shrouded by the history books, she is most well-known today for her “blackout
concerts” performed during the London Blitz.

Myra Hess photographed playing Mendelssohn (x).

Myra Hess was born on February 25,
1890 in Kilburn, London. She was the youngest of 4 children born into the Hess’s Jewish middle-class home and she began taking music lessons at the young age of
5. Two years later, she would begin her formal education at The Guildhall
School of Music. She eventually went on to study at The Royal Academy of Music,
debuting in 1907 with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. Throughout the 1920s
and 1930s, she toured Europe and found special success
in America as an ensemble player for many major jazz bands of the day.

Her legacy was cemented just weeks
after the beginning of the Second World War. Due to the London Blitz, all the
concert halls in the city were put on blackout so as to avoid being targets for
German bombers. Myra found a way around this by putting on what she called
lunchtime concerts – performances that were put on in the concert halls during
the day rather than at the traditional time of the evening. Over the course of six
year, Myra put on over 2,000 lunchtime concerts for the people of London.

Myra remained unmarried throughout
her life and maintained close relationships with other openly lesbian composers
and musicians of her day such as Maude Valerie White and Irene Scharrer. With that said, little
is known about the truth of Myra’s sexuality. Most historians accept the fact
of her “intense relationships with women,” and yet are reluctant to label her
as a lesbian historical figure. However, whichever label Myra would have chosen
for herself if she were living in contemporary times, it is undeniable that by
the time of her death on November 25, 1965, she had lived a life as a “woman
identified woman.”  

-LC