Category: wlw

JULY 12: Else von Freytag-Loringhoven (1874-19…


On this day in 1874, the “Mama of Dada” was born. The Baroness
Else von Freytag-Loringhoven, as she was known, was an eccentric bisexual woman,
a living work of art, and the originator of the iconic art piece Fountain.


Else photographed going about her daily life in Harlem, New York on January 10, 1921 (x).

Born Else Hildegard Plötz in Pomerania, Germany, Else’s
father was a mason who afforded the family middle-class status. She began
training as an actress and vaudeville performer at a young age and eventually
moved off to Dachau to study art. After finishing her studies, Else relocated
to Berlin – the heart of German Dada. It was in Berlin where she found a
community of like-minded artists who challenged the era’s gender and sexual
mores and refused to separate their selfhood from their art, but still, she was
one of the few women actively involved in the community. Other women included
the writer Mina Loy and the expressionist painter Gabriele Münter, both with
whom Else had affairs. 

In 1901, she married an architect named August Endell
and the two had an open relationship until they divorced in 1906. She was soon
married to a translator named Felix Paul Greve, and although this relationship
would soon fall apart as well, Else’s marriage to Felix would change her life.
In 1909, finding himself penniless and in mountains of debt, Felix convinced
Else to help him fake his own death. The couple’s plan was to disappear from
Germany forever and start a new life in America, but after Else joined her
husband in the U.S., he abandoned her and Else was left alone in a foreign
country with no friends.

In America, she was forced to start her life from the ground up; she found work in a
cigarette factory and she also started modeling for photographers in New York City. It
was through her modeling career in New York City that she met and became
friends with legendary photographers such as Man Ray and Berenice Abbott, powerful connections that, once again, allowed Else to become involved in an artistic society. In
1913, she was finally able to give up the hustle and focus more on her art when she
married the wealthy Baron Leopold von Freytag-Loringhoven; during this time,
her poetry was picked up by the prestigious journal The Little Review and her sculptures/“living collages” began
being shown in galleries. In recent years, it has
been discovered that legendary Dada artworks like Fountain
and God that were once attributed to
male artists and close friends of Else, Marcel Duchamp and Morton Livingston
Schamberg, were actually created by Else herself.

In 1921, Else left New York and moved back to Europe. First,
she returned to Berlin, but found it to be a devastated shell of her former home in the aftermath of World War I. She eventually settled in Paris, where she
struggled to make ends meet and had to be financially assisted by her wealthy
friends such as Djuna Barnes and Peggy Guggenheim. Else died a mysterious death
on December 14, 1927; she was found dead in her home, curled up with her beloved
pet dog. The cause of death was pronounced to be gas suffocation, but the exact
circumstances that led to the gas being left on in her apartment are unknown.


JULY 11: Orange is the New Black premieres (20…


On this day in 2013, Orange
is the New
Black premiered on Netflix. Ever since the show burst onto
everyone with an internet connection’s radar, it has been praised for its fresh
depictions of women’s stories and has been introducing baby lesbians to their
new celebrity crushes with characters like Poussey Washington, Alex Vause, and
Nicky Nichols.

The ensemble cast of Orange is the New Black pose for a promo photo for season one (x). 

Loosely based on a 2010 memoir titled Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, the show
tells the story of Piper Chapman, a wealthy white woman who is sentenced
to 15 months in Litchfield Penitentiary for having been involved in her
ex-girlfriend’s drug smuggling business 10 years prior. Although Piper is in a seemingly happy marriage with her husband Larry, her relationship status is complicated when she discovers that her ex-girlfriend, Alex Vause, is also doing time at Litchfield. Piper is technically
the main character of the series, but she has been described as a “Trojan horse” by
the series’ own creator, Jenji Kohan; it is through Piper’s perspective that
the audience enters Litchfield, but when there, the show is undeniably stolen by
her nuanced and lovable supporting characters. Piper’s privileged life is put in stark contrast
with the unprivileged lives of her prison mates who are varyingly lesbian, trans,
low-income women of color.

Take a trip down memory lane and watch the trailer for season one of the series!

The fifth season of Orange
is the New Black
was just released in June of 2017 and, to date, it is the
most viewed original series Netflix has ever produced. After the first season
was released in 2013, the series won an impressive 12 Emmy wins and has been nominated
for a collection of Emmys and Golden Globes ever since its debut. Although the
show attempts to tackle social issues such as the prison-industrial complex and police
brutality, it has often missed the mark and received backlash,
particularly for the killing of Poussey Washington in season four who was a
beloved fan favorite and one of the few black lesbian characters in today’s
television landscape. Despite the criticism, you can expect to see Orange is
the New Black
back on your laptop or television screen for at least two more
years as it has been renewed for a sixth and seventh season. What are your
thoughts on the show? Who is your OITNB crush?


Ok so I know what pillow princess means, but w…

Ok so I know what pillow princess means, but what is the opposite of that? Like what's the word or phrase for someone who only wants to give and not receive?

They’re called Touch Me Nots.



“Don’t ask don’t tell&hellip…

“Don’t ask don’t tell… 👠”

JUNE 20: Brittani Nichols (1988-)


Happy birthday to Brittani Nichols, the self-identified
comedian/actor/Tender Boi™ who turns 29 today!!

You can find out more about Brittani and check for upcoming performances over on her website! 

Brittani was born on June 20, 1988 and currently lives in
Los Angeles, California. You’ve probably seen her on television shows such as
Billy on the Street or Transparent, or you might have caught her byline while
scrolling through the LGBT section of websites such as Autostraddle, Buzzfeed,
or Huffington Post!

She has released an EP titled Likes Me, has performed improv
comedy with juggernauts like Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, produces both
the Brand New Podcast and Hamilton the Podcast, and basically has her hand in
any creative cookie jar you can think of. In 2016, Brittani’s debut film Suicide Kale made waves in the LA film
circuit and even won the Audience Award for First US Narrative Feature at
Outfest! You can follow Brittani on Instagram, Twitter, and check out the trailer for Suicide Kale below!




JUNE 14: Princess Nokia (1992-)



Picture Source: x

Destiny Frasqueri aka Wavy Spice bka Princess Nokia was born today in New York City, New York in 1992.  Living in Spanish Harlem and the Lower East Side for most of her life, Frasqueri lost her mother to AIDS as a young child and was moved around in foster care with her cousin until she left the system, after dealing with abuse, as a teenager. Attending parties and go-go clubs since she was sixteen, Frasqueri recorded and released her first song under Wavy Spice on her Soundcloud and Youtube in 2010. Her second release, “Bitch, I’m Posh” gained her international acclaim and her third release, YAYA, along with her support of the LGBT community and femme sexuality got her support with QTPOC artists such as Mykki Blanco and Le1f. You can listen to her track with Mykki Blanco, “Wish You Would”, here.

She released a mixtape, “Wavy Spice Presents – The Butterfly Knife Prequel”, and two more songs underneath Wavy Spice. In 2015, she released a project named honeysuckle under Destiny in 2015. Princess Nokia, Destiny Frasqueri’s musical alter ego, came out in 2014 through the track “Nokia”, and the collective released a debut album on May 12, 2014 called Metallic Butterfly.  

In 2016, she released a documentary with The Fader, called “Destiny”, which followed her as she got back into rapping and you can watch that here (with deleted scenes). She released her album, “1992”, in September 2016. A lot of her work centers around her “Brown Afro-Indigienous” heritage, sprituality, sexuality, feminism, and her life growing up in New York. In 2017, she had an altercation with an white audience member at Cambridge University, when she slapped and threw drinks at the audience member for yelling obscenities to her.

You can follow Princess Nokia on Instagram, Twitter, check out her most recent music video here, her podcast, Smart Girl Club, here, listen to her conversation at Brown University here, and download her most recent album, 1992, here.

Check out her summer tour dates here! 1992 Deluxe with six new songs will be released this summer!


Source: x

~lex lee. 

JUNE 12: Anne Frank starts writing in her diar…


On June 12, 1942, Anne Frank wrote her very first entry in the
book that would later become the unforgettable The Diary of a Young Girl.
Today, Anne Frank is a heartbreaking symbol of the Holocaust, but in 1942, she
was just a young Jewish girl who had been given a new journal for her
thirteenth birthday.

The original diary is on display at The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam (x).

Anne Frank was born on June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany. She
was only sixteen when she was murdered by the Nazis in the Bergen-Belsen death
camp, but she left behind a diary that chronicles the two years she spent
hidden away in a secret apartment along with her family and four others. A lot
of people have tried to prescribe certain labels onto Anne and argue the case
that she was a lesbian or that she was bisexual. I have no interest in hashing
out how a teenage girl from the 1940s might have possibly labeled herself in 2017;
instead, I want to simply highlight the parts in Anne’s diary where she
expresses love and desire for other girls and women. On pages 130-131, she

I already had these kinds of feelings subconsciously before
I came here, because I remember that once when I slept with a girl friend I had
a strong desire to kiss her, and that I did do so. I could not help being
terribly inquisitive over her body, for she had always kept it hidden from me.
I asked her whether, as a proof of our friendship, we should feel one another’s
breasts, but she refused. I go into ecstasies every time I see the naked figure
of a woman, such as Venus, for example. It strikes me as so wonderful and exquisite
that I have difficulty in stopping the tears rolling down my cheeks. If only I had a girl friend!”

Although this section as well as others where Anne talks
about exploring her pubescent body were excluded from the first
editions of The Diary of a Young Girl,
they have slowly but surely been making their way back into the manuscript. No
matter how Anne Frank might have identified as, her words are being read by
young girls of all sexualities in middle schools across the world, and the fact
that Anne’s accounts may be the first time they are exposed to a girl loving
other girls without stigma and oversexualization makes The Diary of a Young Girl near and dear to many wlw.


JUNE 11: Renée Vivien (1877-1909)


The British poet, noted Sappho fangirl, and one of the most
high-profile lesbians of Paris’s Belle Époque days, Renée Vivien, was born on this
day in 1877.

Pioneer of depressed moon lesbian culture, Renée Vivien poses with two black cats on her shoulders (x). 

Born in London on June 11, 1877, Renée’s wealthy British
father and American mother originally gave her the name Pauline Mary Tarn,
which she would drop later on in life. She was sent to Paris for school, but was
forced to return to London when her father died in 1886. Renée made no secret of
the fact that she loved Paris and hated her family, so the move was devastating
to her. In a twist of events worthy of an American soap-opera, Renée’s mother
attempted to get her declared legally insane so that Renée would be passed over
for her father’s inheritance and all the money would go to her, but the plot failed and Renée was taken away from her mother and kept a ward of the
court for the rest of her adolescence. When she turned 21, she finally
inherited her father’s fortune and moved back to her beloved city of Paris where
took on the name Renée Vivien. . 

In Paris, Renée became a notorious figure in Bohemian
society; she wore lavish men’s suits and lived openly as a lesbian. She wrote
two novels and fourteen collections of poetry throughout her lifetime and her
writing was filled with allusions to Sappho, lavender, and her many
relationships with women. She even refused to write in any language other than
French because she found it to be the more romantic language. A woman named Violet
Shillito was Renée’s childhood best friend and her first love; when she died of
typhoid fever, Renée was inconsolable and many scholars interpret the frequent
use of violets in Renée’s poetry to be a symbol for Violet herself. Renée also
had a relationship with Natalie Clifford Barney, the American heiress and
novelist. The relationship was passionate and often rocky due to both women’s
jealous nature. However, there was a time when Renée and Natalie traveled to the island
of Lesbos in Greece in an attempt to connect with their Sapphic roots and start
a women’s artist colony.


Renée (left) and her partner Natalie Clifford Barney (right) photographed in 1900 (x). 

Renée ended the relationship with Natalie in 1901 and she
would go on to have many more relationships with women such as the Baroness
Hélène van Zuylen and Kérimé Turkhan Pasha, but as affair after affair ended, Renée
sunk deep into depression and began to indulge even more in her party lifestyle of
drugs, alcohol, and wild sex. Her close friend Colette (who we have also covered on the blog!) was
known to base her fictional characters on real life people and she immortalized
Renée’s character and self-destructive behavior in her 1932 novel The Pure and the Impure. As


illness worsened, she eventually died in 1909 from alcoholism and anorexia.