Saturday, June 23, 2007

the originals

On my way to represent BADRAP in the SF Pride Parade and it reminded me--I never posted this review.

for Library Journal

Gallo, Marcia M. Different Daughters: A History of the Daughters of Bilitis and the Rise of the Lesbian Rights Movement. Nov. 2006. Avalon Publishing. 320 p. bibliog. appendix of interviews. endnotes. ISBN-13: 978-0-78671-634-0; ISBN-10: 0-7867-1634-7. $26.95.

Almost fifteen years before the Stonewall Riots brought the issue of gay rights into the mainstream press, six San Francisco women were busy organizing a way for lesbians to meet safely behind closed doors. As a result, the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), a secret social club for lesbians, was born in 1955. In an exhaustively researched chronicle of the organization and its work, Marcia Gallo presents the DOB in its full context, from FBI surveillance and the dangers the founding women faced collaborating during the McCarthy era to GLBT Historical Society’s ultimate preservation of DOB meeting minutes, records, and letters. Gallo addresses both the racial tensions and political advancements within the organization, as well as the historic significance of their newsletter The Ladder. Relying heavily on personal interviews, Different Daughters depicts the development of the DOB and the courageous ways members networked with other homophile organizations. Gallo proves an unyielding researcher, honoring this bold, diverse group of women who led the organization until the last chapter dissolved in 1978. Recommended for all public and academic libraries. Elizabeth Kennedy, Oakland, CA