ARTWORK > I Was a 20th Century Lesbian

White line woodcut, Daughters of Bilitis, gay history
ACCOMMODATE (Daughters of Bilitis)
White Line Woodcut
14.5" x 20.5" (37 x 52.4 cm)

Daughters of Bilitis (also called DOB) was the first lesbian social and political organization in the United States. Founded in 1955 in San Francisco by lesbian couple Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, DOB began as a social club meant to be an alternative to lesbian bars, which were subject to frequent police raids. Within a year, the group had started a newsletter, The Ladder, which was the first nationally distributed lesbian publication in the U.S., and by 1959 there were DOB chapters in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The Daughters of Bilitis was an assimilationist organization, advocating for women to "adopt a mode of behavior and dress acceptable to society" and urging women not to engage in butch/femme behavior. By the 1960s there were many lesbians and gays who felt that conformity was not working as a tactic and they began agitating for political activism and visibility. By 1970 the DOB had fallen apart and in 1972 The Ladder folded for lack of funds.

12" x 18" (30.5 x 45.7 cm) image size
Mawata paper
Edition: 3