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Lesbian love stories that changed our world

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Ruth Ellis - Lesbian love stories

Lesbian love stories that changed our world

Ruth Ellis - Lesbian love storiesOnly a lesbian love story can define a lesbian. Whether it’s unrequited or not, the love a lesbian feels for another woman is what makes her a lesbian.

We all have our own lesbian love story to tell. But there are some that left a mark on the history of our world. Let’s take a look at these lesbian love stories.

Lesbian love #1: Del and Phyllis

It was in 1952 when Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon fell in love with each other. By Valentine’s Day the next year, the two moved in together in an apartment in San Francisco.

What made the love story of these two significant is because they founded the Daughters of Bilitis, one of the most important groups in lesbian history.

In the 50s, lesbian bars were constantly harassed by policemen, which led the lesbian lovers to create a space where they could mingle with other lesbians. Through the years, it grew into a political group, creating chapters all over the US.

Del and Phyllis were also the first couple to marry in a same-sex wedding in San Francisco.

Lesbian love #2: Roma and Diane

How important is the love story between Roma Guy and Diane Jones? They’re central in the upcoming HBO docudrama miniseries When We Rise, about the LGBT civil rights movements in the 70s.

Roma was a nurse who specialized in HIV/AIDS care. Because of this, the two became active in educating the LGBT community about AIDS and fought to better the lives of women and lesbians.

The two were also the founders of San Francisco Women’s Building, a women-led non-profit arts and education community center.

Lesbian love #3: Ruth and Babe

In 1999, the Ruth Ellis Center was created for LGBT youth who were runaways or homeless. It was named after one of the most prominent black sisters in history, Ruth Ellis.

Ellis was born in 1899 and later lived on to be 101 years old. But during the 1920s, when lesbian discrimination was strong, Ellis lived with her lover, Babe Franklin, in Michigan where they ran a printing shop.

Their house became the social place for LGBT of colour to escape the harassment in the outside world.

Lesbian love #4: Joan and Deb

Any lesbian with activist passions probably owns a Joan Nestle book or two. One of Joan’s most famous books was The Restricted Country.

Together with her partner Deb Edel, Joan went on to create The Lesbian Herstory Archive, which had the goal of collecting and preserving lesbian documents and artifacts.

What began as an effort to archive some documents in the pantry of the lovers’ apartment in 1974 has grown into a collection of more than 20,000 books and 12,000 photographs about lesbians.

Lesbian love #5: Karen and Sharon

Just like a tragic movie, lesbian couple Karen Thompson and Sharon Kowalski were living a quiet life until Sharon was hit by a drunk driver and had an irreversible brain injury.

Sharon’s family refused to accept that she was a lesbian, and banned Karen from seeing or being with her. Because of this, Karen fought for their love by filing a case to become the guardian of Sharon. The battle lasted for over a decade.

In a milestone case known as the “Guardianship of Kowalski,” the Minnesota Court of Appeal ruled in favor of Karen. This led to more awareness of guardianship among same-sex couples.

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