The Lesbian Avengers are fighting back.
Since the November election, white supremacists, anti-LGBT activists and misogynists have become visible and vocal, attacking minorities in public and stating their intention to roll back the legal gains achieved in the last two decades. Hate crimes and incidents of harassment are being reported on a daily basis nationwide, both in news and in social media. But what is our community doing about it?
The Lesbian Avengers were launched almost twenty-five years ago, during another wave of anti-gay and white supremacist hate. This was their call to action: “LESBIANS! DYKES! GAY WOMEN!… We’re wasting our lives being careful. Imagine what your life could be. Aren’t you ready to make it happen?”
Twenty thousand dykes marched on Washington. More than 60 chapters sprang up worldwide, launching Dyke Marches near and far and their activism even reached America’s heartland, successfully beating back anti-gay legislation in rural Idaho.
In their very first action, the Lesbian Avengers gave out balloons to support the Rainbow Curriculum in New York, designed to teach little kids about diversity. Lesbian Avengers learned to eat fire to call attention to the firebombing deaths by neo-Nazis of Hattie Mae Cohens and Brian Mock, a black lesbian and her white gay friend. The Avengers even took over a radio station which had been spewing hate against LGBT folks and people of color.
Kelly Cogswell, a coordinator of Lesbian Avengers 25, says her goal in sharing the Avenger story is to prove that it’s possible to fight back.
“We’ve done it before, and we’ll do it again. It’s not magic. But sustained activism does make a difference. The Avenger story also shows that you have to take a leap of faith.”
This activism happened, however, because six people sat down and decided, “We’re doing this, whether anybody joins us or not,” says Cogswell.
The Lesbian Avengers 25 welcomes your support, whether it’s participating in the Lesbian Avenger oral history project, coordinating a mobile exhibit in your area, or donating to their current Indiegogo campaign (through Dec. 20).
Support the campaign here.
More information on The Lesbian Avengers here.
Celebrate 25 years here.