The Girls Next Door
Long misperceived as a separatist coven, a default option, or a sort of ladies' auxiliary to the gay men's movement, lesbian life has achieved a new visibility in the past few years. But for all the interest in who's out and who's not (yet), there's been surprisingly little understanding of the diversity and richness of lesbian experience.
This funny, lively, and perceptive book will change all that. Drawing on more than a hundred interviews with women around the country, and on their own keen wits and eyes, Van Gelder and Brandt have composed an unprecedented portrait of how gay women today -- "born" and "made," lipsticked and flannel-shirted alike -- think, feel, love, and live. Three major "tribal" events -- the long-running Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, "Dinah" (the annual Dinah Shore Golf Tournament and party circuit, a mecca for upwardly mobile luppies), and a cross-country trek with the activist Lesbian Avengers en route to the 1994 Stonewall commemoration -- provide points of entry into an exploration of lesbian identity, social dynamics, and politics that's as entertaining as it is revealing. The result is a kaleidoscopic portrait that will resonate with lesbians themselves and reveal to their "neighbors" a world of unsuspected vibrancy and depth.