NEW YORK, New York - My past two weeks in New York has inspired me to delve into the world and history of feminism and lesbianism in the United States.
I thought to myself, where did I come from? What's my history, my background? Instead of visiting Ellis Island and searching for my ancestors' names, I chose to visit the Lesbian Herstory Archives in the Park Slope Area of Brooklyn.
The Lesbian Herstory Archives is completely volunteer-run and has been accepting donations of items from lesbians around the world since the 1970s. The archives' purpose statement is as follows:
The Lesbian Herstory Archives exists to gather and preserve records of Lesbian lives and activities so that future generations will have ready access to materials relevant to their lives. The process of gathering this material will uncover and collect our herstory denied to us previously by patriarchal historians in the interests of the culture which they serve. We will be able to analyze and reevaluate the Lesbian experience; we also hope the existence of the Archives will encourage Lesbians to record their experiences in order to formulate our living herstory.
The evening I visited the archives, it was only open from 6:00 until 9:00 pm. I was warmly greeted by a volunteer who gave me an in-depth tour of the archives' various collections, including books, posters, buttons, stickers, newsletters, periodicals, visual art, films, and more.