10 Things You Didn’t Know About Lesbian History

Well, you might know one or two.
If you’re a here-and-queer lesbian of the 21st century, then we have a question for you: How much do you really know about where we came from and what we went through?

Whether it’s a lot, or none at all, here’s a list of facts about lesbian history that we think you should know!

The Term “Lesbian.”

The word “lesbian” originally derived from the name of the Greek island of Lesbos. It is known to have been the home of the Greek poetess Sappho, thought to have expressed love and adoration towards other women in her poetry.

The “Lavender Scare.”

The Lavender Scare was a period of time in the 1950s that refers to the fear and persecution of homosexuals in the United States and the United Kingdom. Lesbians and gay men alike were considered communist sympathizers. The term “Lavender Scare” came from the title of “lavender lads,” which was used by Senator Everett Dirksen as a synonym for homosexuals in the early 50s.

The Animal Symbol Of The Lesbian Movement.

During the 1970s, the lavender colored rhinoceros was used as an activist symbol to increase awareness of the presence of lesbians in society. The rhino was chosen as the symbol, as by nature they are typically seen as peaceful animals until threatened. The heart on the rhino reflects the common humanity of all people, and the lavender color reflects the identity of the LGBT community.

The First Published Lesbian Poetry In The States.

Elsa Gidlow, a freelance journalist and philosopher, wrote On A Grey Thread (1923), which was considered the first volume of open lesbian love poetry published in the US. Years later, in 1986, her book Elsa, I Come With My Songs, became the first published lesbian autobiography.

The First US National Lesbian Political And Social Organization.

Started in San Francisco in 1955, the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) was the first civil and political rights organization for lesbians in the United States. It was considered a social alternative the lesbian bars, which were frequently raided by police. DOB became a support system for women afraid to come out, and turned into an educational resource for lesbians and gay men alike.

The Symbol Of Lesbians During World War II.

Considered people of anti-social behavior during the World War II period, evidence suggests that lesbian prisoners of Nazi Germany were required to wear a black triangle. The triangle is now considered a symbol of pride and solidarity by lesbians and feminists everywhere.

The Birth Of The Modern Lesbian And Gay Civil Rights Movement.

In 1969, a gay club located in the Greenwich neighborhood of New York City was forcefully raided by police who arrested employees, drag queens, and patrons. Famously known as The Stonewall Inn, the venue sheltered the police that night from street retaliation for the arrests. However, even though reinforcements arrived to disperse the mob, the Stonewall Riot sparked a series of demonstrations from civil rights organizations that lasted for several days, and it is regarded as the first major protest in the name of equal rights for homosexuals.

The Year Homosexuality Was Declassified As A Mental Disorder.

In the 20th century, the American Psychiatric Association viewed homosexuality as a mental illness and/or a disease. This widely influenced how the lesbian and gay community was viewed culturally, paving a path of discrimination and attempts at therapy that made the lives of homosexuals very difficult. It wasn’t until 1973 that the APA finally removed homosexuality from it’s official diagnostic manual. Since then, all major professional mental health organizations have gone on record stating that homosexuality is not a mental disorder.

The First Lesbian/Feminist Bookstore In The US.

Opened in Minneapolis in 1970, the first lesbian/feminist bookstore was the Amazon Bookstore Cooperative. The owners, Rosina Richter Christy and Julie Morse Quist, lived in the store, but the books were only available from 3-6pm or by special arrangement. The owners announced the store closing 2008, and it was then bought by two women who had to change the name to True Colors amidst a legal battle with Amazon.com.

The First Openly LGBT Senator In American History.

Elected in 2012, Senator Tammy Baldwin beat out former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, and became the first openly gay member elected to the Senate. In Congress, she has been a strong advocate against bullying and suicide among LGBT youth, and helped to push legislation against hate crimes, fought for marriage equality, the repeal of DADT, and the implementation of the Employee Non Discrimination Act.

All in all, lesbians are great.

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Local Jewelry Store Has a Lot to be Thankful for

Local Jewelry Store Has a Lot to be Thankful for

Local Jewelry Store Has a Lot to be Thankful for

Nelson Estate Jewelers is nestled right in the heart of Dobson Ranch in Mesa, Arizona. They specialize in unique custom designs, true vintage and antique pieces, and they have a wonderful jeweler on site for expert jewelry repair services. They also buy from the public, meaning you can bring your old unworn jewelry pieces or inherited coin sets and sell them for quick cash or use them in trade toward new treasures!

The Journey

Owners David Nelson and his wife Aubrey sold all their assets (including 2 rental properties and a personal stash of gold and silver bullion) to give Nelson Estate Jewelers a running start back in 2017. David Nelson has been in the jewelry industry since he was just 15 years old and has worked for many of the big-name jewelers such as Ganem, Zales, Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, and E.D. Marshall Jewelers. David and Aubrey identified the need for an expert jeweler in their local community and recognized that the old way of doing things is antiquated. They set out to create a comfortable and friendly atmosphere with realistic and transparent pricing that respects every client looking to either treat themselves to fine jewelry or express their love to someone special with a one-of-a-kind engagement ring.

Many people in the community stood behind David & Aubrey, some even got their hands dirty and assisted with the actual buildout of the shop to support what Nelson Estate Jewelers was striving to become. Local artists Daron Rogers and Angel Rogers Photography proudly display their art pieces in the showroom. Nelson Estate Jewelers loves to display local art pieces as a small way to give back to the community. They also only charge $5 for watch batteries and donate the proceeds to United Food Bank!

Jewelry Experts

Currently, Nelson Estate Jewelers sells an average of 15 engagement rings per month, whether it be a stunning find in the case, a true period piece from the 1920’s, or a creative custom design built from scratch. David & Aubrey are so thankful to be a part of the special moments in their clients’ lives; engagements, weddings, anniversaries, and even birthdays and graduations. Since jewelry is all about self-expression and no two people are exactly alike, Nelson Estate Jewelers offers incredibly unique pieces as well as the ability to custom design any jewelry piece specific to the person wearing it.

Love for the Community

Nelson Estate Jewelers values its clients above all else; each client is seen, heard, and treated with respect. Rather than hard sales pitches, David & Aubrey focus on listening to needs. They work within specific budgets without sacrificing quality because they believe you shouldn’t have to break the bank to show someone how you feel. Building trust and friendships in their local community is far more important to them than playing insulting price games that you often find at big chain retail stores. The bottom line is that none of what Nelson Estate Jewelers has become would have been possible without the friends, family, and clients who stood behind them then and who continue to support them today.

For more information on Nelson Estate Jewelers visit www.nelsonestatejewelers.com

11 Lesbians In History You Don’t Know But Should

11 Lesbians In History You Don’t Know But Should

11 Lesbians In History You Don’t Know But Should

A few years ago, Huffington Post put together an amazing list of 11 Lesbians In History You Don’t Know But Should. In honor of International Women Day, we highlight those amazing women and give them thanks for their courage and contributions to our community.

When we think of our lesbian pioneers, women like Ellen DeGeneres and Billie Jean King presumably come to mind. But we at The Huffington Post wanted to teach you a little somethin’ somethin’ about your history in honor of October’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) history month. Below, feast your eyes on a group of undaunted ladies who helped paved the way for women and their women-loving ways, and check out the video above for HuffPost Live’s full conversation on lesbian history from the ancient times to now.

Read the full story here!