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January 23, 2017

150 Years of Lady-Loving-Ladies in the U.S: An Epic Gallery of Vintage LGBT Images From the Late 19th Century to the 1990s

Marie Lyn Bernard, aka Riese, from Autostraddle has gathered an epic gallery of LGBT images from the late 19th century to the 1990s.

"Honestly before tumblr it was difficult to find very much lesbian imagery at all online — it was always the same ten or twelve stock photos — let alone pictures of lesbians taken prior to 2000..." - she said.

"So I started collecting them. I scoured tumblr, discovered regional library archives online and visited websites..." Riese added. "Unsatisfied with the racial diversity present in the imagery I found online, I began scanning books, screenshotting google books and even screenshotting documentaries. It took months, but every time I look at this post and the faces after faces of queer women throughout history... I get really excited!"

And here's the gallery:


Charlotte Cushman and Matilda Hays


Sculptor Edmonia “Wildfire” Lewis

Kitty Ely class of 1887 (left) and Helen Emory class of 1889, Mount Holyoke students


Photo by Alice Austen

Two women, 1899


Young couple seated in garden

1900, Anna Moor and Elsie Dale


Photo from silent film The Amazons (1917)

Education reformer Elizabeth Irwin

via “Gay & Lesbian Richmond” (Adele Clark, bottom center, lived with fellow suffragist Nora Houston “as companions” for years)

Four couples of women pose for a photo, ca. 1910



Photo by Dorothy Schmitz via “Gay & Lesbian Atlanta”

Chicago, 1921

Thelma Wood and Djuna Barnes


American blues singer Gladys Bentley (1907 – 1960) poses with bandleader Willie Bryant (1908 – 1964) outside the Apollo Theater where posters advertise a performance by Bryant & his band, New York, New York, April 17, 1936. (Photo by Frank Driggs Collection/Getty IMages)

1930s Paris, photographed by Brassai. The photographs were part of a series for his 1933 book “Paris By Night,” which focused on working-class dance halls known as bals-musettes.


Couple in 1946, photograph by Weegee

Betty “Joe” Carstairs

Mabel Hampton and Lillian Foster

1940s Wrens

1940’s “Louise”

“Evelyn “Jackie” Bross (left) and Catherine Barscz (right) at the Racine Avenue Police Station, Chicago, June 5, 1943. They had been arrested for violating the cross-dressing ordinance.

1945, Male impersonators posing at Mona’s


Estelle de Willoughby Ions with a YWCA Art Student, 1954

Keannie Sullivan & Tommy Vasu at Mona’s

Bonita Jeffries, standing, with her daughter Ira and Ira’s girlfriend Snowbaby (17), celebrating Ira’s 16th birthday “at a nite club

1950’s gay and lesbian couples

Founders of The Daughters of Bilitis with friends at Juanita’s in Sausalito. photo by Miss Cecil Davis



via Wide Open Town: A History of Queer SF to 1965, by Nan Alamilla Boyd,

Guests at the bar of the chez moune nightclub (the longest-running lesbian club in Paris)

Barbara Gittings in picket line, photo by Kay Tobin Lahusen (1965)

Two Friends At Home, photo by Diane Arbus, 1965

1967, photo by Joan C Meyers

Lesbian wedding, 1968


Donna Gottschalk holds poster “I am your worst fear I am your best fantasy” at Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day parade, photo by Diana Davies

Jannette Louise Spires, Mary Alice Wesley & Brenda Ann Bush, Tampa, Florida

Three members of Lavender Menace at the Second Congress to Unite Women, New York, 1970 May (May 1970), photo by Diana Davies

1970, Sylvia Rivera, photo by Kay Tobin Lahusen

Gay Activists Alliance Softball Team, photo by Kay Tobin Lahusen

Gay rights demonstration, Albany, New York, 1971, photo by Diana Davies

Photo by Diana Davies

1971, Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade, photo by Diana Davies

1971, Albany Gay Rights Demonstration, photo by Diana Davies

1971, Gay rights demonstration, Albany, New York, photo by Diana Davies

1971 – Gay Pride Parade New York City

1971 – Manonla Evans and Donna-Burkett in Wisconsin

1972 – ALA Taskforce

1972 – Lesbian couple, Hollywood, photo by Anthony Friedkin

1972 – The Black Lesbian Caucus at NY Gay Pride

1972 – Lesbian couple, photo by Kay Tobin Lahusen

1973 – Gail and Kate Rebuilding Cathy’s VW Engine, Emeryville, CA, photo by Cathy Cade

1974 – Isis at the IHOP: Seated L to R: Suzi Ghezzi, Stella Bass, Jeanie Fienberg, Nydia Mata, Lauren Draper, Carol MacDonald and Ginger Bianco. Standing is Lolly Bienenfield

Gente, A Women’s Celebration at the Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA 1975, photo by Cathy Cade

Inez Garcia at San Francisco Freedom Day

via “After Stonewall” documentary

Women embracing at Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, 1976, photo by Diana Davies

1977. Germantown couple on porch, photo by Kay Tobin Lahusen

New York City Pride, 1977

Gay rights march in New York

1977. Photo by Marie Ueda from The Marie Ueda Collection

The Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance softball team

Salsa Soul Sisters meeting, New York City

Gay rights march in New York

“Fat Chance” Dance Group, Berkeley, CA 1979, photo by Cathy Cade

via “Gay by the Bay”


Dykes on Bikes

San Jose Lesbian March

C1 Women’s Lib Rally, 1982

Audre Lorde & Angela

Lesbian avengers, photo by Carolina Kroon

Old Wives Tale Bookstore in San Francisco, California. Photo by Carol Seajay

Sistah Boom

Lesbian couple in the East Village, 1981, by Amy Arbus

Outside the courtroom, the press interviews Marilyn Barnett, accompanied by her attorney, Joel Ladin (right), after a Superior Court judge ruled that she had no right to a $500,000 beach house she claimed was promised to her by her former lover, tennis star Billie Jean King. Los Angeles, California, December 18, 1981.

1983, Castro Street Fair

Young Dykes


The Common Lives team

Kitty Tsui, photographed by Jill Posener for “On Our Backs” magazine

The Indigo girls with Winona LaDuke

1988, Mariana Romo Carmona and June Chan, photo by Robert Giard


ACT UP! Photo by Donna Binder

ACT UP! Protest in Chicago, 1990

Photo by Saskia Scheffer

1993 – NYC Pride March

Janet Gail and Carolina Kroon, photo by Carolina Kroon

Photo by Laura Aguilar

Servicemembers in Gay Pride Parade, photo by Cathy Cade

1993 Gay & Lesbian March on Washington

Minnie Bruce Pratt & Leslie Feinberg, photo by Robert Giard

1993 Gay Pride in New York City, photo by Philip Jones Griffith

1993 – New York City Pride

Van Dykes at the 1993 March in Washington

Dorothy Allison with Alix Layman and Wolf-Michael, 1995, photo by Robert Giard

Two Sandras, photo by Joyce Culver

The lesbian tent at the Beijing International Women’s Conference

Lesbian couple fighting for custody of their child, 1995

1995, Keisha and Lia, photo by Joyce Culver

Greenwich Village, 1997

Dyke march, 1998

(via Autostraddle)

1 comment:

  1. You've curated such a beautiful collection! Thank you for this!




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