Category Archives: Lesbians Around The Globe

Special Notice from Olivia Cruises about helping Haiti

Dear Valerie,

The terrible disaster that hit Haiti this week has touched all of us. We, as individuals, always come forward at these times to make contributions and offer support. Now we can speak as one voice, joining together to help the people of Haiti.

Olivia is collaborating with the Red Cross in an historic effort to bring the LGBT community’s contributions to Haiti. Because we are now able to donate directly to the Red Cross as a group, our community’s efforts can be identified as such. By giving generously, and in a timely manner, we will be making a statement to the world that will have a profoundly positive impact.

The Red Cross is instrumental in the early response efforts critical to the survival of so many. Please click here and donate what you can to aid the people of Haiti. We know many of you have already contributed, but please consider an additional donation, in any amount, to this fund. Even ten dollars will make a big difference; Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and much of its capital city, Port-au-Prince, has been utterly destroyed by this disaster.

Olivia pledges to match the first $7,500 raised through this email. As an added incentive, the first five individuals who donate $7,500 or more will receive an Olivia trip for two. Those five people will each receive a balcony stateroom (category BA) for two on our Caribbean Sun Cruise (October 30-November 6, 2010). Because the staterooms will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, you must contact me directly before you contribute, so that I can confirm that the allotment has not been filled. Please also note that in order to be eligible, you must contribute the funds directly through this link.

Thank you in advance for participating in this effort to help the people of Haiti. We strongly urge you to forward this letter to your friends, so they may also donate to the LGBT Americans for Earthquake Relief in Haiti fund.

Even if you can’t donate today, will you help us get the word out widely about this new initiative by sending this note to your friends and asking them to pass it on to their friends? It is our intention to generate a groundswell of support for Haiti within the LGBT community.

If you’d like to read more about this historic partnership between Olivia and the Red Cross, click here.

We know that our community is always the first to give when there is a major disaster. Now we can make the statement together.

Much love and thanks,

Judy Dlugacz
for the entire Olivia staff 434 brannan st., san francisco ca 94107 (800) 631-6277

© Copyright 2010. The Olivia Companies, LLC, All Rights Reserved.

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Mary Daily

Reprinted from Maize
Its a remarkable and significant moment in all our lives to mark the passing of perhaps our greatest scholar Mary Daly. So many of us have stories and things to say which I hope will unfold over the coming time. I last saw her at the Feminist Hullaballoo in Santa Fe two years ago. It was probably her last public event, and she wasn’t well but she was still as spikey and confronting and courageous and outrageous as always. A group of her oldest students from Boston College led by Emily Culpepper and Linda Barafaldi formed a support team and made her last years better organised and comfortable. Her legacy and her papers/archives are all in order I know and that is good, thanks to Emily. She died in Western Massachusetts on 3rd Jan 2010.
Mary was 81, born in 1928, worked and wrote and thought about the end of patriarchy all her life it seemed. She burst out of the cobwebs of the old catholic church in the 1960’s, having gone off to study theology in Friborg, Switzerland and attended some of the sessions of Vatican 2. I remember her describing the servitude of the women, of the fast revelations that followed, her writing The Church and The Second Sex, and then the great book Beyond God The Father. I first wrote to her back then, when I read that book, and we began our correspondence then. I finally met her in 1979 in Boston, went to her class at Boston College, stayed with her and Denise Connors at Newtonville for 2 weeks and we became life-long complicated friends, as she was with all her friends. She visited Australia in 1981, a tour which I organised with a collective of brave women. It was an exhausting and controversial trip which culminated in the public meeting in the Teachers Federation Hall in Sydney which could be described as a riot. Maybe now I can start to tell some of that story, there’s a thought. Maybe, because lots of the Mary Daly stories are very controversial. Her great book Gyn/Ecology was read widely in reading groups, had women up in arms and passionate like almost no other book of the 70’s period. For me the greatest of all the books is Pure Lust from 1983. Its time to revisit them all, and there are lots. There was also a great essay she wrote in a Quest journal from the late 1970’s which I still think is one of the best sources of her ideas. Her own theological roots went to Thomas Aquinas and she took him apart in a rad fem revisioning of the whole of western male thinking. Her work is still to be truly grasped I think, and will be over future time, interwoven with an understanding of her biography and experiences among women and her times. Its a monumental intellectual creative journey.
This was a huge life throbbing with ideas at the very edge of our thinking – that’s a lot to consider. There will be stories and gossip, reflections and laughs, for the remarkable achievements and legacy of the very complex very alive to the deep background world very much loved and honoured Mary Daly. I thank the spirits for her life and commend her to the galactic cows and to Stein and Woolf and the other women she can now hang out with in the spiral galaxies of the ancestors.- Suzanne Bellamy

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Australian land-lesbians reporting in from the fires

The following is an email I received from Jae at Maize Magazine. It it an email from lesbians living in Australia and going through the devastating fires. The writer, Chris, refers to it as: “their Katrina.”
Today btw, was the first day there that fatalities didn’t go up. What has happened is horrendous and climate change has created an environment of extreme conditions. From Chris’s email it sounds like even Australian politicians are coming to understand what this global warming means. Global warming is too mild a term for what we all will be facing in our lifetime. -val

Thanks, Chris, and we are all relieved for you. We also heard from Carole. Our hearts are with you, your lands and everyone there confronting this terrible tragedy.

Love to you all,

— On Tue, 2/10/09, Chris Sitka wrote:

From: Chris Sitka

To update you on the Australian fires.
Mahlandia is West of Melb. Not in the NE area where wild fires are still
All is quiet on the western front for now.
However She-La lesbian land is in Warburton and is almost surrounded by
fires which are threatening to join up into an even bigger fire. As I
write She-La is not under threat – only on alert. Sharon and Carole
evacuated in the evening of the conflaguration day and I have been
unable to reach them the last couple of days. I have heard that they may
have gone home for now. However they will be constantly on alert and
ready to go if the fires close in as they are located in a highly
forested and hilly area where fires are impossible to fight.
I have several other lesbians in other areas who also remain on alert
and in possible danger in the next days or weeks.
We are blessed with a respite in weather. It has gone cold (for summer)
and has even been drizzling rain for a bit (our first for 2 months). The
humidity helps. the fires burn on irregardless – but at a slower pace.
The ramifications are huge as it seems at least 200 people died.
Possibly many more. Thousands are now homeless. Hundreds injured.
We still have several months of summer to get through. We are very
nervous because the fires we had were like no other before. We had the
highest temperature ever in this state. We had a row of days of extreme
temps. This was a temperate climate and now we have summer temps more
usual in a desert. Up to 120 degrees F.
You should see everyone’s gardens. Burnt and shriveled. Even those of
people who have water.

The implications for us all are huge. It is fast becoming obvious that
we are already in extreme climate change conditions. Even the Premier of
our State keeps saying that in his speeches. like us he is saying people
living in the country now need to have bunkers on their property to
retreat into on extreme fire danger days. Previous fire survival options
have to be abandoned as on such days houses explode, cars melt and fires
move so fast they can come up on you before you know it. That has been
the experience of those who were caught.

I have been saying for a while that we need an underground shelter.
However being able to summon up the time, energy and money to create an
underground refuge is not so easy. We have to come up with a new fire
plan – because we no longer feel safe with our previous plan. We are all
facing this conundrum.
Even evacuation is problematic. You have to be able to leave early
enough and with fires moving at the speed of a jet plane and spotting
embers 15 miles ahead of themselves no where is safe. previously we
might have been able to shelter in a town. In these fires whole towns
and suburbs of big towns and a huge city were on fire. So underground
looks like the best survival option.

If the extreme heat, zero humidity and gale force wind conditions on Sat
7th Feb had gone on for several days our whole state might have been
burnt out.

People realise this and a huge community effort is under way to support
the people burnt out. This is our Hurricane Katrina – only the
authorities seem to have responded much better than Bush and co did.
Fire fighters are coming from everywhere (including USA) to help and
no-one has been burned out for the last couple of days. Though many
thousands of people remain under threat.

If monitoring our fires please respect request not to go onto the
official fire notification sites as those in danger are having trouble
getting onto the web site to check up what danger they are in. the web
site keeps crashing.

There are positives coming out of this. There are moves to re-build
people’s homes in fire safe and environmental friendly forms. Also the
wrath of the fierce Mother has impressed on people (judging from their
comments) that man is not the master of nature.

Our state seems to have transformed from a conglomeration of
disconnected consumers to a real community spirit. Instead of buying
people are giving and giving and giving. Every organisation, group,
club, govt department, neighbourhood, trade union, etc. etc. is rallying
with practical support.

When one of the refuges of evacuees in the hills asks for say toothpaste
– a truckload of toothpaste arrives there shortly after. Millions of
dollars have been donated. People have been giving away cars, mobile
homes, trucks of feed, etc, etc.

We live in changing times and may have to adapt fast.

Chris Sitka

Woman, Earth and Spirit, Inc ~ Administrator
Maize Magazine ~ Editor
includes links to all Projects

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Rachel Maddow on Air America

Rachel Maddow
The Rachel Maddow Show – Airs Live 6-8 P.M. Eastern

Rachel Maddow is the host of “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Air America Radio. It airs Monday-Friday 6-8PM Eastern on Air America affiliates coast-to-coast, online at, and on XM Satellite Radio.

Rachel has a doctorate in political science (she was a Rhodes Scholar) and a background in HIV/AIDS activism, prison reform, and other lefty rabblerousing. She shakes a mean cocktail, drives a bright red pickup, hates Coldplay, loves arguing with conservatives, spends a lot of money on AMTRAK tickets, and dresses like a first-grader.

She is 33 years old and lives in New York City and rural Western Massachusetts with her partner, artist Susan Mikula.

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Florida High School GLBT club

WOW! I can’t tell you how tiny and redneck Okeechobee was when I lived in florida. I was 1 1/2 hours east of it and it was a very very small town in the middle of the state (the exit from the florida turnpike for vero beach) i can believe they’d have a problem there…wish them luck. -val

H.S. gay club rejects name change

Published: Nov. 15, 2007 at 5:39 PM
OKEECHOBEE, Fla., Nov. 15 (UPI) — Members of the Gay-Straight Alliance at a Florida high school have refused to settle a lawsuit against the school board by changing the club’s name.

The group sued the Okeechobee County School Board last year, claiming it should be allowed to meet on Okeechobee County High School property. The board argues it is a “sex-based club” and allowing it to meet at the school would violate a Florida law requiring schools to teach abstinence and “heterosexual marriage.”

Robert Rosenwald, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union who is representing the club, said that the name change is unacceptable to his clients, The Palm Beach Post reported.

“The students have made clear the name of the club is important to them because it describes their mission,” Rosenwald said. “From the beginning, the purpose of this club has been to prevent harassment and discrimination

against gay students.”

A judge has ruled the club can meet at the school until the lawsuit is resolved.

© 2007 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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Melissa’s Album THE AWAKENING is out!

I just bought my copy at Outloud Books and can’t wait to listen to it.
melissa ethridge album
Randi Rhodes has been talking about it on her show for weeks and put some of the lyrics up on her site.
Melissa thanks Randi in the album notes and is a big fan of her too. Strong powerful women! LOVE IT!
Anyway, go get your copy, find some time to yourself, sit down and listen and be inspired…then go out there and do something to make this world a better place.
peace & love,

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Yolanda Retter, Lesbian Activist and Archivist, Dies

Date: September 3, 2007 12:45:29 PM CDT
Subject: (Maize Magazine 113) Fwd: Yolanda Retter. We lose another good, young woman
Yolanda Retter, Lesbian Activist and Archivist, Dies
by Elaine Woo
Yolanda Retter, an activist, archivist and scholar who devoted the last four decades to raising the visibility of lesbians and minorities and preserving their history, died Aug. 18 at her home in Van Nuys after a brief illness. She was 59.

Widely respected in the Los Angeles lesbian community despite her abrasive style and radical stances, Retter called herself a “gadfly on the body politic” who took on many roles in her drive to achieve social justice for overlooked groups, particularly lesbians of color.

She was a pivotal advocate for lesbians during the early years of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, the country’s first social service agency to exclusively serve gays. She helped organize lesbian history repositories at USC, UCLA and in West Hollywood. For the last four years, she was the librarian and archivist for the UCLA Chicano Studies Resource Center, where she was instrumental in expanding holdings related to Latinas as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Calling herself a “herstorian,” she created the Lesbian History Project website, which was once rated by Lycos as one of its most popular sites. It is off-line, but friends of Retter expect to relaunch it within a few weeks.

Retter also co-wrote or co-edited three books, including ” Queers in Space” (1997), a collection of essays and other writings that addressed how gays have shaped their environment; and “Gay and Lesbian Rights in the United States: A Documentary History” (2003).

“She knew that not to be seen was to not exist. She wanted women of color to be seen and she wanted lesbians to be seen. She thought visibility was the way to get our rights,” said Jeanne Cordova, a veteran lesbian activist who knew Retter for 37 years.

Born in New Haven, Conn., in 1947, Retter spent most of her childhood in El Salvador, where her father, Henry, a Yale-trained architect, worked for a State Department program. Most of his clients were members of El Salvador’s ruling class.

Retter was named after her Peruvian mother, Yolanda Vargas, an adventurous woman who learned to fly an airplane in the 1940s. Her mother came from an artistic family that included Alberto Vargas, Retter’s uncle, whose sensual paintings of pinup girls became World War II-era icons, and Max Vargas, Retter’s grandfather, a renowned photographer in Peru.

In high school in Connecticut, Retter knew she was attracted to other women and struggled to keep her identity in the closet. She moved to California to attend Pitzer College in Claremont in 1966, when it was still a women’s college.

She came out as a lesbian in 1969, the year of the Stonewall riots in New York City that gave rise to the gay liberation movement.

She spent the next decade helping to organize the nascent lesbian liberation movement through her involvement in such groups as Latin American Lesbians of Los Angeles and Connexxus Women’s Center/Centro de Mujeres. The latter group brought an important archive — the June L. Mazer Lesbian Collections — from Oakland to Los Angeles, and Retter helped guide it as a volunteer.

Retter also led efforts to build a collection on lesbian history for the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at USC. In 1978 she co-founded, with Cordova and others, a specialized business directory called the Los Angeles Women’s Yellow Pages

After graduating from Pitzer with a degree in sociology, Retter worked briefly as a prison guard at the California Institution for Women in Corona and managed a halfway house for displaced women in Los Angeles.

She also learned cabinet-making and became a licensed airplane mechanic before returning to school in the 1980s to earn master’s degrees in library science and social work from UCLA. At the University of New Mexico, she received a doctorate in American studies with a dissertation on lesbian activism in Los Angeles from 1970 to 1990.

She considered herself a lesbian separatist, believing that gay women could empower themselves without men. She was one of three separatists invited to appear on Oprah Winfrey’s television show in 1988.

According to an autobiographical account published in the recent book “Time It Was: American Stories From the Sixties,” Retter responded to hostile questioning on the show by saying “Oprah, if six black activists came on the show they would probably not be asked ‘Why do you hate white people?’ So why is it that the question we always get is, ‘Why do you hate men?’ ”

Retter did not hate men; she was confrontational, but in a gender-blind manner that earned her the nickname “Yolanda the Terrible.” She was often called on to oversee security at events such as the Sunset Junction Street Fair in Silver Lake and the Los Angeles Dyke March.

In 1978 she directed a program at what was then the Gay Community Services Center to address the needs of lesbians. She played a major role in the successful effort to change the name of the agency to the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center in the early 1980s, but later left in a disagreement over the service she headed and her belief that it should remain separate from the men’s programs.

“She was always afraid that assimilation, whether into mainstream culture dominated by Anglos or by men, would obliterate minority voices. That was her message. That was what she railed against,” said Torie Osborn, a former executive director of the center who is now a senior advisor to L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Retter is survived by her partner of 13 years, Leslie Golden Stampler; her father, Henry, and stepmother, Dottie, of Florida; Stampler’s two children, Belinda and Martin; and six brothers and sisters.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Sept. 29 at Metropolitan Community Church, 8714 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood. Memorial donations may be sent to the Yolanda Retter Foundation, c/o Law Office of Karen L. Mateer, 618 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena, CA 91106.

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Shekhina Mountainwater

Ariadne’s Thread
goddess book
Hi all–

I am sorry to pass on the news that Shekhina Mountainwater passed on Saturday this last weekend.

Shekhina was for decades active in goddess circles and her initiating energy moved many projects into being. Shekhina was also an early Maize contributor, part of our Maize web of wondrous wimmin . Ariadne’s Thread is her well known book on goddess magic teachings.

Cat Heron informs us that Shekhina, who succumbed to cancer, was lovingly tended in her transition by a circle of goddess women who sang her into the light.

Our hearts are with Shekhina in her Journey and to her extensive family and friendship circle.

Love to you all,

This is communication space for the AMaizing wimmin of Maize Magazine. To post a comment, question, or announcement, send email to


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Radio Producer, Talk Show Host, DJ, Columnist, Scholar, Singer

Sakia was just 15 years old on May 13, 2003. She was stabbed to death in Newark, New Jersey because she dared to reject a lewd advance from a gaybasher with an erection and an attitude. Because she refused to respond to his flirtations while being brave enough to say she was gay, Sakia was slaughtered by a nocturnal predator while awaiting a late night city bus. Simply for daring to be herself and refusing to be silenced by bigotry and cowardice, a “brother” monster, who disgraces all real men, murdered Sakia. When denied a chance to ejaculate, he chose to exterminate…{Read more about Sakia’s life and murder at: }

Sakia is my sheroe. I admire all of the young homosexual rebels everywhere who refuse to be silent about who they were born to be. They are braver than I was at their age. I lived a lie until I was 21 to avoid the hatred and danger that they courageously endure daily…

In the press photos I have seen, Sakia appears to be butch. As a femme lesbian, I am often safer than my butch sisters. I can appear to be on a platonic date with a lover at will. I can casually return a harmless flirtation of a male waiter to secure a superior table in a favorite restaurant. I can sincerely appreciate a tactful man’s compliment on a cramped elevator by never complicating my human reaction with the acknowledgment of any details of my lesbian being.

Perhaps, Sakia did not have the luxury of such safety inside her own space in this cold world. Because she appeared to be masculine, she probably evoked even more hatred in insecure “men” than I do. Such gaybashing excuses for real men fear butch lesbians who dare to embrace the masculinity that eludes their own fragile egos and weak sexual identities. They fear that butch lesbians may be better ideal men than they can ever be themselves. They fear that lesbians posess superior sexual skills with superior sexual tools that do not lie, cheat, infect, or fail to satisfy. They hate their own internal and latent homosexuality that butch lesbians may sexually awaken and arouse. They hate all lesbians who co-parent the children they abandon. They hate lesbians that may know more about sports and even play basketball better than they do. They hate lesbians who often cherish and adore the queens that they emotionally abuse by being whorish court jesters who hypocritically, and even comically, whine about being kings…

Carmen McCrae sang “Only women bleed”…Nina Simone sang “I wish I knew how it would feel to be free”… Women are mortally wounded and hemorrhaging everywhere every day. We are endangered, disempowered, and slain by misogyny and all of its morbid and violent manifestations whether we are homosexual or heterosexual. Irrespective of whom we love, or how we live, women are not safe in this world. We are not safe in any city in any country. We are raped in our own homes by our own husbands. We feel unsafe in our own baths and showers. We are unable to even sleep soundly. We know that we can become prey for any evil bastard with a libido or a switchblade or both. We know that we trust men who may betray us at any deranged moment at the whim of any hostile erection…

Living as a woman in a sexist world is to live in constant danger and fear via venomous words and vicious glances. Every woman knows this perpetual fear as deeply as she knows the taste of her own saliva. Men only taste this fear when they are imprisoned. Only then do they experience the curse of being sexual prey for 24 hours of every day. Only then do they know how every lewd glare can render them naked. Only then do they know the sexual harassment that women endure daily. The world is a prison for women. We are all sentenced to consecutive lives of misogyny without parole.

This constant fear breeds rage. This rage is real whether we embrace, ignore, or defy it. This rage is never as hot as when a sister is slain by a sexist dog. We calm the fires of our rage with the water of our tears for Sakia. She is an eternal warrior whose spirit is now pardoned and released from this sexist prison yard that still traps us…May Sakia find peace in a superior place where honesty does not evoke murder and homosexuality does not evoke hatred…

{Dear Sakia: Rest in peace baby sista. Your life is eternal. God Bless You Always…You are respected, revered, and remembered…We love and admire your indelible warrior spirit just as we love and admire your defiance… We promise you that your death is not in vain.}


read whole story here:

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What are our lesbian friends in Wales up to?

Two listeners to AVALON FARMCAST sent me a link to show some of what they are up to these days…
Dr Antonia Jones is a researcher and professor. From what I can understand of her work (it is WAY WAY over my head…) she is into mathematics, speech recognition software and artificial intelligence design. (Correct me Antonia if I’m wrong)

Her friend Jill Bird (whom she describes as an eco-friendly lesbian) is a video/visual artist. Here’s a few links to check out their work via audio & video clips:

Thanks for sending this in and thanks for listening!

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