Lesbian Avengers Keeps Fighting, 25 Years On

Legendary activist group revives to fight the Trump effect.


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Since the November election, white supremacists, anti-LGBT activists and misogynists have become visible and vocal, attacking minorities in public spaces, in digital and social media, and stating their intention to roll back the legal gains achieved in the last two decades. Hate crimes and incidents of harassment are being reported on a daily basis nationwide, with some news outlets and websites such as Jezebel.com estimating as many as 900 reported incidents. But what is our community doing about it?

The Lesbian Avengers are fighting back!

The Lesbian Avengers launched almost 25 years ago, during another wave of anti-gay and white supremacist hate. Their call to action was: "LESBIANS! DYKES! GAY WOMEN!... We're wasting our lives being careful. Imagine what your life could be. Aren't you ready to make it happen?"

Twenty thousand dykes marched on Washington. More than 60 chapters sprang up worldwide, launching Dyke Marches near and far and their activism even reached America's heartland, successfully beating back anti-gay legislation in rural Idaho. 

In their very first action, the Lesbian Avengers gave out balloons to support the Rainbow Curriculum in New York, designed to teach children about diversity. Lesbian Avengers learned the art of eating fire to call attention to the fire-bombing deaths by neo-Nazis of Hattie Mae Cohens and Brian Mock, a black lesbian and her white gay friend. The Avengers took over a radio station which had been spewing hatred and vilification against LGBT folks and people of color.

And now they're back, as Lesbian Avengers 25.

Kelly Cogswell, an original member of the Lesbian Avengers and a coordinator of Lesbian Avengers 25, says her goal in sharing the Avengers' story is to prove that it's possible to fight back. 

"We've done it before, and we'll do it again. It's not magic. But sustained activism does make a difference. The Avenger story also shows that you have to take a leap of faith."

This activism only happened because six people sat down and decided, "We're doing this, whether anybody joins us or not," says Cogswell.

The Lesbian Avengers 25 welcome your support, whether it's participating in the Lesbian Avenger oral history project, coordinating a mobile exhibit in your area, or donating to their current IndieGogo campaign (through Dec. 20).

Support the campaign here

More information on The Lesbian Avengers here

Celebrate 25 years here

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