History Lesbian Spirituality

Another Mother Tongue

Another Mother TongueJudy GrahnBeacon Press1984

In this view of gay culture and its role in society, the author weaves history with myth, tribal traditions with the occult, and interviews with personal experience to unfold the rich pattern of gay life that has existed from ancient times to the present.

Spanning centuries and across cultures, Grahn tours lesbian and gay life on a self-described “shashay down the lavender trail”. She covers a remarkable range -from Amazon queens to Celtic fairies; from tribal-king sacrifices of Europe and Asia to contemporary violence against gay men; from the significance of the color purple and rainbows to the origins of “butch” and “femme”. Along the way, Grahn draws from her own life and sets herself in the larger context of people and events in the modern gay and lesbian movement. Throughout, she addresses the memory of her ” dear first lover” Von (Yvonne Mary Robinson) with great emotional impact.

Judy Grahn is a poet, activist and scholar. She is one of the founding Mother’s of the Lesbian Feminist and Women’s Spirituality Movements in the United States. She initiated and participated in profound cultural shifts brought about by the women’s and gay rights movements of the 1960s and 70s. Judy participated in not just the formation of new institutions like the Women’s Press Collective, the Oakland Feminist Women’s Health Center, and A Woman’s Place Bookstore, but also, the creation of whole new ways of living, including collective feminist households that cut through the political and social isolation women experience.