Dreams of a New World: San Francisco Bay Area Lesbian Histories

This ethnohistorical research project chronicles the lives of a generation of lesbian-identified baby-boomer women in the San Francisco Bay Area, set in the context of the larger history of lesbians in the U.S. It explores race and class difference across time and space, and how these factors shaped meanings of butch/femme and lesbian identities more broadly.


Women who came of age in the 1970s constituted a diverse cohort of women that was instrumental in the transformation of lesbian identities and communities. These young women grew up in the explosive 60s, and were heirs to dynamic yet underground homosexual communities present in the US since the 1920s. Through social and bar-based networks as well as political activism, Bay Area lesbians in the 70s lived their everyday lives in ways that forever changed gender and sexual practices and norms.

EB (seated facing camera) at the former Maud's bar 

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