Off Our Backs: Lesbian Feminist Periodicals 1956-2000 – Exhibition

Map Unavailable

Date(s) - Monday, March 8, 2021 - Friday, April 9, 2021
11:00 am - 5:00 pm


An impossibly possible movement. Looking at feminism through the lens of lesbian feminist periodicals, we are quick to realize the ebb and flow of an often-divided socio-political movement progressing back and forth again and again and again. Pushed down, pushed back. On our backs, off our backs.
This exhibition, whose title is dually inspired by the publications Off Our Backs (1976-2005) and On Our Backs(1985-2001), highlights materials from the Stonewall National Museum and Archives that participated in discourse about the lesbian feminism movement from 1956-2000. The publications don’t necessarily read linearly and were multi-purpose in their design to serve their communities. Publications as early as The Ladder (1956-1970) reveal a desire and commitment to form communities and to normalize lesbian culture in a heterosexual-dominant society. Its outreach designated safe meetings and spaces for lesbian women looking to connect with others.
Publications grew to include poetry, art, and critical essays that encouraged action, empowered sexuality, and confronted stereotypes. Moreover, issues were widely disseminated in hopes of reaching anyone who felt alone. The periodicals included in this exhibition were organized by the following thematic concerns: Forming Communities, Politics, Identifying Oppression, and Sexual Autonomy.
This exhibition is available for viewing during our operational hours:
Mon – Fri, 11AM – 5PM
Sat, 11AM – 3PM