Doesn't everybody fall in love with her gym teacher? Noel Scanlon was her name. A beautiful Irish lady. I discovered who I was at that time. I was different. But I found people like myself. I found other "lesbians." There was Lily, who was with Maxine, and Jane, who was with Elizabeth. I thought, "That's my life."
Annalee, born 1927
I was in college when I picked up the word homosexual, I went to the library and started looking up things. It was a pretty big library, and they'd have all kinds of things, I thought. So that's where I started to look. Everything I read was written by men, generally by psychiatrists, about men who were very sick. I would read that, but I didn't understand some of the terms they referred to, and it didn't sound like anything I felt. I couldn't identify with it at all.
Hannah, born 1926
I came out when I was 50. I really knew I was a lesbian at 19, and I thought it was a choice. And it is a choice, if you don't mind being unhappy. The choice is whether or not you're going to be true to who you really are. It took me a long time to realize that. And you have to have other things fall in place – it's no fun being a lesbian by yourself!
Lois, born 1936
I'd go to the movies with my little neighbor girls. We always saw every movie four or five times. And these little girls are sitting there saying, "Oh, I wish I could kiss Gordon MacRae." And I'm sitting there thinking, "Oh, I wish I could kiss Doris Day."
Eris, born 1925
Books or organizations [for lesbians]? There was nothing like that except "The Well of Loneliness." I did read it. Made me so depressed! I thought, "Oh, my god. Is this my life?" There wasn't, as far as I knew, anything else out there.
Mary Beth, born 1939
After my brother left home for the day, my parents called me in and grilled me for two hours. “Are you a homosexual?” “What in the world are you thinking?” As a 19 year old, I lied, lied, lied. I didn’t know what else to do.
Jami, born 1940
I met Laurie at the women's center in Shasta in Redding. And I left my husband. We were staying in this trailer park. We were walking around there one evening. We hadn't slept together for awhile; I just couldn't do it anymore. He said, “I need a woman.” And I said, “I do too.”