lesbian pulp and the lavender universe: March 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Come out of the Closet says 83 year old Artemis Smith


83 year old Lesbian Pulp author Artemis Smith was at NY's Rainbow Book Fair this past Saturday. Unassuming, she told the story of how she was the first author to tell the gay community in the 1960s to hurry up and “Come out of the Closet” or get left out of the civil rights movement.

When I spoke with her she showed me copies of her newly published 'Odd Girl Restored", the unedited version of "Anne Loves Beth" (original title by author) and "Odd Girl Revisited" which includes memoirs of the early years of the 1950-60's Rainbow civil rights coalition movements.

Artemis objected to the use of 'tortured women' in the subheadline.

The Third Sex, published in 1959 when Artemis was 29 years old.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Radical Lesbians and the Gay Liberation Front

Went to the opening for the photography exhibit of Ellen Shumsky at New York's  Lesbian Herstory Archives in Park Slope. The photographer, as well as the moderator Flavia Rando and poet Fran Winant painted a vivid picture of radical lesbian feminism - preStonewall into the 70s. Got to re-appreciate how much the early activists did to make our lives so much easier today. The marches, the protests, the meetings and the 'more meetings'. These brave and determined women risked getting arrested during regular police raids. They risked their lives, their jobs and their family relationships.

Lesbian and gay bars were usually run by organized crime back then, no one else would financially invest in them, and they were the only ones with enough muscle to keep them open. Don't know if the bar owners really had much of a choice. Of course that still didn't prevent police raids.

Flavia told the story of a friday night out when she was turned away from her favorite lesbian hangout because the bar was raided the day before and they weren't going to let any women wearing 'slacks' enter the bar that night.  

Gay Liberation Front poster

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

art imitates art...lesbian pulps and the movies

Find lesbian pulp fiction books like these at www.lavenderpulp.com

It looks like the 1958 classic pulp "Three Women" may have been a great reference for the Pulp Fiction movie poster which was designed to look like a pulp fiction book. Both have a seductive women lounging, right hand up, holding a sidewards glance. Plus the iconic red banner with yellow headlines. However Three Women by March Hastings sold for 35 cents and the Pulp Fiction 'book' with Uma Thurman sold for a dime. The biggest difference is that the main character of Three Women has another woman in the room and poor Uma only has a cigarette.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Twilight World of Lesbian Pulp Fiction

Pulp of the Month
Edge of Twilight
Now available at:

During the 1950s code words for 'lesbian' developed for lesbian pulpfiction books. One of the most popular words was twilight. Twilight, the period of the evening between daylight and darkness, a state of obscurity or ambiguity. I guess like another popular expression of the time 'third' (the third sex), it indicated something 'other' or 'in-between'. Not male or female but perhaps a third gender or a different sexuality. I'm not sure how they came up with this but everyone who wanted to know got the message.

As a side note, some Native American tribes were known to have third and fourth genders (male, female, male body/female soul, or female body/male soul). Though the sex of the baby could be determined at birth, the gender would be determined later on.

The Golden Era of Lesbian Pulp included titles such as "The Edge of Twilight" and "Twilight Women" or phrases such as "The World of Twilight Love" and "Of the love that dwells in twilight".

Get a chance to browse and purchase original vintage pulp fiction at the Rainbow Book Fair in NYC, Saturday March 24 2012 at the Center. Lavenderpulp Books will have plenty of lesbian pulps for sale.