The Cut

An Oral History of the Lesbian Avengers

When I called queer historian Lillian Fadermann to discuss the legacy of the Lesbian Avengers — the ’90s activist group that founded the Dyke March — she opened with, “I think it’s important to remember that lesbians used to get lost in the gay-rights movement then, and I think they can still get lost in the LGTBQ+ movement today.” For the past 28 years, the Dyke March has been a meaningful point of congregation for lesbians who long for greater visibility and support in their fight against homophobia and sexism and to celebrate the joys of lesbian life. The activists Ana Maria Simo, Sarah Schulman, Maxine Wolfe, Anne-christine d’Adesky, Anne Maguire, and Marie Honan had these precise aims in mind when they formed the Lesbian Avengers, who exploded onto the New York scene in 1992 with their entertaining and eye-catching demonstrations. At its peak, the group expanded to include 60 chapters on three continents before officially dissolving in 1997. In honor of New York City’s Dyke March on June 26, the Cut spoke to some of the Avengers who helped the direct-action group expand into an international movement.

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