chapter  8
16 Pages

Lesbian Spaces, Gay Faces 250

ByGreenwich Village

Many people, including many social scientists, consider community to be rooted spatially, in a place. For a gay community, the obvious places are bars. However, the bars, before 1970, were found in the larger metropolitan centers-much of the rest of the country was still dry into the 1970s. Kennedy and Davis say that for working class lesbians in the pre-Stonewall era, “bars for lesbians created the possibility of group consciousness and activity” (Kennedy and Davis 1997, p. 27). They go on to assert that “bars were the only possible place for working-class lesbians to congregate outside of private homes” (Kennedy and Davis 1997, p. 28), emphasis added. Whistling Women frequently mentioned bars in their narratives, and the memories were often vivid. Most striking in their narratives, however, are the glimpses of class differences in particular. Because of the association of bars with nonworking or working-class women, bars were not the usual places most of the narrators went.