Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon
Breedlove/Howard bill was kind of a treat, if filled with spurts of nostalgia
and touching moments. Silas spun a humour-filled tale about his rise to Hollywood “fame,” selling out, Billy Tipton, his film, meeting Kitty Tipton, and passing
as a dude. Breedlove brought the usual eccentric persona he’s honed over the
years as a performance artist, complete with the pissing-in-a-bucket and purple
dildo act many have grown to love. And he started out all sorts of naked. Talk about
shedding inhibitions. There was a nice, intimate crowd and both performers
interacted with the crowd with ease.
It brought all sorts
of feelings out of me, like when Lynnee talked about the passing of Del Martin,
lesbian activist who started the Daughters of
Bilitis collective (in reaction to exclusion from the feminist circles at
the time). Martin later published the quarterly issue of the Ladder, for
lesbians, with her partner Phyllis. They were married in 2008, as California legalized gay
marriage for a short spurt until they repealed prop 8. Isn’t it sad that Del passed away shortly thereafter, like 2 months later!?!?
It also made me reminisce
about my own coming out experience, once as bisexual in 1996 and a few years
later as total homo. I never actually read Breedlove’s Godspeed novel. I
remember meaning too when it came out, but then for some reason, it slipped off
my radar. Who would I be today if I had read it in time? Would I have felt not
alone as an outsider? Then again, I read a lot of other novels and watched a
slew of films, and read a ton of lezzie magazines.
All this heaviness for
Hump Day! What are your thoughts on coming out? Were you around for the riot
grrrl movement, Tribe 8 etc? And is it really over?