Swimming with Lesbians
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Swimming with Lesbians

USA, 2009, 68 Minute Running Time
West Coast Premiere
Genre/Subjects: Aging / Elders, BDSM, Biography / History, Discrimination, Documentary, Gay, Homophobia, Lesbian, Male-to-Female, Transgender
Program: Documentary
Language: English

DIRECTOR: David Marshall

It's been said, “Gays have a past but no history.” Swimming with Lesbians explores an upstate New York community’s efforts to create an LGBT historic archive, led by the extraordinary Madeline Davis.

Davis is more than the keeper of Buffalo’s archive. In addition to writing and recording the song “Stonewall Nation,” produced by the Mattachine Society, she was the first openly lesbian elected delegate to speak at the Democratic National Convention, she taught the first course on lesbianism ever offered at a major American university, and she co-authored a seminal history of blue collar lesbian life, Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold.

The work of Davis and her community highlight the movement to pull gay rights out of urban gay meccas and onto Main Streets in small towns. Davis’s own story is surrounded by the stories of five unique Buffalo residents who have suffered and continue to suffer homophobia and transphobia in this blue collar city.

Davis poignantly summarizes her motivations for starting the archive as she says, “We are ephemeral. We will be gone. This is for the ages.” She is determined to see this archive installed in a library or university in Buffalo but continues to struggle with the straight gatekeepers who hold the key to preserving her life’s work.

Text Voting Code: D310

Copresented by

The Exiles and New Leaf: Services For Our Community and GLBT Historical Society and Transgender Economic Empowerment Initiative (TEEI)

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