Carol and Edna | Oklahoma History, A Different View

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Q. How did "women's liberation" impact lesbians in Oklahoma? 

A. During my adolescent years, the '60;s, I lived in rural Oklahoma, and the words "lesbian" or "homosexual" never crossed my radar. During this period, I remember hearing, as I rode in the backseat of the family car, my father point out a rural farmhouse and tell my mother, "Bruce, (who lived there with another woman), finger fucks her." I tried to figure out what he was saying about Bruce, but I didn't have the vaguest idea. I remember feeling sorry for Bruce, who dressed like a man and had a problem with alcohol, because I knew the men made fun of her.  

Pat, an acquaintance of Carol and Edna's, said, "Being born in 1954, I don't think I knew of the word 'gay' or 'lesbian.' I always felt like an outsider, but I had no clue and, of course, I went to a Baptist college. Even in the mid-70s, when I first came out, there was still a level of invisibility within the community. 

"In the late '70;s, the Women's Resource Center in Norman sponsored a coffeehouse once a month and that was my first experience with any kind of gay community. About that time, there were a couple of bars in Oklahoma City that were primarily for women. At the old bar, D.J.'s, there was a foyer where you signed in. The foyer had a little window and D.J. sat behind the window. She checked your I.D. and decided if you got in. If D.J. didn't like you, you didn't get in ... Part of what D.J. offered was a feeling of safety once you were inside."

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