Conference Spotlight

by mlreynolds on October 4, 2022

This past weekend Megan Reynolds traveled to Dallas, Texas to present at the Queer History South Conference. She presented on the topic “The Internal Lavender Menace: Lesbian Feminist Challenges in Southwest Virginia” alongside only one other poster presenter due to complications with the hurricane. Despite this, Megan presented her research and findings to many archivists and public historians from across the south. This research stems from her work this summer as one of the thirteen Summer Scholars, as she looked at the Lesbian Feminist movement in a national view. Lesbian feminism is a strand of feminism that has been a part of the larger women’s movement since the 1970s. This cultural movement emboldened lesbians to concentrate on constructing comradery between women with a focus on rejecting heteronormativity and men. The way lesbian feminists handled race and gender differences, however, ultimately led to the exclusion of bisexual women, transgender women, and queer women of color within movement spaces. This project examined lesbian feminism through the lens of exclusion to show how a movement meant to bring women closer together created a legacy of division within LGBTQ+ communities. Megan discovered that despite how progressive we think we are as a country, we haven’t really moved along as far as we have and bi women, trans women, and queer women of color are still marginalized within lesbian and women-only spaces today.

At this conference, Megan learned that everyone who is there with you at a conference is there for the same reasons and is just as interested in your research as you are. People want to know what your research is about, especially if it is a topic that they relate to and have other connections with.

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