How and where did you access it?
I got this book from a lesbian friend a few years ago and I shall never forget it.
How did it make you feel?
Lucky to be living in a much more tolerant time and culture. Leslie Feinstein's autobiographical narration of her life as a gay woman finding herself and her community in pre-Stonewall USA is gripping and very well written. It is harrowing and disturbing in its description of the regular and casual brutal beatings and rape of the butch women and drag queens by the police on their frequent raids. The women were hated by the police who often tried to correct gay women by brutal rape. It is also heart-warming and tender in how the women support each other, and how the older butch women try to guide Feinstein in learning to navigate and keep herself safe. It makes sense why some women, the more masculine ones were called Stone, they totally suppresed feelings to survive. It is very interesting to me how love and attraction between butches themselves was taboo and not accepted. There is one scene that is heart breaking and so disturbing. At a much later stage she goes back to find one of her close butch friends and role models in her earlier coming out institutionalised in the back ward of some psych hospital: locked up, drugged and abandoned -a grim glimpse of how psychiatry treated lesbians and gender non-conforming women.
Did you share it?
Not my friend's copy but have often spoken of it to others.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about it?
I want to re-read it but so far have not found it easy to find a copy. It is very expensive on ebay or amazon. But expect I can find it in a good queer library.