Daughters of Bilitis, "Costume Dance"

Daughters of Bilitis, "Costume Dance"


San Francisco: 25 June [1976].

Photocopied flyer, 280 x 217 mm, in very good condition on yellow paper with picture of Greta Garbo as Queen Christina of Sweden and captioned, “I DON’T REALLY VANT TO BE ALONE.”

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“Come as Radclyffe Hall, Queen Christina, Joan of Arc!!” This “Costume Dance…in Celebration of Gay Pride Week” is a wonderful survival from amidst the rich history of lesbian community-building facilitated by the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) since its foundation in 1955. Guests were invited to boogie down to Rosie and the Riveters from 9:00 PM to 1:00 AM with “Wine, Beer, Juice at Recession Prices of .25 [cents].” Childcare was also made available—typical to the group, and a testament to DOB founders’ Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon’s increasing activism and advocacy for lesbian mothers beginning in the early 1970s. Between its punk aesthetics—a mix of sharpie pen, typewritten and photocopied images—and its encouragement of costumes after lesbian fashion icons like Joan, Christina, and Radclyffe, it’s an evening worth remembering (and maybe re-enacting).

Rosie and the Riveters’s gigs were advertised in the Bay Area Reporter and San Francisco Gay Guardian beginning in November 1975, when the Guardian announced that “SISTERSOUNDS has reformed and renamed and is currently Rosie and the Riveters; but no name-change can affect their superlative music for feminist ears.” Their members were Joan Bobkoff on fiddle & guitar, Liz Cabraser on drums, Ella Heartfeld also playing fiddle & guitar, and Judy Statsinger on piano and guitar: “their songs take on many musical forms, from Country & Western to Forties jazz, but their lyrics have a strong feminist content.” They played their inaugural gig at Wild Side West on 8 November 1975, and at other lesbian bar’s such as Bishop’s, La Salamandra, and Kelly’s Saloon. 


“San Francisco Bay Guardian Issue 10.21,” February 27- March 5, 1976,  The Internet Archive, https://archive.org/stream/Iss10.21/Iss10.21_djvu.txt 

"Bay Area Reporter, Volume 6, Number 13, 24 June 1976,” The Internet Archive, https://archive.org/stream/BAR_19760624/BAR_19760624_djvu.txt