Five Queer Women Who Helped Shape a Movement
Posted on August 24, 2021
This month Toledo is celebrating Pride and there is no better time to take a deep dive into the LGBTQ+ women who have helped to shape the fight for equality and justice in queer communities of yesterday and today.
Chrystos, Poet & Activist
The two-spirit and lesbian-identified poet, artist, and activist of Menominee ancestry has published many books of poems and has been featured in anthologies including This Bridge Called My Back. In her writing Chrystos aims to empower Native Americans to connect with their heritage and culture, to break down stereotypes and expose intersectional issues affecting her people. She won the Audre Lorde International Poetry Competition and received the Sappho Award of Distinction from the Astrea Lesbian Foundation for Justice.
bell hooks: bell hooks (a stylized pen name for author, activist, and academic Gloria Jean Watkins) is a groundbreaking feminist theorist, whose ability to make accessible the complexities of critical pedagogy and feminist pedagogy opened the door for feminist teachers around the world. In her feminist theory work, bell hooks address race, class, and gender and has contributed greatly to the expansion of the ideas of intersectionality, queerness, and social activism.
Frida Kahlo: Considered one of the greatest Mexican artists of all time, Kahlo is best known for her self-portraits, the use of bold colors and the passion she evoked in her work. Born during an age where women were still corseted and bound by Victorian codes of morality, Kahlo’s modern attitude towards sexuality wove itself into her art in various ways and led her to explore themes of infertility, sexual pleasure and her tumultuous relationship with her husband, Diego Rivera. Outside of her work, her attitude towards love and sexuality were radical for her time—she disregarded the limitations of gender and instead let herself be attracted to the creative spirits of both men and women.