1980s lesbians show fierce defiance – and fashion – in fascinating archive footage

To celebrate Lesbian Visibility Week, here’s an archive clip of three women in the 1980s, discussing what it was like to be a lesbian at the time.

The 1986 film, Lesbians, was directed by Pam Walton and shows a discussion between Diane Porath, Dianne Rhudy and Marilyn Watkins, who address some of the stereotypes associated with being a lesbian and pointing out that they “don’t need a man to be loved”. 

The footage has been digitally preserved by UCLA Film & Television Archive.

“We’re women who care to express our love with a member of the same sex,” one of them says. 

Responding to the stereotype of a butch lesbian, another says: “I just play Diane. I’ve always been the same. Talking about being gay, it’s like talking about breathing. 

“The only reason you need a man in your life is if you want a baby, of course you don’t even need that as long as there’s a turkey-baster around.” 

Lesbian Visibility Week, sponsored this year by Diva magazine, aims to celebrate, uplift and show solidarity to LGBTQ+ women and non-binary people from all generations, fields and countries. It runs until Sunday (28 April).

Meanwhile, Londoners have recently been able to celebrate the relaunch of a popular event for queer women, Ruby Tuesdays, which was axed during the COVID-19 pandemic.