Lesbians and bisexual women in history: Women who made a difference

Ten lesbian and bisexual women who helped make historyBY KATHY BELGE
LesbianLife at About.com

These lesbian and bisexual women lived in a time where it was not as easy to be out and proud. They paved the path that we walk on today.

1. Gertrude “Ma” Rainey
Ma Rainey was known as the Mother of the Blues. Even though she was married to Pa Rainey, Ma Rainey did nothing to hide her love of women. In 1928 she recorded “Prove it on Me Blues,” which makes no secret of her relationships with women.

2. Mabel Hampton
Mabel Hampton, a Black lesbian pioneer inspired many during her 87 year stay on this planet. One of her early jobs was dancing in an all women’s troupe that performed on Coney Island. For Hampton the 1920’s were a time of dancing in all black productions. In 1984 Mabel Hampton addressed the crowds at New York City’s pride parade. She said “I, Mabel Hampton, have been a lesbian all my life, for 82 years, and I am proud of myself and my people. I would like all my people to be free in this country and all over the world, my gay people and my black people.”

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