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Baby Boom or Bust!
By Katie Sanborn
Photography by Jill Posener
The birth of Melissa Etheridge and Julie Cypher’s daughter, Bailey Jean, has attracted the most public attention since that Bethlehem birth two millennia ago. Suddenly, now that a big-name lesbian star has become a mother, everyone is talking about the lesbian baby boom, or, to be inclusive, the gayby boom.
With the public announcement in November of the Etheridge/Cypher pregnancy, the media went wild. 20/20’s Deborah Roberts conducted the first public interview; Newsweek published a cover story on the pregnancy and on the baby boom. MSNBC, the Microsoft-NBC joint venture, produced its story within days of Bailey Jean’s birth. Suddenly, the rest of America realized that we were having children. Their reactions ranged form enthusiastic support to out-and-out hostility. Meanwhile, we continue to grapple with ordinary parenting concerns and consider the social ramifications of a swell in the number of children raised in lesbian- and gay-headed families.
Sizzling Summer Fashion
Photography by Diane Butler
Styling and Make-Up by Lavonne Wise
Travel to the tropics to complete your wardrobe. The women of St. Croix show the latest vacation attire from bathing suits to cool summer suits. Clothing by Speedo, Sloop Jones and Atlanta.
Dig Into Sleater-Kinney
By Amy RaNae Wilson
“We weren’t told that it was going to be printed,” Corin Tucker says, her voice noticeably tightening. “We didn’t know until it was on the stands.”
“It” was the fact that Tucker, twenty-four, and Carrie Brownstein, front-women of fast-rising Northwest band Sleater-Kinney, had briefly dated a few years back. Suddenly, this item had become available at every newsstand across the nation, courtesy of SPIN magazine. “We weren’t asked about our personal lives in the interview,” Tucker continues, “We talked about things we thought were really important, and what they printed was that we dated. It just came out as being gossip.”
That mid-1996 gossip was merely a “pain in the ass” for Tucker, who came out to her family when she was nineteen, but Brownstein’s situation was more delicate – her family had been totally unaware she was bisexual. “It was something that I’d been planning [to tell them] when it felt like the right time. The process was rapidly sped up for me with the aid of a national magazine,” recalls Brownstein, twenty-two, with a small laugh that doesn’t entirely cover the pain the experience caused her. “It’s fine now, and my family is very supportive . . . it’s just not the way I wanted to go about doing it.”
All Over Alex Sichel
By Kathy Strieder
In All Over Me, a movie released in April by Fine Line Features, Alex and Sylvia Sichel, sisters, co-writers and co-directors, have created a masterpiece of female adolescent sexuality, pain and determination. Praised at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the film’s concept originated when Alex spent time with New York City’s riot grrrl collaborative in the early Nineties. Alex soon realized that she had enough material for a fictional piece. She brought her sister Sylvia in on the project, and they created a story focused on the changes in the intense bond of friendship between two adolescent girls, Claude and Ellen. The characters struggle with family, sexuality, violence and the outside world. All Over Me has broken a profound barrier in film, detailing the emotional and psychological universe of two fifteen-year-old girls. Alex Sichel chats with Curve about the poignant impact of this film.
By Kathleen Wilkinson
Some viewers said Susan Streitfeld’s new film, Female Perversions, is anti-feminist, while others say it is too feminist. Teenagers in Taos with safety pins in their ears and spiked hair love it; women in their fifties and sixties watch it weeping, riveted to their seats. Radical lesbians from New York walked out of the screening at the Sundance Film Festival, but a packed house at the San Francisco lesbian and gay festival gave it a standing ovation. Orlando star Tilda Swinton calls it a “clarion call to feminism to brush up the act.”
In a way that no other feature film has, Female Perversions explores what women do to feel strong, desirable and powerful in a male-dominated society.