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Fissures at the Birmingham WLM Day Conferences

1978


were held regularly at Tindal Street School, . “There was a lot of paranoia at the time, but it was interesting. I remember the one conference where we were saying that the local , is anti-lesbian. It wasn’t just the who were saying this conference is anti-lesbian and we’re not going to do it again; the outweigh the commonalities, especially around race and sexuality. It fissured around that one issue. It’s difficult to distinguish between stuff and the sexuality stuff, because they got very mixed up together. But I thought that maybe it didn’t matter if it fell apart around and sexuality, because just being a woman wasn’t enough of a common bond to hold us all together. I wasn’t over anxious about it but it was an upsetting time. It was naďve to think it could stretch to accommodate the degree of difference. There were a lot of women, lesbian and heterosexual, who found the and tensions too much. It did get quite tense and split, but we always prided ourselves at being able to get on regardless. From our point of view as we thought we were much nicer and more open and less uptight than the Leeds and London lot. In Birmingham we just tried to get on with it. For other women, it often felt very extreme. It was a strange place to be. There are a lot of people around who still have very strong feelings about what happened, and very different memories. It amazes me how strongly women still feel about it.”

Contributed by: Trisha McCabe, 51

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