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THE NATIONAL WOMEN'S MUSIC FESTIVAL:Collective Identity and Diversity in a Lesbian-Feminist Community

THE NATIONAL WOMEN'S MUSIC FESTIVAL:Collective Identity and Diversity in a Lesbian-Feminist Community

Abstract

Lesbian feminists have strived to create communities responsive to both lesbian and feminist concerns. The potential conflict between affirming a lesbian identity and supporting the feminist value of diversity are explored through this examination of the National Women's Music Festival. Based on interviews and field notes collected over a three-year period, we found that the prolesbian focus of this festival strengthened lesbian identity for many while creating a sense of exclusion for some nonlesbians. Also, despite the promoted ideal of diversity, many women of color did not feel truly accepted. We conclude by emphasizing the importance of understanding the societal resaons behind a focus on lesbian pride as well as the need for putting more emphasis on policies and actions that enhance diversity.
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