The book starts out with Melany, a seventeen-year-old punk sleeping with a woman for the first time. You travel with her as she overcomes her shyness about her sexuality, her trying to reconcile punk with the hippie and new age lesbian scene, getting dumped, sleeping with her roommate, doing civil disobedience in an ACT UP era protest, and finally falling in love with the right person.
I could totally relate to the pride and rage she experiences in the aftermath of her arrest at a demonstration protesting sodomy laws in Washington, DC. Although this was written in the early 90s, the author acknowledges a greater degree of race and class privilege consciousness than I remember from activists at that time.
Her break-up misery was also completely realistic.
I should also note that the book was published by a feminist and lesbian press, and it was very well produced and edited. I don't say that like it's a surprise to find a small press that does a good job, just that it's not easy, and they deserve a lot of credit. Firebrand site not working at the moment. Are they no longer with us?
...I asked the woman who worked there about the music she was playing. She said it was "women's music"--music by, for, and about lesbians--and played me a couple of songs from the most popular records. I didn't like anything. I kept waiting for it to start. It wasn't punk, and I was depressed about my chances of ever achieving real lesbian consciousness. Finally, I bought a Holly Near record just to stop feeling stupid.
There were T-shirts on the wall behind the desk, like a Dykes on Bikes shirt which, I swear, almost weep right there in the store. At the last minute, I asked the woman to throw in a purple Fesbian-Leminist T-shirt. I clutched the paper bag between my knees on the motorcycle seat in front of me.
I put on my T-shirt when I got home and wandered around the apartment listening to Holly Near. Todd wasn't there, and I turned it way up, hoping to make it sound better. I played it at 78rpm and tried to pogo to it. It just didn't work. p. 33-34