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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Reflection on "When We Were Outlaws"



This week I found myself reading Jeanne Córdova's memoir "When We Were Outlaws" from cover to cover in one day. I found her story of revolution and love to be intimate and compelling; at times I found myself feeling as though I had stumbled upon a friend's journal. Córdova's words hit close to home for me, as an activist and scholar I was familiar with the hold the "political life" had on her, and how inevitably she was disappointed and betrayed by her own mentors in the movement.

A part of the memoir/herstory that struck me was the constant writing Jeanne did and how it became such an integral part of her life. Whether it was for her first love The Lesbian Tide, The Freep, the CGSC or Rachel, she often found herself writing. This observation made me realize how much of Jeanne's life is in her writing, and how important the pen is in telling her story. I feel extremely blessed that outlaws like Jeanne have paved the way for queer youth today, and that she's above all a survivor of struggles in love and revolution.
My questions for Jeanne are:

1.) On page 165 after your interview with The Weather Underground, you wrote "At its core "revolution" wasn't pretty or easy. People died, lives were ruined." Looking back at that glimpse of the revolution's "core", what would  you say about the "revolution' to a young activist today?

2.) How did it feel to (re)member your relationship with Rachel for the book, do you still wish you'd talked to BeJo early and gotten to Rachel before she left?

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