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Dissident Voice | Promoting Social Change: LGBT Activism

By John Wisniewski
Dissident Voice

Cogswell_Eating coverJohn Wisniewski: What do you feel was accomplished by the activism of The Lesbian Avengers during the 1990′s?

Kelly Cogswell: We got a lot done in purely practical terms, not only pressuring schools to teach about LGBT lives as part of the sadly controversial Rainbow Curriculum, but to acknowledge there are LGBT children. We brought attention to the huge wave of antigay violence, including the ’92 fire-bombing deaths of Hattie Mae Cohens and Brian Mock in Oregon (which is when the Lesbian Avengers learned to eat fire). We took over a bigoted Spanish-language radio station and broadcast our own messages against homophobia, racism, and misogyny. One of our biggest, measurable, successes was the Lesbian Avenger Civil Rights Organizing Project (LACROP) which was a big part of the reason antigay legislation failed in Idaho in ’94. Of course, these are just accomplishments of New York Avengers. Other chapters were busy all over the world.

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