Edge: History of Lesbian Avengers chronicled in "Eating Fire"

By Winnie McCroy

Eating Fire: My Life as a Lesbian AvengerWhen Kelly Cogswell moved to New York City from Kentucky in 1992, she was an ex-Southern Baptist who had just come out as a lesbian. A few short months later, she was on the front lines of the gay civil rights movement, participating in direct actions, facing cops on Fifth Avenue and helping organizing 20,000 dykes for a march on Washington, D.C., to eat fire in front of the White House.

Her new memoir, "Eating Fire" chronicles the ’90s Culture War to the 00’s War on Terror, and Cogswell’s life story. This is one of the first in-depth memoirs of its kind to deal with the Lesbian Avengers, an organization that began in New York 20 years ago, and then spread to 60 chapters all over the U.S. and Canada, with huge chapters in London and Australia. Despite its proliferation, the Avengers are not well remembered today. This prompted Cogswell to begin her book.

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