Baby, You are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars, and Theology by Marie Cartier

By Marie Cartier

Baby, you're My Religion argues that American butch-femme bar tradition of the mid-20th Century might be interpreted as a sacred house for its group. ahead of Stonewall—when homosexuals have been nonetheless deemed mentally ill—these bars have been the single position the place many may have any group in any respect. Baby, you're My Religion explores this neighborhood as a domain of a lived corporeal theology and political house. It finds that spiritual associations equivalent to the Metropolitan group Church have been based in such bars, that conventional and non-traditional non secular actions happened there, and that spiritual ceremonies similar to marriage have been usually performed in the bars through employees. Baby, you're My Religion examines how those bars turned not just ecclesiastical websites but in addition supplied the fertile floor for the beginning of the fight for homosexual and lesbian civil rights prior to Stonewall.

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Extra info for Baby, You are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars, and Theology Before Stonewall

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Shirley told me that when she came out in the 1940s there were two ways to find a gay bar—ask a cab driver or follow a butch woman. 10. Bérubé, Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War Two. 11. Interview, Jane Scott*. 12. Johnson, The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government. 13. Interview, Rae Hamilton. 14. Interview, Nancy Valverde. 35 baby, you are my religion full-time in butch drag, and did so for a full year. Nancy, on the other hand, lived in butch drag, was not a performer, was Mexican and was the only butch she knew.

125. Ibid. 126. This is in italics because there is performative value in all of our roles. As discussed earlier in reference to Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble (156–7), butch women, and butchfemme couplings, may embody the perfect destabilized gender performance and the ability to “perform” creatively lived lives. 127. Carter, Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution, dedication. 31 baby, you are my religion place is sacred, then it cannot be this place, correct? However, if this place is “the only place”—what kind of place is it?

The psychiatric coding that would erupt in the late 1940s in order to ultimately remove homosexual elements from the military was not yet in place. 12 In the early 1940s in some military enclaves, female homosexuals were still often just called gay girls. This change in attitude varied in different sections of the city and often depended on the class and race of the woman involved. ”14 These changes were due to changing mores and a diminishing tolerance for gay women now that the war was over. They were also due to the fact that Rae lived in a gay section, was a white woman/drag performer who lived 6.

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