Evolution of Identity, Part II: Ruminations on Deep Lez

Very closely related to my last post is the subject of Deep Lez (which has also come up in various discussions on Tumblr recently).  Deep Lez is more of a theory, a movement, than an identity (though there certainly are some who are choosing it as an identifier for themselves). And it’s also not so very serious all the time. It’s a feeling and a culture. Astrology, tea, folk music, Goddess worship, crystals, labrys jewelry…all totally Deep Lez.

Deep Lez is a phrase coined by artist Allyson Mitchell to reclaim ‘lesbian’ as a radical identity and calls it both “theory and practice.” Deep Lez honors the contributions of radical lesbian feminists of the second wave while still acknowledging the problematic aspects of the politics of that time (namely, transphobia). Deep Lez acts as a bridge between the second and third waves, urging feminists of the current generation not to forget our herstory and insisting on more inclusive politics this time around. As Mitchell says in this interview,

Deep Lez is about rescuing lesbian and radical feminism from being forgotten or discarded. There are some really amazing principles and practices that I don’t want to get lost…I think  a lot of people are too dismissive of lesbian feminism. It becomes a joke and a cliché at best. At worst, people gag on the word lesbian, forget about being able to affiliate themselves with it. I think there is a deep set misogyny in these statements. I want to call attention to this misogyny and at the same time tweak lesbian feminism into an inclusive contemporary urban context that could really use a lot of its principles right now, and actually does use a lot of its principles but doesn’t necessarily give it credit.

And I say, credit where credit is due. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think my tea is ready and I need to consult my horoscope.

3 responses to “Evolution of Identity, Part II: Ruminations on Deep Lez

  1. Hey,

    I really like what your thoughts on lesbian identity! I’m a lesbian doing research on our community (women who self-identify as lesbian, bisexual, queer, or questioning (LBQ))

    Would you mind plugging my research on your blog? This is about making sure that our voices are heard!

    http://www.lbqresearch.wordpress.com

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