Lesbians, and words, and rocks. Prevalent, universal, not rare, ordinary, without rank or position, of familiar type. But to someone who has made a life study of them, lesbians, words and rocks are full of secrets, packed with history, and freighted with potential.
Julia knew history. She knew the stories. She knew where lesbians came from, starting with herself. And she generously shared that history… a history of sexual abuse, of being a “kept butch” and a “stone butch,” a history of patriarchal attitudes. And she shared her emergence into a world of radical lesbian-feminist values. She understood where words came from and how their uses evolved and were evolving. She understood the significance of story to the lives of women, and how words could be manipulated to control that story. She understood the structure and the politic of language… “unlearning the lies of the fathers’ tongues”—as her book Speaking Freely is so aptly subtitled.
Lesbians, words, and rocks. She leaves a solid, living, individual legacy. Thank you for your dedication and your integrity.