LOT – Many Years of Activism (by Ger Moane)
By 1991, when Lesbians Organizing Together ( LOT) was formed, Dublin Lesbian Line was the only group in Dublin active specifically on behalf of lesbians, as IGRM and GLEN focused on decriminalization. Lesbians were largely invisible, and this was the impetus for the formation of LOT. Initially, Dublin Lesbian Line, First Out and Lesbian Equality Network (LEN) were the main groups affiliated with LOT. Within 2 years, a PR group had formed, along with a Social and Entertainment group (SENTS) who organized a regular calendar of events, and a Finance Group. Later, LOT opened a resource centre and ran a Community Employment scheme. In 1995 LOT obtained funding from the Department of Social Welfare that incited the infamous Sunday World ‘Lesbian Lunacy’ headline. LOT also got EU funding for a Lesbian Education and Awareness (LEA) programme which posted billboards around the country to increase lesbian visibility.
LOT acted as an umbrella for many different lesbian groups until the late 1990s; a mothers’ group and a health group were among those who affiliated with LOT in addition to those listed above. Groups operated with autonomy but came together for a monthly meeting to coordinate activities and develop strategies.
The LOT PR group consisted of women who were involved in GCN along with members of LOT. They arranged to have two pages of GCN dedicated to lesbians. During the 1990s the GCN lesbian pages – in addition to the general coverage in GCN and the longstanding Dykes Forum – provided an important vehicle for lesbian visibility, and for creativity and positive images. They provided detailed coverage (with photos) of lesbian events such as the Cork Fun Weekend, the Cork Fantasy Ball, the Dublin Wild and Wonderful Women’s Weekend, and the Lesbian Lives conferences. They provided the opportunity for lesbians to publish short stories and poetry along with political articles, book reviews and short articles and notices from all over the country. They were a showcase for the lesbian community and activism.
Dr Ger(aldine) Moane is a longstanding activist in feminist and LGBTQ+ politics and a Professor Emerita, School of Psychology at University College Dublin (UCD). Her primary interests are in Feminist Theory and Psychology, where she has contributed to the development of liberation psychology, with particular application to women and to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered persons. Moane is the producer of the lesbian documentary, Outitude.
Read – Lesbian Lunacy by Des Ekin, Sunday World, 3rd September 1995