Lesbian Love Story: A Memoir in Archives
From the Ancient Greek seductress who gave us the word lesbian to the dykes, butches, and Drag Kings of New York City, Amelia Possanza’s debut, Lesbian Love Story, is a personal journey into the archives to uncover the lesbian romances and role models written out of history class, the literary canon, and even a few popular rom coms.
When Amelia moved to Brooklyn to build a life of her own, she found herself surrounded by queer stories: she read them on landmark placards, overheard them on the pool deck when she joined a gay swim team, and even watched them on TV back home in her cockroach-infested apartment. But these stories rarely featured lesbians who could become her role models, in romance as in life.
This is the story of her journey into the archives to recover the stories of lesbians in the 20th Century: who they were, how they loved, why their stories were destroyed, and where their memories echo and live on. The hunt takes her from the streets of East Harlem where the apartment of a community activist once stood to a Drag King show in the heart of Bushwick to the International Gay Games in Stockholm, Sweden, all to resurrect and reimagine seven love stories for the ages. Along the way, Amelia discovers her own love – for swimming, for community, for New York City – and adds her own record to the archive.
Opening up from this history, the book is also an act of radical imagination of the future, asking, what is the opposite of misogyny, and how do we get there? What forms of care and community does queer love steer us toward? Think mutual aid societies, which have a long history and have gained strength across cities during the pandemic and during the Black Lives Matter movement.
- Unedited sample manuscript available