Online: We Are Everywhere: Lesbians in the Archive

Seated woman in black pants and white shirt smoking cigarette bending over arm of chair to kiss another woman. Above them floats a pair of legs wearing pump-style dark shoes.

Monday, May 16, 2022 - 1:00pm to Tuesday, May 16, 2023 - 1:00pm

“We Are Everywhere: Lesbians in the Archive,” a senior student exhibition curated by Gabrielle Colangelo ‘22,  explores the relationship between the topics of lesbians, lesbianism, and lesbian objects in the archives. Beginning with the Harlem Renaissance and ending with the AIDS crisis, this exhibition asks the question: What does it mean to catalog an object as “lesbian”–or to not? In particular, the exhibition highlights moments in which lesbians deliberately introduce themselves into the mainstream historical record with younger generations in mind: creating their own archives, so, as Lisbet Tellefsen said, young lesbians of the future “trying to organize and do work will have it a little easier.” The objects in this show are a small sample of the material traces left by our vast queer history, continually being discovered. We are everywhere. We write, we love, we care, we see. We name ourselves.

This project builds on an English Department senior essay and highlights materials from across Yale Library special collections, including the Lisbet Tellefsen Papers in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and the Lesbian and Gay Liberation Collection in Manuscripts and Archives.