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Houston Voice, No. 997, December 3, 1999
File 024
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Houston Voice, No. 997, December 3, 1999 - File 024. 1999-12-03. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. November 17, 2019. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/7565/show/7559.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1999-12-03). Houston Voice, No. 997, December 3, 1999 - File 024. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/7565/show/7559

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 997, December 3, 1999 - File 024, 1999-12-03, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 17, 2019, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/7565/show/7559.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 997, December 3, 1999
Contributor
  • Hennie, Matthew A.
Publisher Window Media
Date December 3, 1999
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 024
Transcript HOUSTON VOICE • DECEMBER 3, 1999 COMMUNITY 23 Past Out 1879 GAY AND LESBIAN HISTORY by DAVID BIANCO Intimate 'Boston marriages' What were Boston marriages? In his novel "The Bostonians" (1886), I lenry James modeled the relationship between his characters Olive and Verena on what he called "those friendships between women so common in New England." The "friendships" James observed were intimate, long-term relationships between two unmarried women, who were often feminists. Though dubbed "Boston marriages," these relationships occurred throughout the country. With the growth of cities and an urban middle class in the mid-19th century, opportunities that had been previously unavailable to women began to emerge. As women's colleges were founded and previously all-male schools began to admit women, many middle- and upper-class women left their parents' homes, received an education, and embarked on careers. Many of these women also became politically motivated. "New Women," as they were called, could for the first time choose to remain unmarried and pursue their own goals and interests. Many of the.se women enjoyed circles of like-minded female friends. Within these networks, two women might pair off in a close relationship in which they shared housing, living expenses, vacations, and often a bed. Much more than roommates, these women were soul-mates and partners, married in spirit and mind. In "The Bostonians'" Olive "proposes" to Verena this way; "Will you be my friend, my friend of friends, beyond everyone, everything, forever and ever?" These intimate friendships were socially acceptable, and women in Boston marriages were often recognized as couples by their families, friends and colleagues. Some of the most accomplished and prominent women of that era lived in Boston marriages. Most often they wea- white, though there are also records of African-American female couples. For example, Lucy Diggs Slowe, the first dean of women at Howard University, shared her life with writer Mary Powell Burrill, who had earlier been intimate friends with Harlem Renaissance poet Angelina Weld Grimke. Many women in Boston marriages were prominent in education, social work, women's rights, and the arts. M. Carey Thomas became the president of Bryn Mawr College when her wealthy philanthropist partner, Mary Elizabeth Garrett, offered the trustees of the school a hefty endowment to entice them to appoint Thomas. Thomas and Garrett shared a home on campus for more than 20 years. lane Addams co-founded Chicago's Hull House, one of the country's first settlement houses, with Ellen Gates Starr, her intimate companion since college. When she and Starr grew apart, Addams began a -ll 1-year relationship with another Hull House colleague, Mary Ko/et Smith. Founder of the 1 e Many women in 'Boston marriages' were prominent, including Martha Carey Thomas, who became the president of Bryn Mawr College and shared campus quarters with her partner for 20 years. Women Voters, Carrie Chapman Cart outlived two husbands and then shared the latter part of her life with Mary Garrett Hay, a colleague from the suffrage movement. Hay's death in 1928 "shook Mrs. Catt to the soul," one friend recalled. When Cart died 19 years later, she was buried in the same cemetery plot as Hay under a joint tombstone that reads, "Here lie two, united in friendship for 38 years through constant service to a great cause." Perhaps the best-known of all Boston marriages is the relationship of Sarah Orne Jewett and Annie Adams Fields. Jewett, a fiction writer from Maine, was a devoted feminist who early on rejected heterosexual marriage as destructive to a woman's identity and creativity. Her first novel, "Deephaven" (1877), depicted a romantic friendship between two young women who dreamed about living together like the Ladies of Llangollen, an 18th- century Welsh couple. In December 1879, Jewett attended a literary reception in Boston at which she met Fields, the wife of Atlantic Monthly editor James Fields. The two women became friends instantly, and when Fields's husband died in 1881, she and Jewett formed a Boston marriage. Jewett kept the family home she had inherited in Maine, and for five months out of the year, she stayed there alone, writing full time. The two women wrote letters back and forth almost daily, calling each other names like "dear love" and expressing their loneliness for each other. Whether these relationships were typically sexual in nature is unknown, though among the wider society they were (and generally continue to be) presumed to be asexual. With the rise of scientific and medical inquiry into sexuality m the first decades of the 20th century, these close, loving friendships between women came under sharp scrutiny and began to be pathologized as "female inversion." David Bianco is the author of "Gay Essentials," a collection of his history columns. He can be reached cure of this publication or at DtnvRianco@aol.ivm LUk LilvY it- It- Lv-CY*. *vU t-iLL IV.U... am BiiLien mllabs * Prices May Vary. See Store For Details. ,*-*#
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