Interview with an Outlaw!
Pioneering LGBT journalist and activist Jeanne Córdova is back with a third
book, When We Were Outlaws: a memoir of Love & Revolution.
A sweeping memoir, a raw and intimate chronicle of a young activist torn between conflicting personal longings and political goals.This is a rare view of a radical lesbian activist’s life during the early struggle for gay rights, Women’s Liberation, and the New Left of the 1970s.
Joan Nestle, grande dame femme author, blurbs the book saying it’s "A riveting,
first-hand telling of a dangerous creative time. The lesbian feminist ‘70s with their
messy, sexy, bold social and personal visions live again on Córdova’s pages!"
Former editor of The Advocate, Mark Thompson, calls Córdova “the James Dean
of the lesbian scene.” And Stuart Timmons, author of The Trouble With Harry Hay,
comments “this story discusses the contradictions of feminism, the then real
debate about violent overthrow of the government, and the huge divide and
uneasy alliance between lesbians and gay men.”
In 1975, the twenty-something activist Córdova is living with one woman and
falling in love with another, but her passionate beliefs tell her that her first duty
is “to the revolution.” She becomes an investigative reporter for the famous,
underground L.A. Free Press and finds herself involved with the Weather
Underground, Angela Davis, and Emily Harris of the Symbionese Liberation Army.
At the same time she is creating her own newsmagazine, The Lesbian Tide,
destined to become the voice of the national lesbian feminist movement.
With an introduction by renowned lesbian historian Lillian Faderman, When
We Were Outlaws paints a vivid portrait of activism and the search for self-identity,
set against the turbulent landscape of multiple struggles for social change that
swept hundreds of thousands of Americans into the streets. By turns provocative
and daringly honest, Córdova renders emblematic scenes of the era—ranging
from strike protests to utopian music festivals, to underground meetings with
radical fugitives—with period detail and evocative characters.
For those who came of age in the ‘70s, and for those who weren’t around but
still ask ‘What was it like?’ –Outlaws takes you back to re-live it. It also offers
insights about ethics, decision making and strategy, still relevant today.