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Secret Years: Hungarian Lesbian Herstory, 1950s–2000s

Secret Years: Hungarian Lesbian Herstory, 1950s–2000s Secret Years Hungarian Lesbian Herstory, 1950s–2000s Anna Borgos ABSTRACT The article explores the personal narratives of middle-aged and elderly Hungarian lesbian women based on oral history interviews. The stories open a window into the Kádár era from a special perspective, allowing us to get a glimpse into the women’s self-recognition and coming out process; their diff erent (sexual, professional or mater- nal) identities, relationships, informal social scenes, and communities; their thinking about gender roles, as well as the available representations of lesbians over the de- cades. The women also discuss the freedom and greater visibility—as complex as it was—that came aft er the democratic transition. The article contributes more detailed knowledge about the situation of LGBT people in the region during the state socialist period and around the 1989 regime change. KEYWORDS: activism, closet, Hungary, lesbians, oral history, representation, socialism Lesbian herstory constitutes a special and largely invisible layer within women’s his- tory, especially in Central and Eastern Europe. The roots of this invisibility are two- fold. On the one hand, there are very few remaining traces of and resources on lesbian existence from the past. On the other hand, the political, academic, and fi nancial cir- cumstances for http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aspasia Berghahn Books

Secret Years: Hungarian Lesbian Herstory, 1950s–2000s

Aspasia , Volume 9 (1): 26 – Mar 1, 2015

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Publisher
Berghahn Books
Copyright
© 2022 Berghahn Books
ISSN
1933-2882
eISSN
1933-2890
DOI
10.3167/asp.2015.090106
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Secret Years Hungarian Lesbian Herstory, 1950s–2000s Anna Borgos ABSTRACT The article explores the personal narratives of middle-aged and elderly Hungarian lesbian women based on oral history interviews. The stories open a window into the Kádár era from a special perspective, allowing us to get a glimpse into the women’s self-recognition and coming out process; their diff erent (sexual, professional or mater- nal) identities, relationships, informal social scenes, and communities; their thinking about gender roles, as well as the available representations of lesbians over the de- cades. The women also discuss the freedom and greater visibility—as complex as it was—that came aft er the democratic transition. The article contributes more detailed knowledge about the situation of LGBT people in the region during the state socialist period and around the 1989 regime change. KEYWORDS: activism, closet, Hungary, lesbians, oral history, representation, socialism Lesbian herstory constitutes a special and largely invisible layer within women’s his- tory, especially in Central and Eastern Europe. The roots of this invisibility are two- fold. On the one hand, there are very few remaining traces of and resources on lesbian existence from the past. On the other hand, the political, academic, and fi nancial cir- cumstances for

Journal

AspasiaBerghahn Books

Published: Mar 1, 2015

Keywords: activism; closet; Hungary; lesbians; oral history; representation; socialism

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