never underestimate a Celt (vanitashaze) wrote in little_details,
never underestimate a Celt

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Small-town American ideas about female homosexuality in the 1980s.

The situation. I've got two female characters, working- to lower-middle-class women in semi-suburban, small-town America. (As for specific location, I'm... er, not sure. Around the Kansas, up-to-Minnesota, over-to-Ohio block.) Let's call them Character A and Character B. Character A's a widow with kids, moving back to be near family friends, and Character B's the daughter of said family friends. (To clarify: twenty-something-year-old daughter. This isn't about age differences.) Both are fully involved and more or less accepted in their (geographic, social) communities. Neither are involved in the feminist movement or the gay rights movement, and they both come from close-knit, probably conservative - but not necessarily Christian - families. Character A has had little to no homosexual experience; Character B is quietly gay. No problem so far. They start a romantic/sexual relationship, and that's where I'm having the problems.

Does anyone know anything about small-town female homosexuality in the early 1980s? They're not "out" in any way, so I'm not talking reactions of community members as much as internalized ideas about lesbianism, bisexuality, female homosexuality, etc. How would straight people feel about lesbians; what would the stereotypes be? How would lesbians feel about lesbians? How would lesbians and straight people feel about bisexuality? Would there be any sort of lesbian subculture going on out there, or was that restricted to more densely populated areas? Were there any ideas about the types of relationships lesbians would form - strictly sexual, or strictly emotional, long-term or short-term, with kids or without, etc.? If they went traveling or out together, would they be perceived as friends, or would people think that there was something "weird" going on? (Closest analogy I can think of: two unrelated men sharing a hotel room. But views about sexuality differ a lot with gender, so that's not really a good analogy after all.)

I've tried searching various combinations of "lesbian" + "culture" + "rural" + "1980s" + "bisexual" + "female homosexuality" + "America", etc., but all the stuff I've found has been rather unhelpful (lesbianism & bisexuality within the context / from the perspective of women involved in the feminist movement) or, er, rather scary. (To be honest, I don't know half this stuff in regards to the attitudes now, and I wasn't even alive in the 1980s. So I'm kind of out of my depth in a major way.) Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

And context? It's for a Supernatural fic. Yeah. That small-town America.
Tags: 1980-1989, usa (misc), ~homosexuality (misc), ~homosexuality: history

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