kt. twenty. ♀
There were a few attempts by working-class and young lesbians in the 1950s and ’60s to build institutions other than the gay bars. The most notable was the softball team. During those years many lesbians formed teams or made up the audiences for teams all over the country. Women’s softball leagues usually had at least one or two teams that were all lesbian, and most of the other predominately heterosexual teams had a fair sprinkling of lesbians. The games did succeed in providing legends and heroes for the lesbian subcultures, as well as offering both participants and viewers some possibility for making lesbian contacts outside of the bars. However, as a Californian woman recalls of her softball playing days, ‘We had no place to go after the games but the bars.’ The bars were often even the team sponsors, providing uniforms and travel money. And it was ‘an unwritten law,’ according to a Nebraska woman who played during the ’50s, that after the game you patronized the bar that sponsored you. Young and working-class lesbians who had no homes where they could entertain and were welcome nowhere else socially were held in thrall by the bars, which became their major resort, despite attempts to escape such as the formation of athletic teams.
Lillian Faderman, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America
i found it interesting that we’ve been trying to get away from the bars-only life from the very beginning. :/ in my softball league, we’re still often sponsored by bars, end up at bars, or have alcohol there at the park.