What we desire!
LAZ reloaded, launched jointly by women of the former LAZ and young radical lesbians in 2018, wishes to draw attention to this revolutionary movement by creating a culture of shared memories. We want to communicate our experiences with the next generation – also in a self-critical manner – in order to benefit from this mutual exchange of information and experience, thereby combining our energies. Although we have achieved quite a lot, there are still many battles ahead of us for the liberation of women and lesbians and against varying forms of discrimination: in the professional world, science, education, legislation, politics and the media, associations and clubs, art and culture. We are still struggling against the misogynistic structures of our continuing male-dominated society.
Nowadays as the reasons for the invisibility of lesbians are being fiercely debated, we wish to recall the foundation of the autonomous lesbian movement and reconnect with it. Well over 40 years ago, HAW women’s group set up the Lesbian Action Centre West Berlin (LAZ), an autonomous movement separate from the gay men of HAW (Homosexuelle Aktion West Berlin). Ideas and modes of action and resistance against the discrimination of lesbian women – compulsory heterosexuality, prevailing gender role stereotypes, the power of churches and patriarchal and capitalist structures of society – have been numerous and trailblazing.
Space for solidarity!
It is, therefore, important for us to establish new structures and female-only spaces in which we may undertake networking and in-depth discussions and exchange ideas and different viewpoints. We need areas of our own for dealing with lesbian-feminist theory and practice once more, while acting freely, aiming at a feminism that has a chance to become a lived reality among lesbians. In order to achieve this goal, the highest underlying principle is that we should respect and appreciate each other personally in a sisterly way, as well as in the wider lesbian-radical feminist community. We are cultivating critical dialogue, striving for a culture of debate that is characterised by fact-based criticism and respect for each other when dealing with a range of opinions. We reject the denigration of women/lesbians in public as well as on the Internet and social media.
Our events focus on, but are not limited to, lesbian feminism, lesbian culture and history. In general, all women (XX) – lesbian, bi or heterosexual – who share the values laid down in the German Basic Law are welcome.
We are aware that even in feminist circles, racist structures may be replicated and white women are not immune to this. We welcome women and lesbians of colour in our midst where open and critical discussions about racism are part of our ongoing awareness. As lesbians, we have the same differences among us as everybody else – whatever pigeon-hole one wants to put us in in order to defame us. What unites us is the vision of a world in which women are born free and our planet will survive.