Tuesday, 01 August 2017 22:09

The archives of the pro-LGBTQ band "Two Nice Girls" join the Human Sexuality Collection at the Cornell University Library

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Three decades of archives collected by Two Nice GirlsTwo Nice Girls, one of the first music bands to bring visibility to LGBTQ women, will join the Human Sexuality Collection at the Cornell University Library.

Two Nice Girls is the band that founded lesbian musician Gretchen Phillips and which allowed to bring visibility to LGBTQ women in the 80s.

"Imagine a time long before Ellen DeGeneres came out, when hearing a woman sing a love song using the pronouns ‘she’ and ‘her’ was a big deal," said Brenda Marston, curator of the Human Sexuality Collection in the library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. "While many women were looking for subtle clues that lesbians existed, Gretchen and her band mates were outrageous and emphatic, not coy, about lesbian love. Their lyrics opened doors for people, and their audiences discovered community at their performances."

Philips' archives contain:

  • the video recordings of Two Nice Girls' shows
  • reviews and news articles
  • fan mails

This represents three decades of queer archives, from the 1980s to the 2016s, from the creation of the band, the beginning of their musical career in 1981 in Austin, Texas to the first performance at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival or even more folkloric appearances like as zombies lesbian folk singers for Killjoy’s Kastle, a lesbian haunted house in Toronto in 2013 and in Los Angeles in 2015.

A fan wrote in 1991: "How wonderful it is to listen to music that celebrates our diversity. Hearing your songs makes me feel like I really do fit into this world somewhere. You’ve got guts to write music about bisexuality. It took me 20 years to open my closet door just a crack (I’m 36 and just coming out); and though I wish I could be very open about this part of me, I just don’t have the courage yet. As I listen to your music and immerse myself more in the lesbian and bi communities, my strength grows, and I get really excited about being queer!"

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