The Nostalgic Lez
The success of shows built purely on nostalgia a la “I love the [fill in the blank]” have proved that we all miss some childhood holiday memories. For Sapphic contingent there are plenty of retro fashions, toys and baubles that we just can’t let go of. Here’s what to get for your history lovin-lady.
1. Candy. Just need a few more stocking stuffers for her chimney hanging lingerie? Candy comes in all kinds of nostalgic flavors. They are often even separated out by decade and have specific holiday packages. Check out Candy Crate or Nostalgic Candy. ($3+)
2. Classic lesbian novels. While lesbian entertainment in film and television has struggled with representation and censorship, there have always been plenty of queer words to be found throughout the 20th century. Classics like Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness or anything by Gertrude Stein give a peek into the burgeoning lesbian culture of the ’20s, but since most of us weren’t around then we are more likely to be interested in beginnings of lesbian culture in the ’60s and ’70s, as depicted by authors like Audre Lorde and Rita Mae Brown. But on the pure prurient fun side I recommend some ’50s and ’60s lesbian pulp novels for your guilty pleasure reading. First editions are great for the grand bibliophile but they are hard to find. Luckily the feminist Cleis Press has republished a whole slew of the most popular titles. Or, of course, there’s always teen drama like Annie On My Mind, which was a game changer for me. ($12.95)
3. Toys. Nothin’ says Christmas lovin’ like revisiting childhood play favorites. Whether it’s a Princess Leia as Jabba’s slave girl figurine, Rainbow Brite or a Cabbage Patch preemie we all have our own go to gifts for remembering the frenzy that present opening brought into the house. Any vintage enthusiast knows to check out EBay but there are more and more stores dedicated to childhood memories every day. One such dyke and hipster friendly shop is Portland’s Billy Galaxy which has an online and brick and mortar shop. Now where’s my Mon Chi Chi? ($3.99 +)
4. Vintage fashions. Fat positive stores such as Re/Dress are great for the larger ladies, but slimmer fashions can be found in countless vintage dress shops in your town including bigger names like LA’s Aardvark, DC upstart Treasury or the ubiquitous Buffalo Exchange. ($34+)