Lesbisk Rørsle i Telemark

Part of an invitation to a party with Lesbisk Rørsle i Telemark, 21 January 1983.
Part of an invitation to a party with Lesbisk Rørsle i Telemark, 21 January 1983.

Lesbisk Rørsle i Telemark (Lesbian Movement in Telemark, LRT) was founded 1 November 1978. The initiators were five women that knew each other from Lesbisk bevegelse in Oslo, Nyfeministene i Porsgrunn and Homofil bevegelse i Vestfold. The members of LRT lived on different locations, but would meet once a month for discussions and social activities. They discussed topics like being lesbian in the workplace, bisexuality and lesbian families, and self-empowerment was an important part of their work.

LRT was established at the same time as several other small gay groups, loosely gathered under the umbrella organisation Fellesrådet for homofile organisasjoner (FHO). On a voluntary basis, and in collaboration with lesbian groups from other parts of the country, LRT published the magazine Lesbisk internavis. The group was truly characteristic of its time; the lesbian movement went hand in hand with the women's movement and the class struggle. There was never a high membership count, but Lesbisk bevegelse i Telemark had an ambitious platform and the meeting reports show a strong commitment.

In a speech from 2000 they recounted, in a humorous manner, a canoe trip in the concervative rural surroundings:

Alle Rørslas medlemmer var ganske store og ditto barmfagre, og ettersom vi passerte strand etter strand med våre padlende armer og duvende bryster, så vi hvordan forskrekkede mødre først spratt opp for å se om dette var virkelig, og derpå skyflet sine små barn opp til hyttene og vekk fra elendigheten!

Translation: All the movement's members were quite large and therefore busty. Since we were passing beach after beach with our paddling arms and heaving breasts, we noticed how terrified mothers leaped up to see if this was real, and then how they led their children up to the cottages and away from the awfulness!

LRT have also left their mark in literature. In Odd Klippenvåg's novel Otto, Otto a character is described as follows: “Hennes største meritter er å leve i utlegd som lærerinne i Porsgrunn og være aktiv i Lesbisk rørsle i Telemark” (Klippenvåg 1983: 212). Translation: Her greatest merits are to live as an outlaw as a teacher in Porsgrunn and as an active member of Lesbisk Rørsle i Telemark.

Skeivt arkiv has Lesbisk Rørsle i Telemark's archive.

Sources

Klippenvåg, Odd. 1983. Otto, Otto. En kjærlighetsroman. Oslo: Gyldendal.

University of Bergen Library, Skeivt arkiv, SKA-0006, Lesbisk Rørsle i Telemark's archive.