Interview Transcript: Kat Duff

Kat Duff moved to Austin from Northampton in 1976, drawn here by the city's reputation as a politically active environment. She moved into an all-lesbian living collective and worked for Red River Women's Press, also a collective. Later, Duff became an astrologer, and has written The Alchemy of Illness, a book about chronic fatigue syndrome. She currently resides in Taos, New Mexico. Q: Do you think of yourself as a Seventies' dyke, and what does that mean to you?

A: I would have used the word "dyke," yes, because I got that from Northhampton. And lesbian. I wouldn't have used "queer." (I) didn't relate to gay men here much at all. Went to The Hollywood, it was the only bar I remember. There was a women's bar that closed around the time I got to town -- Pearl Street, or something that I heard about, you know.

I would relate to the generation that was having lesbian relationships before there was a lesbian movement. And so I wouldn't exactly say "Seventies," 'cause it kind of straddles that. "Seventies dyke," I guess I would say, is kind of like riding the wave of an out-lesbian movement, and all the cocky kind of, umm, cocky, courageous energy that comes with that. You know, you're saving the world. You're the salvation of the world, in a way, you kind of felt like that. You know, now I look back and I think that's all defensive posturing, but it was important that we did because of what we had to defend ourselves against -- to just have a space to feel good about ourselves.

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