It’s not everyday that you get to meet someone with such a rich history. I was fortunate enough to sit down with Lillian Faderman after a powerful presentation at Rider University. I knew I was in the presence of a wonderful speaker when the first sentence was spoken and the whole room gazed upon her, eating up her every word like the most delicious sundae on a hot summer day. Refreshing and very much needed. In the busyness of our lives, we forget to slow down and remember our past. Remember where we came from and how far we have come.
Lillian Faderman is an internationally-known scholar of lesbian history and literature, as well as ethnic history and literature. Her work has been translated into numerous languages, including German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Turkish, Czech, and Slovenian. Among her many honors are six Lambda Literary Awards, two American Library Association Awards, and several lifetime achievement awards for scholarship, including Yale University’s James Brudner Award, the Monette/Horwitz Award, the Publishing Triangle Award, the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives Culture Hero Award, and the American Association of University Women’s Distinguished Senior Scholar Award. The New York Times named two of her books, Surpassing the Love of Men and Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, on its “Notable Books of the Year” list.
When sitting to ask her some quick questions and take her photograph (which by the way was not on her schedule, but she agreed to do anyway because she is amazing), I noticed the tenderness in her eyes. It was truly an honor to get to talk to her. Here is my favorite question and answer from our chat:
Q. “What is Beauty?”
A. “Nature is Beauty. The ocean gives me energy and peace. Beauty for me is two chairs looking at the ocean.”
Thank you, Lillian!!!