Thelma and Louise

"Risky changes": A coming out story – Part 2

RCchap7twowomen2Bisexual artist Norma Furman, 80, shares the second of a series of extracts from her memoirs. In Part 2, the cracks begin to show in Norma’s relationship with her first female lover, Audrey, when they embark on an action-packed road trip in Audrey’s husband’s car…

I joined Audrey’s consciousness raising group where women from different lifestyles met weekly to discuss and share feelings and experiences most women have in common. It opened my eyes and my mind. The unmarried women and the ones without children envied those of us who had the “traditional” family, while we longed for the freedom we had given up. We knew we had it better than any other generation of women in history (except for maybe the primitive matriarchal societies) but questioned why that was supposed to be good enough. Why were our rights not equal with the men? Why would a just, fair God or a just, fair society for that matter give one group of humans fewer opportunities than another group? Especially if that other group consisted of their own mothers, sisters, daughters and lovers.

Some of the rights that were denied to us in those days were important like “equal pay for equal work” and “equal physical activity programs”. Some of the rights that were denied to us were silly, seemed arbitrary and made no sense such as: we could smoke cigarettes but we could not inhale from cigars or pipes, we had to wear short skirts and shear stockings in the dead of winter when the winds blew our skirts and often revealed our frozen “tootsies” and we were called “immodest” if we wore slacks!
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