Jenni Olson

Barbara Grier: VIP Q Movie Pick

Filed By Jenni Olson | November 11, 2011 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Gay Icons and History
Tags: Barbara Grier, lesbian film, Naiad Press, Out of Season, VIP Q Movie Pick

barbara_grier.jpgToday we mourn the passing of Barbara Grier, founder of Naiad Press. She was a pioneer in lesbian publishing and a leading force in preserving lesbian literary history. Barbara shared her VIP Q Movie Pick with us back in October 2009. We share it today and honor her memory:

When the subject is so near and dear to the heart the answer or answers have to be suspect. My favorite is Claire of the Moon. It will always be, but it is for lots of wrong reasons including, but not limited to, the wonderful music. Another I like immensely for better reasons is Out of Season. I like the sense that the people in the movie are real. I believe they exist. I would not be surprised to run into them on the street.

I cannot help but throw this in. There has never yet been a properly funded lesbian film. I hope there will be before my death. But I know because it is clear if you look at straight films, that women's issues have no meaning in the world, they just don't. Now it may/will change, but it is still a long uphill battle. Look at all the lesbian films, a very thin field indeed.

Learn more about the life's work and legacy of Barbara Grier here

(Cross-posted at

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Jesse Monteagudo Jesse Monteagudo | November 11, 2011 12:13 PM

I met Barbara Grier in 1979, soon after I started writing my "Book Nook" book review column for Miami's "The Weekly News" (TWN) and other LGBT publications. She was very kind to this up-and-coming young writer and made sure that I got review copies of all Naiad books. As a LGBT community pioneer, she deserves a place alongside Barbara Gittings, Del Martin, and Phyllis Lyon.

Barbara Grier's greatest contribution, in my opinion, was in the field of lesbian studies. She published a new edition of "Sex Variant Women in Literature," Jeannette H. Foster's 1956 classic study of lesbian lit. She also compiled "The Lesbian In Literature", still the essential bibliography of the genre Grier called Lesbiana. The most recent edition, published in 1981, is still useful and still accessible in PDF documents. Visit,_1967-1981

Barbara was indeed an amazing woman. I did an informal interview with her several years ago about Gale Wilhelm. Naiad had re-published Wilhelm's landmark lesbian novel We Too Are Drifting in the 80s and Barbara was full of fascinating detailed stories about the publishing process and about Wilhelm as a writer.