Southwest Feminists Reunite ~ Corrie Furst interview

Dublin Core

Title

Southwest Feminists Reunite ~ Corrie Furst interview

Subject

Lesbian, Tucson, activism, history, feminists, 1970s, collectives, media

Description

Southwest Feminists Reunite ~ Corrie Furst interview
This oral history interview highlights local feminist and lesbian feminist activists as part of the Southwest Feminists Reunite collection, which was started in spring 2013 during their 40th Anniversary celebration in Tucson, AZ. That powerful experience in March 1973 and the dynamic creativity and political action that followed sparked feminists and lesbian feminists to reinvent their lives and organize for change over the next four decades. This collection consists of oral histories and digital scans of photographs.

Creator

Jamie A. Lee, Project Director, Arizona Queer Archives

Source

Recorded digitally on Sony HDR-CX580 digital video camera

Publisher

Jamie A. Lee, Project Director, Arizona Queer Archives

Contributor

Southwest Feminists Reunite. Lavinia Tomer and Deborah Dobson

Rights

Rights given to the Arizona LGBTQ Storytelling Project and the Arizona Queer Archives

Relation

Southwest Feminists Reunite

Format

H.264 300Kbps streaming QuickTime movie, 427 x 240

Language

English

Type

MovingImage and Oral History

Identifier

Southwest Feminists Reunite

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Anastasia Freyermuth

Interviewee

Corrie Furst

Transcription

TRANSCRIPT: CORRIE HOPE FURST
Q: Can you please state your name?
A: My name is Corrie Hope Furst. F-u-r-s-t.
Q: Can you begin by stating when you first became aware of the feminist and lesbian feminist movement?
A: I first became aware when I moved to Tucson in 1973 and I started going to the Women’s Center after I saw a sign up about a Women’s Coffee House.
Q: Could you talk a little bit more about that?
A: Yeah, I saw the sign, I didn’t know exactly what it was but they said they had Friday night women’s coffee houses and I started to go and I realized, happily, that it was mostly a lesbian coffee house and that’s where I started meeting a lot of women and learning about feminism.
Q: How long did you live in Tucson?
A: I lived there from 1973 to 1978 for five years.
Q: In that time what was your involvement with the Women’s Movement in Tucson?
A: I lived for a few months at the Women’s Center. They had people living upstairs and I answered phones there and I helped lead some coming out groups for lesbians. I also got involved in--there was an Artemis Child Care Experience it was called, it was a non- sexist feminist child care center cooperative. The parents worked there and I worked there for a couple of years. I was involved some with the Women’s Company which was a company that taught alternative skills to women-auto mechanics and carpentry I took an auto mechanics course and I was kind of involved with the group that was organizing that.
Q: Awesome. What was the driving force behind getting involved in these organizations and doing what you were doing during this time?
A: Part of the driving force was that I wanted to meet women. When I started learning about feminism I felt like it was important to learn about that and to share that kind of information with other women and men, there were men involved in the community, too.
Q: How did being involved with the Women’s Movement and just feminism in general, how did it impact or transform your life?
A: I felt like I could be more of myself when I became a feminist. I didn’t have to conform to certain ways of being or looking or dressing. I felt freer to just be who I was.
Q: How would you say the Women’s Movement impacted and transformed the Tucson community?
A: I feel that the feminist community was a pretty big part of Tucson in those days. It wasn’t just women’s issues. People were involved in other kinds of progressive issues as well so I think it affected everybody.
Q: Did you experience any obstacles during this time being involved in the Women’s Movement? Did you experience any obstacles from the community?
A: The main obstacles were my family- my parents, my sister, and some old friends who didn’t really understand what I was doing or why I was doing it. My parents were not very happy about me being a lesbian so those were the main obstacles.
Q: I think those obstacles are still very big issues within contemporary feminism, young feminists today. Do you have any advice or messages you would like to give young feminists who are just getting started branching out?
A: I think there’s still a need for feminism and I think a lot of young people are afraid to call themselves feminists and I just think it’s still important. That would be my message, I guess.
Q: What do you think has been the larger impact on you and the Tucson community in general as time has passed?
A: I feel like the feminist movement has affected my whole life since then. I’m still involved in some form of activism in the gay and lesbian community where my partner and I live now in Canada, on an island. My partner was a Women’s Studies teacher so she’s been really involved also.
Q: How would you say the work you did in the 1970s influence the work you’re doing now?
A: I still feel like I’m an activist in certain ways. We helped organize a Gay Pride parade on our island, I’m involved in the gay and lesbian organization there. I still feel like I’m an activist in certain ways. And other things, too, I’ve gotten involved in some environmental kinds of things.
Q: Why do you think you became an activist?
A: I felt like there were things that needed to be changed in our society. I felt like we lived in a very sexist culture, and I think in some ways it still is. There are other things I think that still need to be changed. I don’t think that things are perfect yet for women or for gay people.
Q: Definitely. This is my concluding question, with all this work you’ve done since the 1970s and the work you’re doing now, what would you say you’re the most proud of?
A: I think I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve been able to be myself and be out in the world and let people know who I am and not feel afraid about that.
Q: Would you say that feminism was really a guiding tool to help you?
A: Yes, definitely.
Q: Are there any other comments or anything you would like to say as a closing remark about Tucson?
A: I’m glad to be here at this reunion. I partly suggested it to my friend Lavina about a year and half ago. I think it will be really exciting and interesting to see people after all these years.

Citation

Jamie A. Lee, Project Director, Arizona Queer Archives, “Southwest Feminists Reunite ~ Corrie Furst interview,” Arizona Queer Archives, accessed June 13, 2021, https://azqueerarchives.org/items/show/146.