The conversation around gender and sexuality has considerably shifted since the 1970s, when queer Cuban playwright Maria Irene Fornes wrote her avant-garde feminist play Fefu and Her Friends, set in 1930s New England. America would see the legalization of marriage equality just three years before Fornes’s passing, and Merriam-Webster would name the gender-neutral pronoun “they” as
In 1985, in cartoonist Alison Bechdel‘s comic strip DYKES TO WATCH OUT FOR, two women discuss seeing a film. One character explains that she only goes to movies if they meet certain criteria – the movie has to have at least two women in it, who talk to each other, about something other than a man.
In 1935, seven girlfriends gather at Fefu’s luxurious country home in New England. The house is well appointed, looking like a Cedric Gibbons’ MGM fantasy torn from Norma Desmond’s imagination. Thank you designer Ryan McGettigan, for the skewed lintels, the wallpaper shreds of women through art history (Grant Wood’s American Gothic pinched pioneer wife; a