Mountain Moving Coffeehouse
|Successor||Kindred Hearts' Coffeehouse|
|Dissolved||December 10, 2005|
|Purpose||Womyn's music and culture|
|Coordinates||41°58′38.37″N 87°40′20.28″W / 41.9773250°N 87.6723000°W|
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The Mountain Moving Coffeehouse for Womyn and Children was a lesbian feminist music venue, located in Chicago and known across the United States. It operated for thirty-one years, from 1974 until 2005. The name of the organization evokes the political task that feminists must "move the mountains" of institutional sexism and homophobia. The alternative spelling of "womyn" represented an expression of female independence and a repudiation of traditions that define women by reference to a male norm.
The "coffeehouse" was a once-a-week Saturday night gathering, held at a rented space in churches, in various north side Chicago neighborhoods, that presented woman-identified music and entertainment by and for lesbians and feminists. Drug and alcohol-free, the space was intended as an alternative to the lesbian bar scene. The organization was founded by lesbian-feminist activists as a safe-space for women and their young children. Male children over the age of two and transgender women were not allowed to attend.
The womyn-born womyn policy generated some controversy during the 1980s when pressure was put on the coffeehouse to allow admittance to men, as well as in the 1990s when the policy was contested by transgender women. It was claimed that the policy was discriminatory and created "mental difficulties" for transgender women. The policy was also challenged in the 1990s by a local gay male journalist. However, the organization defended its policy and never allowed admittance to men or to transgender women.
In 1993, the coffeehouse was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.
Upon the closure of the coffeehouse on December 10, 2005, it was the oldest continuously operating womyn-born womyn and girl-only concert venue in the United States. A successor organization was created called the Kindred Hearts' Coffeehouse, which serves as a monthly event offering women's music.
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- ^ "Mountain Moving Memories". Windy City Times. September 28, 2005. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- ^ Boston Women's Health Book Collective (2005) . Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era (35th anniversary ed.). New York City: Simon & Schuster. p. 153. ISBN 0743256115. OCLC 57283896.
- ^ Bergquist, Kathie; McDonald, Robert (2006). A Field Guide to Gay & Lesbian Chicago. Chicago, Illinois: Lake Claremont Press. p. 183. ISBN 1893121038. OCLC 70249202. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- ^ "Inductees to the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame". Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. 2015. Archived from the original on October 17, 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- ^ "Mountain Moving Coffeehouse for Womyn and Children". Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. 1993. Archived from the original on July 3, 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2022.
- ^ "Mountain Moving Tradition Lives On". Windy City Media Group. Retrieved 2012-12-22.
- Brotman, Barbara (October 23, 1986). "Dictionary For 'Womyn' Says Half Of Society Is A Dirty 3-letter Word". Chicago Tribune.
- Enke, A. Finn (2007). Finding the Movement: Sexuality, Contested Space, and Feminist Activism (1st ed.). Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0-8223-4062-1.
- 1974 establishments in Illinois
- 2005 disestablishments in Illinois
- Feminist collectives
- Lesbian collectives
- Lesbian culture in Illinois
- Lesbian history
- Lesbian separatism
- Radical feminist organizations
- Women in Illinois
- Women-only spaces
- Women's music
- Coffeehouses and cafés in the United States
- Feminism and transgender
- Feminist organizations in the United States
- Lesbian organizations in the United States
- Women's organizations based in the United States
- LGBT culture in Chicago
- Organizations based in Chicago
- Defunct organizations based in Illinois
- Inductees of the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame