To celebrate our 25th birthday, we’re paying homage to the magnificent queer women who paved the rainbow path before us

PHOTO BY LINDA BLACKER

Step back in time to London’s legendary Gateways nightclub where butches and femmes reigned supreme. Meet the politically – not to mention sexually – charged Rebel Dykes of the 70s and 80s. And finally, reminisce over that unforgettable 1993 Vanity Fair cover, showing lez/bi royalty k.d. lang up close and extremely personal with supermodel Cindy Crawford, just one year before DIVA was born…

“By the time it closed in 1985, the Gateways was the longest lasting lesbian club in the world, frequented by gay women since the 1930s. Former club members told me ‘it was the only place we could go’. Frequented by everyone from Dusty Springfield to Jeanette Winterson, it became the most famous lesbian club in the world after it featured in the Hollywood movie, The Killing Of Sister George, with 80 ordinary club members coming out onscreen, dancing cheek to cheek in 1968, before the Gay Liberation Movement had got going. To me, it was the nearest thing we have ever had to a lesbian institution. Visiting it was a rite of passage.”
Jill Gardiner, author of From The Closet To The Screen: Women At The Gateways Club, 1945

Read the rest of our special feature and see the stunning photo shoot in the April 2019 issue of DIVA, available now via the links below.

Only reading DIVA online? You’re missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It’s pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves.

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