I always forget to do this, but hi!
Have, as your welcome present, the title of a book I found in the process of looking up that last one I reblogged: Mollie’s War: The Letters of a World War II WAC in Europe by Mollie Weinstein Schaffer. I’ve had a hard time finding stuff like diaries and letters by in active service in WW2 so I’m excited this exists.
For those writing stucky (slash or femslash) set in WW2, here’s a few good (albeit brief) stories of queer servicemen and -women: http://glbthistory.org/OutranksWeb/WorldWarII/World%20War%20II.htm
http://thankyoulgbtservicemembers.wordpress.com/category/wwii-heroes/ has two entries: one on Alan Turing, one on Johnnie Phelps (she’s discussed below). Also wider site has more stories of lgbt service members; unfortunately they were only active two months in 2011
From what I can find, sources that talk about this sort of thing agree that many queer women served in the WAC, with widely varying degrees of openness.
In 1947 (bit after Stella’s time, but still relevant), WAC Sergeant Johnnie Phelps was on General Eisenhower’s staff. According to a transcript of their conversation, she was told by General Eisenhower, “It’s come to my attention that there are lesbians in the WACs, we need to ferret them out…. ” Phelps replied, “If the General pleases, sir, I’ll be happy to do that, but the first name on the list will be mine.” Eisenhower’s secretary added, “If the General pleases, sir, my name will be first and hers will be second.”Phelps then told Eisenhower, “Sir, you’re right, there are lesbians in the WACs – and if you want to replace all the file clerks, section commanders, drivers, every woman in the WAC detachment, I will be happy to make that list. But you must know, sir, that they are the most decorated group – there have been no illegal pregnancies, no AWOLs, no charges of misconduct.” Eisenhower dropped the idea.
(Took the quotes verbatim from Wikipedia. Don’t have access to their source, but I’ve confirmed the content of the conversation, if not the actual words, elsewhere).
Other sources on lesbianism during Stella and Beck’s time:
In general - http://sitemaker.umich.edu/lesbianhistories/home
Between the World Wars -
WW2 and Beyond (includes discussion on enlisted lesbians) -
Unfortunately a lot of good stuff is behind a pay wall, or only in print :/ Will post more once I’m back at university, so I can access their books and journals
Reblogging in case the linked references are of use to tartanfics (I know it’s the US instead of the UK, but possibly interesting anyway), and also because that anecdote about Johnnie Phelps and Eisenhower’s secretary is P H E N O M E N A L.
Yes, these links are excellent! I’d seen that anecdote but not with attached resources. And my story recently acquired an American dimension, so US stuff potentially useful as well. :D
So the whole ‘on your left’ thing that Steve shouts to Sam when he passes him up
Kind of a running joke huh?