Yvonne Rainer, Lives of Performers, 1972
Reading feminist writing and theory allowed Rainer to examine her own experience as a woman, and she was able to think of herself as a participant in culture and society. Little did Rainer realize that her prior choreography was a direct challenge of the “traditional” dance and ultimately feminist in nature. Throughout the 1980s, Rainer was celibate, and she was determined “not to enter into any more ill-fated heterosexual adventures…” She began attending Gay Pride Parades and considered herself a “political lesbian.” Rainer participated in a demonstration in New York and Washington D.C. to protest the challenges to Roe v. Wade during this same time period. At the age of 56, she overcame her fears of identifying as a lesbian by becoming intimate with Martha Gever. She says it was “euphoric.” They are still together today.
Feminist Audre Lorde’s famous statement posed, “You can’t dismantle the master’s house using the master’s tools.” Rainer rebutted her theory by stating,
“You can, if you expose the tools.”
sounds gay, doesn’t it?