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Life History of a Lesbian: Mary Casal

Life History of a Lesbian: Mary Casal by Barbara Grier alias Gene Damon -from Lesbian Lives, Reproduced with permission by author Apparently this is an undoctored life history of a Lesbian. Mary Casal wrote her life story in a casual conversational and entirely frank manner. Since Miss Casal was born in 1864 and was at the time of writing 65 years old, the complete detail of her love affair is almost amazing. Miss Casal was born in New England on a farm and apparently was a part of the class described as upper middle class. Her parents were a rather odd mixture, her mother a descendent of the very pure Puritans and her father a descendent of a distinguished English family of artists and musicians. She was the youngest of nine children and her childhood friends were all male... By the time she had completed her college education she had had three or four ... crushes and one of them had apparently been physically satisfactory. In her effort to make her autobiography utterly untraceable, Miss Casal has obscured the sequence of her life to an extent that makes dates impossible to find in relation to her big love affair. However, somewhere in her middle thirties she met and fell in love with a girl two years younger. The affair was entirely complete and very happy for both women for many years, approximately fifteen years or a little more. During these happy years the women discovered many other women of like temperament and the authoress expresses her initial surprise at this, because previously Mary and her friend Juno had thought they were the only women in the world who loved another woman. Miss Casal's revelations about the Lesbian world of New York and Paris around the turn of this century are most interesting. Although Miss Casal tries to give the impression that she was never a professional author, it is hard to believe in view of the quality of writing in her memoirs. I heartily recommend this as almost a class case of Lesbianism. Unfortunately the book is very rare and quite expensive. Those willing to take the trouble can borrow the book through the Library of Congress. (I believe the book is much more available now. I found a copy in my local library. If not available locally it is available through interlibrary loan) Mary Casal. The Stone Wall: An Autobiography, Chicago: Eyncourt Press, 1930.