Reprint of blog posted August 21, 2022
(April 15, 1931 – July 14, 2021)
Sally Miller Gearhart, an icon of American feminism and Lesbian/Gay activism, passed away on July 14, 2021 at age 90 in Ukiah, California after a long illness. She was a force of nature—professor, political activist, writer of science fiction—and a beloved friend and supporter of countless people and causes.
Read here for more tributes of Sally’s work and life:
- Sally Miller Gearhart, Lesbian Separatist and Activist, Dies at 90 (NY Times)
- In Memory of Her: An Appreciation by Mary Hunt
- Bay Area Reporter
- Sally Miller Gearhart Website
The name for the Rhode Island Wanderground Project is a nod to Gearhart’s novel, The Wanderground: Stories of the Hill Women. First published in 1978, The Wanderground stayed in print until 1999. The women who are its protagonists live in the near future, developing their relationships and their psychic gifts in rural (utopian) habitats deliberately separate from men and patriarchal culture. They reproduce by ovular merging, learn to fly at an early age, enjoy magical relationships with plants and animals, and struggle to live by the non-competitive values and sensibilities that they understand to be unique to their sex. They communicate individually through mindstretch (telepathy), and in groups by far-reaching gatherstretches. The Wanderground was one of the first major instances of lesbian representation in science fiction.
The emerging Rhode Island Wanderground Library/Archive/Maker-space Project embraces the creativity, power, and insight that women, especially Lesbians, can experience when we gather together in our own created spaces with open hearts and women-focused energies.