Rita Mae Brown

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rita Mae Brown (born November 28, 1944) is an American writer. She is best known for her first novel Rubyfruit Jungle. It was published in 1973 and was a story about a young lesbian woman. At the time, it was quite unusual for novels to be about lesbian themes. Brown is also a mystery writer and an Emmy-nominated screenwriter.

Early life[change | change source]

Brown was born in Hanover, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Florida. In 2004 she was living outside Charlottesville, Virginia.

In the 1960s, Brown went to the University of Florida but transferred.[1] She moved to New York and went to New York University, where she got a degree in classics and English. Later she got another degree in cinematography from the New York School of Visual Arts. She also got a doctorate in political science from the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.[2]

Activism[change | change source]

In the 1960s, Brown started to get involved in politics. She became active in the American Civil Rights Movement, the anti-war movement, the Gay Liberation movement and the feminist movement. She helped start the Student Homophile League and claims to have participated in the Stonewall riots[3] in New York City, along with Martha Shelley. Ms. Shelley states that she was not in the bar with Ms. Brown at the time, and was simply passing by the riots, thinking they were an antiwar demonstration. Brown joined the new National Organization for Women, but left in February 1970 when Betty Friedan said anti-gay things and the organization tried to distance itself from lesbian organizations.

In the 1970s, she became helped start The Furies Collective, a lesbian feminist newspaper collective which said that heterosexuality was the cause of all oppression.[4]

She has said, "I don't believe in straight or gay. I really don't. I think we're all degrees of bisexual."[5]

Personal life[change | change source]

Brown is openly lesbian[6] and has had relationships with tennis player Martina Navratilova, actress-writer Fannie Flagg, socialite Judy Nelson, and politician Elaine Noble.[7] Brown enjoys American fox hunting and is master of her Fox Hunt Club. She has also played polo, and started the women-only Blue Ridge Polo Club.[8]

References[change | change source]

  1. Related by Brown in Starting from Scratch, Rita Will, and her website bio Archived 2014-03-30 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved May 24, 2007. She allows that the University administration denies that it had anything to do with integration.
  2. Related by Brown in her autobiography Rita Will and Starting from Scratch.
  3. (pg 243 of the 1997 edition of "Rita Will": "There stood Martha Shelley and I in a sea of rioting gay men...'Martha, we'd better get the hell out of here.'")
  4. Related by Brown in her autobiography Rita Will.
  5. Sachs, Andrea (2008-03-18), "Rita Mae Brown: Loves Cats, Hates Marriage", Time, archived from the original on 2010-04-20, retrieved 2009-08-30
  6. http://www.randomhouse.com/book/19940/rita-will-by-rita-mae-brown
  7. Aldrich, Robert; Garry Wotherspoon (2002). Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History. Routledge. p. 60. ISBN 0203994086.
  8. Rita Mae Brown Website Bio Archived 2014-03-30 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved May 24, 2007.

Other websites[change | change source]