Once in a while, someone will ask where I got the idea to create an Intentional Community for lesbians (and their female allies) in Ohio?
As with everyone, my ideas come from my life experiences. I started seeking out the company of lesbians in the mid-late 1970s when still a teenager. Without the internet, finding like-minded women was much harder. Fortunately, the Feminist movement was alive and well in my hometown Columbus, Ohio. I found my way to Fan the Flames, the feminist book store, located close to the Ohio State University, my recent alma mater. Prior to that, as a student, I was part of a feminist group at the OSU Hillel (Jewish student center), which is where I met my first out lesbians.
The most influential publication I found at the Fan the Flames book store was my first copy of Lesbian Connection (LC or Elsie) lconline.org . I will be forever grateful to the women of Lansing, Michigan for publishing this worldwide lesbian forum. Lesbian Connection continues to publish six issues a year and is one of the longest operating lesbian organizations in the world! In that first LC I picked up, there was an ad for the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival (MWMF). That seemed like it might be a good place to meet lesbians!
Attending my first MWMF in the late 70's was a game changer for me, I felt comfortable surrounded by 100s of lesbians and I knew I was in the right place. Watching the MWMF evolve during the 80s, I observed repeatedly that women were capable of creating their own Community; a community where all needs were provided for by the collective energy of the skilled women who volunteered their time as crew members to build the Festival from the ground up, every summer for 40 years.
I learned over the last 4 decades, by attending and volunteering at many lesbian-centric festivals that I was my strongest, most authentic self whenever I was surrounded by other lesbians. Knowing this lead me to wanting to live in community with lesbians full-time. I visited the Pueblo in Apache Junction, AZ and the Resort on Carefree Blvd. in N. Fort Myers, FL, and the Ozark Land Holding Association (OLHA) outside Fayetteville, AR.
In 2013, after retiring early on a modest teacher's pension, I continued my discovery of lesbian communities where women lived year round.
I visited Superstition Mountain Resort in Apache Junction, AZ; Discovery Bay Resort near Port Townsend, WA, and revisited OHLA. I realized that all of the lesbian communities I had visited were either too expensive or too remote. By 2017, I decided to start pursuing the creation of an intentional community in Ohio that would provide a less expensive and less remote option for lesbians.
My only regret is that I didn't start the community development process sooner. ~ Adlai JN (Feb. 2022)