JEAN TAYLOR - Radical Lesbian Feminist Writer and Activist
Born in Melbourne Australia in 1944, Jean Taylor was subsequently raised in country Victoria on a dried fruits vineyard in Mildura South. She was educated at state schools and left at the age of 16, started her General Nursing Training at the Mildura Base Hospital in 1961, became pregnant and moved to Melbourne the day after she got married in 1962.
In between her three pregnancies, two children are still living, Jean continued to work as a nurse before she started work as a waitress in 1966. When the children started school she enrolled part-time at the Council of Adult Education 1969 - 1971 to gain her Matric. And was subsequently accepted as an undergraduate student in the Humanities Department at La Trobe Uni in 1972 and graduated with BA majoring in English in 1976.
Jean has had a variety of jobs: Student Welfare Officer at La Trobe Uni (1974 - 1977), Coordinator at Matilda Women’s Refuge (1978 - 1979), Conductress and Tram Driver (1982), Project Worker on Women’s Liberation Switchboard (1984 - 1985), part-time admin work at the Office of Corrections (1986) and was the Director of the Performing Older Women’s Circus (1995 - 1997).
While working at La Trobe Uni Jean started writing short stories for the student newspaper Rabelais under the pseudonym of Emily George, 1975 - 1976, and continued to use Emily George for all the books she published starting with the poetry book Emily George in 1976, a book of short stories Woman in 1978, both now out of print, and all the subsequent books including those under the imprint of Dykebooks including The Journey in 1991, also out of print.
Over the past decade or so Jean has been busy writing non-fiction articles and books under her own name and the imprint of Dyke Books Inc which was established in 2008 to publish lesbian writing by lesbian writers.
Jean’s latest books are Brazen Hussies: A Herstory of Radical Activism in the Women’s Liberation Movement in Victoria 1970 - 1979 (2009) and Stroppy Dykes: Radical Lesbian Feminist Activism in Victoria During the 1980s (2012). She is currently writing the third book of the trilogy documenting radical lesbian feminist activism and the Women’s Liberation Movement, Lesbians Ignite in Victoria in the 1990s.