Edith Windsor, the woman at the center
of the DOMA case headed to the Supreme Court, describes her journey
coming out in the 60s.
In a profile from last year, gay weekly
Out gets the details on the woman challenging the U.S. government
for not recognizing her marriage to another woman.
Court to hear gay marriage-related Prop 8, DOMA cases.)
“I came to New York to be a lesbian
when I divorced,” Windsor said.
She struck out on her first try.
“Once, when I came in from
Philadelphia for a wedding, I stopped a woman wearing a trench coat
and a pink button-down shirt, and I asked if there was a woman's bar
around, and she directed me to what was Elle's Bar at the time. So I
went to this bar, and I was dressed to the teeth – and no one
was dressed to the teeth – and I sat there at the bar nursing my
drink, but no one talked to me! And that was it. I went back to my
hotel. That was my first New York bar experience.”
She met her future wife, Thea Spyer, at
Portofino, a restaurant in the West Village.
“I thought she was sensational, and
mostly she was a great dancer. And we really danced. And then we
met over the next two years. We always danced together. But it
wouldn't have occurred to me to make any moves on someone who was
with someone. And she was always with someone. And then one summer
she was not with someone. I knew she had a place in the Hamptons, so
I wrangled an invitation through a friend. I was wild for her. I
don't know how to describe it. It was everything. It was just more
so. We were profoundly in love and stayed that way.”
Spyer died in 2009, two years after the
women married in Canada.
“When I'm sick now – I have a lot
of angina – that's when I miss her the most,” Windsor