Cleveland Area Lesbian Feminist Alliance

in Groups and Organizations

Dykes You Know Everywhere (DYKE), a lesbian feminist social and political organization, formed in 1974. Dykes You Know Everywhere began as a small “lesbian consciousness-raising group” founded by seven Cleveland lesbian feminists. DYKE’s initial purpose was to provide a forum for area lesbians to “get to know more lesbians, communicate, and socialize with others outside of the bars.” DKYE held weekly meetings throughout the Cleveland area, though most members lived in or near Cleveland Heights. Though DYKE’s initial meetings weekly meetings primarily focused on consciousness raising, the group soon became progressively “more political” in nature. In 1975, members of DYKE sponsored a booth and workshop at the International Women’s Year Greater Cleveland Congress and hosted the Radical Feminist Lesbian Conference. Outside of holding meetings and sponsoring events, DYKE’s members organized to provide a “free store, library, and general carpentry and plumbing repair work” for area women. That same year, several of DYKE’s members converged to form Oven Productions, a lesbian feminist collective and production company.

In late 1975, Dykes You Know Everywhere reorganized as the Cleveland Area Lesbian Feminist Alliance (CALFA) after members decided that “the group needed to become more organized and offer specific services.” The newly-reorganized Cleveland Area Lesbian Feminist Alliance’s primary goals were “1) to provide for the association of lesbians in the Cleveland area, and 2) to foster the development of relationships, thoughts, and actions which serve the needs of the Cleveland area lesbian community.” After reorganizing as CALFA, the Cleveland Area Lesbian Feminist Alliance began expanding the breadth and types services it offered. In March 1976, CALFA began operating the Lesbian Switchboard (CALFA Phone), a phone referral and counseling service for area lesbians. CALFA hosted weekly Open House meetings to provide further opportunities for local women to get acquainted with the organization, its members, and its various services and social events. To meet the specific needs of various subsections of Cleveland’s lesbian communities outside of its regular business meetings, CALFA launched several women’s social and support groups (including those for east side lesbians, west side lesbians, black lesbians, and lesbian mothers). CALFA also sponsored various lesbian-oriented social and athletic events. For many women, participation in CALFA “served as an entry point…to become integrated into the [Cleveland lesbian] community.” As many of its members became involved in other organizations, CALFA’s activity began to wane by mid-1976. The Cleveland Area Lesbian Feminist Alliance formally disbanded in September 1976.

Additional information coming soon.


  • “C.A.L.F.A.” High Gear. June 1976. Page 20.
  • “C.A.L.F.A.” High Gear. July 1976. Page 7.
  • “C.A.L.F.A. Disbands.” High Gear. October 1976. Page 2.
  • Callender, Charles. “10 Years Ago.” Gay People’s Chronicle. December 1985. Page 7.
  • Chenier, Elise. “Lesbian Feminism.” GLBTQ Archive. 2004.
  • “Debra Hirshberg Interview, 11 July 2023.” Cleveland Voices.
  • “D.Y.K.E.” What She Wants. July 1975. Page 11.
  • “D.Y.K.E. Forms.” High Gear. Issue II. 1975.
  • “D.Y.K.E. Plans Major Re-Organization.” High Gear. Issue II, no.4. 1975.
  • “Lesbian News.” High Gear. August 1976. Page 3.
  • “Lesbian Switchboard.” High Gear. March 1976. Page 1.
  • “Milestones.” What She Wants. April-May 1983. Page 8.
  • “Sally Tatnall Interview, 05 June 2019.” Cleveland Voices.
  • “Talking Lesbian.” High Gear. October 1976. Page 16.
  • “Ten Years Ago.” “C.A.L.F.A.” Gay People’s Chronicle. October 1986. Page 13.
Location approximate. The Cleveland Area Lesbian Feminist Alliance has no fixed address.

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