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Object of the Month June: Lesbian Knit Sweater

1. June 2019

In the early 1980s, staunch lesbian Ulrike Lachmann lovingly stitched together a wool sweater. In the following years she carried it with her with conviction. The lesbian knit sweater is loaded with symbolism from lesbian and queer history. Female and lesbian symbols, pink triangles, double axes and the waning moon alternate in colorful horizontal stripes.

The colors themselves are a colorful statement. Hearts are deliberately stitched in pink: the color of the second wave feminist movement. A public symbol of visibility, always with the motto: “Feminism is the theory, being lesbian is the practice.” As a piece of clothing, the sweater is made to present the private as a public political statement. Sure, it’s a bit itchy – but it certainly isn’t soft and comfortable with the patriarchy.

Now the knit sweater will go into the collection of the Schwules Museum to be carefully stored in the archive, closely following the short but lovingly written care instructions from Ulrike Lachmann. Most importantly: a strip of moth paper, which should be switched out every 6 months. We’ll do it, promise! We’re happy to have it and to share it with the world.