elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,
elisa_rolle
elisa_rolle

Ellen “Lennie” W. Gerber & Pearl Berlin

Lennie Gerber and Pearl Berlin, who campaigned unsuccessfully against the N.C. marriage amendment, which effectively barred legal marriages for gay people, sealed their 47-year relationship with the Jewish wedding they always wanted. It may not be recognized by the state of North Carolina, but it is legal according to Jewish law.

Living in the Overlap is the improbably true story of two girls growing up in Brooklyn in the 1940s, falling in love in the Midwest, and making a life together in North Carolina.

Filmmakers Mary M. Dalton, Cindy Hill, Ellen Hendrix, Cara Pilson, Peter Gilbert and Sandra Dickson learned about Lennie Gerber and Pearl Berlin’s 46-year love story from a newspaper article and wanted to share their philosophy of relationships and their vibrant personalities with a larger audience. Lennie is an attorney focusing on LGBT issues, and Pearl is a retired professor working on various political issues. They are surprised to have reached icon status for simply living their lives together. The film, Living in the Overlap, includes public and private moments in Lennie and Pearl’s lives using interviews, archival material, and sequences shot during their efforts to defeat North Carolina’s anti-gay marriage amendment.


Living in the Overlap is the improbably true story of two girls growing up in Brooklyn in the 1940s, falling in love in the Midwest, and making a life together in North Carolina. Lennie Gerber and Pearl Berlin, who campaigned unsuccessfully against the N.C. marriage amendment, which effectively barred legal marriages for gay people, sealed their 47-year relationship with the Jewish wedding they always wanted. It may not be recognized by the state of N.C., but it is legal according to Jewish law.


Pearl Berlin and Lennie Gerber, left to right, leave the bimah greeted by family and friends after their wedding vows at Beth David Synagogue on Sunday, June 2, 2013 in Greensboro, N.C.

Living in the Overlap provides an overview of how Lennie and Pearl met and fell in love before focusing largely on key episodes in their lives together now. They are recent recipients of a major award from a foundation supporting LGBT issues, an award presented at a formal gala. Despite strong efforts against the measure, the amendment passed, and they appeared on The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell after the election. Along with reflections and insights about civil rights and the political process, they offer wisdom about enduring relationships, including an overarching philosophy of their relationship. They think of themselves as two circles, often overlapping, who are both independent and interdependent. After 48-years of living in the overlap, Lennie and Pearl still have an indelible spark.

Source: www.lennieandpearl.com/

Further Readings:

Strong Women, Deep Closets: Lesbians and Homophobia in Sport by Pat Griffin
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Human Kinetics; 1st PB Edition edition (February 4, 1998)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 088011729X
ISBN-13: 978-0880117296
Amazon: Strong Women, Deep Closets: Lesbians and Homophobia in Sport

Former athlete and coach Pat Griffin makes a provocative and impassioned call for attention to a topic too long avoided by women's sports advocates. In Strong Women, Deep Closets, she provides a critical analysis of discrimination and prejudice against lesbians in sport.

The book is the first to explore the lesbian sporting experience as well as examine homophobia and heterosexism in women's sport. The work is based on theoretical and historical foundations and is written in an academic yet engaging style. Griffin brings to light the experiences of lesbian coaches and athletes in their own words.

Strong Women, Deep Closets concludes with Griffin's assessment of the current state of lesbians' rights in athletics, set against the overall social picture in the United States. The author lists obstacles lesbian athletes face in transforming sports and details numerous personal and political strategies for leveling the playing field.

More Real Life Romances at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance



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