Journal of lesbian studies 2017 07 25() 1-15 doi 10.1080/10894160.2017.1340867
In this essay, I argue that lesbians have come to be a population of concern for state-based health organizations as a result of lesbian health activism that drew connections between breast cancer and HIV/AIDS. In order to develop this analysis, I tell the story of the rise of lesbian breast cancer activism in concert with HIV/AIDS in San Francisco in the early 1990s. The state recognition of lesbian health needs, and with it the solidification of lesbian as a biopolitical category, was catalyzed by associations with the AIDS crisis and HIV activism, but also required an articulated difference, or lesbian specificity, which breast cancer provided. And yet, documenting the multiple, and potentially contradictory, ways that these associations were made resists understanding "lesbian" as a static category.