Gay Culture: Sewing Circle (Lesbians in Hollywood)

The sewing circle is also a phrase used by Marlene Dietrich, for instance, to describe the underground, closeted lesbian and bisexual film actresses and their relationships in Hollywood, United States, particularly during Hollywood’s golden age from the 1910s to the 1950s.

This usage was coined by the actress Alla Nazimova.


Madsen, Axel (2002). The Sewing Circle: Sappho’s Leading Ladies. New York: Kensington Books.  ISBN 978-0-7582-0101-0.

Harbin, Billy J.; Marra, Kim; Schanke, Robert A., eds. (2005). The Gay & Lesbian Theatrical Legacy. University of Michigan.