When Lenny Lasater moved to Georgia in her early 20s, it didn’t take long to find her family. She quickly met the Bickersons, a group of queer women scattered across the South who met through mutual friends and banded together.
Each Bickerson had given herself a name that started with the letter B — Ms. Lasater eventually became known as “Big Star,” because she was active in the local theater scene and played in a band.
Over the last 35 years, the Bickersons have become a family with its own set of rituals and traditions — fishing trips; holiday parties at a farm in North Carolina; an offshoot affectionately known as “Butch Club,” during which some of the Bickersons could sit around a firepit, sipping Crown Royal and pinky-swearing each other to secrecy. “We didn’t have to censor,” Ms.
Lasater, now 65, said. “We were real, we were honest, and we could expect to be met with compassion and understanding.” The Bickersons stepped in at a time when Ms.