SUNY Oneonta Professor of English Mark Ferrara presented the paper “Mulberry Family Commune: Creating Inclusive Community in the American South” at the Triennial Conference of the International Communal Studies Association in Hudson, New York.

The emergence of communities accepting of same sex relationships and inclusive of nonconforming expressions of sexuality mark a distinctive contribution of the counterculture revolution to the history of American intentional living. While lesbian groups such as Womanshare and Oregon Woman’s Land Trust, and their male homosexual counterparts, generally practiced gender segregation, Stephen Lenton’s Mulberry Family Commune (1972-1987) in Richmond, Virginia stood against that trend by creating inclusive community based on the family model wherein openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual individuals affirmed a commitment to pooling resources, to living collectively, and to protecting the well-being of everyone in the community.