Apr 072016

Unknown-6 Unknown-7As lesbians, we are only just discovering our sisters of the past and often we are unaware of our great sisters of the PRESENT.  Here is a tribute to Jeanne Cordova, pioneer, activist, author, publisher and partner who died in Los Angeles surrounded by her spouse and friends.   Jeanne was only 67 years of age.Before she died, Jeanne donated $2 million to the Astraea Lesbian Foundation which has fought for justice for many years.

Lynn Ballen: Spouse for 25 Years

Lynn Ballen

Lynn Ballen

Lynn knew of the great following Jeanne had through her activism and literary work. Lynn has been a senior producer/co-host on on Feminist Magazine for the past seven years.   This was a great collaboration for lesbians and women of color.

Jeanne posted the following message on Facebook explaining how in the 1960s and 1970s, lesbians sought desperately to find others to bond together and to fight for lesbian rights within the LGBT community.  Here is what Jeanne had stated in her life:

“From the age of 18 to 21, I painfully looked everywhere for Lesbian Nation. On October 3, 1970, a day I celebrate as my political birthday, I found Her in a small DOB (Daughters of Bilitis) meeting. That’s when my life’s work became clear. Shortly thereafter I became a core organizer for two national lesbian conferences, one of which re-directed my path to create The Lesbian Tide newsmagazine, a national paper of record, as the historians say, for the lesbian feminist generation. And on it went for multiple decades of marches and later online organizing–this time intersectionally, to include all of me and my Latina identity.”

Tributes Pour In

The Human Rights Campaign  posted a memorial online, noting that “Cordova founded not one, but four lesbian conferences and for decades stood at the forefront of the LGBT movement on the West Coast.”

Cordova’s memoir, When We Were Outlaws: A Memoir of Love and Revolution, not only received accolades and awards but provided a community a touchstone it had never before enjoyed.


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