Jeanne Cordova, Lesbian Activist And Author, Dies At 67

The activist, author, and pioneer dedicated her life to gay and lesbian rights.



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It was announced early Sunday morning that Jeanne Cordova, a lesbian activist, author, and pioneer, died at her Los Angeles home.

Cordova dedicated much of her life to gay and lesbian rights using a degree in social work to become a community organizer and activist. She later became a journalist and is well known for her book, When We Were Outlaws; A Memoir of Love and Revolution.

Her career began as the Los Angeles chapter President of the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB). During this time, Cordova opened the first Lesbian center in Los Angeles in 1971. She also organized four lesbian conferences, including the first West Coast Lesbian Conference. Cordova also developed the DOB newsletter into The Lesbian Tide, a newspaper of “record for the lesbian feminist decade”.

A close friend of Cordova’s, Jenny Pizer, stated that “She was home with loved ones, and her close friend Dina Evans, who some people might remember here at Dina Bachelor Evans, was on the phone with her. She is a spiritual teacher and therapist and helped Jeanne during the dying process.”

Another close friend, Ivy Bottini, posted on Facebook about her passing, “Jeanne Cordova died this morning at 4:30 am. Our community has lost a guard at the gate of hatred and I have lost my Best Butch Bud of over 40 years. There will never be another Lesbian Activist like Jeanne. She was one of a kind. A true innovator. And a hell of a business woman. But right now I am grieving her lost presence, her laughter, her grit, and the love we both had for each other. Here’s to you, Jeanne, you will always live in my heart.” 

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