Memorial Thread

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Re: Memorial Thread

Postby wildlx » 20 Apr 2015, 10:33

Longtime lesbian-feminist activist Sidney Abbott dies

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Sidney Abbott, 77, a longtime New York City-based lesbian-feminist activist, died April 15 in a house fire in Southold, Suffolk County New York. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
She co-authored a ground-breaking book with Barbara Love in 1971, Sappho Was a Right-on Woman: A Liberated View of Lesbianism.

Abbott was born July 11, 1937 in Washington, D.C., to a military family. Her father went to West Point and later was an aide to Gen. Douglas MacArthur during World War II.

Abbott attended Smith College for three years before graduating from the University of Albuquerque, New Mexico with a bachelor's degree in art history in 1961. She studied urban planning in graduate school at Columbia University.

Abbott is survived by her her nephew David Abbott of Brooklyn and a sister-in-law, Jane Abbott. She is also survived by her dog, Missy, and peacock, Henrietta.

Abbott joined the National Organization for Women ( NOW ) in 1969 and was one of the first people to speak out about the rights of lesbians to other NOW members. She was on the founding board of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and was a member of the Lavender Menace. She also founded the Women's Rights are Human Rights nonprofit.

Her personal archives are in the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College and the Radcliffe College feminist collection of NOW biographies.

Abbott was a program developer for two departments in the New York City government and was the first openly gay person appointed to the community planning board by the Manhattan Borough President.

"Sidney was a great person with a big heart and a very big part of my life," said Barbara Love; vice-president of development at the Veteran Feminists of America ( VFA ), author and longtime close friend. "In fact, I spoke to her just an hour before the fire and she was in good spirits at the time. I met her in 1967 and we lived together for several years. It was at that time that we wrote our book together which was the first non-fiction book to depict lesbians in a positive light.

"We were out and proud lesbians when it wasn't fashionable to do so and we fought for lesbian acceptance within the women's movement particularly within NOW. She was a great storyteller and would regale us with very detailed stories about everything. She was a quintessential conversationalist. She leaves a hole in my heart and I will miss her terribly."

Jackie Ceballos, former president of New York NOW, and a founder and former president for 20 years of VFA said of her friend: "I've known Sidney since the beginning of NOW. We met in 1967 and worked together as activists for many years. Sidney was always level-headed and worked from within to change the way NOW interacted with the lesbian movement. She was always a unifying force within the feminist and lesbian worlds and was one of the people who opened up Betty Friedan and other straight feminists to the lesbian world. It was a shock to me when I heard that she died in such a horrible way. She was a darling person and unifying force in so many ways. I will miss her very, very much."

http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/m/AP ... ?AID=51204
A lesbian is the rage of all women condensed to the point of explosion. “The Woman-Identified Woman” Radicalesbians (1970)
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Re: Memorial Thread

Postby Baker » 20 Apr 2015, 10:36

Thanks for that. I'd not heard of her.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities ~ Voltaire
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Re: Memorial Thread

Postby Proofrdr » 20 Apr 2015, 12:52

Oh, that is tragic! She was an amazing woman. Created quite a problem for NOW by insisting that lesbians belonged in the organization too.
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Re: Memorial Thread

Postby wildlx » 22 Apr 2015, 06:05

Baker wrote:Thanks for that. I'd not heard of her.


I read her book recently. I kept seeing references to it and so I bought a used copy. It's dated but still has a first hand account of Lavender Menace and I found it funny all the justifications to 'normalize' lesbianism as now lesbianism is mainstream. Just shows how much things changed.
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Re: Memorial Thread

Postby wildlx » 09 Oct 2015, 00:20

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Chantal Akerman, Belgian filmmaker, film theorist and lesbian feminist iconographer of women’s lives, died suddenly on Oct. 5, reportedly a suicide. She was 65. Akerman directed more than 40 films and television projects and at the time of her death had been attending and speaking at screenings of her most recent film, "No Home Movie."

The tragic end to the brilliant filmmaker’s long career came less than a year after the death of her mother, Natalia, a Holocaust survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, who she had filmed over her mother’s final days in her mother’s Brussels apartment. That video essay of her mother’s life and death, "No Home Movie," is part of an upcoming retrospective of Akerman’s work in London in late October where Akerman was also to teach master classes in film.

Akerman, who suffered from bipolar disorder which she discussed in several interviews, notably "The Pajama Interview" with French film theorist Nicole Brenez, had been hospitalized for depression and was released just 10 days prior to her death. She was due to be in New York on Oct. 7 for a series of screenings of "No Home Movie" at the New York Film Festival. She was found dead late on the night of Oct. 5.

A great piece by Victoria Brownworth worth reading in its totality http://www.curvemag.com/News/Lesbian-Fi ... p.facebook
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Re: Memorial Thread

Postby Baker » 09 Oct 2015, 07:17

Definitely a good read at the link.

For me, knowing Akerman was a lesbian filmmaker was important–necessary, even. Knowing those lesbian scenes in her films came from life, not gratuitous sensationalism was essential. Did that make the scenes more real?

Interesting question.
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Re: Memorial Thread

Postby Proofrdr » 12 Jan 2016, 04:47

"And the stars look very different today"

RIP David Bowie
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Re: Memorial Thread

Postby Proofrdr » 04 Jun 2016, 22:49

Muhammad Ali
January 17, 1942 — June 4, 2016

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
Muhammad Ali

He was brash and controversial, but also intelligent, talented, and principled. He was of my generation. We were born the same year and were young adults through the chaos of the late 50s and 60s, through the fight for civil rights and the anti-war demonstrations. While some of us protested the Vietnam War, as a conscientious objector, he publicly refused to fight. For that, he was stripped of his boxing title, was denied his best fighting years, and lost millions of dollars. For those of us who protested that senseless war, he was a champion as he stood by his principles.
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