Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-08-07
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Longtime lesbian-feminist activist Sidney Abbott dies
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

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."

"In 1995, Barbara arranged for Sidney to move into my apartment and I was glad to have her come live with me because she was able to do things on the computer that I couldn't," said Joan Nixon, former aide to Rep. Bella Abzug and longtime friend of Abbott. "Before I realized I was a lesbian I got Sidney's book and after I read it everything changed for me. Her book opened my eyes to the concept of women loving other women and it was then that I realized that this applied to me. We spoke the morning of her death and at that time she was in great spirits and was looking forward to the next chapter of her life. She is finally free of the lift chair that confined her during the last years of her life. I feel that Sidney's spirit is with me, that she hasn't gone away and will always be with me. She was a wonderful, sharp person and I look forward to celebrating her life in the years to come."

Eleanor Pam, PhD, president of VFA, a professor emerita from City University of New York, said Sidney "was a very old and dear friend whom I've known for almost five decades. We met during the early days and work of Second Wave Feminism. She was a double pioneer as an advocate for women's rights as well as lesbian rights. She was a passionate, brilliant, effective and extraordinary force for human rights. Sidney was a smart and articulate activist with a keen sense of justice. She had an instinctive reflexive antipathy towards injustice against which she moved forcefully. She leaves a gap among her friends who loved her dearly and I will miss her forever."

Memorial services are pending. Abbott's ashes will be buried in Long Island, New York.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Leigh Gallery closing party Aug. 23 2019-08-16 - The Boystown business The Leigh Gallery, 3306 N. Halsted St., will end its 15-year run with closing party Friday, Aug. 23, 5-9 p.m. ...

Gay News

Rothaus, Swisher, Vincenz named to LGBTQ Journalists Hall of Fame 2019-08-14 - WASHINGTON, DC — Today, NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists announced that longtime Miami Herald reporter Steve Rothaus, Recode co-founder Kara Swisher and ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Trans march, Danica Roem, cannabis company, lesbian tech event 2019-08-13 - A National Transgender Visibility March on Washington originally planned for March 31 will now take place Saturday, Sept. 28, The Washington Blade reported. ...

Gay News

OPERA Singer Patricia Racette talks coming out, musical feats 2019-08-11 - Patricia Racette is an internationally acclaimed operatic soprano. Over 30 years in the industry, she has been particularly renowned for performing as Puccini's ...

Gay News

Chicago Humanities Festival to host Rachel Maddow Oct. 12 2019-08-08 - The Chicago Humanities Festival will kick-off its 30th anniversary Fall Festival with MSNBC anchor and investigative reporter Rachel Maddow on Saturday, Oct. 12. ...

Gay News

PASSAGES CMSA Hall of Famer/former North End co-owner Bobby Nicholson 2019-08-07 - Games were played Aug. 4, but with heavy hearts—and tribute ribbons attached to players' and umpires' uniforms. The balls and strikes, safe and ...

Gay News

Angela Barnes discusses chairing Center on Halsted's board 2019-08-07 - Growing up in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago, Angela Barnes learned the importance of "volunteering and giving back as much and as ...

Gay News

Women & Children First, forty years of book-selling history 2019-08-07 - To celebrate Women & Children First's 40th anniversary, the store will be hosting a summer block party with a feminist slant Saturday, Aug. ...

Gay News

Janelle Monae headlines 'A Beautiful Future' at MCA 2019-08-06 - The evening before her unforgettable set at Lollapalooza music festival, performer Janelle Monae attended an event at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago ...

Gay News

Author Toni Morrison dies at 88 2019-08-06 - Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison has died at 88. Morrison was the first Black woman to receive the Nobel literature prize, awarded ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.