OLOC, Old Lesbians Organizing for Change, announces The
Del Martin Old Lesbian Pride Award, created to honor Del Martin,
activist, pathfinder, and OLOC member who died at age 87 on August
27, 2008 in San Francisco, the city of her birth. It will be awarded
to a Lesbian 70 years or older whose life and work has influenced and
will continue to impact the lives of Old Lesbians.Del was out, proud, and unapologetic when few were. She and her lifetime partner, Phyllis Lyon, forged an enduring image that continues to inspire generations of Lesbians around the globe. In 1955 they co-founded The Daughters of Bilitis, the first US Lesbian organization, and in 1972, co-wrote the equally groundbreaking, Lesbian/Woman. In 1976 Del's book, Battered Wives, first shattered the silence surrounding domestic violence. Her writing and tireless activism on behalf of women earned much praise, many awards, an invitation to the White House, and drew upon the great strengths of Lesbian tradition, advancing our visibility and pride and carrying that heritage forward.
The First Award, 2010
Kathy Glass, 1932, and Carmah Lawler, 1929, (partners for 32 years), received the first ever Del Martin Old Lesbian Pride Award at the 2010 OLOC Gathering in Cleveland. They have been active in the Jefferson County Democrats,
the Stonewall Democrats, and the League of Women Voters for many years. They have raised thousands of dollars to support candidates sympathetic to LGBT issues and they frequently testify in state legislative hearings on behalf of bills beneficial to the LGBT community. They often begin their testimony with "This is what an Old Lesbian looks like." Their persistence has resulted in many laws in Colorado protecting LGBT individuals.
The Second Award, 2012
Joy. D. Griffith, 1935, won the Del Martin Old Lesbian Pride Award at the July 1012 OLOC Gathering. Joy took over Golden Threads in 1996 and ran the Annual Golden Threads Celebration for 12 years. She also edited the Golden Threads quarterly publication and personally answered every letter she received. Joy, as part of a lawyers group in Burlington, helped make civil unions happen in Vermont. Asked to join an equality group at the Department of Health, she helped develop a safe and positive level of understanding and acceptance for the health/medical needs of LGBTs, especially for Old Lesbians. Joy has brought happiness and empowerment to the lives of hundreds, maybe thousands, of Lesbians for over two decades.