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Jeanne Córdova: From nun to LGBTQ+ pioneer

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Jeanne Córdova: From nun to LGBTQ+ pioneer

American activist
How Jeanne Córdova grew to become the voice of homosexual girls

Activist Jeanne Córdova

© USC

Raised in a strict Catholic residence, Jeanne Córdova joined the order as a woman and have become a nun. But the American quickly started to query her religion and her sexuality – and determined to pursue a profession as a lesbian activist.

Jeanne Córdova was born on July 18, 1948 in Bremerhaven. He was the eldest of twelve kids of a Mexican father and an Irish-American mom. After graduating from highschool in Puente, California, he entered the Immaculate Heart of Mary Monastery in 1966. But quickly she started to query her sexuality and her religion. He left the monastery in 1968 and acquired a grasp’s diploma in social work from the University of California on the age of twenty-two.

But he started his actual work within the space of ​​homosexual rights because the president of a neighborhood group Los Angeles of “Daughters of Bilitis”. “I made a decision from the begin to pursue a profession as knowledgeable gay,” she as soon as stated. by lesbians. In 1971 he additionally opened the primary homosexual middle in Los Angeles.

Soon after, Córdova additionally served on the board of the Los Angeles Gay Community Services Center and wrote and edited the Los Angeles Free Press. A set of his columns was printed in his 1974 guide “Sexism – It’s A Nasty Affair.” When the homosexual motion was on the rise, he grew to become president of the Stonewall Democratic Club and led a statewide marketing campaign in California to overtly elect homosexual delegates to the 1980 Democratic National Convention.

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Jeanne Córdova based the “gay enterprise index”

He based the “Community Yellow Pages,” which introduced collectively a whole lot of homosexual and lesbian companies in Southern California right into a “homosexual enterprise listing” and was printed with a circulation of 100,000 a 12 months. It was meant to supply option to customers who wished corporations that accommodated them with out discrimination. “I really feel extra comfy with a homosexual car parking zone plumber than with the alternative intercourse,” Córdova reportedly advised the New York Times in 1989. “I haven’t got to go and conceal in the home and conceal the indicators that I’m a lesbian.”

In 1999 he bought his enterprise guide once more, moved to Mexico for just a few years and, collectively together with his spouse Lynn Harris Ballen, based the “Palapa Society of Todos Santos”, a non-profit group for financial justice. He later printed his award-winning memoir “When We Were Outlaws; A Memoir of Love & Revolution.” Even as an activist and entrepreneur, Jeanne continued to put in writing articles, columns and items of journalism, and printed articles on her private weblog.

Córdova made her most cancers public in 2015

Córdova and his spouse Ballen exchanged vows in entrance of household and pals in a partnership ceremony in 1995 earlier than they had been formally married in 2013, after same-sex marriage grew to become authorized in California.

Córdova’s religious Catholic mother and father discover it tough for his or her daughter to come back out. As her sister Lu later stated, she had been separated from the household for a number of years. It was solely later that he reconciled together with his mother and father, who tried however didn’t convey him again to the religion.

In an open letter posted on her web site in September 2015, Córdova stated: “I’ve had most cancers since 2008. Colon most cancers.” The first 4 years he spent it, “as I usually did with bodily sickness or issue.” In 2013 the illness returned and first metastasized to the lungs and later to the cerebellum. He endured a number of surgical procedures, radiation and chemotherapy earlier than passing away on January 10, 2016 at his residence in Los Feliz. He was 67 years previous.

Sources: jeannecordova.com; “Los Angeles Times”; ONE Archives at USC Libraries

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