Inspirational and Famous Lesbians in History
Get to know 3 inspirational and famous lesbians in history, from artists to activists.
These are some of the most iconic and famous lesbians in history.
Sure, most of us know many of today’s famous lesbians like the comedian Ellen and actresses like The L Word’s Katherine Moennig, but there are also many brave women who paved the paths for future LGBTQ+ generations. In honor of Lesbian Visibility Day on April 26th, here are 3 inspirational and famous lesbians in history that you should know.
Ivy Bottini is a 93 year LGBT activist and artist. She is well known for her help founding the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1966. Two years later, she came out as a lesbian and helped advocate for lesbian issues in the New York Chapter of NOW. This was before it was widely accepted to be LGBT. (Unfortunately, in 1970 famous feminist Betty Friedan expelled lesbians from the New York Chapter of NOW including Bottini.)
In the 1970s Bottini moved to Los Angeles where she founded AIDS Network LA, The Los Angeles Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board, and worked on countless more LGBT initiatives. Bottini is a legendary activist and inspirational woman ahead of her time, leading the path for LGBT advocacy.
You can find more information about Bottini on Wikipedia here.
Gladys Bently was a lesbian, African-American, cross-dressing blues singer, piano player, and entertainer during the Harlem Renaissance, known for being backed up by a chorus line of drag queens while she dressed in a tuxedo and top hat.
Bently was openly a lesbian early in her career, but later after moving to Los Angeles, she was frequently harassed for wearing men’s clothes. Bently was ahead of her time in an era that was not accepting of “black female masculinity,” but to this day is an inspiration to many in the LGBT community.
Learn more about Gladys Bently by visiting smithsonianmag.com.
Painter Hannah Gluckstein was a British fine artist of the 1920s and 1930s. She was known simply as Gluck, and her work was positively received by critics of the time. In a time when being a famous painter was mostly reserved for the “boy’s club,” Gluck was a successful gender non-conforming lesbian artist. One of her best-known paintings was “Medallion” which portrayed her and her partner, Nesta Obermer.
You can learn more about Gluck and her work by visiting royalacademy.org.
MOBILESTYLES wishes you a happy Lesbian Visibility Day! For more information on this national day or for more famous lesbians in history, read the article, Lesbian Visibility Day: What it is and Why it's Important.