Memorial planned for late lesbian feminist Barbara Love

Barbara Love passed away last November 13 at the age of 85.
Barbara Love passed away last November 13 at the age of 85.
Liza Bear

Community members will gather in September for a memorial dedicated to the late Barbara J. Love, an out lesbian feminist and activist who died last year.

Love, who passed away last November 13 at the age of 85, was known for actively fighting for women’s rights, and gay rights — lesbians in particular — after coming out, despite a plethora of negativity and discrimination. Love was honored with a Gay City News Impact Award last year.

The memorial, slated for September 10, will be held at the LGBT Community Center at 208 West 13th Street in Manhattan at 2 p.m. There will be speakers, years-old video footage of Love’s speeches, media coverage, tributes, and more.

Love worked with the Second Wave feminists in the 1960s and ’70s, and she wrote several books, including her latest, prior to her death, “There at the Dawning: Memories of a Lesbian Feminist,” a memoir which was published in April of 2021. The book covers the fight for women’s and LGBTQ rights during her time. 

Love’s other work included writing “Sappho Was a Right-on Woman” (1972) and editing “Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975.” The former sheds a new light on lesbianism, written by lesbians, and the latter acts more as documentation of the women who fought for their rights in that time period.

Love was on what is now known as the National LGBTQ Task Force for 10 years and co-founded the New York-based Identity House with activists and therapists to help LGBTQ people find acceptance. She was involved in the establishment of PFLAG, an organization dedicated to support and education of and for LGBTQ individuals and their families, which helped Love’s mother accept her, thus reconnecting them. Her mother then marched with her.

Despite putting her career in jeopardy with her activism, Barbara Love continued her work, appearing on television for her protests. 

Those who would like to leave a tribute to Barbara that will be shown during the tribute can do so at