Friday, October 5, 2012

LGBT History Month: Edith Eyde

Image Source, edited by Diana *BunnyKissd* Bukowski

Born in 1921, Edith Eyde had her first same-sex crush in high school, but didn't identify as lesbian until many years later.  The daughter of overbearing parents, she moved to Los Angeles when she was 24, and soon discovered the hidden lesbian subculture.  She was a secretary at the RKO Studios in Los Angeles in the 1940s and in an effort to increase her social circle, self-published the first lesbian magazine in the US, Vice Versa.  She said, "I was by myself, and I wanted to be able to meet others like me. I couldn't go down the street saying 'I'm looking for lesbian friends'..."

Although she stopped publishing her hand-typed magazine after a short 8 months, she had succeeded in her original purpose and found a place in the lesbian community.  Later she started writing for the first nationally-distributed lesbian magazine, The Ladder, which was published by the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), the first lesbian civil rights group in the US, under the pen name, Lisa Ben, chosen because it is anagram of LESBIAN, and her first choice, Ima Spinster, was rejected.  Besides writing, Eyde was interested in music, and began writing & performing gay-themed parodies at a local club.  The DOB even released a single of hers, under her pseudonym, Lisa Ben, which had a parody of "Frankie and Johnny" on one side and a song of her own, "Cruisin' Down the Boulevard," on the other, earning her the title of first gay folk singer as well.

Eyde currently resides in Burbank CA.  She has only had one long term relationship, lasting only 3 years, and has only dated casually since that time.  Eyde continued to work in various secretarial positions until retiring, and has been honored by several organizations and in several documentaries for her work in the LGBT community, most recently in 2010, the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association inducted her into its Hall of Fame.


Also this month:

~ October is also National Bullying Prevention Month.

~ October 10th is Unity Day; wear orange to show your support and remind others about the importance of bullying prevention.

~ October 11th is National Coming Out Day when we celebrate coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or as an ally. See the Human Rights Campaign website for resources on coming out.

~ October 19th is Spirit Day; wear purple on this day to support LGBT youth & stand up against bullying.

1 comment:

laprincessa said...

Burbank is 10-15 minutes from me!