Ivy Bottini, feminist-lesbian activist almost 50 years

Lesbian Activist Ivy Bottini

Ivy Bottini, pictured at a West Hollywood discussion of her book, “The Liberation of Ivy Bottini,” has been a trailblazing lesbian-feminist activist almost 50 years. Photo: Jon Viscott.

Ivy Bottini has been a trailblazing feminist-lesbian activist almost 50 years, most of that time has been spent on the frontline for equality in Los Angeles and West Hollywood.

Bottini’s book, “The Liberation of Ivy Bottini: A Memoir of Love and Activism,” chronicles her life in the trenches fighting for civil rights.


Bottini, 93, will attend a discussion about her activist life that will take place Sunday at the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC.

A selection of Bottini’s personal papers, which are preserved at the ONE Archives, will be on display.

The event also will be a bon voyage of sorts for Bottini, who will be leaving West Hollywood and moving to Florida in February to live with her daughter.

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Bottini was named Woman of the Year by Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), whose district includes West Hollywood, in 2017.

Bottini’s feminist and lesbian activism trace their roots to 1960s New York, where Bottini was a co-founder of the New York City chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW). In 1969, she designed the logo that the organization still uses today.

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Bottini also was an advocate for lesbian rights, but in 1970, NWO’s president, Betty Friedan, who didn’t agree with that lesbian activism should be a part of the women’s liberation movement, kicked Bottini out of the organization.

In 1971, Bottini relocated moved to Los Angeles and became an LGBTQ activist, co-founding the Coalition for Human Rights; the Los Angeles Lesbian/Gay Police Advisory Board; AIDS Network LA; and AIDS Project Los Angeles, which eventually changed its name to APLA Health.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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