A group of friends and colleagues gathered at Kings Road Park in West Hollywood, on Sunday, February 28, 2021, to remember the life and times of former West Hollywood resident and LGBT activist Ivy Bottini. She passed away on February 25, 2021, at age 94.
Council members Sepi Shyne and John Erickson, along with community member and friend, Karen Andros Eyre, hosted the event. They were joined by Mayor Lindsey Horvath and council member Lauren Meister (council member John D’Amico was away with family).
Everyone wore masks and kept a safe distance at a gathering of roughly 40 people. The small crowd gathered before a large portrait of the outspoken feminist where she is captured laughing at her old WeHo condo surrounded by her paintbrushes.
Volunteers took turns reading excerpts from “The Liberation of Ivy Bottini: A Memoir of Love and Activism,” by Ivy Bottini as told to Judith V. Branzburg. The memories shared at the event were mostly Bottini’s in her own written words.
The event took place at the park located across the street from where Bottini lived for 22 years. The young gay couple who purchased Bottini’s condo, Joshua Guzman, a professor on gender studies at UCLA, and Albert Muñoz, who works at the Writer’s Guild, were at the event. They said they purchased the condo almost two years ago with full knowledge of Bottini’s history in activism.
“We loved the space. We loved the history. We wrote her a long letter explaining to her that we are first generation queer Latinos and we asked her to keep it in the family, because a straight couple was also interested in the space.” Guzman told WEHO TIMES. “When we moved in, we framed a large poster of the NOW logo. She heard about it and she called us to tell us the history of the logo. She told us to enjoy the space and to go to the council meetings and get active, so I go to the council meetings and I get active in her spirit.”
Mayor Horvath was the last person to read. She lead everyone in a moment of silence and was visibly emotional when she closed the event with a song requested by Bottini’s daughter, who was at the event, but did not wish to be aknowledged publicly. The song was “Send In The Clowns”, sung by Dame Judi Dench–a song that Bottini often performed.
Activist Ivy Bottini was woman who was at the forefront of the National Organization for Women (NOW) movement and the second wave of feminism. She helped found the New York City chapter of the NOW and in 1969 designed the NOW logo that is still used today. She moved to LA County in 1971 and became an activist for many LGBT causes, co-founding the Coalition for Human Rights, the Los Angeles Lesbian/Gay Police Advisory Board, AIDS Network LA, and AIDS Project LA. Her stories of transformative personal growth, sacrifice and activism are not only inspirational and educational, but also a model for activism from a leader in two of the most important liberation movements of the past half century—women’s liberation and gay & lesbian liberation.
The gathering at Kings Road Park was informal. Plans for a special service are in the works. The event is slated for Saturday, April 17, 2021 via ZOOM. Tune in for more details.
Photos by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES: