“RIP Ivy Bottini,” reads a post on council member Sepi Shyne’s social platforms today, Thursday, February 25, 2021. “I am sad to report that LGBTQ and feminist icon Ivy Bottini passed away this morning. She passed peacefully at home surrounded by her daughters with her minister beside her reading the latest news in LGBTQ rights.”
“Today, we lost a titan in our queer and feminist communities,” West Hollywood Mayor Linsey Horvath posted on her Instagram account. “Ivy Bottini graced us with her infatigable spirit for the past 94 years and made her indomitable presence known wherever she called home. Luckily, Ivy called West Hollywood home for decades and we are forever grateful for her imprint on our city and in the fight for full equality for women and the LGBTQIA community. I cannot believe I was so lucky to have a personal relationship with someone who blazed trails for me and all future generations. Her artwork hangs in my home, her voice shows up in my thoughts, and her spirit will always be in my heart. We will lower the flags in West Hollywood in honor of Ivy on Monday, which is (fittingly) also the start of Women’s History Month. May she rest in power. #RIP #IvyBottini”
Anyone who has ever attended a West Hollywood city council meeting during the time when Ivy Bottini was a West Hollywood resident was well aware of her presence. She was feisty, outspoken and known for going past her time limit when she spoke her mind in the public comments portion of a council meeting.
Other words that describe her are colorful, charismatic, magnetic, and brilliant. She was a 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.
“My friend Ivy Bottini dared to come out as her true self when that was far more difficult than it is today. Her story will inspire each reader to be honest and authentic–and what could be more important than that?” Said Gloria Steinem about her book “The Liberation of Ivy Bottini, A Memoir of Love and Activism”, written by Ivy Bottini and her biographer Judith V. Branzburg.
Ivy Bottiny moved to Florida to live with her daughter two years ago on this month. Family, friends, and longtime colleagues gathered at One Archives at the USC Libraries in Los Angeles on Sunday, January 27, to bid her a formal farewell.
Bottini went into hospice in early February at her daughter Lisa’s home in Florida. Council member Shyne reported that she was unable to speak on the phone and was not always lucid. She was 94 years old.
Our condolences to her family and friends.