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LA Pride Day One: Ivy Bottini gives ‘em hell!

I’ve never attended opening day of the LA Pride festival because I figured it’s only for the lesbians.

Well, it does focus on the ladies but it’s really a lot of fun for everyone!

There was the Purple Party, the Dyke March down Santa Monica Boulevard, and the presentation of the Etheridge Award to legendary lesbian activist and artist Ivy Bottini.

At 86, Ivy is still full of fire and fight and I was damned inspired by her.

She doesn’t seem to be afraid of anything – even criticizing the First Lady of the US.

Bottini sent out her support to the activist, Ellen Sturtz, from the pro-LGBT rights group GetEQUAL. During Michelle Obama’s speech at a Washington DC findraiser this week, Sturtz had began yelling for an executive order on the long-stalled Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Obama stopped her speech, left the podium to face Sturtz and said: ‘Listen to me, or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.’

Said Bottini: ‘I like Michelle and I like (President) Obama but she was very arrogant saying “It’s you or me.”

She also said:

Among Bottini’s many accomplishments are being president of the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women, co-founding AIDS Project Los Angeles and being the first out lesbian or gay person to be appointed to a state board or commission in California.

Bottini told the crowd that she has always insisted on being identified ‘as a butch lesbian.’

‘Lesbian is a fabulous word – it means you identify as a woman who can get along in this world without a man,’ she said. ‘If you are afraid to be called a lesbian, then you will never be free until you can say, ‘Yes I am!”‘

Bottini then led more than 500 people on the festival’s annual Dyke March down several blocks of Santa Monica Boulevard. The group stopped briefly in front of the lesbian bar Palms which will close its doors after LA Pride is over.

The festival continues through Sunday.

FILE UNDER: Pride, West Hollywood


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