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Interesting Facts about Jeanne Córdova, a Chicana Lesbian Activist, Feminist, and Author



Jeanne Córdova

Today’s Google Doodle honors Chicana lesbian activist, feminist, and author Jeanne Córdova, a pioneering leader of the LGBTQ+ rights movement, in honor of Pride Month. The outstanding Lambda Literary Award was given to Córdova on June 6, 2012, in recognition of her memoir When We Were Outlaws: A Memoir of Love and Revolution. Here are some interesting and amazing facts about Jeanne Córdova you should need to know.

Celebrating Jeanne Cordova Google Doodle
Google Doodle for Celebrating Jeanne Córdova

Quick Look

  • Birth date: July 18, 1948
  • Birthplace: Bremerhaven, Germany
  • Died on: January 10, 2016 (aged 67)
  • Death place: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Occupation/Famous as: Activist, Publisher, Journalist, Writer
  • Nationality: American
  • Alma mater: University of California, Los Angeles
  • Notable works:
    • When We Were Outlaws
    • The Lesbian Tide
    • Square Peg Magazine
  • Community Yellow Pages
  • Notable awards:
    • Lammy Award, Lambda Literary Foundation
    • Goldie Award, Golden Crown Literary Society
  • Spouse: Lynn Harris Ballen

30 Interesting Facts about Jeanne Córdova

  1. American pioneer in the lesbian and gay rights movement, Jeanne Córdova founded The Lesbian Tide and the LGBT movement on the West Coast. Córdova was a proud butch and a lesbian activist of the second wave of feminism.
  2. Her 2011 memoir When We Were Outlaws: a Memoir of Love and Revolution won her the Lambda Literary, Publishing Triangle, and Goldie Award. She was also a successful businesswoman and journalist.
  3. Lambda Literary Foundation started the “Jeanne Córdova Words Scholarship” in 2016, and the Jeanne Córdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction in 2017 in honor of her memory.
  4. In 1948, Córdova, the second oldest of twelve children born to an Irish-American mother and a Mexican father, was born in Bremerhaven, Germany.
  5. She went to California State University, Los Angeles, and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she earned a bachelor’s degree in social welfare with honors after attending Bishop Amat High School in La Puente, California, which is east of Los Angeles.
  6. Jeanne Córdova completed an internship in the Watts and East Los Angeles African-American and Latino communities before graduating from UCLA in 1972 with a master’s in social work.
  7. Following high school, Córdova joined the Immaculate Heart of Mary convent, but she left in 1968 to finish her social work degree and pursue her career as a community organizer and activist before going on to become a journalist.
  8. As President of the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) Los Angeles chapter, Jeanne Córdova started her career advocating for gay and lesbian rights. In 1971, she founded the first lesbian center in Los Angeles while serving as the DOB president.
  9. The DOB chapter newsletter changed under Córdova’s direction to become The Lesbian Tide (1970–1980), and she served as both publisher and editor of what was dubbed “the newspaper of record for the lesbian feminist decade” “Highest in the criteria of journalistic excellence” was how the publication was evaluated.
  10. Four lesbian conferences were organized by Córdova in the 1970s, including the first National Lesbian Conference at the University of California, Los Angeles (1973) and the first West Coast Lesbian Conference at Metropolitan Community Church (1971).
  11. In addition, Jeanne Córdova served as the Human Rights Editor for the progressive weekly Los Angeles Free Press (1973–1976) and on the board of the Los Angeles Gay Community Services Center.
  12. At the first National Women’s Conference for International Women’s Year in Houston (1977), where Córdova was selected as a delegate, she played a key role in advancing the adoption of the lesbian affirmative action resolution.
  13. In 1978, she served as the media director for the campaign in Southern California to overturn Proposition 6 Briggs Initiative, an anti-gay ballot initiative that aimed to remove lesbian and gay teachers from California’s public schools.
  14. Jeanne Córdova went on to become the president of the Stonewall Democratic Club (1979–1981) and founder of the first convention of the National Lesbian Feminist Organization (1978).
  15. Córdova was one of thirty openly lesbian delegates to the 1980 Democratic National Convention in New York City. She also assisted in founding the Gay and Lesbian Caucus of the Democratic Party in the 1980s.
  16. She was a founding board member of the Los Angeles lesbian community center Connexxus Women’s Center/Centro de Mujeres (1984–1988) and the founder of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Press Association (1983).
  17. Jeanne Córdova also served as the media director for Lyndon LaRouche’s STOP 64 campaign, which aimed to overturn California Proposition 64’s 1986 AIDS quarantine law.
  18. Córdova established and published the Community Yellow Pages (1981–1999), the first and subsequently largest LGBT business directory in the country, the New Age Telephone Book (1987–1992), and Square Peg Magazine (1992–1994), which covered queer literature and culture, in the 1980s and 1990s.
  19. In 1995, she was appointed as the board president of ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives and, along with Yolanda Retter, co-founded the Lesbian Legacy Collection at the Archives.
  20. 1999 Córdova relocated to Todos Santos, BCS Mexico, with her partner Lynn Harris Ballen. Córdova worked on When We Were Outlaws: A Memoir of Love and Revolution in her new residence.
  21. Additionally, she and Ballen co-founded the town’s first non-profit organization, which promoted literacy and education for children.
  22. After selling the Community Yellow Pages in 1999, Jeanne Córdova moved to Todos Santos, BCS Mexico, where he lived for eight years.
  23. Lynn Harris Ballen, a feminist radio journalist and the daughter of South African freedom fighter Frederick John Harris, was Córdova’s life partner.
  24. Together, they produced several media projects, such as Square Peg Magazine and history-themed lesbian feminist cultural events, exhibitions, and literature. They lived in Hollywood Hills, California, and Todos Santos, BCS, Mexico.
  25. Jeanne Córdova was the first president of The Palapa Society of Todos Santos, AC, a non-profit organization for economic justice, which she co-founded with her spouse, Lynn Harris Ballen, and held that position until 2007.
  26. After returning to Los Angeles, Córdova pursued her first passions, writing and journalism. Additionally, she founded The Lesbian Exploratorium, a space devoted to queer art and history projects, with her partner.
  27. When Córdova and Ballen returned to Los Angeles, they co-founded LEX – The Lesbian Exploratorium, which sponsored the 2009 art and history exhibit Genderplay in Lesbian Culture and established the Lesbian Legacy Wall at ONE Archives. The 2010 Butch Voices Los Angeles Conference was subsequently organized and chaired by Córdova.
  28. Jeanne Córdova’s memoir When We Were Outlaws: A Memoir of Love & Revolution won the following awards: the Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Non-fiction, 2012 Publishing Triangle; the American Library Association Stonewall Book Awards, 2013 – Honor; the Golden Crown Literary Society Award (“Goldie”) for best “Short Story/Essay/Collections (Non-Erotica)”; and the 2012 Lambda Literary Award (“Lammy”) for best “Lesbian Memoir/Biography.”
  29. On January 10, 2016, Jeanne Córdova, 67, died at her Los Angeles, California, home due to metastatic brain cancer.
  30. On June 6th, 2024, Google featured a Google Doodle on its homepage to celebrate Jeanne Córdova in honor of Pride Month.

Rob Harris is a lawyer by profession. But his hobby is writing that’s why he writes news, blogs and books side by side. He is known to not only write articles on law but also politics. He has a collection of poems and articles that he had written. So he provides news on Time Bulletin.

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