Obituary: Billye Talmadge

  • by BAR staff
  • Wednesday October 31, 2018
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1929 — 2018

Billye Talmadge passed away October 24, 2018 in Portland, Oregon. Ms. Talmadge was one of the founders of Daughters of Bilitis. She, the late Del Martin, Phyllis Lyon, Helen Sandoz, and more were at the forefront of LGBT liberation in the 1950s and 1960s. They sheltered young lesbians and hired an attorney to help extricate lesbians from jail (it was a jail-able offense in most states to be a lesbian). They held private gatherings in their homes so lesbians had a safe place to meet. Her wise counsel helped many young women to accept themselves. With two Ph.D.s in education she was, at the foremost, a teacher. She won the Golden Apple award for her work with blind and deaf children. Anyone who ever heard her speak will never forget her velvet voice and ability to reach the very soul of those who would hear.

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