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Lesbian Pioneer Bettie Naylor Dead At 84

Bettie Naylor, a lesbian gay-rights pioneer likened to the “Rosa Parks of the LGBT movement,” died yesterday in her sleep at the age of 84.

Among Naylor’s many achievements: founding board member of the Human Rights Campaign, founder of the Texas and National Women’s Political Caucus groups, and friend and influencer of late Texas gov. Ann Richards.

Naylor (far right) had three children in a thirty-year-long marriage, then found love with her longtime partner, Libby Sykora (left).

And she did all of it in Austin, Texas, the little liberal haven inside the big red state. Reports the Austin Statesman:

She came to Austin in the 1970s and spent decades as a lobbyist, making friends and allies with each cause she believed in. Naylor fought for gay rights, marriage equality and female politicians and, in the 1980s, she helped organize the owners of gay bars in Texas who had little voice in the Legislature.

“She was little this itty bitty powerhouse,” said friend Candice Towe, former executive director of Austin-based Out Youth, an organization Naylor co-founded in 1990 as a support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth and young adults in Central Texas. “I don’t even think she stood 5 feet tall. When she walked into a room, she cast a spell over everyone. She lit up the room. She was bigger than life itself. Bettie was truly a champion in every sense of the word.”

Our friends over at the Six Pack conducted a radio interview with Naylor in October 2010. Check it out here and remember Naylor fondly.

On:           Apr 20, 2012
Tagged: , , , ,
    • Kev C

      My mother was a fan. R.I.P.

      Apr 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1equalityUSA

      Thank you, Ms. Naylor. It must have been very difficult to be your authentic self in such a time and in such a state. Your courageous stand will be remembered.

      (Remind God that His children, back here on Earth, are being very hateful towards their brothers and sisters and that they are exploiting the LGBT community for political gain and monetary purposes, ok? Thanks).

      Apr 20, 2012 at 3:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sozo

      Thank you, Bettie. Thanks so much.

      Apr 20, 2012 at 4:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brand

      God bless her. My prayers are with her partner Libby, her children, grandchildren and friends, and all of us who need more like her on our side.

      Apr 21, 2012 at 5:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dansktex

      According to my newspaper, she started in San Antonio and later moved to Austin in an effort to lobby the government. Doing this in more conservative San Antonio is far more impressive than your statement that she did it in liberal Austin. http://www.mysanantonio.com/obituaries/article/Naylor-fought-for-LGBT-women-s-rights-3501476.php

      Apr 23, 2012 at 11:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • wonderful team

      What’s up to every one, the contents existing at this web page are really awesome for people knowledge, well, keep up the nice work fellows.

      Jun 13, 2012 at 11:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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