Ivy Bottini

Ivy Bottini (August 15, 1926) Ivy was born on August 15, 1926, to a working class family in Long Island, New York. In 1944, she studied art at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and later went on to a career in Graphic design; working as an illustrator and art director for Newsday.

In 1951, she married Edward Bottini. She gave birth to her first daughter, Laura, in 1953, and her second daughter, Lisa, in 1956. .By the mid-1960s, Bottini became involved in the developing feminist movement and in 1966 became a founding member of the National Organization for Women (NOW) at its first chapter in New York City. Soon after, she became the New York chapter's second president.

During that time, Bottini began coming to terms with her newly-discovered sexuality, and she came out as a lesbian and divorced her husband in 1968. After the news of her sexuality became public knowledge, some women in the NOW membership, including NOW co-founder Betty Friedan, began speaking out against lesbian women in the organization. Bottini, a target of that protest, subsequently left NOW in 1970.

Soon after leaving NOW, Bottini moved to Los Angeles and further developed performances, workshops and seminars in feminist consciousness-raising, which she had started when she was a member of NOW. As a feminist comedian, she performed her one-woman shows, "Everywoman" and "The Many Faces of Woman," at numerous locations--including various NOW chapters--throughout the United States until the late 1970s. Meanwhile, she also earned a living as a graphic designer and a real estate agent.

Besides her feminist consciousness-raising, Bottini began to establish her leadership role in the gay and lesbian rights movement, as well as AIDS activism. Her accomplishments include working for the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center; becoming deputy director for the No on Briggs Proposition 6 campaign; becoming political vice president of the Stonewall Democratic Club; co-chairing the Los Angeles Police Department's first Gay and Lesbian Police Task Force; founding the Los Angeles AIDS Network; being a founding board member of AIDS Project Los Angeles; and chairing the No on LaRouche Proposition 64 campaign.

In the 1990s, she spearheaded a project to build affordable housing for LGBT seniors, known as Triangle Square. She continues to be involved in several activities, including the Gay and Lesbian Advisory Board of the West Hollywood City Council.

Bottini has also been an artist throughout her life, and her work has been exhibited at various locations beginning in the 1990s. In the 1970s, Bottini met the woman who would eventually become her partner, Dottie Wine. As of July 2009, the two live in West Hollywood, California.