Out lesbian pop singer Lesley Gore dies at age 68

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Lesley Gore, the singer famous for her hit songs “It’s My Party” and “You Don’t Own Me,” has passed away from lung cancer at the age of 68

2014 Women's Media Awards - Arrivals

In 2005, the vocalist first talked with us about coming out and her partner, Lois, who she’s been with for more than 30 years.

“Well, I didn’t know until I was in my twenties, so if [anyone] knew it, they knew it before I did. [Laughs] You know, maybe someone did think that. I don’t know, but I certainly didn’t know it until I was in my twenties. …. I just kind of lived my life naturally and did what I wanted to do. I didn’t avoid anything, I didn’t put it in anybody’s face. Times were very different then, so, you know, I just tried to live as normally as humanly possible. But as truthfully as humanly possible.”

After coming out, Lesley was an activist for both LGBT rights and feminism, lending her songs to the women’s rights movement and participating in a recent video for Lady Parts Justice.

Throughout her five decade-long career, Lesley won an Academy Award for her song “Out Here on My Own” from the musical Fame. Her music was featured on The L Word and, most famously, in The First Wives’ Club. She appeared several times as host of the PBS LGBT series In The Life, of which spoke highly about to us back in ’05:

“I meet a lot of young people in the Midwest, and I saw what a difference a show like In the Life can make to their lives in some of these small towns where, you know, there are probably two gay people in the whole damn town. It’s made a real inroads for them. They come and they talk to me about this stuff, so I know how important it is.”

Photo of Lesley GORE

A fixture of the music industry since she debuted in the 1960s, Lesley has been considered one of the most beloved songwriters of her generation, and an out and proud feminist lesbian. We will miss her greatly, as she brought great joy, music and kindness to the world.

 

 

 

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