I woke up this morning to hear the sad news of the death of a great woman, one of the single name wonders in the world, Odetta. I have no idea of Odetta's sexuality, but I know her, personally, from many years ago when we were fighting another anti-Gay initiative in California, the one in the new film about Harvey Milk, Prop. Six. One of the many ways we raised funds for that fight (including an art auction and a state-wide Hair-cut-athon) was a fantastic concert at the Hollywood Bowl. Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary) performed and so did Odetta.
I honestly don't remember what she sang that day. But it is impossible not to remember her voice, her incredible voice that was like a force of nature itself. I remember her devotion to civil rights.
I remember, even then, how her presence was a blessing on a campaign we were none too sure was going to go our way.
I remember, when she agreed to come, I offered my profuse thanks to which she responded "Where else would I be?"
Indeed. Once more, the LGBT community has lost a friend and ally.