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Committed to Empowering Old Lesbians
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OLOC SPOTLIGHT

To nominate lesbians to be added to this page send your spotlight information to info@oloc.org

Mina Kay Meyer, co-director, Long Beach, CA

Mina Kay MeyerMina Kay Meyer was born in 1940 in Sewickley, PA. When she was three years old Mina and her family moved back to Cleveland, Ohio which was their original home. When Mina was five years old she met a four year old, Sharon Raphael, who lived across the street and they became good friends. Little did they know where life would take them. They remained friends until Mina moved to another street at the age of 12 and they lost track of each other. They met again in 1971 at a breakfast place in Hermosa Beach, California where each had moved unknown to the other. Soon after, they became life long partners.

Sharon was involved in the early days of Gay Liberation (1971) and Mina soon followed becoming the Director of the Gay Women’s Service Center which was the first social service center for Lesbians in the United States. Later Mina became Vice-President of the Board of Directors and Director of Women’s Programs at what was then known as Gay Community Services Center of Los Angeles. At GCSC, Mina enlisted the help of a Lesbian gynecologist and founded the first women’s health clinic for Lesbians. In the early seventies, Mina worked with the Free Clinic Movement and traveled extensively networking with other free clinic pioneers. During this same period, Mina became a Founding Member and the First Treasurer of Beth Chaim Chadashim, the first Lesbian/Gay Temple in Los Angeles.

After her work at GCSC, Mina decided to get a college degree. She received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s from California State University Dominguez Hills. Her Master’s thesis (1979) was the first social science research conducted on Old Lesbians. While working on her thesis Mina became one of the founders of the National Assoc. of Lesbian and Gay Gerontologists (NALGG). This Association brought researchers, old LGBT persons, and activists together to focus on Lesbian and Gay aging issues. Twenty years later Mina and Sharon were honored by the American Society on Aging for having been pioneers in the field of Lesbian and Gay Gerontology.

In 1981, Mina coordinated the First National Conference on Lesbian and Gay aging co-sponsored by NALGG and California State University Dominguez Hills. Old LGBT people came from all over the country to attend. In 1987, Mina with a group of farsighted Old Lesbians helped plan The West Coast Old Lesbian Conference and Celebration By and For Old Lesbians. Mina was appointed the Conference Coordinator. The West Coast Conference was very successful and was followed by a second Conference the following year in San Francisco that Mina also Coordinated.

Out of these Conferences, OLOC was born.

In 1987, Mina was honored by L. A. AIDS Hospice Committee with its “Heart of Gold Award” for her early work in the effort to formulate AIDS hospice care in Los Angeles. She also served as a member of the AIDS Policy Committee of the Board of Trustees, Los Angeles Community Colleges.

Mina worked part time at Sisterhood Bookstore, a feminist women’s bookstore located in Westwood, CA for 16 years, during the height of the women’s movement until her retirement in 1995.

Mina with her partner, Sharon, moved to Long Beach, California in 1983. Mina became involved in Long Beach City politics working with a group called Long Beach Citizens Involved, Lambda Democratic Club, and served for nine years on the Long Beach Human Relations Commission. Mina was the Co-Director of the Coalition for Justice in Hawaiian Garden and Jerusalem. She worked for Marriage Equality California. Mina also serves on the Board of Jews on First, which is an online magazine focusing on First Amendment rights.

Mina has written many articles on the topic of Old Lesbians for both academic and feminist publications. She has taught courses on Feminism and Aging at several Cal State Universities. In Jan. of ‘07 Mina organized a Southern California Chapter of OLOC which she continues to serve in addition to being a Co-Director of the Steering Committee of OLOC.


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