Yolanda Retter, 59; lesbian scholar and author of 'Queers in Space'
Yolanda Retter, an activist, archivist and scholar who devoted the last four decades to raising the visibility of lesbians and minorities and preserving their history, died Aug. 18 at her home in Van Nuys after a brief illness. She was 59.
Widely respected in the Los Angeles lesbian community despite her abrasive style and radical stances, Retter called herself a "gadfly on the body politic" who took on many roles in her drive to achieve social justice for overlooked groups, particularly lesbians of color.
She was a pivotal advocate for lesbians during the early years of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, the country's first social service agency to exclusively serve gays. She helped organize lesbian history repositories at USC, UCLA and in West Hollywood. For the last four years, she was the librarian and archivist for the UCLA Chicano
Studies Resource Center, where she was instrumental in expanding holdings related to Latinas as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Calling herself a "herstorian," she created the Lesbian History Project website, which was once rated by Lycos as one of its most popular sites. It is off-line, but friends of Retter expect to relaunch it within a few weeks.
LA Times Obit, continued.