Holly Woodlawn Memorial Fund to be set up with the LA LGBT Center
When Holly Woodlawn died last December, the internationally-acclaimed cabaret performer and Andy Warhol muse ensured her legacy would help others through the Holly Woodlawn Memorial Fund.
More importantly, this legacy will help other at-risk LGBT young people so that they won’t have to walk on “the walk side” like she did when she first came to Los Angeles.
Setting up the Holly Woodlawn Memorial Fund
After her death last December 6, Holly Woodlawn’s estate contacted the LA LGBT Center– the US’s largest provider of services for LGBT youth– to set up the Holly Woodlawn Memorial Fund for Transgender Youth with seed money amounting to $25,000.
“Holly Woodlawn’s last wish was to establish a legacy in her name for youth at risk,” said the Center’s Chief Development Officer Bill McDermott.
“The Holly Woodlawn Memorial Fund for Transgender Youth will benefit the trans youth that the Los Angeles LGBT Center serves throughout our various programs, which includes Trans Pride L.A., Trans* Lounge, Transgender Economic Empowerment Project, and our trans health care services,” McDermott said.
He added, “At a time when trans people globally are victimized or killed for simply being their true selves, this fund will help to empower and inspire trans youth to be relentless, courageous, and strong.”
The legacy of the Holly Woodlawn Memorial Fund
The LA LGBT Center has been battling for LGBT individuals and families in LA since 1969, offering programs, services, and global advocacy that cover health, social services and housing, culture and education, and leadership and advocacy.
As such, the LA LGBT Center is a perfect fit to set-up Holly Woodlawn’s legacy. Woodlawn– who appeared in Warhol’s underground films Trash and Women in Revolt in the 1970s– was a major force and advocate for transgender rights.
Woodlawn hitchhiked from her family’s home in Miami Beach, Florida as a teenager to New York where she experienced homelessness. She was at the Stonewall Inn in 1969– when New York City police officers raided the bar– and participated in the riots that ensued.
““I was very happy when I gradually became a Warhol superstar. I felt like Elizabeth Taylor!” Woodlawn told the Guardian in 2007.
“Little did I realize that not only would there be no money, but that your star would flicker for two seconds and that was it. But it was worth it, the drugs, the parties, it was fabulous. You live in a hovel, walk up five flights, scraping the rent,” she said.
She added, “And then at night you go to Max’s Kansas City where Mick Jagger and Fellini and everyone’s there in the back room. And when you walked in that room, you were a star!”
Hopefully, the light of this star will help guide others home.
Donations to the Holly Woodlawn Memorial Fund may be made online at lalgbtcenter.org/holly or by calling 323-993-8931.