Jinx Beers, founder of The Lesbian News, writes 30
Jinx Beers, founder of The Lesbian News and a community activist for more than 40 years, died on October 4 at the age of 84. The cause of death was renal failure due to complications of diabetes. Beers was born on Columbus Day, October 12, 1933, in Pasadena, California.
Besides founding the LN and publishing it for its first fourteen years, she participated in such community activities as the fight against the Briggs Initiative, Take Back the Night marches, National Organization for Women’s Lesbian Rights Task Force (including co-chair of the last LRTF Lesbian Conference), the Equal Right Amendment, and many other causes.
She was presented with the Southern California Women for Understanding Community Services Award in 1986; honored by Christopher Street West in 1987 with the Dick Michaels Media Award and a prominent position in the Gay Pride Parade in Hollywood; presented the Long Beach Lambda Democratic Club’s Outstanding Woman Award in 1990; and was inducted into the LGBTQ Journalists Hall of Fame in Philadelphia in 2017s. She was the subject of a chapter in Profiles Encourage by Pamela S. Johnson (1988).
In 2006, Beers was honored by being included in two publications: Feminists Who Changed America: 1963-1975, by Barbara Love, and Gay LA: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics, and Lipstick Lesbians, by Lillian Faderman and Stuart Timmons. In 2007 her autobiography was published.
In 2009 she was given a Rainbow Key Award by the Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board of West Hollywood. In the same year the City of West Hollywood and the Lesbian Visibility Committee honored Beers as the third recipient of the prestigious Etheridge Award for her “extraordinary” contributions to the lesbian community.
Beers spent sixteen years in the United States Air Force and Air Force Reserve and was a member of Veterans CARE/AVER from its Los Angeles inception. In 2003 she was invited to ride on the Veterans CARE float in the San Fernando Valley Gay Pride Parade, and in 2012 she was a speaker at the Antelope Valley Pride Festival.
For many years she was an active member of the Los Angeles Chapter of Sister in Crime and had two short stories published in their anthologies. She was also a devout supporter of the June Mazer Lesbian Archives, which is a recipient of all proceeds from Beers’ autobiography: Memoirs of an Old Dyke.
She is survived by a sister, Virginia King of Tennessee, two nieces, five nephews and many grand nieces and nephews.
Donations in her memory may be made to the June Mazer Lesbian Archives. A Memorial will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 2, at the Archives.
For details: www.mazerlesbianarchives.org