On Tuesday, September 12th, 2017 the LGBTQ community felt the great loss of the icon and activist Edith Windsor. Windsor was a legend within and outside of our beloved queer community. She is most known for her successful and ferocious fight against the Defense of Marriage Act.
She died at the age of 88. Judith Kasen-Windsor, whom Windsor married last year, confirmed her death in the following statement.
“I lost my beloved spouse Edie, and the world lost a tiny but tough as nails fighter for freedom, justice, and equality,” Kasen-Windsor said. “Edie was the light of my life. She will always be the light for the LGBTQ community which she loved so much and which loved her right back.”
Windsor’s landmark case paved the way for marriage equality. Her fierce dedication to the fight for love and equality, lifted our community in its darkest hour. Windsor will go down in the history books as an advocate for LGBTQ rights, a strong feminist, a political force of nature and a spirited voice for the LGBTQ community at large. She tirelessly fought for equality, right up until the very end of her life. We will be forever grateful for the epic change she created for every LGBTQ person in the country.
Windsor was a true lesbian femme icon, who young people will look up to with admiration. We will remember the legacy she left behind when we need the inspiration to keep going.
In honor of Windsor’s incredible life, we’ve put together a collection of 20 of the most iconic Edie Windsor quotes. She will never be forgotten. Rest in peace and in power, Edie Windsor.
“Don’t postpone joy. Keep it hot!”
“I didn’t want to live a life without love.”
“I said, ‘Is your dance card full?’ She said, ‘It is now,’ and I grabbed her and then we made love all afternoon.”
“She got out of the car and got down on her knees and said, ‘Edie Windsor, will you marry me?’ And this pin appeared.”
“I was empty and then this woman [Judith] walked into my life. I didn’t think it would happen again and it did. She is it.”
“I lived with a spectacular woman for 40 years, and now I live with another one. It didn’t occur to me that I would find another person in my life. It didn’t occur to me that I would have another such love in my life.”
“So she’s perfect for me. She’s very much her own person, and she’s very much my person.”
“I made sure to add ‘and days past’ in our vows because by the time we [Edie and Thea] got married, we had already lived together for 42 years. You can’t forget that.”
“Marriage is a magic word. And it is magic throughout the world. It has to do with our dignity as human beings, to be who we are openly.”
“I don’t know how to say it that’s not corny as hell—I’ve been having a love affair with the gay community. I got a million letters. I think Thea would love it.”
“If you have to outlive a great love, I can’t think of a better way to do it than being everybody’s hero. Suddenly I’m exalted, instead of being this goofy old lady, which is what I feel like.”
“The next generation is so far advanced over us. I love that a lot of younger people now come out that would never have come out in the old days. Of course, they are born into a community already. They just have to discover it, whereas we were still building it.”
On coming out:
“Internalized homophobia is a bitch!”
“Being an openly gay person in the legal system in the early nineties, it was still kind of like you had three heads. People were so offended that I could sue them for discrimination: some gay person?”
“I was closeted all the time I was at IBM and my group at the time was really close. We got drinks together, we ate dinner together. I lied all the time. Actually at some point I met Thea, I didn’t know what to do because people kept asking, ‘Who’s this? She’s calling a lot.’ And I finally said I’m dating her brother. Her brother who’s name is — I forgot. Oh, Willy! Oh Willy was actually Thea’s doll and to this day still lives in my closet.”
“It [DOMA] unconstitutionally singled out same-sex marriage partners for ‘differential treatment.’”
“It’s heartbreaking. It’s just a terrible injustice, and I don’t expect that from my country. I think it’s a mistake that has to get corrected.”
On The Stonewall Riots:
“I went down to Christopher Street. And there were a lot of cops and a very strange kind of feeling.”
“I’m somebody who was really a dumb, ignorant middle-class woman, who said, ‘I’m not in trouble about being gay but I do have trouble identifying with those queens,’ and then a queen overturned that police car and changed my life. Okay, so that was the beginning of my sense of unity. And then during the AIDS crisis, when the lesbians poured in to help, what had then been a split really between the males and the females was deeply changed and my sense of community grew. And then when people were pouring into, looking to get into the Supreme Court, that made it even wider, that meant that we were out more — and the more of us that got out the more of us got out. It was suddenly wonderful not to be left behind in the closet. And it keeps happening. But it also happens with the straight world. Mothers discovered that their kids were gay. Everybody discovered that their neighbor was, that their friend was. And a lot of the stigma for us disappeared.”
“I had this reputation. They couldn’t fix the code because they couldn’t read it. But I could read code until it wrapped around the room and back again. A guy I was working with said, ‘give this woman a roll of toilet paper, she can do anything.’”
A public memorial will be held Friday, September 15 at Riverside Memorial Chapel at 12:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, Edie Windsor had requested that any donations in her memory be made to the following organizations:
The LGBT Center of New York www.gaycenter.org
Hetrick-Martin Institute www.hmi.org
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