Elana Dykewomon

photo by Elana Dykewomon

I first saw Judy perform in Fat Chance in 1982. It’s no exaggeration to say this changed my life, although she’d already started that process when I ordered the first packet of writings from the Fat Underground in 1977 (for $1!) and hid them under my bed — for fear that their truths would mark me visibly as a fat woman not ashamed of her body, truths that Judy taught me by example.

This could be an essay and I’m not in the mood for essays, having come back from cleaning out her room at the Jewish Home in SF with other friends and her son, Joe. That five of us could complete this grief-stricken work in good humor, with generous spirits, is another tribute to Judy. (Many of her papers, her photos and artwork, will end up in the SF LGBT Historical Society Archives.)

photo by Cathy CadeI loved Judy from the first time I saw her. We loved each other, wrote & performed together in the Jewish Lesbian Writers Group, argued, challenged, saw each other through decades of change.

In the last years of her life, after coming through a harrowing brush with death in 2005, Judy often said that she finally felt loved, finally knew she was loved by her friends, family, community.

Wherever you are, Judy, I hope you see on this site, and in all the spontaneous tributes throughout our communities, just how much.

—Elana Dykewomon, 9/11/10

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