Paula Ettelbrick, former executive director of IGLHRC

Today is a very sad day due to the premature death of one of America’s most dedicated and inspiring lesbian leaders, Paula Ettelbrick, former executive director of IGLHRC (International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission). I met Paula several times over the past decade at several international LGBT conferences as well as for some lunches. She never failed to be receptive to new ideas and respectful to people from a wide spectrum of humanity.

Her vision for the world was always upward and outward; she envisioned a better world through personal commitment to human rights everywhere by engaging in progressive activism and tireless organization building.

It’s always easy to sit back and let others push the envelope of human development but Paula deeply felt the need to be a part of change. part of the future for LGBT people globally. Her vision was universal; her mission was a commitment to a more decent world.

I will always remember her pretty face and bright spirit. She will keep me moving upward and forward to a more just and equitable social world. Said she: “Justice for gay men and lesbians will be achieved only when we are accepted and supported in this society despite our differences from the dominant culture and the choices we make regarding our relationships.”

Her two children, Adam and Julia, are blessed to have such a loving and devoted mother. Indeed, Paula was a loving mother to a whole world of LGBT children growing up in difficult circumstances, helping to light their way to dignified and respected lives.

Other tributes to this fine woman:

The New Civil Rights


New York Times

By Richard Ammon