Polly Irene Taylor, a life-long lesbian activist for feminism, peace and social justice, died on July 26, 2016.
Polly was born on May 31, 1929 in Haverford PA into a Quaker family whose beliefs helped to shape her commitment to peace and social justice for all. She graduated from Wellesley in 1951 and later earned an MSW in social work.
In 1961 she started a psychotherapy practice in Buffalo, NY, developing concepts of feminist therapy. During the Vietnam war she did draft-resistance work including counseling and driving hundreds of young men across the border to Canada. And in 1977 she and her partner, Marge Nelson, set off in an RV to find other older feminists and lesbians. Deciding that San Francisco was their best bet, they settled here in 1978 and never left. Polly was active in the struggle for lesbian visibility, especially for older lesbians who are often marginalized. As an early member of OLOC (Older Lesbians Organizing for Change) San Francisco, Polly also helped create options for older women at the S.F. Women’s Center and co-published Broomstick Magazine for 15 years. Inspired by her lifelong struggle with asthma and COPD, she was active in the disability rights movement. Polly got her first tattoo in her 80’s and in 2013 gave a public story reading with Marge.
Over the years, members of LAGAI would often see Polly with her OLOC comrades at demonstrations around the city. Polly is survived by Marge Nelson and a caring community of lesbians and other friends and family.