‘Head lesbian,’ singer and feminist, Alix Dobkin, dies at 80

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Alix Dobkin poses in a t-shirt that reads “The Future is Female” in Preston Hollow, N.Y. in 1975. Dobkin, the lesbian singer and feminist activist, died in her home from a brain aneurysm and stroke. She was 80.

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NEW YORK (AP) — The lesbian singer and feminist activist who appeared in an iconic and recently resurgent 1975 photo wearing a t-shirt that read “The Future is Female,” has died. Alix Dobkin of Woodstock, New York, was 80.

An early leader in the music scene for lesbians and women, she passed away at her home from a brain aneurysm and stroke, according to Liza Cowan, her friend and former partner.

“Everything that she did was about being a public lesbian in the world,” said Cowan, who also took the striking photo.

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In 1973, Dobkin formed the group Lavender Jane with musician Kay Gardner. With an all-women team of musicians, engineers and even vinyl pressers, they recorded the album “Lavender Jane Loves Women” — the first ever to be entirely produced by women, Cowan said.

Dobkin had been performing in the folk music scene in Philadelphia and New York in the 1960s, where she mingled with future superstars like Bob Dylan, according to her 2009 memoir “My Red Blood.” The title references her parents’ and her own membership in the Communist party.

When she came out as a lesbian, she forged ahead musically as an early leader and then mainstay of Women’s Music, a genre made by, for and about women. The genre fostered a whole network of publications, recording labels, venues and festivals starting in the 1970s.

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