Rose Greene: Another LGBTQ rights advocate falls
Rose Greene, one of the most passionate LGBTQ advocates who had ever lived and who had served on the Board of Directors at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, has died of bone cancer at the age of 72.
Green is best known for setting up the inaugural California AIDS Ride in 1994. This event, a multi-day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, was set up to raise funds for HIV and AIDS services.
She also led the first-ever LGBTQ capital campaign, which helped open the former headquarters of the Center at the McDonald/Wright Building on Schrader Boulevard.
She served on the Board of the Center twice, from 1989 to 1995 and from 2006 to 2011.
Mourning Rose Greene
In response to her death, the Center issued this statement by CEO Lorri L. Jean:
“Today the Center joins our community in mourning the loss of a true warrior in the fight for LGBT equality, health, and happiness.”
“Rose dedicated much of her life to building and strengthening the Center. She served on the Center’s Board of Directors on two different occasions: for six years from 1989–1995 and again from 2006–2011.”
“She was Board Co-Chair during the courageous and historic capital campaign (the first in the LGBT world) to purchase the Center’s 44,000-square-foot headquarters in Hollywood, now known as the McDonald/Wright Building and one of nine locations.”
“The Center’s success in that campaign inspired others throughout the nation, among them the New York LGBT Center and the Human Rights Campaign.”
Rose Greene at the forefront
Jean said that Greene “presided over the Board during difficult times,” from the veto of AB101– a bill that would prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation– and the imposition of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”
However, she added that Greene was there “during heady times” as well.
In particular, Greene helped developed and rode in “the first California AIDS Ride in 1994, a 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles that raises money for HIV and AIDS related services at the Center.”
“Now known as AIDS/LifeCycle, the event has raised more than US$280 million in the fight against the disease,” Jean explained.
“Under her leadership, the Center also opened the Jeffrey Goodman Special Care Clinic in 1993, which expanded free and comprehensive early intervention HIV and AIDS medical care.”
“She also was a strong advocate of the Center’s Board moving to the next level in giving and fundraising so that more could be accomplished to serve the most vulnerable in our community.”
“The Center is what it is today, thanks in part to Rose’s leadership and vision,” she said.
Rose Greene’s passion
Jean gave her own personal remembrance of Jean, stating: “I’ll never forget that day in the summer of 1992 when my San Francisco office phone rang, and it was Rose whom I had never met.”
“Her mission was to recruit me to apply for the job of Executive Director at the Center. Her passion was infectious. Her commitment impressive. She succeeded, and that pivotal moment changed my life.”
“Rose left this Earth way too early at the age of 72. But she went out fighting following a stem cell transplant in her quest to defeat bone cancer.”
“Today the Center lauds this tireless champion of the oppressed, this extraordinary, amazing, powerful, hilarious, and loving woman. May she rest in peace.”