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Tribute to Fran Day

Fran Day.

Frances Ann Day—educator, activist, and writer—was born on June 30, 1942 in Nebraska. She grew up on a farm and loved all animals, especially cats and cows; as a child one of her jobs was to do the daily milking. She went to college in Lincoln, Nebraska and became an elementary school teacher. After moving to Denver in 1960 and coming out as a lesbian in 1970, Day met her partner, Roxanna Fiamma, while both browsed the shelves at Woman to Woman in 1981. They remained together until Day’s death in 2010.

Day's passion for writing began in Denver, where she was a member of the Big Mama Rag collective. She wrote and published three extensively researched resources for teachers of children and young adults: Multicultural Voices in Contemporary Literature, Latina and Latino Voices in Literature, and Lesbian and Gay Voices. She also was part of Denver’s Woman to Woman lesbian bookstore collective for many years.

Day and Fiamma spent a year in San Francisco in 1982-83 and immersed themselves in the Bay Area’s lesbian community. There they started a lesbian separatist group called SEPS (Separatists Enraged, Proud and Strong). After returning to Denver, they continued their teaching jobs until both retired in 1993.

In 1994, they moved to Sebastopol, California, where they again found a home in the lesbian community. Day continued her writing and activism: she compiled over thirty-five issues of SEPConnection and taught Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults at Sonoma State University. She was also a long-time member of OLOC (Old Lesbians Organizing for Change) and enjoyed participating in their conferences and other activities.

Day edited Sinister Wisdom from 2004 to 2010. On September 24, 2010, she passed away after a fourteen-month illness. She is survived by long-term partner Roxanna Fiamma. Day once said, "My work in the field of Women's Herstory is dedicated to my dream of Dignity and Freedom in the world for all Lesbians and Women." She is remembered for her work covering all aspects of lesbian life, as well as her advocacy for multi-cultural diversity and animal rights.

"Empowerment comes from ideas."

Gloria Anzaldúa

"Your silence will not protect you."

Audre Lorde

"Live your lives, honorably and with dignity."

Andrea Dworkin