A small group of gay and lesbian activists gathered Saturday night in Studio City to support in her run for the California Assembly’s new . For Osborn, it was a particular treat, because many in the group were activists and civic leaders whom she considered mentors and legends.
Seated near the piano was Sheila Kuehl, the first out lesbian to be elected to statewide office in California in 1994. Sitting in front of her was the Rev. Malcolm Boyd, who became the most prominent clergy member to come out of the closet, in 1977. On the sofa was feminist-artist-activist , and next to her, nun-turned-author-activist
Doctors, attorneys, venture capitalists and civic leaders were among the few dozen attendees at a home in the Donas neighborhood owned by Studio City resident Terry DeCrescenzo, founder of Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services (GLASS). The room held authors of more than 100 books.
“This is particularly exciting because I’ve known and respected so many of you for such a long time,” Osborn said. “I am honored and humbled by this group.”
Although she had already kicked off her campaign for the office—and has already raised a substantial $407,000—this was the first time that she specifically focused on her allies in the LGBT community, whom she’d known since her early activism.
Journalist Mark Thompson recalled how as cultural editor of The Advocate magazine in 1979 he fought to have Osborn write reviews of the lesbian music scene. She worked with singer Holly Near and became an activist and feminist.
Bottini said, “I have seen her grow up as an activist and told her that her next step is to run for office. This is someone you can trust.”
Osborn responded, “I never wanted to run for office, but I have just become so angry about what is going on in our state and in our country.” She likened her call to activism to the era of the early years of the AIDS epidemic when someone had to step up and do something.
Cordova, who worked with Osborn at the Lesbian Tide in the mid-1970s, said, “What matters is your ethics and integrity, and you certainly have both.”
Studio City is not in the new 50th District, but it does include the nearby communities of Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Hollywood, the Westside, Agoura Hills, Topanga and Malibu. She said that the district is perhaps the least diverse one in the new remapping.
“This is also one of two districts in the state that were drawn up that is thought to be an LGBT district, and no one who is LGBT has ever represented West Hollywood in the state Assembly,” she said. The new district is 53 percent Democrat and 19 percent Republican, and 73 percent Caucasian.
Osborn talked about creating a strong economic base for California again, and ticked off her concerns about developing a strong public education system, strong environmental programs and universal health insurance.
In the primary, Osborn's opponents are and
Boyd said, “We need more growing up ... and Torie Osborn will represent something different and new.”