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Memories and Thoughts of Judy Freespirit

Max Airborne has been so kind as to set up a Memorial Website for Judy, so please also check it out!!
Such touching words and inspiring memories.

Judy Freespirit, fat warrior, passed away yesterday morning. Thoughts and memories were aflutter on Facebook yesterday, so I thought I would collect some and repost them here in her honor, and in the spirit of preserving our fat history...something I've been thinking a lot about lately.

 Carol Squires just posted that Judy Freespirit passed away. my first introduction to a different way to think about my fat body came when I read "The Fat Liberation Manifesto" in a women's studies class in 1994. Her work definitely changed my life for the better as it did countless others. I feel the loss and celebrate a life well lived. --Pattie Thomas

The Fat Liberation Manifesto, which Judy Freespirit wrote with Aldebaran in 1973, was by far the most posted link among my fat activist friends yesterday. This revolutionary manifesto is at the core of our fat lib history, and if you have not already read it, you really should.

Judy Freespirit was so great to me everytime I was around her. She wrote a beautiful poem about a peach that's stayed with me. She was one of my early models for a fat writer (wish I could still find that great picture of her dancing with her troupe in the seventies -- they had swings!). She made things happened. She gave speeches about fat to gatherings of dieticians. She showed up in FaT GiRL. She showed up. --Susan Stinson

In addition, you can go to Susan Stinson's blog and read her lovely and moving tribute to Judy.

Susan was also gracious to post a link to a photo of the Fat Chance Performance Group that Judy helped to found, which was published in "Dear Sisters: Dispatches from the women's liberation movement" along with the manifesto.

Judy Freespirit, a pioneer of fat activism, has died. I knew Judy in the mid-90s as the person who ran the Fat Feminist Caucus of NAAFA. The fat women's gathering she organized in fall of 1994 was my first experience of fat pride community. I respected and learned from her vision of feminism, disability rights, fat activism, and much more. --Marilyn Wann

Today it was my intention to dedicate my keynote [at the Fat Studies: A Critical Dialogue Conference in Australia] to Judy Freespirit. I wrote to her a few weeks ago to say as much. I just heard that she died. So so sorry that she's gone, and so so glad that I got a chance to meet her. I'm not a hero worshipper but she was my hero. Tears later, gotta hold it together now. Love to Judy and her people. --Charlotte Cooper

I hear that the Fat Liberation Manifesto was read yesterday at the conference in her memory.

 Also, from Marilyn Wann:

Here's a quote from Judy from a Radiance magazine article written by Sara Golda Bracha Fishman (who went by Aldebaran during Fat Underground days). She asks founding members of the Fat Underground, "What did we accomplish?" Judy said, "In the beginning, people giggled when we talked about Fat Liberation. Now . . . there are hundreds of thousands of fat activists and allies all over the world."

Judy stood in front a room full of women in 1978 and challenged us to see her as powerful and beautiful and broke open those stereotypes we had held moments before and my life was forever changed. --Lynn Ellen Marcus

Fat & Health Rebuttal on Feministe | Stayin Strong on Saturday: Smart Things Friends Say

cshock's picture
September 11th, 2010 | Link | I can think of no better

I can think of no better tribute to her than the fact that the manifesto she helped write, and lived so elegantly and passionately, was read at a Fat Studies Conference on the other side of the world in Australia on the day she passed away.

I often think we have made no progress at all when I think about Michelle Obama and WLS and so many other things that hurt so many people and make me sad. But then I remember that the idea started with just a few people who fought hard and now we have an international movement and an academic movement and so many young people understanding so much earlier in their lives the dangers of fat hatred.

It is good to remember the history/herstory of this movement and to be encouraged by what is possible in the future. Judy Freespirit was an inspiration but we can all be such as well. That would be the best way to remember her. Fat People of the World Unite: We have nothing to lose!

pani113's picture
September 11th, 2010 | Link | A true pioneer and a life

A true pioneer and a life courageously lived!

"Fat can be beautiful. Intolerance is ALWAYS ugly!"

maxairborne's picture
September 11th, 2010 | Link | Judy Memorial site

Hi folks,

Some of Judy's friends asked me to set up a memorial site for her, where folks can share their memories. It's here:

Please stop by and add your memories, photos, etc.



withoutscene's picture
September 12th, 2010 | Link | Max, thanks for setting up

Max, thanks for setting up this site and for letting us know about it. I have added it to the original post above.

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