Partner Dorothy Sander

Joyce Warshow (March 13, 1937 - October 2, 2007) died at home on October 2, 2007 at the age of 70. She died with her beloved partner of 25 years, Dorothy Sander, at her side. She created a deep family with many close friends as well as her family of origin: two brothers and a sister-in-law, nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews and an extended family of choice.

Joyce came from an activist Jewish background. While not religious, she came from a strong cultural Jewish world. As a child she attended the famous Yiddish summer camp, Camp Boiberik. She lived a rich and full life on her own terms, remaining true to herself and her values. She chose action over passivity. She chose to reform rather than to conform. Her diverse background and interests led her down many paths. As a renowned feminist, filmmaker, psychologist, educator, author, and activist who fully invested herself in every fiber of her work — literally, physically, metaphorically — Joyce touched the lives of many.

Photo by Robert Giard, Rights Notice: Copyright Jonathan G. Silin (

She was a formidable champion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights. She conducted sensitivity trainings with the New York City Police Department to explore the roots of hate crimes against gays. She was a leading spokesperson against ageism in the LGBT community and was honored by Senior Action in A Gay Environment (SAGE) with its Lifetime Achievement Award for her work. Sadly, she died before she was able to accept the award.

As a filmmaker, Joyce was dedicated to presenting a full spectrum of pioneering lesbian activists. She sought to determine how these women's experiences influenced their lives as activists. Her films, Some Ground to Stand On (1998) and The Biography of Blue Lunden and Hand on the Pulse (1992), a documentary about Joan Nestle, profiled older lesbian activists.

Joyce was brilliant, gentle, loving. Though she was always busy doing so much, perhaps too much, she seemed to have time for all. We were all so lucky to have her in our lives. My heart goes out to Dorothy and all her other friends. --Karla Jay

My published books:

See my published books


  1. ^