ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — LGBTQ+ activist, educator, and historian Evelyn Bailey passed away on Wednesday. She was 75 years old.
Bailey, a Webster resident, joined the Gay Alliance of The Genesee Valley/Out Alliance in 1985 and held many leadership roles there. She was also the organization’s historian and digitized archives of “The Empty Closet.”
Bailey also developed the “Shoulders to Stand On” project, which was a documentary film that premiered at the 2013 ImageOut Film Festival. The project then became a movement that expanded into an educational series and effort to document the history of the local LGBTQ+ community.
In a statement, Mayor Malik D. Evans said he was saddened by her passing, while also reacting to the timing of her passing.
“I am also struck by the poetic timing of Evelyn’s passing, which comes during Rochester’s Pride Month and just days before our city is set to hold its annual Pride Parade and Pride Festival in the 50th anniversary year of Rochester’s first Gay Community Picnic,” said Mayor Evans. “These joyous and fully public celebrations of LGBTQ+ Pride in Rochester bring the story of her life on earth to an uplifting close, while providing an enduring and fitting monument to the legacy of Evelyn Bailey.”