Profiles of LGBT people, from the past and today – and celebrating their birthdays! All Birthdays →

Esther Lape

Esther Lape was born on October 8, 1881, in Wilmington, Delaware. She grew up in Philadelphia, attended Bryn Mawr and Wellesley Colleges, and then moved to Greenwich Village in New York City. There, she became involved in activism, including work for the Women's Trade Union League, advocacy for the United States to join the World Court, and involvement in the women's suffrage movement. She also met her partner, Elizabeth Fisher Read. They bought a country house in Connecticut and hosted gatherings of women's rights activists and queer women, including Eleanor Roosevelt. Along with Read, she worked at the American Foundation for Studies in Government, co-founded the League of Women Voters, and advocated for universal healthcare in the United States. She died in New York City on May 17, 1981. To learn more about Lape and Read’s relationship and activism, visit Profiles of Ten LGBT Activists for Social Justice, 2013/2017, by Rich Wilson.