Martha Shelley


Biography of Martha Shelley

Martha Shelley (born 1943- ) is a lesbian activist, feminist, writer, and poet.

Martha Altman, later Martha Shelley, was born on December 27, 1943, in Brooklyn, New York, to parents of Russian-Polish Jewish descent. Samuel R. Delany was a Bronx High School of Science friend. She was involved in a group based on the work of Harry Stack Sullivan which led to her first Anti-Vietnam War movement protest. In 1965 she graduated from City College. In November 1967 she went to her first meeting of the New York City chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) and of which she later became president. Because of FBI surveillance, members of the DOB were encouraged to take aliases. Altman took Shelley as a surname. While working for Barnard College, she joined the Student Homophile League and worked with Stephen Donaldson.

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