Nancy Brooks Brody Obituary, New York City, NY Gay Activist and Fierce Pussy Projects Founding Member, is Dead

Nancy Brooks Brody, one of the city’s pioneers, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving a vibrant and diverse community in mourning. Nancy, who was raised in Manhattan, was a key member of the well-known Fierce Pussy collective in addition to being a skilled solo performer. Her sudden departure has shocked her family, friends, and the larger community to which she gave so much of herself.

Nancy’s artistic journey was deeply rooted in the heart of New York City. Having graced the stage solo on numerous occasions, her performances, including the one in 2018 at the Fortnight Institute, left an indelible mark on the local art scene. Her participation in group exhibitions such as “The Exquisite Corpse” at The Drawing Center and “Le Regard de L’Autre” in Rouen, France, showcased the breadth of her artistic expression.

The heartbeat of Nancy’s artistic identity resonated within the collective known as Fierce Pussy. Founded in 1991 during a time of heightened political mobilization for gay rights and AIDS activism, Fierce Pussy was more than a group of LGBT female artists—it was a revolutionary response to the urgent needs of the community.

Employing low-tech and low-budget resources, Fierce Pussy members, including Nancy, utilized ancient typewriters, found photographs, and even their own baby pictures to address the pressing issues of their time. Their projects ranged from wheat-pasting posters on the streets to renaming New York City streets after prominent lesbian figures. They redesigned the LGBT community center restroom, printed and distributed stickers and t-shirts, ran a greeting card campaign, produced a video PSA, and, in recent years, contributed installations and exhibitions to galleries and museums.

The origins of Fierce Pussy were humble, beginning with a core group of friends that included Suzanne Wright, Pam Brandt, Jean Carlomusto, Donna Evans, and Alison Froling. As the movement gained momentum, more women joined in, contributing to activities like wheat-pasting, stenciling, and stickering. Despite the evolution of the group, four of the original core members—Nancy Brooks Brody, Joy Episalla, Zoe Leonard, and Carrie Yamaoka—remained steadfastly committed to the cause.

In the wake of Nancy’s passing, Emily Huber, a fellow member of Fierce Pussy, poured out her emotions in a heartfelt tribute. She expressed the profound impact Nancy had on her life, describing her as a “heart sister friend, family” and acknowledging the immeasurable gratitude for sharing a path with such an outstanding and unique individual.

Nancy’s influence extended beyond the art world; it touched the very essence of those who had the privilege of knowing her. Emily’s words painted a picture of a deep connection, shared laughter, heart-to-heart conversations, and an unspoken bond that transcended words. As the community mourns Nancy’s departure, they also celebrate the joyous moments, recalling the laughter and heart-to-hearts that defined their relationship over the last couple of decades.

In the words of Emily, “I love you, I HOWL for you, I thank you always living in my heart.” The profound sense of loss is tempered by the enduring legacy Nancy leaves behind—an imprint on the community, a source of inspiration, and a testament to the transformative power of art.

Nancy Brooks Brody, born on 9/12/62 and departed on 12/8/23, will be remembered as a beloved Amazon, a force of nature, and a beacon of creativity. As the community mourns her passing, they also summon the angels to welcome Nancy to a realm where she can continue to hoot, holler, dance, make art, and cause a ruckus—the best possible way to honor a soul as dynamic and influential as Nancy Brooks Brody.