Dr. Gwendolyn Goldsby Grant passed away quietly and without incident in her sleep this week. Earlier that day she attended a luncheon at Bethune Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, where she had a home and spent part of the year.
Dr. Gwen honored us women with her bold-spirited brilliance. She gave millions of ESSENCE readers the great gift of sexual information and freedom. I learned over the years from young people that, as children, her “Sexual Health” column was the first page they’d turn to in their mothers’ magazine, and where they discovered information about sex and sexuality needed but not otherwise available to them. An article I continue to reference when speaking to women and men is her stunning piece on self-pleasuring as a way to safe and healthy sexual satisfaction. 

Only Dr. Gwen would dare….
I met Dr. Gwen when we were guests on a TV show. Her frankness and courageous took my breath! She spoke about the importance of intimacy, building heart-to-heart, trusted relationships with partners. Her offering to the host of “Positively Black” about the importance of women embracing our sexuality, enjoying sex, and engaging in sex safely and on our own terms, without embarrassment or shame, was so fresh and needed. 

After a subsequent meeting, I invited Dr. Gwen to become an ESSENCE columnist. She impacted the lives of three generations of women —and with critical support far beyond our sexual health. Dr. Gwen enlivened our souls, encouraged us to be our authentic self, to learn to love who God made us. Her wisdom helped us heal our wounds, dash our fears, and to hold fast to our biggest dreams and expectations of ourselves, and work to bring them to fruition because we are capable!
Here’s to our fiery sister psychologist, who was forever a fox! 

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She was as fly as she was fearless and courageous. We honor her life and her giving. Dr. Gwendolyn Goldsby Grant was an irrepressible enthusiast with a needed disregard for convention. I have great reverence for her and all that she gave to me personally and to the ESSENCE readers, we served so passionately and well.