(Photo Credits: Screengrab from Rachel Pollack’s Facebook Account)
Rachel Pollack—an award-winning trans author, tarot and occult expert, trans activist, and comic book writer, has passed away. She was 77. Pollack was diagnosed seven years ago with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a “type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system.”
Her wife, Judith Zoe Matoff, confirmed the sad news thru a Facebook post. The statement reads:
I am sad to tell you that our beloved Rachel Pollack passed so peacefully and beautifully today at about 12:45 p.m. after a touching ceremony called Hand to Heart. Several of us stood in a circle. I had my hand on her heart. I began the circle by saying how much I love her and what she means to me. Each took their turn after me sharing their own feelings and appreciation of Rachel. I know that Rachel will continue to be a Light in this world and in the next. She will continue to inspire so many of our beloved Tarot community, the Science Fiction and Fantasy community, the Comics community, and the Transgender community for whom she shared so much respect and care. We have felt and cherished your love and prayers over the past months and years as Rachel experienced so many health challenges. We are One.
Pollack is best known for writing DC Comics’ Doom Patrol from 1993 to 1995. She is credited for creating Kate Godwin, a.k.a. Coagula, the first openly transgender superhero in mainstream comics. Coagula first appeared in Doom Patrol #70—The Laughing Game issue published in September 1993.
A world-renowned tarot artist and author, she created the Vertigo Tarot Deck with Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean for which she wrote an accompanying book. In addition, Pollack was also a teacher of Tarot at the Omega Institute with Mary K. Greer and she taught creative writing at Goddard College as well.
Pollack authored over 40 works of fiction and non-fiction works. Some of her novels earned major awards and nominations in the science fiction and fantasy field namely the Unquenchable Fire, which won the 1989 Arthur C. Clarke Award; and Godmother Night, which won the 1997 World Fantasy Award for best novel. Godmother Night was also shortlisted for the James Tiptree Jr. Award and was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Literature.
In addition, her book, Temporary Agency (Unquenchable Fire #2), was reportedly nominated for the 1995 Nebula Award and the Mythopoeic Award, and shortlisted for the Tiptree. For more information about Rachel Pollack, read more here.
Meanwhile, DC, friends, and fans took to social media to honor Pollack and her works. See below some of their statements on her passing: