Lillene Henrietta Fifield, social worker, psychotherapist, and lesbian activist, was born in Los Angeles on October 28, 1941, and spent many of her early years in Kansas City, Missouri. Active in civil rights issues since high school, she became active in the gay and lesbian movement after coming out at age 19. She earned her B.A. with honors from California State University Los Angeles in 1971, and her MSW with honors from the University of Southern California, where she was the first openly lesbian student, in 1973. Fifield served as research associate at the Regional Research Institute in Social Welfare, School of Social Work, University of Southern California, from 1972 to 1975, the year her pioneering research on alcoholism in the gay and lesbian community was published. After maintaining a private practice in clinical social work from 1976 to 1979, Fifield moved in 1980 to Roseburg, Oregon, where she was a psychiatric social worker for Douglas County Mental Health. Fifield became involved with the Gay Community Services Center in Los Angeles in November 1971, becoming its principal grant writer; and serving as Vice-Chairman of its Board of Directors in 1974/1975. She also served as first co-chairwoman of the California Women's Commission on Alcoholism, and on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles County Alcoholism Advisory Board, the California Institute for Human Sexuality, and the California Alcoholism Foundation. She was named Woman of the Year by the Los Angeles gay community in 1978, and delivered keynote speeches at the National Council on Alcoholism Annual Forum in Seattle in 1980, at the San Francisco Conference on Alcoholism in the Gay Community in 1985, at and the second National Conference of the National Association of Lesbian & Gay Alcoholism Professionals at Chicago in 1987.