Ben Teller

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Benjamin E Teller
31 Mar 1941 - 29 Jul 2020

Clubs & Associations

Tinseltown Squares

Medallion Dancer


Los Angeles LGBT Center Mourns Former Medical Director Benjamin Teller

The Los Angeles LGBT Center was mourning the death of Dr. Benjamin E. Teller Saturday.

Teller, who died Wednesday, was the center’s first medical director and later served on its board of directors from 1976-80.

“It hurts my heart that the wonderful Dr. Benjamin E. Teller died on July 29, after a battle with cancer,” center CEO Lorri L. Jean said in a statement released Saturday.

“Ben and his partner, Benjamin Britt, have been longtime center sustaining donors and also made a generous gift to the capital campaign for the Anita May Rosenstein Campus. Plus, Ben was a member of the center’s senior services program. ... I will always remember Ben for the battles he won. Ben first got involved with the center in the early 1970s. As a physician with a beard and a ponytail, he was referred to by some as a ‘hippie doctor.’ In 1972, at the age of 31, he agreed to share his license and liability insurance with the center to enable the creation of the center’s very first clinic: a gay men’s VD clinic. It was the nation’s first VD clinic specifically for gay clientele.”

Teller became the clinic’s first medical director after it opened in the fall of 1972.

He described his vision to the author of “Before AIDS: Gay Health Politics in the 1970s”: “It would be a free clinic — run on donations — where gay people could come and feel totally comfortable talking about their sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases. They didn’t have to have any shame or reservation about what was going on. It would be a place where professionals and paraprofessionals as well as patients could be totally open and honest about themselves and therefore promote good gay health.”[1]


  • May I be filled with Loving Kindness.
  • May I be well.
  • May I be at peace and at ease.
  • May I be happy.
  • Benjamin Teller
  • March 31, 1941 - July 29, 2020

Benjamin Britt

Ben and I have been friends for more than 30 years … He was a big supporter of mine when Bud Bennett, caller here, asked me not to attend his dances because I’m gay. I had memorized the C1 list and was ready to get out on the floor, but certain dancers would not dance in my square (on numbers). Bud was concerned that if I continued dancing with his group, he would lose dancers. As a result, I had to wait nearly a year to continue with C1. California dancers were much more accepting of gay dancers at the time, and so Ben invited me to fly to California to dance C1 with him at PACE Spectacular. I took him up on it, and that was the first time I partnered with a guy at a straight festival. I was nervous as hell at first as it meant admitting to strangers that I’m gay, but I soon realized people were accepting and I could relax. I had never experienced that sort of affirmation before. Thank you, Ben, for taking me under your wing!
Karl Jaeckel, Denver, CO

From Facebook
We lost one of our founding fathers yesterday from prostate cancer. Our bodies ache with need to be with our loved ones to share, to mourn, to remember...
We love you Ben & Ben
Tinseltown Squares

Such sad news. My condolences to you Ben, I'm so sorry Zak is gone.
Michael Kellogg

Ben, so sorry for your loss. Rob
Rob Daniel

So sorry for your loss Ben.
Scott Lanier

I’m so sorry Ben. Randy and I were just talking about you yesterday. We send our love to you.
Johnny Moran

Sincere condolences, we will miss him when we come and dance in North Hollywood
Bibi-Square Orinx

I am so sorry for your loss. May his memory be a blessing. I have such good memories of him through the years.
Denise Eger

My heart aches over your loss and our loss who knew him.
Timothy Robinson

I was so sorry to hear of Ben’s passing. We had been friends for 31 years. He is who got me into square dancing. He had a full life and will be missed by many. Take care.
John E Savage

I am so sorry for your loss
Carlos Deviez

Holding you in my heart with all my love, dear friend. Hugs from afar 🤗
Anne Teaford-Cantor

So sorry.
Art Aratin

Oh no! I’m so sad! May your husband Ben’s memory be for a blessing.
Sharon Solomon

I am so sorry for your loss...❤ ❤
Andree Valdry

So sorry for your loss, Ben
Peter Anderson

Dearest Ben, so sorry for your loss. May Benjamin’s memory be a blessing❤️
Kevin Moon

I'm sorry, Ben. He sounds like a good man. Take care of yourself.
Jeff Odien

Sending lots of hugs to you, my friend... wish I could give you one in person.
Debby Stopp

Hello Ben, my deepest condolences for your loss. Sorry to hear about Ben. Seems like it was only yesterday when you guys were at one of my pool parties.
James Fields

Thom Cuong M. Dang

My condolences.
Tim Brough

I'm so sorry to hear about Ben's passing. This is a sad day. My prayers are with him and my thoughts are with you.
Jason Wittman

Oh Benjamin Britt, we are so so very sorry. One of my fondest memories of Ben was swing dancing with the senoras in Cuernavaca. I am grateful we have that lovely memory
Lynn Lawrence

Ben, I am very sorry to hear about your beloved husband's passing. You two are great friends and have a special place in my heart for the two of you. Sending Virtual hugs and wishing we could be there for you. Stay strong my friend he will love you for eternity. Stay strong. Call if you ever need to talk to Joni or me. Hugs Chris
Chris Clarke

Sending lots of love for this journey.
Bill Eyler

Good bye, old friend.❤️
Xan Maranya

So sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences ❤️
Karishma Gurtu

I am so sorry for your loss. He was a good man
Perry Ash

My condolences Ben on your husband's passing.
Robert Hemedes

Sending you love and prayers during this difficult time.
Jeffrey Peterson

I’m so sorry, Ben. Holding you in my heart.
Glynnis Kaye

Dave and I send our deepest condolences.
Thomas Trafelet

My deepest condolences, Benjamin. May you have the comfort and strength you need over the coming days and weeks.
Jeff Hicks

So sorry for your loss Ben
Jack Spero Gebhardt

I am sorry to hear about your loss. I square dance with him.
Don Durkee

Goodbye Ben.
Andre Rigden

I'm very sorry, Ben
Chris Schmitt

A sad loss Ben. Best thoughts with you
Jim Christiansen

Oh sweet friend. I am glad he was with you, at home, for his end days. Thinking of you, of him, and of the spark you both have brought to square dancing at Extravaganza. ❤
Bex Clark

You are in our thoughts on this sad day. We will miss Ben's insight and wit. Stay well.
Jeffrey Breslaw

So sorry, Ben.
Mark N. Katz

You two were such fun and lovely couple to be with every time I saw you two. Ben will truly be missed. Take in comfort of knowing that he is truly resting in peace and no longer will suffer from fighting cancer anymore. Hang in there, my friend.
Sklar K. Toy

Cancer is a miserable thing. So sorry that Ben had to go through that ride. Love and prayers to you!!!
Joni Micals

I am so sorry for your loss.
Osamu Miyabe

Love and peace to you, Ben.
Suzanne Trotta

I am so sorry for your loss
Greg Croushorn

So sorry for everyone loss
Cheryl Lynn Smith

So very sorry, dear Benjamin Britt. Sending you love...
Char Ullman

I am sorry that Ben is gone. He was a lovely person with a wonderful spirit. He had one of the most inquisitive minds. He just wanted to know everything. I will never forget the time we were in Coloma to see the spot where gold was discovered. Ben was mesmerized about the blacksmith shop. He wanted to know all about metal creation and therefore observed the process firsthand. He had quite a mind.
John Paul Cox

Ben, Very Sorry for your loss! God Bless! Peace to you, his family, and friends! 🌈🌴🙏♥️🇺🇸. Eric and Jeff sincerely with love!
Jeff Wise

With social distanced hugs and prayers of rest
Paige Mercer Cummings

So sorry Ben. We have many fond memories of dancing with you both at Trailblazers and other events. Hold on to all of your wonderful memories and know you're surrounded by virtual hugs.❤️
Pam Clasper

Oh Ben, I am so very sorry for your loss.
Will Hildreth

Our sympathy is with you. Bert and Chris. May you know peace
Bert Cassan

Sorry sorry to hear about Ben's passing. Sending my love to you.
Gary Crews

Love going your way. Wishing I could be g thy here to wrap you in a loving hug.😢💕
Frances Glenn

Hugs and love ❤️
Anne Uebelacker

A very special man, with a very big heart, and a spark of very special magic. I was talking to Ben at the very moment when my dear sweet husband of 27 years walked over to me for the first time and said, “Hi.”
Paul Waters

I'm so very sorry for your loss, Ben.
Shelly Bradley Evangelou

My heart goes out to you.
Danny Bozarth

Sending you love and peace. We have many great memories to look on.
Charles Goldman

He was always a pleasure to dance with. He will be missed. I hope his husband Ben will continue to be part of the square dance community
Joyce Robinson

I'm sorry to learn of Ben's passing. I didn't know him well, but always looked forward to seeing him at dance events. RIP
JW Paulson

Good bye, old friend. ❤️
Xan Maranya

RIP Ben. You will be missed.
Sandie Bryant

Ben was the first teacher for Tinseltown Squares, before Scot Byars took over about 1988. He did a great job getting this "new" club of the ground!
Erin Byars

What a beautiful tribute to a great soul! My thoughts are with you, Ben, and also with Luke, who I know has been helping to care for you both.
William Schindler

Hugs Benjamin. So sorry to hear.
Geo Jedlicka

Oh, Ben… I’m so very sorry. Surrounding you, and all those who loved and cared about BT, with grace and peace. Love lives on. 💔
Skip Chasey

My deepest condolences for your loss and my heart and mind are with you
Bert Simon

So sorry for your loss Ben Britt 😪 RIP Ben Teller🕊️
Lenny Stumpf

I had some great conversations and fun times with Ben. I’ll miss him. I’m so sorry for your loss. 😔
Steve Green

My first memory of Ben was when he was one of the customers at the first bank I worked for in 1984. He had written a letter to the branch, and it was given to me to take care of. I remember he addressed it as “Dear Gentlepeople”. I thought what a nice way to put that. Five years later I saw him in a bar I frequented and I recognized him and gently pursued him! That was Sunday, March 26, 1989.
John E Savage

My dear Ben...I'm deeply sorry for the loss of your beloved husband. He will be greatly missed. I'm grateful for having been close friends and I'll cherish all the fun memories we shared. You both were a "couple" favorite wherever you went. I love you both very much. Take care of yourself. Many hugs:)
Wendy Winters

Memorial Panel



  1. website, 01 Aug 2020