A bit of gay history

People who were here in Olympia, Washington in the early days of LGBTQ activism might recall the Smithfield Cafe and Hands Off Washington and Pride parades when they were tiny and it took guts to march or even stand on the curb and cheer as the courageous ones passed by. And a bit later the big parties to watch Ellen come out on her show and the campaign for equal marriage rights and celebrations when the bill passed and Gov. Gregoire signed it into law.

I was here and in the midst of a lot of that, and I have friends here who were active even earlier, who remember things about the movement I can’t even imagine.

Somehow — somehow, hell, as intentionally as can be — a lot of this found its way into my novel Teacher. I wanted to honor those pioneers even if in fiction with made-up names. If you were here then you’ll recognize some of the fictitious characters and the real events they took part in. Or you’ll be sure you do even if you’re wrong. You’ll also recognize the two brothers who were shot by a cop even though I made the brothers a single character names Axel Blue. That’s the way fiction writers write. At least that’s how this fiction writer writes. I dedicated the book to the brothers Andre Thompson and Bryson Chaplin and their mother Crystal Chaplin.

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