I enjoyed the overall summary in Liz Meyer's story about the Needle
Exchange, but really need to correct one historical point.
ACT/UP's "request' to the Health Department to run an on-the-street
exchange was turned down. So ACT/UP started it (in the little park
columns overlooking the Freeway in the Pike/Pine area). As planned, our
contacts in the Health Department were then able to make the argument
reluctant top brass that the agency didn't want these crazies dealing
illegal paraphernalia, etc. and so the activists negotiated with the
department for it to become a government function.
Seattle ACT/UP later produced a book on how to start a needle exchange
which was used through out the country by groups fighting AIDS, and
a few cities abroad.
This was one of the most significant achievements of the movement,
other US city had such a street service at the time (except for
Seattle's experience led to other large cities (but not all of them)
I was excited to see a review of GYPSY CARAVAN in the Seattle Gay News. My enthusiasm diminished however as I read the review. Derich Mantonela made many broad statements without backing up a one. Mantonela immediately lost credibility by continually referring to the Roma as Roms. What is Roms ? It is a word that does not exist in the Gypsy/Roma language. Rom is one Romani person: Roma is the plural. Romani, the adjective can be substituted for either Rom or Roma.
The use of the wrong word in referring to us displayed such ignorance that arguing the accuracy of the rest of the statements seems futile.
Lolo Diklo: Roma Against Racism
Thank your for the special section in the last issue of the SGN with
and names of the couples to have domestically registered in Olympia
the landmark bill was passed in the last session. Thanks to all the
pioneers who took this opportunity to nail down even this little bit of
state recognition of our love and especially those who agreed to put
and names in the paper for the rest of us to celebrate. Coming out has
always been our greatest strength. First we came out as individuals.
we organized and came out as a class of people. Now we are coming out
couples. We are presenting to the world our most intimate and personal
These photos and names do more than anything else to undercut the
and scapegoating by which we have been victimized by right wing
These photos show us so ordinary, so normal, so just like everybody
that the scapegoating backfires on the fanatics like a mirror and
them as a vicious, mean-spirited minority.
The Seattle Gay News has done a wonderful service to our community and
movement with its support and publication of this milestone.
Janice Van Cleve PCO 43/1858
43rd District Coordinator, Areas 21 & 22
Enjoyed your August 3 column, in SGN, however I found your
understanding of Washington's age of consent laws inaccurate. My
directly from the Revised Code of Washington (RCW),
and is available at any branch of the Seattle Public Library system.
9A.44.079, "Rape of a child in the third degree," states, in relevant
any person who "has sexual intercourse with another who is at least
years old but less than sixteen years old...and the perpetrator is at
forty-eight months [four years] older than the victim." It's a class C
felony (five years/$10,000).
Possibly what you were referring to was RCW 9A.44.093, "Sexual
misconduct with a minor in the first degree." It states, in relevant
any "person has, or knowingly causes another person under age eighteen
have, sexual intercourse with another person who is at least sixteen
old but less than eighteen years old...if the perpetrator is at least
months [five years] older than the victim, is in a significant
to the victim, and abuses a supervisory position within that
order to engage in or cause another person under the age of eighteen to
engage in sexual intercourse with the victim."
The latter statute protects 16 and 17 year olds from older persons
authority, including school employees, foster parent, police officer,
I concur that GLBT youth should know and make informed choices
physical boundaries. That requires factual information. Reasonable
can disagree about the appropriate minimum age of sexual consent, but
also have work with the hand that the Legislature has dealt to us.
Keep up the good work, Michael!
Steven L. Kendall
As someone who has known Robert Sondheim for many years, I was
shocked at the ratings SEAMEC gave this out-and-proud activist.
Sondheim, who is running for Seattle City Council (Position 1), has
marched the marches, been a vocal opponent against DOMA and Don't
Ask, Don't Tell, a contributor to LGBT Equal Rights causes and has
supported the LBGT Community for over a decade. He has hosted
numerous fund-raisers at his restaurant (Rosebud Restaurant & Bar)
for Lifelong AIDS...Gay City...Three Dollar Bill...GSBA...Dunshee
House (Seattle AIDS Support Group)...Verbena...Seattle Men's and
Women's Chorus...Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence..and Lambert House.
He was the inspiration behind Bailey-Boushay's volunteer program.
Anyone who read last week's SEAMEC report in the SGN would think that
Sondheim was less progressive than his straight opponents--when
nothing could be farther from the truth! Not only is Sondheim a
strong supporter of our LGBT Community, his love for our city is well
known. His desire for a safer, cleaner and more affordable Seattle is
as strong as his desire for full and equal rights for every LGBT
person, not only in the Emerald City, but on the planet. Vote
Sondheim for Position 1. And, think twice about what you read in the
Dear Lisa Wardle:
I knew Mike for ten years, grieved him, went to his memorial. He was a big help to me when I got clean
and sober. That being said, and meaning no disrespect to his memory or his family, I have to take
exception to his sister's representation of his actions as "trying to help Scott White get clean".The reason
I am writing this is that such representation tarnishes the image of the twelve-step programs, and it
It is commonly accepted that we do not "help" struggling addicts by inviting them into our beds. A situation
where sex is the quid pro quo for food and shelter is not "helping", it is prostitution, and it prolongs
the low self-esteem of the addict rather than offering him or her a way out of it. Male or female, gay or
straight, it is not acceptable in the recovery community to bed an addict, especially one thirty years
your junior, in the guise of "helping" him. I received this kind of "help" early on from men in the
program, and believe me, it was no help at all. It simply reinforces in the addicts mind the shameful idea
that all they are good for is sex. Which facilitates relapse more than recovery. We help people by giving them a couch, not by putting them in our own bed.
I loved Mike, I will miss him dearly, and nothing excuses or expains that murder, but he was acting
way outside of the bounds of acceptable "recovery" behavior, and he knew that.
Amy Elkins, LMP
Dear Mr. Bakan:
I am writing to express my outrage at the SEAMEC rating given to Robert Sondheim, candidate for Seattle City Council , Position #1.
Mr. Sondheim has been an integral part of the gay community for decades and has served on the Boards of numerous supporting organizations and has as firm a grasp of the issues confronting our community as anyone I have ever known. It is astonishing that he was given a mediocre straight B rating.
As an out gay Council Member for the City of Tumwater, I have been active in the Association of Washington Cities and know that Council Member Godden's support of the gay community has been tepid at best.
Robert Sondheim has been one of my closest friends for more than 30 years and I know that he will make a great Council Member for the City of Seattle and I urge all in the gay community to give him their vote in this month's primary.
City of Tumwater