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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 1, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 22
IN MEMORIAM
Section One
ALL STORIES
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IN MEMORIAM

Geoff Manasse, Photographer
September 9, 1950 - January 19, 2018


Geoff Manasse was a professional visual storyteller, a dedicated father and husband, and a lover of family, music, and sports. From the late 1970's until his death in January 2018, his work in photojournalism, portraiture, and commercial photography helped document people's lives and social changes in the Pacific Northwest and the local LGBTQ community.

A public Memorial Celebration of Geoff Manasse's life will be held Sunday June 10th, 1-4pm at the UW Arboretum's Graham Visitor's Center, 2300 Arboretum Drive E, Seattle, WA 98112. All are welcome.

Particularly notable among Geoff's many accomplishments was a 1995 book of photographs and interviews of 24 gay and lesbian families titled Making Love Visible: In Celebration of Gay and Lesbian Families, with text by collaborator Jean Swallow. The 1980's and 90's were a time when gay and lesbian parents had no right to marry, and had legal limits on their ability to adopt children or even maintain relations or visitation with their own biological children. The book won a 1995 National Lambda Literary award and was so ahead of its time and controversial, it was banned from several local school libraries.

As a freelance photographer & photojournalist, Geoff took on a variety of editorial clients including Seattle Times, Bellevue Journal-American, National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, Newsday, the New York Times, and USA Today. He was a key photographer of the eruption of Mt. St Helens and its aftermath. His photos also documented the impact of the AIDS crisis in Seattle throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

In his spare time, Geoff played tuba for the LGBTQ Rainbow City Band, as well as the Brass Connection, a semi-pro brass quintet. He also was an avid soccer player, playing on many gay and mixed soccer teams in Seattle from the 1980's on.

After his retirement, Geoff lived for three years in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, with his husband, Bao Le, where he used his skills as a photographer, videographer and website developer to support the growth of CARMAH, a non-profit organization promoting the health and quality of life of gay and bisexual men in Vietnam. The couple also adopted two teenage sons, Kai Le Manasse and Kenneth Le Do Manasse, who eventually became American citizens. Geoff and his family returned to Seattle in 2016.

Echoing comments he had made two decades earlier in his book, Making Love Visible, Geoff often told friends how being a father and having a family was the happiest time in his life.

Geoff collapsed suddenly and unexpectedly on the field during a soccer match in Seattle and died shortly thereafter on January 19, 2018. He is survived by his husband Bao Le, sons Kai Le and Kenneth Le Do, and his sister Robin.

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Captions for photos:
(A): Geoff Manasse, Photographer September 9, 1950 - January 19, 2018
(B): On location in Eastern WA, 1983
(Used by permission of the Estate of Geoff Manasse)
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