CommunityPam's House Blend

Open thread: back in town

Hi folks. I’m back from spending the holidays in Birmingham, Alabama with Kate’s family (we switched off — Thanksgiving was spent with my brother up in Delaware).

One fun bit of business while we were there was a get together on Thursday with Patricia Todd, who will be the first out lesbian in the state legislature. She will represent Alabama House District 54.

Patricia and her partner Jennifer met Kate and I at the funky Silvertron Cafe in Crestwood, which is in Patricia’s district (many thanks for making the time, and for the hospitality!).

After a bruising race- and gay-baiting battle (see Blend posts here) within the Democratic Party after winning the primary by only 59 votes over Gaynell Hendricks, there’s a lot of healing to do, but it’s clear that she’s ready for the challenge. What’s most important to Patricia are the issues of education and poverty — certainly something anyone can get behind — those are hardly gay issues.

One interesting controversy, but one that has rocked the legislature into the real world, was how to address Patricia’s bio (and mention of her spouse). On the state web site, this is the historic text (as benign as it may seem).

She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and resides with her partner in the Crestwood neighborhood.

That’s a big step forward (even with Jennifer’s name omitted), but consider this bio entry for the homobigot Gerard Allen:

He and his wife, Sheila, are the parents of three children: Wes, Kellie, and Jill.

I’m sure there was agonizing, moaning and griping over what amount of recognition of a committed same-sex relationship of an elected official was going to go on that web site among the bible beaters. Kate and I hope to get back in February for Patricia’s swearing-in fete.


Begin whinefest: I managed to get sick while out of town (all the disease on the damn plane — Airborne and Zicam did jacksh*t), so I’m miserable this evening, I can barely breathe or talk. And I have to go to work tomorrow. Argh. I am bathed in Vicks and hacking away…
/End whinefest.

Haven’t gotten to the flood of emails quite yet, hopefully I’ll catch up by tomorrow.

What has been going on since last week? Aside from hearing James Brown died, I’ve tried to stay offline and rest.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding