A season (and lifetime) of giving

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The Thurman Family. Photo: Joshua Huston

“Joy Thurman might just be the busiest woman in Seattle this holiday season. 

Joy is a fourth-year medical student at University of Washington, a mother of a 3½-year-old daughter and expecting a new baby any second (if she or he hasn’t already arrived). When she’s not hitting the books or working at Harborview, she volunteers at the White Center food bank with her father, her husband, and daughter Andersyn. 

“I always get the most out of the work I don’t get paid for,” says Joy. When Andersyn was old enough to stand and hold things on her own, she joined her mom at the food bank, standing up on milk crates to give out cans. 

“She loves going to the food bank, and everyone always really enjoys having her there,” says Joy. The family volunteers year-round, including the holiday season. 

Born and raised in South Seattle, she met her husband, Nic, a neonatal intensive-care unit nurse, while attending Western Washington University in Bellingham. The couple celebrates Christmas in the culinary traditions of their blended family. Thurman is half African American, half Filipino, and her husband is Vietnamese American.”

READ THE FULL STORY IN SEATTLE’S CHILD

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Wanda Sykes on Standup, Parenthood, and This Nightmare Election

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“In her dazzling new one-hour comedy special, What Happened…Ms. Sykes? airing tomorrow night on EPIX, comedian Wanda Sykes is quirky as ever. Though familiar in style, her new material on motherhood, aging, and breast cancer reflects how much life has changed since the days of The Chris Rock Show and Pootie Tang. Since quitting her job at the NSA in her thirties, she’s won Emmy awards, written a book, started a family, hosted the White House Correspondents dinner, advocated for the LGBT community, starred in her own late night talk show, and lifted millions of people up with her comedy. What a life! Ms. Sykes took some time to talk to me about her insights on work, love, politics, and parenthood.”

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW ON SPLITSIDER

A Little Time with Quinn Marcus and Adam Pally

 

pally-quinn“You may not have heard of Quinn Marcus, but at a spry twenty-five years old, she’s already on her way to becoming a household name. It all began at the age of seventeen in the town of Little five Points in Atlanta, GA. Marcus hit the streets asking strangers funny, disarming questions for a series she dubbed Quinnterviews. She pitched the show to MTV-U and next thing you know, she’s sharing a laugh with Tina Fey, speed dating with the cast of Community, and exchanging hair caresses with Paul Rudd. A crossed path with Adam Pally, and A Little of Your Time With Quinn Marcus, a new show on ABC Digital, was born. Pally produced the show and Marcus stars, interviewing celebrities including Ben Schwartz, Terry Crews, Casey Wilson, Maria Bamford, Isaiah Mustafa, and Moby. The interviews take place in non-traditional settings like at Marcus’ house, on a basketball court, and around a campfire. Marcus has a gift for making her subjects laugh by just being herself. Her interviews are so much fun because she reveals the genuine person behind the media persona. She carried this spirit of authenticity into her short film, Alone With People, a funny, affecting story about coming out to her parents as a teenager. She’s onto feature films next, maybe talk shows and definitely more shorts. Who knows how far she’ll go? Pally certainly thinks she has what it takes to make the big time.”

READ THE REST ON SPLITSIDER

11 Transgender Parents Share Their Path to Parenthood

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“Forget power tools and whiskey stones — all these transgender parents want for Father’s Day this year is to be with the ones they love. Some, who transitioned prior to becoming a parent, had to navigate adoption agencies, fertility clinics, and home births before welcoming their new tiny humans into the world. Others transitioned later in life, maturing into motherhood while renegotiating their relationships with older children who remember them as Dad.

They may be diverse in their gender identities, parenting styles, ages, and experiences, but just like cisgender fathers, these parents all share one important thing in common: an overflowing, unconditional love for their children and their chosen families.”

Read the full article here!

This Veteran’s Job Was Discharging Gay Sailors In The Navy — But He Had A Secret

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This Veteran’s Job Was Discharging Gay Sailors In The Navy — But He Had A Secret

“Throughout 1952, Otto Bremerman sat at his military desk in the personnel office of the Pearl Harbor Naval Base, typing up dishonorable discharges for sailors who had been accused of homosexuality. He knew that these sailors had selflessly taken on the same risks as their heterosexual counterparts to serve their country during the Korean War, but because they were gay, they would now suffer the consequences of dishonorable discharge for the rest of their lives. With each keystroke, Bremerman was reminded of his own vulnerability — he was a gay American himself, hiding his identity in a country unwilling to accept his open service.”

Thrilled to feature Korean War Veteran, Otto Bremerman, Vietnam Era Veteran, Denny Meyer, Desert Storm Veteran, Evelyn Thomas, Iraq War Veterans, Sean Sala and Gene Silvestri and talented filmmaker, Kristine Stolakis and her beautiful documentary, The Typist in my Buzzfeed piece on LGBT Veterans.

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“The tireless efforts of activists have won many historic victories for LGBT service members, but significant legal and administrative barriers to full equality remain for touring same-sex married couples, transgender military families, and veterans who received a less-than-honorable discharge before the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Progressive lawmakers and advocates continue to fight against these policies of blatant discrimination in hopes that LGBT soldiers will one day receive the same civil rights, freedom and equality they often risk their lives to defend.”

Read the full article on Buzzfeed: This Veteran’s Job Was Discharging Gay Sailors In The Navy — But He Had A Secret

Autistic and Queer: Coming Out on the Spectrum

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Autistic and Queer: Coming Out on the Spectrum 

“You shouldn’t assume that because someone is disabled, they need to be fixed. When we talk about acceptance, we mean acceptance for everybody. Whether they can go to college or not, whether they can work a 9-5 or not. Whether they can communicate orally or not. Whether they ever choose to date or not. Acceptance doesn’t come with qualifications or ifs or buts. Acceptance means radically choosing to believe and to affirm through your actions, that all humans are in fact valuable. That all ways of being human are worthy of respect. Even if you don’t understand them. Especially if you don’t understand them.” A beautiful quote by Lydia Brown, an exceptional disability rights activist. So proud to share this article on Queer Autistics I wrote for AfterEllen.

Autistic and Queer: Coming Out on the Spectrum 

Mo Welch on Larry Bird, Qweirdos, and Laughter in the Dark

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Photo credit: Mandee Johnson

I got a chance to interview comedian Mo Welch for Splitsider!

“Whether she’s hosting The Mo Show, performing standup, making music videos, drawing her hilariously depressing cartoon, Barely Blair, or bringing her A-game on the basketball court onto the stage for the Larry Bird Variety Hour, the impossibly cool Mo Welch is constantly stretching the boundaries of her comedy and devising new ways to find the funny.

I got a chance to talk with Mo about the antics behind the making of her CBS sports special, Foul Ball, what it’s like to be Larry Bird, getting her start with The Grawlix, joining the Qweirdo community, and her unexpected moment of brilliance with a Pop-Tart.”

You can read more here.