Charlene Strong, Designer and
Comes Into Focus in Documentary
Endows Internship, Urges Voter Turnout
Strong is the focus of the forthcoming film "For
She is the surviving partner of Kate Fleming. Even
after her death, Kate Fleming remains one of the most nationally and
internationally beloved narrators of Books On Tape. She died tragically in
Dec. 2006 in her basement recording studio in Seattle as torrential rains
sent a cascade of water into her home, blocking her escape.
Rescue workers later pulled Fleming's lifeless body
through a hole they cut in the couple's bedroom floor. At the hospital,
Strong was barred access to Fleming's hospital room by a staff member who
deemed her "not next of kin."
Strong has since been embraced by Washington Gov.
Christine Gregoire (D), who asked Strong to stand by her side in signing
state domestic-partnership benefits that addressed the injustice to which
Strong had been subjected. She joins the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
in advocating fuller family-recognition policies and marriage equality.
Task Force Involvement
On August 24,
2008, Charlene Strong joined with Task Force executive director Rea Carey
and Task Force board member and Progressive Victory president Hans Johnson
in announcing the creation of the Kate Fleming Media Internship for Movement
Storytelling at the Task Force. The internship will seek to document the
stories of selected LGBT and allied activists to ensure that their examples
of diversity, honesty, integrity, and courage advance the chief legislative
goals of the LGBT movement.
A Strong Reminder: Vote
My name is Charlene Strong. I lost my late partner Kate
Fleming in a flash flood in December 2006. And despite our long union, I was
barred from her hospital room because someone deemed me 'not next of kin.'
This is the first national election since her death. I was never a political
person. But the events surrounding her passing drove home to me the
importance of voting, advocating for basic rights, and securing the freedom
No election can bring back to us the dear ones we have lost. But whether or
not you and your friends and family take the time to vote really matters. It
can determine whether or not we will enjoy full equality in this country.
This November 4, be sure your voice is heard. Join me in speaking loud and
clear for all the loved ones in our lives.