Charlene Strong, Designer and Advocate,
Comes Into Focus in Documentary

Endows Internship, Urges Voter Turnout

 

Charlene Strong is the focus of the forthcoming film "For My Wife."

 

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.

 

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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 to marry.

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.


 

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