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Gay revolution in Federal Way | Guest column
What happens when you send an e-mail to seven Federal Way City Council members? Well, if you’re starting a group for local gays and lesbians, you only get two replies. Maybe I’m being cynical. It’s possible that Linda Kochmar and Jack Dovey were the only council members to reply because they actually do their jobs. Whatever the case might be, my goal to create a gay group in Federal Way had begun.
We’re now holding our first social meet-up at 6 p.m. July 25 at the Federal Way Regional Library,34200 1st Way S. Next month should be exciting too, since we have a celebrity appearance from openly gay actor/model Daniel Skelton.
But first, our journey, it started out simply. Start a free Facebook group (Gay in Federal Way). Create a free website (gayinfederalway.blogspot.com). All very simple. But it isn’t simple to change Federal Way. You don’t see gay people here. There is no gay culture. Even though gay people make up roughly 5 percent of the population, zero tax dollars that they pay go into diversity funding and community building to help gays. That money goes instead to diversity funding and community building for racial, gender, youth and senior folks.
The city doesn’t embrace gay culture and it’s obvious why. Images of gays and lesbians on the news or in movies are awful stereotypes that portray the worst attention seekers and carelessly sexual fools. That isn’t how the majority of gays act, and creating this group will be a benefit for Federal Way.
Gay people need this group for both political and social reasons.
Politically because the city council needs to be reminded that gay people live here too. They pay taxes, they have been since the city was founded 20 years ago, and some of those taxes go to diversity funding and community building that excludes gay people. Twenty years of paying taxes and twenty years of being ignored isn’t right.
Socially, we need this because without a group it is very difficult to tell who else is gay, so connecting with similar individuals is difficult. Most gays here can count on one hand how many gay people they know living in Federal Way. A handful of people is not a large enough dating pool to find an ideal match. The easiest way to tell you’re gay in Federal Way? You have to take an hour drive to Seattle to go on dates.
Remember, we’re holding out first social meet-up at 6 p.m. July 25 at the Federal Way Regional Library. We’ll be in Meeting Room One. It’s time for the gay revolution in Federal Way to begin.
We’ll give you updates including when we’ll have the intelligent and breathtakingly beautiful actor/model Daniel Skelton as a celebrity guest in August. Just be sure to add us on Facebook (Gay in Federal Way) and check out our website (gayinfederalway.blogspot.com) for updates.
Be sure to check out him in the movie “Eating Out 3: All You Can Eat” before his August appearance. He’ll be visiting the Seattle area, a place he once lived and now misses. Daniel recently said about his old city: “I loved walking around by myself on a nice summer night getting coffee and stopping in my favorite book store.” Hopefully some coffee from the vending machine and a tour of the library should suffice.