Sep. 12th, 2017

sistawendy: (contemplative red)
Twenty-eight years ago today I rolled into Seattle for the first time. How different was the city then? The Boeing bust of the '70s was still fresh in everyone's memory, and the end of Boeing's dominance over the city's economy was just appearing on the horizon. Microsoft had moved to Redmond a scant four years earlier. Capitol Hill, my spiritual home and the then-new gayborhood, may have still had some light industry still in the neighborhood. Seattle had affordable housing, a bus system it was proud of that seemed to meet mass transit needs, and grunge in every sense. Not much later if at all it also had a Queer Patrol out of necessity, a notorious heroin economy with visible impact - see "grunge" - and not much going on work-wise for any techies who, like me, disdained Microsoft*.

I miss the fun, the funk, and the low-budget DIY spirit of Seattle then, but I was often too preoccupied to take advantage of it until this century: school, relationships, work, trying to be a straight dude. Is that gone, drowned in tech money, never to return? I don't think it's gone completely, and it can be saved. If we can save ourselves from going the way of Detroit, we can save ourselves from going the way of San Francisco.

On an unrelated note, attendance for last night's trans group at Lambert House smashed the previous record. I filled up an attendance sheet and mostly emptied the downstairs. Attendance had been so poor early this summer that the volunteer coordinator expressed concern about it to me and my fellow facilitators. The only even partial explanation I have for this is that the school year just started, so everyone's back from vacation and perhaps jonesing for some queer contact after being exposed to their families more than usual, but this is nothing like past years.



*Yeah, 19 years later I ended up working for the bastids, but that was partly to obtain meds to keep my then-wife ambulatory.

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