Seattle City Council honors Cheryl Chow

By Staff
Northwest Asian Weekly

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The proclamation, originally the brain child of Council President Sally J. Clark (pictured rear with council member Nick Licata), quickly found many supporters. (Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW )

The Seattle City Council declared Monday, Sept. 17, “Cheryl Chow Day” as a special proclamation for the former council member.

Chow, who has been battling central nervous system lymphoma since earlier this year, has made it her “last crusade” to publicly speak about her sexual orientation.

Chow was in attendance with partner Sarah Morningstar and daughter Liliana during the full council session on Monday, Sept. 17, in which the proclamation was made.

The event attracted over 200 people. In attendance were former Mayors Norm Rice and Paul Schell, as well as former city council members Paul Kraabel, Tom Weeks, Sue Donaldson, Tina Podlodowski, Sherry Harris, David Della, Martha Choe, and Jan Drago.

After a video honoring Chow was presented, she took the stage to speak.

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Present were many elected officials from Chow’s tenure, including Mayor Norm Rice and former council member Martha Choe. (Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW)

“Why did I come out after 66 years of quietly being gay and in the closet?” She said, “I want kids out there who are not only Asian, but white, Black, Filipino, whatever to pick up the newspaper and say to their parents, ‘Look, you’ve been voting for Cheryl Chow for years. You’ve been supporting her. And you didn’t see anything wrong with her, and she’s gay. So what’s wrong with me being gay?’ And if I can help one child from committing suicide or feeling bad about themselves, then this is my last crusade.”

In response to comments on her KING-5 News interview earlier this year, she said, “Parents and kids, don’t be afraid of saying that you are gay. I was afraid for more than 60 years, and those 60 years were wasted.” At the proclamation, she clarified, “When I said I wasted 66 years, I didn’t mean because I was in the closet. What I meant was I could have helped so many more people and kids from not committing suicide or not feeling bad about themselves, but instead finding out who they really were.” (end)

Staff can be reached at info@nwasianweekly.com.

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