Monday, December 5, 2005


Ginny Bates covers the years 1985 through 2020 lived by Ginny and her partner Myra Josong, mostly in Seattle, focused on their art (Ginny is a painter, Myra is a writer), their children (Margie born in 1988, Gillam born in 1991), their activism (they are Lesbian-feminists working diligently against racism, classism, child abuse, destruction of the natural environment, and the subjugation of women), recovery (both are in Al Anon because people close to them are addicts in and not yet in recovery), and their friends.

They lived in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, and donate most of their annual income derived from Myra's 1985 lottery win to their foundation The Feminist Fund. Myra was raised Southern white trash in Texas. Ginny was raised Jewish middle class in Denver. They are raising the children Jewish with a sidebar of Quaker. For nine years while the children are little, they have a live-in nanny, Hannah.

Allie Billups is Myra's best friend, also a close friend to Ginny, and she is "godmother" to the children, functioning as a third mother. She is an artist, raised African-American poor in the Deep South, a recovering drug and alcohol addict, like Myra a sexual abuse survivor, and remains single until 2002.

Chris Kash is Myra and Allie's other best friend, raised poor on the Nez Perce reservation near Colville, Washington. She too is a sexual abuse survivor, a recovering drug and alcohol addict, a former prostitute and mental hospital survivor. She has been partnered with Sima since 1980, and while they are technically called "aunties" to the children, they serve as close family.

Sima Feinbruck was good friends and a Jewish feminist colleague of Ginny's before Ginny and Myra coupled. She was raised Red Diaper Baby on the Lower East Side in New York, still working class and an observant Jew.

David Bates (Baetz) is Ginny's father, raised Texas Jewish farmboy (from Russian Jewish immigrants during the late 1800s) on the Gulf Coast before moving to Denver after WWII and becoming a lawyer. He and Ginny have always been close; David is also a painter but never had a chance to pursue it as a vocation. Ginny's mother, Helen Shapiro, was raised middle class Virginia Jewish (from German Jewish immigrants during the 1600s), and is an active alcoholic. She and Ginny have never related well. Ginny's older sister, Cathy (ten years older) lives in Denver with her husband Michael and their sons Nate and Noah.

Ginny's best friend before she coupled with Myra was Patty Marchand, a middle-class Jewish college professor raised in the Midwest. She is partnered with Pat Prewitt, another middle-class Midwesterner who works for Microsoft and is immersed in sports. They have two sons, Truitt (a year older than Margie) and Carly (born the same year as Gillam). Carly and Gillam relate as brothers, but Pat and Patty are not part of the inner circle/family of Ginny and Myra's household; Patty and Pat prefer to relate as a nuclear family with their children.

A sixth member of the Lesbian family around Myra and Ginny is introduced in 2002, Edwina Coy, an African-American professor raised working-class in Chicago who partners with Allie. She was Ginny's close friend when Ginny was in college.

Myra's cat is named Alice, and Ginny's dog is named Juju. Later on, after 2004 and 2006, the family cat is Dinah; Margie's dog is named Narnia; and Gillam's cat is Beebo.

Alveisa Carpinteyro is a member of The Feminist Fund board (the foundation set up to disperse Myra's lottery winnings), an old friend of Allie's, and the financial consultant/manager for Ginny and Myra. She was raised working-class Chicana in South Texas, is a recovering alcoholic, partnered with Petra, and has no children.

Myra's little brother was named Gil. When she was young, she was partnered with a woman named Astrid and helped raise Astrid's daughter, Libby, as her own. When Libby was five, Astrid broke up with Myra, became straight and a born-again Christian, and Myra was never allowed to see her daughter again.

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