Bonnie Tinker, the head of Love Makes a Family and a member of Seriously P’Oed Grannies, was killed today in a bike accident in Virginia, where she had been attending a conference. This is horrible news. More of the story is here.
I met Bonnie Tinker when I was a staff person with a GLBT organization in Portland. She didn’t make much money. She’d been doing the work a lot longer than me. Her office, above the train station, was either really hot or really cold and always crowded. These realities seemed to matter little to her. She worked so very hard, and there was no doubt that she cared deeply, passionately and thoroughly about what she did. She devoted her life to the work of queer rights and peace.
Her death resonates further for me – she was hit and then run over by a huge truck, just as I was nine years ago. I lived. She did not. So many people in Portland (and elsewhere) have experienced serious bicycle accidents or know someone who has. These “accidents” stay with you, and remind you that bicyclists must forever contend with something that is larger, more powerful and more destructive than they are. It is not as it should be.
The loss of Bonnie Tinker is tragic, heartbreaking and will be felt by the progressive, radical, and queer communities for a long time to come. Please honor Bonnie by doing your most envelope-pushing, authority-challenging work to make our community a better place. She deserves it.