Seattle, WA – Seattle Gay News was founded in 1974, making it one of the oldest LGBTQ newspapers in the country with a huge on-line archive. Last month, George Bakan, owner and publisher of the newspaper died at age 78, reportedly working at his desk on the paper he helmed since 1983. His death and the COVID-19 pandemic have threatened the survival of this iconic LGBTQ community resource that has led the staff to setup a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of raising $30,000.00 (Here is the link to donate for this important institution: https://www.gofundme.com/f/seattle-gay-news-needs-your-support-now/donate?utm_source=widget&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet)
James Stansberry remembered George in them tribute that follows: “I think we can all agree that these are weird times, and having no Pride celebrations that bring the community together when so much is happening feels even weirder. So the news that George Bakan – owner and editor-in-chief of Seattle Gay News and a personal friend for many years after I retired from the paper in the mid-2000s – has died makes this year even stranger. And a bit sadder, too. I met George shortly after moving to Seattle in 1987, having moved here from Chicago. I came with a recommendation from my editor at Outlines. . . I was just . . . learning who I was, getting into the leather community, and eventually coming out as Trans before I left the paper. And George helped me like a Gay mother hen to find myself and my writing voice, even letting me do a column called Lipstick and Lust, a sexy, saucy, and spicy column that let me indulge fantasy and flirtation . .
“I’m not sure there’s room in three newspapers to say how much George meant to me, and how grateful I am for all the opportunities knowing him gave me. From meeting movie directors, actors, and musicians and seeing my first drag show at Julia’s On Broadway during our annual Christmas get-together to being able to meet and greet the community during Pride from our SGN community booth, all of this was due to knowing George and becoming his friend. I will miss him . . . I’m sure he’s somewhere out there still being fabulous, hopefully watching a heavenly drag show with lots of hot guys in tiny G-strings, his blue eyes sparkling the way they did when he was happy. And I say: Well met, good friend. Travel well, have many adventures in the beyond, and if it’s Goddess’ will, may we meet again in other bodies and remember each other and renew our friendship all over again. I will and do miss you here. (Seattle Gay News – James Stansberry at http://www.sgn.org/sgnnews48_26/page4.cfm)