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Phyllis Christopher

‘The Guardian’ interviews wonderful photographer and friend Phyllis Christopher. Her book “Dark Room: San Francisco Sex and Protest, 1988-2003” is being published this year.

There have been few times in history where women run the camera, the press and the ecosystem of publishing. But the world we created in San Francisco felt like a beautiful laboratory. It wasn’t separatist by any means – we didn’t seclude ourselves from men and non-lesbians – but we were making work for each other. I think that’s evident in these images.

I wrote about Phyllis Christopher’s work a few years back.

Happy birthday, kat

The good sigh

“We realize we have made a friend when in a relationship we are able to suppress that special disappointment which follows getting to know him, her, anyone – even oneself – well,” wrote my old University at Buffalo professor Lionel Abel. It is sweet to remember those first resigned sighs, from my loyal friends. The essence of friendship is neither correction nor therapy.

Happy birthday, kat

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This is from late 1999, on my way to the clinic to get my staple-stitches out. I had injured myself trying to hop a curb with my bike: I tipped over, shattering my humerus, separating my shoulder, and breaking a bone in my neck. I was in the hospital for about a week.

It was an exceptionally sweet time for me, though. My care at St. Paul’s hospital was marvellous and friendly, and there was no bill. Lots of friends and colleagues and clients from work came by. My brother and his wife brought their kids. I enjoyed morphine for the first and last time.

I was still pretty new to Canada – born here but raised in the States, not returning until 1996. It was during this hospital stay that I saw manna falling from the sky – here, in Vancouver, BC. I was given such grace.

The photograph is by my dear and esteemed friend Lincoln Clarkes, who had brought two pies to my hospital room.