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GroundSpark Remembers Bonnie Tinker

By | Latest News, Straightlaced

A few weeks ago, I received an email from one of the teachers who helped us find some of the students in Straightlaced, letting me know that Bonnie Tinker, the founder of Love Makes a Family in Portland, Oregon had died. Here is an article about the accident. 

Bonnie, who was 61, was hit by a truck while biking in Virginia. I think I first met Bonnie in 2002, when Love Makes a Family helped organize the Oregon premiere of our film That’s a Family! Over the years she also interviewed me for her radio show, and always lent a hand to get the word out about GroundSpark’s work. 

Bonnie was a tireless advocate on many issues, but what I admired about her in particular was her dedication to speaking out about race and its intersection with family diversity issues. I am grateful to Adrienne Ratner for bringing this article to my attention in which Bonnie protested how 20/20 “edited out” the African-American members of her multiracial lesbian-headed family!

We hope to be organizing a Portland screening of Straightlaced in the fall and hope there will be an opportunity to honor Bonnie’s contributions at that time.



  • Thanks, Chas. Bonnie was a big fan of your work–we talked about it often and she was looking forward to seeing Straightlaced.
    Your fans might also be interested in this video clip of Bonnie on camera at Portland Pride, 2009. Some poignant, compelling words about youth and the generations that came before.

    One of my favorite quotes, Bonnie says:

    “Wait a minute–we have family values–we know how to hold a family together when we have no legal and social support . . . “

    Comment by Adrienne — July 31, 2009 @ 9:07 pm

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