Larry Stone – Mentoring and Support

“Meeting Katie Urbanek was life changing.”

I went to a PFLAG meeting and I met Katie Urbanek. That was life changing, because here was an older person—more like a parental figure—and that was very life changing for me. They had a movie they showed at the Spokane Public Library downtown, which is the old library. They were allowed to show it there, which again was very liberal of the library to allow that at that time. It was a very simple video. I can’t remember it anymore.

But it was life changing. Meeting Katie Urbanek was life changing for me. It was very wonderful. Very reassuring. As you can tell, she’s a very striking woman: very sure of herself and yet very much a member of society. She’s not strange or weird or anything. So [it was] very reassuring to me to meet her. She was like the kind of person my parents would’ve socialized with. That was very reassuring to me: Katie Urbanek. And [she and Harry Urbanek] never missed any of my fundraisers. They and the Woods and Helen Bonser: they never missed any of my fundraisers. They were very supportive. They were glad, because no gays really were stepping forward. They were really glad to have me, because here they were doing all the work for the gays and the gays really weren’t doing anything, you know, for themselves. They were really thrilled when I came on the scene because I came on. As I say, I wasn’t sexual, so I had intense energy. [Laughs.] I had the energy of a 15 year-old, but the experience of a 30 year-old. So, I could make things happen, and I was able to do it.

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Source: Interview with Maureen Nickerson on 8 May 2007; held in the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture. Transcribed by J. Zander; edited by Laura S. Hodgman.