BY JAMES NIMMO
Readers and lovers of equality,
Unfortunately, Paul Thompson died this morning [3.4.10] after having a stroke a week ago. Earlier this week he suffered a heart attack as well while receiving care at Integris Baptist Medical Center in OKC.
Paul Thompson was until recently long-time co-chair of OGLPC [Oklahoma Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus], instrumental in the planning of the annual M.L. King Parade sponsored by the OKC chapter of NAACP, co-chair of the OKC Pride Parade Committee, and for several years helped in the planning of the Oklahoma Democratic County Medallion Dinner, to name just a few of the pots he kept stirring in his desire to see the First Amendment fully implemented.
Even though Paul was a Democrat with a special interest in furthering minority equality for all those groups that aren’t mainstream majority – regardless of skin color, gender, or national origin – he believed that American equality was a non-partisan issue.
In a rare instance of forethought by me, I interviewed Paul in July 2007 for an ongoing oral history program sponsored by the Metropolitan Library System of Oklahoma County. This 70-minute audio CD is a near permanent record of some of Paul’s stories of the pioneering days in the 1950s and 1960s when the KKK was an accepted form of public expression of distaste for gay/lesbian and African-American citizens living in Oklahoma City.
The catalog entry can be viewed here: http://tinyurl.com/y9u99v4
The CD can be listened to in the Oklahoma History Room at the downtown library, 300 Park Avenue, on your own CD player or laptop computer.
Even though you probably heard Paul recount some of his adventures more than once, no one could have heard them all.
A memorial service is planned for Sunday, March 14 – time and location to be announced later.
– James Nimmo lives in Oklahoma City and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer