Pam Spaulding: North Carolina Queer Actvist
By Kat Gipson
Pam Spaulding was born in Durham North Carolina on July 8, 1963. In 1976, she moved to Hollis, York with her parents. She attending high school at Stuyvesant High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant New York where she graduated in 1981. She received a degree in Communication and Media Studies from Fordham University in 1985. After several years working and living in New York, Spaulding decided to get away from the overpopulated and busy cities of New York and returned to her hometown of Durham, North Carolina. She began working for Duke University Press and an IT manager in September of 1993. Later, she met and fell in love with Catharine Kassouf of Birmingham Alamaba. In 2004, she and Kate traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where were legally married. Spaulding continues to live and work in Durham with her dogs and wife.
In 2004, Pam created her blog Pamshouseblend where she discusses her opinions and frustrations on the upcoming elections and issues she has regarding her life as a lesbian. Over the years, this site has grown to cover political issues regarding LGBT issues in NC and around the world. In addition, Spaulding posts regularly about her personal life, pets, wife, and day to day life. According to Spaulding, she never expected "the blend" to be so widely read as it was originally just a place for her to let off steam. However, her site grew to average 215,000 visitors and 418,000 page views a month and as of 2012 she has 30,000 registered commentators on her blog. Some of the issues she discusses on her page have included the difference in marriage equality in the US verses Canada, anti- bullying laws in NC and job security legislation. In 2008, Spaulding took particular interest in the senatorial elections when North Carolinian and friend Jim Neal announced his candidacy.
In addition to her website, Spaulding has been invited to speak by a number of organizations about political campaigns, LGBT issues, and other qualms she has with the fight for equality. In 2008, Pam provided commentary on CNN during the presidential election cycle via a live debate with conservative blogger Mary Katherine Ham of townhall.com. They discussed the endorsements of candidates McCain and Clinton as well as provided opinions on how the public would back certain candidates. Spaulding argued the importance of educated voters and the benefits of getting to the polls to vote.
To see full length video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGmX3CZGYnQ
In 2011, Spaulding spoke at the NOW National Conference about her role as an "accidental activist." She speaks to the struggles she has had as an activist with the LGBT community as a whole. She argues that the divisions such as race, class, gender identity and demographics have created difficulties in the fight for equality. In addition, she speaks about the importance of education allies of the community in order to best use them to aid in the fight for equality. To see full length video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYKj9U6i1sc
Spaulding's career has quickly grown since she began her blog in 2004. During that time, she has received a number of awards and achievments for her courage, wit and unyielding passion for equality.
Some of these awards include:
-Best LGBT Blog in 2005 and 2006 Weblog Awards
-Top 50 progressive political blogs 2007
- the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Monette-Horwitz Trust in 2006 for her significant contributions towards the eradication of homophobia
-Ultimate Game Changers in Politics in the 2009 edition in the Huffington Post
-2009 Women's Media Center Award for Online Journalism
-2009 Courage Award from the New York City Anti-Violence Project
-selected as one of the OUT 100 for the year in 2011
What is she doing now?
Spaulding works as the IT Manager for Duke University Press. In addition, she continues her online and public activism through her recently revamped website pamshouseblend.com. Recently she has focused her attention on the upcoming public vote on NC Amendment One which will be on the ballot May 8, 2012. To hear her interview with Fitzsimons: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYiCjkeFp3o
Spaulding continues to live in Durham with her dog and wife, Kate.