(DV) Deb Price, 62, who wrote for the Detroit News and became the first nationally syndicated columnist writing on LGBT issues, has died.
Her column began in 1992 and ran for 18 years.
In her first column, she asked readers for help in how to refer to her partner, Joyce Murdoch. At the time, it was something the LGBT community was struggling with. “Lover” was the dated term, “partner” had not yet been adopted, and it was more than 10 years before the first state would legalize same-sex marriage.
Price’s writing introduced everyday gay and lesbian life to mainstream America and was more about how LGBT people’s lives are like straight people’s lives rather than how we’re different.
Her popularity crossed political lines. In 2003, Price was the keynote speaker at Log Cabin Republicans Dallas Seventh Annual Grand Ol’ Party.
In 1993, at a Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance meeting with editors of the Dallas Morning News, Cece Cox, who chaired a local chapter of GLAAD at the time, asked when the newspaper would pick up Price’s column. They never did, but announced at the time they would appoint Frank Trejo as a liaison to the LGBT community.
Before going to work for the Detroit News in 1989, Price worked at the Washington Post. In 2003, when she and Joyce married, theirs was the first same-sex wedding that the newspaper ever ran.
In 1995, she compiled a collection of her columns into a best-selling book called "And Say Hi To Joyce." The title came from a line Price heard regularly when she appeared alone. As popular as Price was, her wife became equally beloved in the LGBT community and among her straight fans. In June of that year, Price and Murdoch appeared at Crossroads Market on Cedar Springs Road to talk about the book.
Following a Harvard fellowship in 2011, the couple moved to Hong Kong where Murdoch got an academic appointment. Price began writing for the Asian Wall Street Journal. Murdoch said Price died on Nov. 20 of autoimmune lung disease.