DEB PRICE, born on this date (d: 2020), was the first nationally syndicated lesbian columnist who wrote regularly about gay life and covered many of the issues confronting LGBT people like gay people in the military.
Price attended the National Cathedral School in Washington, graduating in 1976 and initially went to college at the University of Michigan. She found Michigan too cold for her taste and transferredto Stanford where she earned a Master’s degree in English.
After stints at tThe Northern Virginia Sun and the States News Service, which covered Washington news for dozens of papers, she joined the Washington Post in 1984 where she met her future wife, Joyce Murdoch.
She was working in the Washington Buereau of The Detroit News when she proposeda column from gay perspectives. Seeking to de-mystify gay people to the larger population Price’s column addressed issues large and small. She was as likely to write about every day domesticity as she was about gays in the military. Perhaps she and her wife had bickered over getting airconditioning in their new convertible or she might spend a column gardening. She wrote one whole column about attending her wife’s high school reunion. Her first column mused about how she should introduce Ms. Murdoch (girlfriend? lover?)
As a couple they produced two well-received books, “And Say Hi to Joyce:America’s First Gay Columnist Comes Out” And “Courting Justice: Gay Men and Lesbians v the Supreme Court”.
Ms. Price continued her column until 2010 when she received a Nieman Scholarship to study at Harvard. She subsequently received an academic appointment in Hong Kong, where the couple relocated. Long interested in business and finance, she worked for The Asian Wall Street Journal and went on to become managing editor of Caizin Global, an independent financial publication in China. She died in Hong Kong due to interstitial pneumonitis. The hospital, recognizing her as family, allowed Murdoch to stay with her wife for the last eleven weeks of her life.