Joe Mirabella

Shelly Bauman Founder of Seattle's First "Out" Gay Bar Died

Filed By Joe Mirabella | December 07, 2010 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: gay history, Shelly Bauman, shelly's leg

The Seattle Gay News reported in her obituary:

Seattle_Shelleys_Leg_1973_web.jpgShelly and a group of friends went to Pioneer Square on July 14, 1970 for the Bastille Day Parade.

'There was a cannon in the parade loaded with gunpowder, held in place by a wad of wet paper-mache,' wrote Shelly. 'Someone lit the fuse and the cannon fired into the crowd, hitting [me] in the pelvis. It was the son of the owner of the cannon showing off to a friend.'

The blast took part of Shelly's pelvis, a kidney, some of her intestines and her left leg - after that, there was no more dancing for Shelly Bauman.

Most people would consider a cannon shot to the leg as an end. But for Shelly it was just the beginning of a the kind of life that challenged the status quo, and brought Seattle gay culture out of the dark, and onto a giant sign in the heart of the city. Read the entire obituary of this historical icon, at SGN.

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I'm sorry for the loss of your friend, Joe. This is the second time recently you've had to do an obituary post. :(

Thank you Bill. I did not know Shelly,though. However, she was a notable member of the community that I wanted to recognize.

I remember dancing here back in 1974 or 75. I loved this place. Thanks for posting this. I will be forever grateful to Shelly for providing us with such a wonderful space where we could be ourselves.