Defining Moments Authors

List of Authors
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    Rudd Canaday

    Rudd (he/him) is a computer scientist, best known as co-inventor of UNIX. In addition to his Ph.D in Computer Science, he earned a Master of Divinity degree when he was 52. His religious career was brief, but he met his husband of 33 years when preaching one evening. After leaving the ministry Rudd founded three software companies and wrote gay romance novels under the pen name Alex Head ( Rudd is now 85 and fully retired. He enjoys classical music, reading, walking daily, Pilates and writing computer programs.

    Rowan Everard

    Rowan (he/him) was born and raised in the Suburbs of Chicago, where he first began writing at age fifteen. His fascination with his inner world, and the inner world of others, lead him to become an acupuncturist by day, and writer by night. Both practices focus on healing inter-general trauma, aiding emotional growth, and revealing the historical legacies that shape everyday life. He also loves neon colors, tabletop games, and really terribly bad movies.

    Tom Finch

    Tom (he/him) lives and works in Portland, Oregon as an elementary educator. When he isn’t sharing corny jokes with his students, he is mastering the art and science of crockpot cooking, perplexing his incredibly patient and loving family,  and finding every reason to delay returning to the gym. Tom shares his life with an amazing man, Chris, and a grumpy cockatiel, Noor, both of whom somehow tolerate his idiosyncrasies. He enjoys travel, languages, kayaking, and lifelong learning.

    Esmeralda Xóchitl Garcia

    Esmeralda (she/her/ella) is an adolescent addictions counselor in charge of a team of counselors providing free behavioral health counseling in local high schools, a professor of addiction and multicultural counseling at a local college, and an annoyance to most authority figures. She is a native of Portland, OR, but has lived in some other places over the years for good measure. As a biracial Latina, a trans woman, and a queer woman, she has molded her chillona voice into that of the behavioral health chingona that makes her voice, as well as those of her patients’, heard across SW Washington, and the Portland Metro area.

    Noah Grabeel

    Noah (they/them) grew up in Virginia, but moved to Portland in 2017. They received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College, where Noah also taught composition and rhetoric. Their work has been featured in Pulp Factor, Nevermore, and The Mystery Box Show. Outside of storytelling, they volunteer with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and take the stage in various drag and musical performances. Noah’s favorite animal is the flamboyant cuttlefish.


    Heidi Bruins Green

    Heidi (she/her) is a social justice advocate who believes that changing hearts and minds involves persuading people to expand their awareness beyond their own stories. Her championship of LGBTQ+ issues in the workplace for the last 40+ years taught her to believe in the magical reciprocity of opening her heart to others. Heidi has helped create/connect corporate LGBTQ+ employee networks for greater impact (1990s-2000s), joined the ranks of the leaders of US bisexual+ organizations in the 2010s, and was invited in 2013 to present evidence of the bisexual+ workplace disparities at the White House. Heidi continues doing social justice work today.

    Jamison Green

    Born in Oakland, CA, in 1948, Jamison (he/him) always knew he would be a writer, a career goal that led to many adventures. He earned his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon in 1972, and since then, he has taught legal writing, skiing, and gender studies; performed in rock bands, percussion ensembles, and musical theater; written for major corporations, led nonprofit organizations, changed anti-discrimination laws, reformed the insurance industry and healthcare delivery practices, and published numerous articles and books on a variety of subjects. His best-known book is Becoming a Visible Man. Learn more at

    Brett Iarrobino

    Brett Iarrobino (they/them) is a writer and educator in Worcester, Massachusetts. Their playwriting has received professional development with the Kennedy Center after placing nationally for the 2021 John Cauble Award for Outstanding Short Play, and their writing on teaching and pedagogy has been published in The ALAN Review of the National Council of Teachers of English. Brett holds a B.A. in English and Theatre Arts from Clark University and an M.A. in Teaching from Clark’s Adam Institute for Urban Teaching and School Practice. Brett is also a proud co-founder of the Worcester Writers’ Collective, a nonprofit working out of Worcester’s Jean McDonough Arts Center.

    Paul Iarrobino

    Paul (he/him) credits his upbringing in a large, Italian, East Coast family for helping him speak up at the dining room table, lest he go unheard. Having lived in Portland, Oregon, for over 30 years, he enjoys performing, producing shows, creating documentaries, teaching, and coaching. Paul is known nationally for his contributions to the field of LGBTQ+ aging. This is Paul’s second anthology and he’s excited about the opportunities for Defining Moments to reflect our true history and amplify LGBTQ+ voices. You can follow Paul at


    Suzanne LaGrande

    Suzanne (she/her) is a performance artist, painter, stand up philosopher, and occasional torch song singer.  Also, a cat lover. She has taught film history, screenwriting and public speaking at colleges in Massachusetts, New York, San Francisco and Buenos Aires, and Portland. Recently she was an artist in residence with From the Ground Up,  performing original monologues at New Expressive Works and the  Winningstad Theater as part of The Common Opus with the Big Mouth Society. You can follow her at

    John Lucia

    Born in San Francisco, John (he/him) resided there until 1994, moving to Portland, Oregon. He traveled the country by RV for 10 years, working remotely at times, taking strange jobs along the way. Working mostly in accounting management, he had some early forays into floristry, secretarial and property management. After spending over 10 years in Tucson, he came back to the Pacific Northwest to enjoy the beauty of the area. This is his first published story.

    Stacey Rice

    Stacey (she/her) is a speaker, educator, consultant, and community leader on transgender issues. She has been recognized as a Queer Hero NW by the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific NW and is the former Executive Co-Director of Q Center, Portland Oregon’s LGBTQ+ community center. She is one of the stars of the documentary, “Who’s on Top? LGBTQs Summit Mt. Hood,” which profiles four LGBTQ+ community members sharing stories of overcoming the mountains in their lives. She is also a recipient of a 2023 Oregon Humanities Community Storytelling Fellowship. More info on Stacey can be found at

    Scott Strickland

    Scott (he/him) was born in northwest Portland and lives there again 70 years later. He spent as much time as possible in eastern Oregon while growing up.  Oregon was home for college and graduate school until a job in Minnesota took Scott on a 20 year ride in AIDS care and research. He was drawn back to the beauty of Oregon and a less stressful job in 1998. After a stint in prison, Scott has settled into a quiet peaceful existence in the place he loves.

    James W. Sutherland

    <Jim (he/him) had an interest in writing at an early age but not the confidence.  That came later.  At age sixty-eight, he published his first book, Love, Your Mother – Like It or Not. Tangled Webs, a novel inspired by the above memoir, was released in 2022, when he was eighty. Jim was a story coach for Paul Iarrobino’s recent anthology, Covidology. He continues to write: short stories, a sequel to Tangled Webs and a new novel about the gay experience in 1963. Jim lived in Hawaii, San Francisco and Portland.  He now lives in Bellingham, Washington.

    Joshua Thomas

    Joshua (he/him) is a storyteller, social justice advocate, and community leader in Portland, Oregon. He was born and raised in Galesburg, Illinois and has lived in Portland for the past 9 years. Committed to liberation, peace and justice, he’s currently employed at Oregon Food Bank as their Equity and Work Culture Manager. He also serves as a Youth Buddhist leader for the Soka Gakkai International, a lay Buddhist Organization. He is a recurring storyteller with Our Bold Voices. As a gay, Black man he has found healing and his voice through telling stories. In his free time, he enjoys reading, hiking, biking, and soaking in hot springs.
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