Defining Moments 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 intergenerational trauma by 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, leading a team of counselors providing free behavioral health counseling in high schools.  She’s also a college professor of addiction and multicultural counseling. She is a native of Portland, Oregon, but has lived in other places over the years.  She is a biracial Latina and a trans, queer woman.  As such, she has molded her chillona voice into that of the behavioral health chingona that makes her voice, and those of her patients, heard across the Pacific Northwest.

    Noah Grabeel

    Noah (they/them) grew up in Virginia, but moved to Portland, Oregon 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. She believes that changing hearts and minds involves persuading people to expand their awareness beyond their own stories.  She has championed LGBTQ+ issues in the workplace for the last 40+ years. In 2013 she was invited to the White House to present evidence of bisexual+ plus workplace disparities. Heidi continues social justice work today.

    Jamison Green

    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. Since then, he has taught legal writing, skiing, and gender studies. He performed in rock bands, percussion ensembles, and musical theater. He has written for major corporations, and led nonprofit organizations. He changed anti-discrimination laws, reformed insurance industry and healthcare delivery practices — all while publishing numerous articles and books on a variety of subjects. His best-known book is Becoming a Visible Man. Learn more at

    Brett Iarrobino

    Brett (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.  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, after the publication of COVIDOLOGY in 2022. He’s excited about the opportunities for Defining Moments to reflect our true history and amplify LGBTQ+ voices. You can follow Paul at

    John Lucia

    Born in San Francisco, John (he/him) resided there until 1994 when he moved to Portland, Oregon. He traveled the country by RV for 10 years, working remotely at times and taking strange jobs along the way. Working mostly in accounting management, he also took some early forays into floristry, secretarial work, 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 by the Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific NW and is the former Executive Co-Director of Portland’s Q Center. She is one of the stars of the documentary, Who’s on Top? LGBTQs Summit Mt. Hood.  The documentary profiles the lives of four LGBTQ+ community members and how they overcame the obstacles that stood like mountains in their lives. She is also a recipient of a 2023 Oregon Humanities Community Storytelling Fellowship. You can find her at

    Scott Strickland

    Scott (he/him) was born in northwest Portland and now 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 journey into AIDS care and research. He was drawn back to the beauty of Oregon and a less stressful job in 1998. 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 68, he published his first book, Love, Your Mother—Like It or Not. A novel, Tangled Webs, inspired by that memoir, was released in 2022, when he was 80. Jim was a story coach for Paul Iarrobino’s recent anthology, COVIDOLOGY. He continues to write and his projects include: 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 has found his voice through telling stories. In his free time, he enjoys reading, hiking, biking, and soaking in hot springs.

    Jonanna Widner

    Jonanna (she/her) was born and raised in Fort Worth (and now happily a Portlander). Jonanna started her career as a high school sports writer in small-town Texas, which was a real trip because it was exactly like Friday Night Lights. She’s done a ton of sportswriting and was a music editor at two different alt-weeklies back when alt-weeklies were a thing. When they weren’t a thing anymore, she switched to advertising. Also she hates writing about herself in the third person.

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