100 Women We Love: Marianne K. Martin
by Kat Long, Jacqueline Frances and Andrew Collins
June 14, 2013

As a teacher in Michigan, one of the 29 states in the U.S. where you can still be fired merely for being gay, Marianne K. Martin struggled for 25 years to meet the concerns of her gay students without jeopardizing her job. After losing one student to suicide, she realized that to devote herself to the fight for equality and change, she couldn’t continue teaching. And so, while pursuing various passions including photojournalism, coaching softball, founding the Michigan Women’s Major Fast-Pitch Association, and winning a precedent-setting court case establishing equal pay for Michigan’s female coaches, Martin found her voice through writing. An award-winning author of nine novels of lesbian fiction, her characters represent a wide scope of ethnicity and confront issues like bullying, discrimination in the workplace, hate crimes and empowerment. A co-owner of Bywater Books, Martin was awarded the 2012 Trailblazer Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Golden Crown Literary Society. “My stories explore the ‘in spite of,’ the ‘against the odds’ battle for love and happiness and justice within our community,” she says. “They are real, they happen every day, and when they are won, they empower us all. For those who are still struggling, hopefully they provide encouragement to continue the fight.” –QW

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