F. Ken Freedman (1942-2010)

UPDATE: A Celebration of Life will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday May 6 at the Anchorage UU Church, 3201 Turnagain St. Read and sign the ADN legacy book HERE.

F. Ken Freedman, a long-time member of the Anchorage LGBT community, passed away on Saturday, May 1, 2010.

"It is with great sadness that I let the community know about the passing yesterday of my good friend, F. Ken Freedman," wrote Alaska Mike on Bent's Facebook wall.

"F. Ken worked for a number of years in the psychotherapy field, specializing in folks dealing with coming out and other LGBT related issues."

"We just had lunch on campus in late February, it's hard to believe he is gone! He will be greatly missed by me, as well as many others who were lucky enough to know him and consider him a friend."

Several friends left comments about Freedman's kind and gentle manner, that he was an inspiration and a mentor, and that he was one of the first gay men they met when moving to Anchorage years ago.

"fKen started the GLBT Helpline," wrote Phyllis of Identity, Inc. "It was answered by volunteers from his home. His legacy will live on in so many, many ways and lives."

Others remembered Freedman's stories of being present at the 1969 Stonewall Riots in NYC, which mark the beginning of the modern LGBT rights movement.

His full name was Fredrick Kenneth Freedman, but he never used his first name, preferring F. Ken or fKen.

A service is being planned for this Thursday afternoon/evening. More details to come as they are available. Anyone with photos of Freedman are asked to share them for his Celebration of Life. Please email the photos to Victoria.

Condolences to his family and friends.


Cameron Bonham said...

Fken was certainly a pioneer in our community, while he didn't actually start the Identity Helpline, it did actually reside in his home for several years, I was on the Identity board when FKen was one of the co-chairs I was the Helpline coordinator and because the helpline at that time was run by a unreliable computer program, there were times when I practically did live ih hos home. He had a lock box outside which had the key to his home so that I could get in whether he was there or not. FKen got his interest and experience in counseling answering the helpline during off hours. When he developed cancer in his arm, he went back to school and became a counselor. He was one of the first counselors in Anchorage for transgendered individuals. Though I didn't see him as often these days, we always stopped and chatted when we ran into each other. FKen will be missed.

JWBuckley said...

Ken was a dear and long time friend. He was one of the first men who was willing to do the hard work of being visible and open in the wider community and served on many pannels in university classes, churches, and places that called upon our informal speaker's bureau in the 1980s and 1990s. All of this long before we had an Identity Advocacy Team and when few were willing to stand out. No matter how confrontational individuals often became in the early days when education was scarce, Ken was patient and thoughtful in his responses and gently challenged the individual to consider sexuality as a normal part of their own humanity. His good humor and his ability to be a mench in a hostile world always inspired and delighted me.
He understood people's motivation and reached them right where it mattered. It was a priviledge to serve the community with him and call on him for his wisdom in times of challenge. Fred and fKen and only a hand full of folks always answered the call when brave, out glbt folks needed to become visible. I am honored to have been a friend and colleague. Miss you fKen.

Jackie Buckley

Gayellow said...

I am so very sorry to hear this news.

I'd known Ken for years. We first met when he was living in New York, the partner of the late John Paul Hudson (actor and author of The Gay Insider)and he often clued me in about happenings in Alaska.

I will miss him very much.

Frances Green

Gayellow Pages
PO Box 533 Village Station
New York NY 10014-0533

Karen Carlisle said...

I don't even know what to say. Ken can't be gone. We were going to start just a small group home for old lesbigay folks who were alone to share dwindling resources, and we would be the first two.

Well, it was a serious dream for a couple of years, but Ken wouldn't consider moving out of Alaska, and love it with all my heart, I couldn't afford to move back.

I've been gone from Alaska for 14 years, and in that time, Ken and I emailed weekly, if not daily. At least once every two years, one of us flew to where the other was and talked our selves empty and held and held each other.

He can't be gone. I'll see you all on Thursday.

Karen Carlisle

E. Ross said...

UPDATE: A Celebration of Life will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday May 6 at Anchorage Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 3201 Turnagain St.

Read and sign his guest book here: F. Ken Freedman's Legacy Book.

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