blue marble bar

MARK HEMRY, born on Mother's Day, exited Northeast High School in Kansas City, Missouri (and various Kansas City communes), for a BS degree in Marine Botany with a minor in Philosophy, San Francisco State University, 1979. In 1997 Mark completed postgraduate work at Christ Church College, Oxford University, Oxford England.

From 1971 to the present, he has served with the U.S. Government: first in Washington, DC, as a member of the Department of Interior and then the Department of Energy; and second, from 1976--and continuing--in San Francisco as an Information Security Offier (ISO) in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where he retired in September 2005.

He is also founding owner and publisher (1984) of Palm Drive Publishing, and in 1998 won the National Small Press "Best Book of the Year" Award for the short-fiction collection: Rainbow County and Other Stories. One of his books, the 1998 novel, The Geography of Women: A Romantic Comedy, was a Finalist in the National Small Press Book Award for Best Fiction, 1999. As editor of Chasing Danny Boy: Powerful Stories of Celtic Eros, he won three Best Fiction award categories in Spring, 2000. The 2002 novel What They Did to the Kid was listed by CNN as one of the "Top 100 Books of the Year" and was awarded "Best Fiction of the Year" and "Author of the Year" by the National Small Press Book Association.

Firmly established on the worldwide web, he is a new kind of cyberspace writer, called an "Internet biographer." As a scholar, he insures archival storage and research access to writers, photographers, and artists important to American literary history and gay culture. Familiar with the turbulent 60s' and 70s' New York art scene of Warhol, he is, for instance, the producer responsible for the first and best book about the controversial photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe, whom Senator Jesse Helms targeted to defund the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). That book is Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera (1994). Some of the other dozen books which he produced, designed, and published include the novel, Some Dance to Remember (1990) which has been compared by The New Republic to the novels of Gore Vidal and James Baldwin. His award-winning four-volume short-fiction collection, TITANIC! Forbidden Stories Hollywood Forgot, Stand by Your Man and Other Stories, Rainbow County and Other Stories, and Corporal in Charge and Other Stories, was published between 1998 and Spring, 2000. He is also the producer of more than 125 performance-art videos, as well as of documentary videos of gay cult artists including Rex, Hun, Domino, Skipper, and A. Jay. As a videographer, he has worked frequently on location in Europe, with special interest in Ireland where he keeps rooms in Dublin's historic Temple Bar district. His aforementioned collection of Irish Fiction, Chasing Danny Boy, edited by Mark Hemry, won a Bronze Medal from ForeWord Magazine for Best Erotic Fiction 1999.

His video art, such as his work with New Orleans painter and photographer, George Dureau, is housed in the permanent collection of the Maison de la Europeene de la Photographie in Paris, France.

Married once-and-always, on May 22, 1979, to the much published writer, Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., the couple was invited by San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown to participate in the historic first Domestic Partners ceremony. Such involvement in civil rights for all Americans typifies the couple's long-term political and social work for peace and equality. On July 12, 2000, Mark Hemry married Jack Fritscher in one of the first Civil Unions granted by the State of Vermont. They have always lived at the same ranch in the Sonoma Wine Country, north of the Golden Gate Bridge.


Jack Fritscher and Mark Hemry marry in a legal Civil Union in Vermont on July 12, 2000.

The license was secured in Brattleboro, Vermont, on July 10, 2000, the fifth business day after the Vermont same-gender decision became law on July 1, 2000. The ceremony was performed by Justice of the Peace, Anne Rider, in Guilford, Vermont, with a reading from Rainer Maria Rilke's "Letter to a Young Poet," and ending with a double-ring exchange at which Anne Rider officially pronounced: "By virtue of the authority vested in me by the State of Vermont, I certify your Civil Union for now and forever."

This union was timed for high-noon on July 12 which is the wedding anniversary of Jack Fritscher's maternal grandparents, and the wedding anniversary of his parents, as well as the birthday of his mother who was born during the noon hour on her parents' wedding anniversary, extending the family celebration of union to the third generation. Jack Fritscher and Mark Hemry have been partners since 1979.

On January 11, 1993, the couple was among the first to become legal "Domestic Partners" by filing a declaration with the City and County of San Francisco. On March 25, 1996, the Fritscher-Hemry's participated in the City of San Francisco's historic same-sex marriage ceremony, televised, and officiated by Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr., and Carole Migden, Assembly Woman. On January 13, 2000, they filed one of the first State of California "Declaration of Domestic Partnership" under the Family Code with the Secretary of State of the State of California.

On Thursday, July 27, 2000, after a honeymoon in Boston and the Russian River, a surprise reception was hosted by Mark Hemry's coworkers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9 San Francisco, celebrating the Civil Union as a new definition of "family" in a world of increasingly legitimized diversity.

See the Recption Photographs by Cheryl Henley and videography by Marilyn Huey.