Cheryl Chow died Friday. Chow served on the Seattle City Council and the Seattle School Board. She grew up in Seattle and had also worked as a teacher, a principal and an assistant director for Girl Scouts of Western Washington.
In 2012 a of form of brain cancer Chow had been diagnosed with earlier came back. That summer she decided to come out as gay to the children she coached on the Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team. She later told KING-TV, “I wanted them to have a role model that wasn’t afraid to say anymore, ‘I’m gay and that’s OK.’”
Chow told KING-TV she had feared rejection from her mother and other Chinese-Americans in Seattle. Her mother, Seattle politician and restaurateur Ruby Chow, died in 2008.
When the Seattle City Council declared September 17, 2012, as Cheryl Chow Day, Chow used her acceptance speech to encourage Asian parents to tell their young children they love them — something Chow said she and her mother never said to each other until she was 63 and her mother was dying.
In her speech Chow said that she finally told her mother she loved her as a result of encouragement from her partner Sarah Morningstar. "It was worth it," Chow said. Chow and Morningstar married just 13 days before Chow’s death.
Chow is survived by family that includes her wife and their daughter Liliana Morningstar-Chow.