Flint, Tom (Santidhamma, Bhikkhu) Papers

Span Dates: 1967-1999
Bulk Dates: 1987-1999
Volume: 46.5 linear feet


Chiefly subject files covering four main areas: files collected by Flint as background information for the articles he published in the Seattle Gay News and other Gay publications (1987-1999); organization files of ACT-UP/Seattle he inherited when the organization dissolved in 1993; organization files of the 1993 March on Washington Northwest Regional Organizing Committee; and opposition research on anti-gay, religious-right organizations that launched statewide anti-gay political campaigns in Washington state in the 1990s; together with 2,382 color images and negatives (1988-1993) of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered activities and individuals by Seattle photographer Donald Auguston. Topics focus on the social, political, religious, and economic aspects of the AIDS epidemic and/or being gay in American during the 1990s and relate both pro-gay and anti-gay points of view and also reflect events around the U.S., but with a decided slant toward the Pacific Northwest and Washington, D.C. Also includes scattered correspondence and email and Flint's unpublished history/autobiography.

Hist/Bio Note

Tom Flint was born in 1956 in Indianapolis, Indiana. After completing his early education he studied for the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church from 1976 to 1981. In 1981, Flint graduated from St. Pius X College Seminary in Covington, Kentucky with a BA in Philosophy. He then pursued graduate studies in philosophy and theology at St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Maryland.Between 1982 and 1986, Flint served in the United States Air Force at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany and at McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, Washington. In 1986, Flint was discharged following the discovery of his homosexuality.Radicalized by his 1987 attendance of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, Flint became a militant Gay activist in Seattle, Washington. He co-founded ACT-UP/ Seattle in 1988 and was active in Queer Nation and a number of other militant activist organizations. Between 1987 and 1999, Flint also worked as writer and/or editor for the Seattle Gay News. During his time at SGN, he bore witness to the activist struggles of the crisis years of the AIDS epidemic, while chronicling the growth of a conservative, fundamentalist backlash against the gains made by the Gay Rights movement during the 1970s and 1980s. Following Flint’s departure from the Seattle Gay News in 1999, he traveled throughout Southeast Asia. A Buddhist since 1993, Flint deepened his faith by becoming a Buddhist monk while in Cambodia. Flint’s purpose for the trip was twofold: to collect information about the AIDS epidemic in Southeast Asia, while promoting AIDS education and prevention through public speaking; and to study and practice traditional Buddhist psychology and meditation with experienced teachers in order to better understand the theory and practice of nonviolence and how this may benefit the work of social justice activism in the United States During his time in Southeast Asia, Flint also conducted an intensive study of social change models and became committed to the theory and practice of nonviolent social change as taught by the Buddha, the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. After this study, Flint became active in the Engaged Buddhism movement, which strives to promote the theory and practice of nonviolence and Buddhist Dharma as a method of social change.

Finding Aid

Finding aid available online.
https://wshs-collections.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/Ms 50 Finding Aid.pdf


Washington State Historical Society 1911 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402


Catholic (Roman) | Author/editor | AIDS | Buddhist