"My very earliest years in public office tended to be extremely frustrating," David Clarenbach tells Betty Brickson in her cover profile of the state representative for Madison's 78th District. "I was fighting the losing battles, whether it was on issues like sexual privacy or the nuclear moratorium or some of the tax reforms. The issues I chose to prioritize put me a bit on the outside of the club. It was tempting at times to quit." Instead, he persevered, drafting the ground-breaking 1982 gay rights bill signed by Republican Gov. Lee Dreyfus, and winning the respect of his state Assembly colleagues who, in 1983, elected him speaker pro tempore. "It wasn't a matter of convincing the members of the legislature what was right or wrong," Clarenbach reflects. "The tough part was to create the political environment where they felt sufficiently secure to cast those votes." Following an unsuccessful 1992 bid for U.S. Congress, Clarenbach goes on to become executive director of the Victory Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based fund-raiser for gay and lesbian candidates. Now retired, Clarenbach is in ill health.