Wednesday 6 January 2021

In Memoriam 2020: Part 1

I hope it’s not too late to wish you a Happy New Year.

Before I begin this year’s blogging I want to look back at the members of the lgbt community who passed away in 2020. Below is the first half of my selection of people who made some contribution to international, national of local lgbt lives. The list covers the months January to May 2020.

Edward Jeunette, b. 10 Aug. 1957, d. 1 Jan. 2020. Lawyer with Baltimore City Department of Social Services. Lgbt activist and Baltimore community volunteer.

Sylvio Horta, b. 17 Aug. 1974, d. 7 Jan. 2020. American tv writer and creator of the “Ugly Betty” tv series, adapting it from a Colombian telenovela.

Anthony Crickmay, b. 20 May 1937, d. 8 Jan. 2020. British photographer who specialised in opera and dance portraits. Some of his portraits of famous ballet dancers are in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Dr. Donald West, b. 9 June 1924, d. 20 Jan. 2020. Professor of Clinical Criminology, Cambridge University. Pioneer researcher into homosexuality.

Michou, b. 18 June 1931, d.  26 Jan. 2020. Real name Michel Catty. French cabaret singer and drag performer. Chevalier, Legion d’Honneur.

Hon. Deborah Batts, b. 13 Apr. 1947, d. 3 Feb. 2020. Senior Judge of the Southern District of New York since 2012; the first African-American and openly lgbt US Federal Judge.

Camila Maria Concepción, b. 20 Dec. 1991, d. 21 Feb. 2020. American transgender activist. Assistant writer of the Netfix series “Gentefied” and “Daybreak”.

Tom Watkins, b. 21 Sept. 1949, d. 24 Feb. 2020. British music and pop manager of the bands Pet Shop Boys, Bros, and East 17. Early in his career he designed logos and album covers for Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Wham! and Duran Duran.

Mart Crowley, b. 21 Aug. 1935, d. 7 Mar. 2020. American playwright, best-known for “The Boys in the Band”, a ground-breaking play about the lives of young gay men in New York. He was also script editor and producer of the tv mystery series “Hart to Hart”.

Donald Howarth, b. 5 Nov. 1931, d. 24 Mar. 2020. British playwright and theatre director, the last of the “Angry Young Men” who revolutionised British theatre in the 1960s. He wrote and directed anti-apartheid plays in South Africa for black Africans.

Terrence McNally, b. 3 Nov. 1938, d. 24 Mar. 2020. American playwright, screenwriter and librettist, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1994. Received a Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2019. Died of covid-19.

Glenn Stevens, b. 1946, d. 30 Mar. 2020. Businessman, often called the Founder of Manchester’s Gay Village. Affectionately known as Mr. Manchester. Died of covid-19.

Barbara Farrelly, b. 1943, d. 3 Apr. 2020. First editor of “Star Observer” 1992-4, Australia’s leading lgbt newspaper.

David Harvey, b. 1961, d. 5 Apr. 2020. Chair of Brighton and Hove Pride 2002-6. Radio and tv journalist. Producer of popular BBC consumer tv series “That’s Life”. He died of covid-19.

Phyllis Lyon, b. 10 Nov. 1924, d. 9 Apr. 2020. American writer and activist with her wife Del Martin. They co-founded the Daughters of Bilitis, a lesbian activist group of the 1950s. Del died in 2008.

Robbie Browne, b. 1949, d. 11 Apr. 2020. American real estate agent, businessman and philanthropist. Board member of GLAAD. He donated millions of dollars to LGBT+ charities. Died of covid-19.

Don Haines, b. 5 May 1950, d. 24 Apr. 2020. Lawyer and administrative officer with the American Civil Liberties Union.

David Carter, b. 1954, d. 1 May 2020. American historian, author of “Stonewall: the Riot that Sparked the Gay Revolution”, the first definitive account of the 1969 riots.

Douglas Chambers, b. 29 Nov. 1939, d. 1 May 2020. Canadian academic. Professor Emeritus of English, University of Toronto. Died of covid-19.

Maurice Lapierre, b. 1935, d. 2 May 2020. American librarian who taught library science at many universities. Chief Medical Librarian, Ministry of Health, Bahrain 1982-4. Died of covid-19.

Roy Horn, b. 3 Oct. 1944, d. 8 May 2020. German-born American magician with his partner Siegfried Fischbacher. He died of covid-19.

Lynn Shelton, b. 27 Aug. 1965, d. 16 May 2020. American film-maker, nominated shortly before her death for two Emmys for her miniseries “Little Fires Everywhere”.

Little Richard, b. 5 Dec. 1932, d. 20 May 2020. Rock’n’roll and gospel singer-songwriter. His real name was Richard Penniman.

Larry Kramer, b. 25 June 1935, d. 27 May 2020. American playwright and activist. Oscar nominated for his screenplay of “Women in Love” (1969). Founder of AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP).

Dr. Ron Simmons, b. 2 Mar. 1950, d. 28 May 2020. Black men’s health and AIDS campaigner. Assistant Professor, Howard University School of Communications. Executive Director of “Us Leading Us”, an HIV support group for the black community.

The year 2020 also saw a tragic rise in the reports of murders of transgender people. No list could ever do justice to their memory and courage. The list below is a random selection of transgender murder victims from January to May 2020.

Dustin Parker, killed in McAlester, Oklahoma, on 1st January 2020, aged 25.

Neulisa Luciano Ruiz, killed in Puerto Rico on 24th February 2020.

Yampi Méndez Arocho, killed in Moca, Puerto Rico, on 5th March 2020, aged 19.

Scott/Scottlynn Devore, killed in Augusta, Georgia, in March 2020, aged 51.

Monika Diamond, killed in Charlotte, North Carolina, on 18th March 2020, aged 34.

Lexi, killed in Harlem, New York, on 28th March 2020, aged 33.

Johanna Metzger, killed in Baltimore, Maryland, on 11th April 2020.

Layla Pelaez Sánchez and Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos, both killed in Puerto Rico on 21st April 2020, aged 21 and 32 respectively.

Penélope Díaz Ramírez, killed in Puerto Rico on 13th April 2020.

Nina Pop, killed in Sikeston, Missouri, on 3rd May 2020.

Helle Jae O’Regan, killed in San Antonio, Texas, on 6th May 2020, aged 20.

Tony McDade, killed in Tallahasee Florida, on 27th May 2020.

Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, killed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 9th June 2020.

Riah Milton, killed in Liberty Township, Ohio, on 9th June 2020, aged 25.

Jayne Thompson, killed in Mesa County, Colorado, on 9th May 2020, aged 33.

Selena Reyes-Hernandez, killed in Chicago, Illinois, on 31st May 2020, aged 37.

Next week I'll list some of the lgbt+ lives we lost from June to December 2020.

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