Monday, October 25, 2010
Words can't explain how I'm feeling about the recent stories about the Gay kids and young adults who have taken their lives due to bullying, harrasement and lack of support and love for their sexuality. I'm also sad to learn that the recent person to take their live was Party Promoter/Activist Joseph Jefferson, who was found in his Bed-Sty apartment this past weekend.
Many are sadden by his death, but many are shocked and wonder why would he take his own life? Especially since he was well loved, and respected in the community which earned him an award at the 2008 Latex Ball?
I'm not sure what he was going through personaly, but he seemed to have a strong spirit and a good heart and fun sprit.
I first met Joseph when I started attending a support group at POCC, and I would always see him walking around greeting people. A year later, he became the facilitor and we became friends and unlike most faclitators, Joseph always asked for out input, views, opinons and ideas, and he worked hard to grant our requests.
One of the greastest memories was us watching Mariah Carey's The Adventures of Mimi tour on DVD. We had a great time watching her peform as well as the DL Chornicles.He sat next to me and gave me a hug and asked if he could borrow my copy? How could I resist?
One thing that describes his compassion was when I learned that my Gay uncle was found unconcisous in his apartment and had died upon arriving at the hospital.(His death was due to health issues).
I remember telling Joseph about the loss and he along with the other members of the group was very supported. Especially when I informed them that a guy I was interested in didn't show me any support. I recall Joseph DW & J being upset and talking about how shady that bitch was for being inconsiderate. That brought me temporary comfort.
He used to have a joke about me and my choice of men. "I see you like Exotic Dick" he would say to me.
Another thing I recall was me and Joseph speaking about our experiences being Gay men. He spoke about how what him going to the Gay Pride Parade for the first time, the fun he had hanging out and going home with a date for the first time.
He also spoke about his upbring and how his Bajan father would tell him get an education or get a trade.
He had spoke about why he stopped hanging out in the Villiage-his mother was in the hospital and she had wanted him to visit him. He had visited her prior and he wanted to hang out. The night that he hung out in the Vill, his mother had died and her death had hurt him deeply to the point where he refused to hang out in the villiage (except for outreach).
When POCC was on the urge of closing, he had fought to keep the group going and he fought to tried to save 2008's Pride In The City. The pride was canceled, but he I'm glad that he fought.
A few months later, I attended the Latex Ball and was proud that Joseph was honored for his work within the Gay Community and when I went to congratulate and compliment him on his attire he was wearing, he thanked me and told me that he was listening to the CD's I made him while he was getting dressed for the ball. I walked away touched. I almost cried.
Me and Joseph would bump into each other and we would always speak and I never sensed that he was experiencing any pain or drama in his life, which makes this even more sad for me to bear and except.
I would like to say Joseph. You were a cool person with great taste, style and grace. I wish that you didn't have to go so soon. Despite what you may have been going through, you touched many peoples lives and I want to say thank you for the impact you made on others.
I know that you are in Heaven now with your mom and you are being a great service to the Angels in heaven making sure they have Pizza, Chinese and Mexican food from Brooklyn
From your client
Ra Shawn Da-Professor Chisolm