Another young gay person of color took his own life this weekend. Joseph Jefferson committed suicide less than two weeks after his 26th birthday. Unlike so many others that have made headlines, Jefferson's suicide does not appear to have been motivated by bullying, but rather by ignorance and non-acceptance. Rod McCullom at Rod 2.0 writes:
By most accounts, Jefferson was a true LGBT youth pioneer. The 2002 graduate of New York City's Harvey Milk High School later worked on HIV prevention and outreach for Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) and the now-shuttered People of Color in Crisis (POCC), New York City's leading HIV/AIDS groups for Black gay men. More recently, Joseph Jefferson was an assistant to Laurence Pinckney and James Saunders, New York City's popular Black LGBT event promoters, reports Nathan James. Jefferson was also active in New York City's colorful ballroom community.
The Advocate says Jefferson wrote on his Facebook page: "I could not bear the burden of living as a gay man of color in a world grown cold and hateful towards those of us who live and love differently than the so-called ’social mainstream.’"
Jefferson was honored last night at the "I Love My Boo" forum at GMHC. He will be honored again at a rally in Washington Square Park on Thursday organized by GMAD, called "Stop the BS." (The BS in this case, stands for bullying and suicides.) GLAAD is helping to get the word out about this event.