Carlos De Avila was an early Long Beach gay leader

The Long Beach Press-Telegram
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February 15, 2013

Carlos De Avila, one of the founding members of The Long Beach Gay and Lesbian Center, wasn't offended by the term "faggot," friends said. De Avila, a professional photographer and artist in residence with a studio space on Fourth Street near Junipero Avenue, introduced himself to many people as "The Fabulous Faggot on Funky Fourth Street." "It was a shocking conversation opener. He wanted to startle people into a conversation about him being a gay man," said friend Kerstin Kansteiner, who owns Portfolio Coffeehouse and Berlin Bistro and is president of the 4th Street Business Association, which De Avila helped her form. Kansteiner knew De Avila, who also was an active member of the business improvement district and regular customer at Portfolio Coffeehouse, since 1989. "That's how he wanted to be remembered. He said, `Put `faggot' on my tombstone."'