Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



PASSAGES: AIDS activist, anti-imperalist organizer Tryfan Morys Eibhlyn Llwyd
by Carrie Maxwell

This article shared 2025 times since Sun Apr 25, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Longtime AIDS activist and anti-imperalist organizer Tryfan Morys Eibhlyn Llwyd (also known as Arawn Eibhlyn, and who uses the pronouns they/them/their) died March 3 in Louisville, Kentucky due to natural causes. They were 70.

Llwyd was born Feb. 21, 1951 in Paris, Kentucky, and was raised by their aunt and uncle following their mother's death by suicide when they were 8. They received their English literature degree from the University of Kentucky. They then moved to California, first to San Diego and then San Francisco. To make a living, Llwyd taught English as a Second Language in San Francisco and Japan before moving to Chicago in the mid-1980s.

In Chicago, Llwyd quickly got involved in the local activist community. This included supporting Puerto Rican political prisoners, taking the Central American Pledge of Resistance opposing the United States intervention in that region, and joining the John Brown Anti-Klan Committee.

Llwyd also co-founded Dykes and Gay Men Against Racism/Repression/Right Wing/Reagan (DAGMAR). DAGMAR became Chicago for Our Rights (CFOR), then Chicago for AIDS Rights (C-FAR) and finally ACT UP/Chicago.

One of DAGMAR's direct actions was an August 1987 vigil in front of then Gov. Jim Thompson's home in Chicago. The action lasted 24 hours and included protestors chaining themselves to Thompson's fence, but did not result in any arrests.

Llwyd also participated in the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights with the Radical Contingent.

Upon moving back to San Francisco in 1987 following their HIV-positive diagnosis, Llwyd got involved in the local HIV/AIDS activist community, most notably with ACT UP/San Francisco and as a co-founder of Stop AIDS Now or Else. Llwyd and others protested Burroughs Wellcome's west coast headquarters in late 1987 due to the company's high price for AZT.

They also joined the ACT UP/San Francisco contingent alongside other ACT UP chapters in 1990 to protest an American Medical Association meeting in Chicago and what was then Cook County Hospital (now Stroger Hospital) for their lack of hospital beds for HIV patients. That same year, Llwyd became ACT NOW's third national coordinator.

Another way Llwyd got their message out was in the Breakthrough Political Journal of Prairie Fire Organizing Committee Winter 1990 issue. They wrote an article, "Fighting AIDS is More Than a Fashion Statement," that chronicled their October 11, 1988 demonstration at the FDA headquarters in Rockville, Maryland (now located in White Oak, Maryland) among other direct actions where they spoke out against the federal government's inaction and raised awareness around the HIV/AIDS crisis.

While doing their activism in San Francisco, they were also a University of California San Francisco Center for AIDS Prevention Studies research assistant. Llwyd was instrumental in making sure the language the center used in its published research did not stigmatize HIV-positive gay men.

When the aunt who raised them became ill in 2000, Llwyd moved back to Kentucky to care for her and remained there for the rest of their life. In recent years, they became a Buddhist and spent time studying at the Furnace Mountain Zen Center.

This past November, Llwyd posted on Facebook that they identified as a "non-binary or genderqueer member of the transgender community" who has "been on this journey since I was 7 years old."

Llwyd's papers are currently housed at the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco.

They are survived by their brother Jim Jeffries, two cats Bernie and Widget and countless chosen family members and friends.

"When I think of Tryfan, I remember dimples, a sardonic sense of humor, a pleasant radio voice and passionate activism," said longtime friend and School of the Art Institute of Chicago Professor Mary Patten. "I remember sitting in the living room of the apartment they shared with Ferd Eggan in Lakeview, circa 1985-6, with other queer + activist friends who had collectively been trying to assert an anti-imperialist presence in the Gay Pride parades.

"All of us were involved in various leftist formations and coalitions —against United States intervention in Central America and the Caribbean, solidarity with the Puerto Rican independence struggle, anti-militarism and anti-racist organizing. At the onset of the AIDS pandemic in the United States, all of us felt the need to create an autonomous queer collective to address this crisis, so together we formed DAGMAR."

"Tryfan was a high-spirited individual who really cared for the underdog in his activism and personal life," said HIV/AIDS movement political comrade Darrell Gordon. "They also loved to attend cultural events in their free time and had a clever sense of humor."

"Tryfan dedicated their life to fighting homophobia, racism and United States imperialism," said friend and Illinois Institute of Technology Department of Humanities History Professor Margaret Power. "They were creative, often irreverent, sometimes grouchy, lots of fun and deeply committed to social justice."

"Tryfan was always interested in learning and expanding their worldview," said friend and private practice attorney Melinda Power. "In the last year of their life, for example, they began to learn Welsh. Tryfan attended the Breonna Taylor/ George Floyd #BlackLivesMatter protests and worked with LGBTQ youth in Louisville, based on their deep commitment to oppose white supremacy, racism and homophobia."

"I last saw Tryfan a year and a half ago when my wife, Rene, and I visited them in Louisville," said longtime friend and retired Chicago Public Schools teacher Howie Emmer. "Speeding down the sidewalk in their motorized wheelchair, commenting all the while about the evils of racist police violence, I was reminded of their spunk and spirit. I did my best to keep up with them. Back in the 1980s, when I first met Tryfan, I was inspired by their AIDS activism and commitment to the fight for gay and lesbian liberation. Tryfan was also a dedicated anti-racism activist during that time and they and I, along with others, worked together in the John Brown Anti-Klan Committee.

"Years later they told me how much our 'Stamp Out Racist Graffiti' campaign and how we challenged the Nazi skinheads meant to them. Tryfan saw racism, imperialism, anti-LGBTQ+ actions and policies and other oppressive structures and behaviors as all tied together. They lived as if their life only made sense as part of the human race and activist communities. Yet they always had their own individual take on things, always a free thinker. I miss you greatly, Tryfan, your legacy lives on."

An on online memorial service will take place June 12 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Zoom link information TBA. For more information, contact . They are also looking to hold an in-person memorial in Kentucky later this year if it is safe to do so.

This article shared 2025 times since Sun Apr 25, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Clela Rorex, first County Clerk to issue same-sex marriage licences, has died 2022-06-20
-- From a press release - BOULDER, CO - Out Boulder County and the family of Clela Rorex are saddened to announce the death of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer pioneering ally, Clela Rorex. On March 27,1975 Clela issued the first ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Onetime Gay Chicago publisher Craig Gernhardt 2022-06-15
- Craig Gernhardt—who once was the publisher of the now-defunct Gay Chicago—has died at age 61, according to Tribute Archive. His father, Gay Chicago Magazine co-founder and Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame inductee Ralph Paul Gernhardt, passed ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Legendary Chicago transgender activist, icon, mentor Mama Gloria Allen 2022-06-14
- Legendary Chicago Black transgender activist, icon and mentor "Mama" Gloria Allen died June 13 in her residence at Chicago's LGBTQ senior living facility Townhall Apartments in Lake View. The cause of death is unknown at this ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Transgender icon Mama Gloria dies at 76 2022-06-14
-- From a press release - Chicago transgender icon and activist Gloria Allen, who founded and ran a charm school for homeless trans youth and was the subject of the award-winning documentary "Mama Gloria" and the critically acclaimed play "Charm," has died ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan dies at 76 2022-06-13
- Former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan has passed away "peacefully at home" after several lengthy illnesses at age 76, The Chicago Tribune reported. Ryan was the state's attorney general from 1995 to 2003, and was the ...

Gay News

Local trans icon June LaTrobe dies 2022-06-11
- June M. LaTrobe—a Chicago trans icon known for her activism—has passed away. She turned 81 on June 1. Being an advocate for the trans community, LaTrobe participated in many events (such as protests) and often took ...

Gay News

Red Stars tie again; Cubs win, White Sox lose; NU softball; ex-Bear dies 2022-06-02
- The Chicago Red Stars battled the Washington Spirit to a 1-1 tie on June 1 at SeatGeek Stadium. The Red Stars' previous game, against the Portland Thorns, also resulted in a tie (2-2). An early header ...

Gay News

Late photographer/leatherman Ed Negron honored with street sign 2022-05-31
- On May 30, during Memorial Day/International Mr. Leather (IML) weekend, the leather shop 64TEN honored late photographer/leatherman Ed Negron with a tribute and honorary street-naming ceremony. The events were held at the corner of Clark Street ...

Gay News

Los Angeles LGBT Center mourns passing of legendary LGBT activist, leader Urvashi Vaid 2022-05-15
-- From a press release - LOS ANGELES, May 14, 2022—"The world has lost a giant in the movement for LGBTQ freedom, justice and equality. After a valiant battle with cancer, Urvashi Vaid died today," said Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Lorri ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Urvashi Vaid dies, The National LGBTQ Task Force releases statement 2022-05-14
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON, DC……Legendary attorney, LGBTQ activist, and author Urvashi Vaid, known for her extensive career an advocate for LGBTQ rights, women's rights, anti-war efforts, immigration justice and many other social causes ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Dr. David Ostrow dies at 74 2022-05-14
- Longtime researcher Dr. David Gene Ostrow, of Chicago, died unexpectedly on Feb. 16 at home. He was 74. The cause of death was end-stage renal disease, according to the Tribute Archive website. Ostrow was born on ...

Gay News

LGBTQ+-rights activist, Steamworks co-founder Rick Stokes dies at 87 2022-05-07
- Rick Earl Stokes, famously "the other gay candidate" who ran against Harvey Milk for San Francisco supervisor in 1977, died May 3 at age 87, according to the Bay Area Reporter. Stokes died in San Francisco ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Playwright/disability-rights activist Susan Nussbaum dies 2022-04-30
- Susan Nussbaum—a Chicago playwright, novelist and longtime disability-rights activist—died April 28 at age 68. Nussbaum won the 2012 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Social Engaging Fiction for her novel Good Kings Bad ...

Gay News

Chicago theater actress Hollis Resnik dies at 66 2022-04-18
- Chicago theater actress Hollis Resnick, who had a glittering resume, has passed away at age 66. The Chicago Tribune's Chris Jones tweeted, "Sad to report that Father Jim Heneghan tells me that the great Chicago actress ...

Gay News

Loved ones mourn loss of Elise Malary 2022-04-15
- Angelina Nordstrom remembers their close friend Elise Malary through candid photos and videos they loved to surprise her with. "My favorite thing was to catch her off-guard with the camera, to capture random moments of her ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.