Lesbian author Nikki Rashan Jenkins, 42, died May 4 of complications from breast cancer.
She wrote four novels; Double Pleasure Double Pain, You Make Me Wanna, Cyber Case and The EXchange. She also wrote Sugar on the Side, which was included in Carl Weber's Full Figure series and Crossing Layne which was featured in the anthology Les Tales: Tempted to Touch book.
Rashan Jenkins was born August 18, 1972 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and spent her childhood there. She graduated from North Division High School in Milwaukee and went on to take writing courses at Concordia University Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.
She came out publicly on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2004 and was featured in Milwaukee Magazine, Swerv Magazine, Studs Magazine and on the Fab Femme website. She also took part in the GayNeighbor.org campaign highlighting LGBT families in Southeastern Wisconsin.
Rashan Jenkins is survived by her wife Brandy Jenkins and three daughters; Courtney Ward, Jasmine Ward and Brianna Jenkins. She is also survived by her mother Patricia Evans, father George Pumphrey and a sister Bonita Rodriguez.
"Nikki always gave of herself. Even while battling her own illness and pain, she talked, encouraged and comforted so many who were going through similar illnesses or life's hardships," said Shenay P. McCrary, Rashan Jenkins cousin and lifelong friend. "This world has lost a beautiful daughter, mother, sister, wife, cousin, friend and author but gained a sweet, sweet angel. Rest in heaven my cousin."
"It's not often that people come into my life and immediately catch me off guard with their beauty, sincerity, intelligence and humility, but Nikki did just that when I met her back in 2008," said Tamara Allen, friend and B.BLYSS! co-founder. "She was not only an amazing author, but she was also a loving mother and wife. She was an activist in her own right and helped to open doors that she may not even know that she opened for so many people in the community. She was a great role model for women, especially women of color who might be struggling with self-acceptance or balancing motherhood with a career and a relationship. Just knowing that she has written her last line is difficult to accept, but I know that she left me and so many others with a clear understanding of what it means to be a lover and a fighter. She and her wife shared their love story before and during Nikki's battle with cancer, and I have to assume it was because they wanted us to know that if we ever lost hope in love, we could always look at them and see that it's possible. I thank God for bringing her into my life and into the B.BLYSS! family. We miss her dearly and we will continue to honor her memory whenever and however we can."
"Nikki's fight was admirable and she touched the hearts of the masses," said Monique Chandler, Rashan Jenkin's publicist and friend. "Albeit her physical presence will be truly missed but her delightful spirit will forever reside in our hearts."
A public visitation will take place on Friday May 15 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Northwest Funeral Chapel 6630 West Hampton Ave. Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that all monies be directed to a fund ( which is in the process of being set up ) for her daughters. Fund information can be accessed here www.facebook.com/authornrashan .