||PASSAGES: LeRoy Whitfield
This article shared 3615 times since Tue Nov 1, 2005
LeRoy Whitfield, 36, a writer who focused on the battle against AIDS among Black Americans, died Oct. 9 after living 15 years with HIV while refusing to take medication.
Whitfield, a Chicago native who was a contributor to Vibe magazine, died in a Manhattan hospital of AIDS-related complications, according to the Associated Press. His 'homegoing' was held Oct. 14 at Chicago's Sweet Holy Spirit Church.
After being diagnosed with HIV in 1990, Whitfield shunned the use of antiretroviral drugs, whose possible side effects range from fatigue and nausea to blurred vision.
However, toward the end of his life, he expressed doubts about his decision. 'My T-cell count has plummeted to 40, a dangerously all-time low, and my viral load has spiked to 230,000. I've argued against taking meds for so many years that now ... I find it hard to stop,' he wrote recently in HIV Plus magazine. 'I keep weighing potential side effects against the ill alternative—opportunistic infections—and I can't decide which is worse to my mind. I just can't decide.' The title of that last column, according to The Advocate, was 'A Prayer for the Dying.'
Whitfield used his personal experiences, including relationships with both men and women, to discuss larger issues surrounding the disease. The Associated Press noted that he linked AIDS among Blacks with public housing, poverty and violence, and he stated that those factors contributed to the rise of HIV in the Black community.
However, he disagreed with the idea that AIDS was a white conspiracy to spread the disease among Blacks.
Whitfield attended the University of Chicago and DePaul University. He then worked as an associate editor at the Chicago-based Positively Aware and as a community educator for Positive Voice, an AIDS awareness organization. He moved to New York in 2000, contributing to Vibe and becoming a senior editor at POZ, a magazine aimed at HIV-positive people. According to The Indianapolis Star, Michael W.E. Edwards, the editor of HIV Plus, said that Whitfield's column was one of the magazine's most popular features because of the candor with which he shared his own fight against HIV.
'He was unusually committed to exposing the truth about AIDS in the Black community, and he was unafraid to challenge conventional wisdom,' commentator Keith Boykin wrote on his Web site.
This article shared 3615 times since Tue Nov 1, 2005
| ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE|
|PASSAGES Maya Kali Evans dies at 53 2021-02-19|
- Maya Kali Evans (formerly Curtis O. Love)—a tattoo artist and caregiver who resided in Newark, Illinois, and who previously lived in Chicago and Philadelphia—passed away peacefully Feb. 18, 2021, at home in Newark. She was 53. ...
|PASSAGES Dr. Gary B. Beringer, epidemiologist, dies at 70 2021-02-17|
- Epidemiologist Gary B. Beringer, Dr. P.H., age 70, passed away suddenly Wednesday, Jan. 27 at his home in Chicago, IL. Gary, an only child, is survived by his wife, Nancy M. Abbate, who worked closely with ...
|Queer musician Ari Gold dies at 47
- New York City-based dance artist Ari Gold has died at age 47 after a long battle with cancer, according to out.com. Gold—who was also known as Sir Ari and GoldNation— released seven albums as a part ...
|PASSAGES Robert Thomas Cichocki, J.D. dies at 70 2021-02-11|
- Robert Thomas Cichocki, J.D., passed away peacefully at home in Chicago's Lake View neighborhood on Feb. 5. He was 70. After earning his B.A. from Wayne State University and his J.D. from The John Marshall Law ...
|PASSAGES Gordon Keith Richardson 2021-02-08|
- Gordon Keith Richardson of Washington, D.C., passed away on Feb. 4, 2021, at the age of 60 from complications of COVID-19. Keith was born in Leadville, CO, and raised primarily in St. Charles, Missouri. He graduated ...
|Former CTU President Karen Lewis dies at 67
- Former Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Karen Lewis has died at age 67, The Chicago Tribune reported. She led a seven-day strike in 2012 (the first in a quarter-century) and was a one-time mayoral hopeful who ...
PASSAGES Elzie Bates
- Elzie Bates was born at home April 6, 1931, in McComb, Mississippi. His birth was never officially recorded so for most of his adult life, his many friends celebrated his birthday on the day of Elzie's ...
|PASSAGES Carmen Vazquez, social justice activist 2021-01-28|
--From press releases - The National LGBTQ Task Force: The National LGBTQ Task Force is deeply saddened to announce the death of Carmen Vàzquez, long-time LGBTQ+ and social justice activist. Carmen died on Jan. 27, 2021 of COVID related complications. ...
|Pioneering AIDS researcher Dr. Joseph Sonnabend dead at 88 2021-01-24|
--From a media release by HIVPlusMagazine - Pioneering AIDS researcher and clinician Joseph Sonnabend, 88, died Jan. 24, 2021 at the Wellington Hospital in London, after suffering a heart attack on Jan.3, 2021. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, to a physician mother and ...
|Broadcasting legend Larry King dies at 87
- Broadcasting icon Larry King has died at age 87, CNN.com reported. King died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Ora Media, the studio and network he co-founded, tweeted. No cause of death was given, but ...
|PASSAGES Kevin McCarthy 2021-01-19|
- Kevin Creedon McCarthy, of Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood, passed away after a brief illness on Jan. 11. He was 53. Raised in Arlington Heights, Kevin studied communications at the University of Missouri before embarking on a long ...
|PASSAGES George H. Gibson 2021-01-06|
- George Horner Gibson died at his home in Chicago on Jan. 3, 2021. He was 88. Gibson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. He graduated from Furman University with bachelor's ...
|PASSAGES Chicago activist Benny Montgomery dies
- Benny M. Montgomery Jr.—a longtime Chicago-based LGBTQ-rights activist who had worked as a constituent services administrator for U.S. Rep. Danny Davis and former Congresswoman Cardiss Collins, among other politicians—passed away ...
|Chicago trans woman Eshay Key, 25, dies in Christmas shooting 2020-12-28|
Column by Sue Kerr - Just a week after writing about the ugly shooting death of a 19-year-old Black gender nonconforming young adult while they were at a Christmas party, I was hopeful there would be no more deaths to cover ...
|'Party Monster' killer Michael Alig dies at 54
- Michael Alig who was at the center of the LGBTQ "club kids" scene in late 1980s and early '90s Manhattan, and whose involvement in the murder and dismemberment of his drug dealer was chronicled in the 2003 film Party Monster died Dec. 25th ...