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Passages
2004-12-08

This article shared 2864 times since Wed Dec 8, 2004
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Dr. Lochman

David Jerome Lochman, M.D., father, grandfather, friend to many and pilgrim on life's journey, died Dec. 5 at his home among family and friends. A Mass of the Resurection, with a reception following, will be held 11 a.m. Sat., Dec. 11 at St. James Episcopal Cathedral, at the corner of Huron and Wabash streets. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations to Horizons Community Services, 961 W. Montana, Chicago or to St. James Episcopal Cathedral Memorial Fund, 65 E. Huron Street, Chicago.

Aarons, Founder of Gay Journalist Group, Dies

Leroy F. Aarons, a reporter and newspaper executive who became the founder and first president of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association ( NLGJA ) , died Nov. 28 at a hospital in Santa Rosa, Calif., at the age of 70, The New York Times reported. According to his friend Charles Kaiser, he was in the hospital for treatment of bladder cancer when his heart failed.

Aarons lived in Sebastopol, Calif., with his partner of 24 years, Joshua Boneh.

A defining moment in Aarons's career came in 1990, when he addressed the convention of the American Society of Newspaper Editors about the results of a survey of gay men and lesbians in newsrooms that the society had commissioned, concluding that 'I, as an editor and gay man, am proud of A.S.N.E. for having done this study.' While Aarons had told his family of his sexual orientation in 1978, and five years later told his colleagues at The Oakland Tribune, where he was a news executive, the 1990 address was his first public acknowledgement of his homosexuality.

NLGJA was founded four months after his speech, growing from six people in his livingroom to 1,200 members and 24 chapters around the country. 'In the 1990s, gay and lesbian journalists and gays and lesbians generally marched into the mainstream,' Eric Newton, a historian at the Newseum, a museum about news gathering, in Arlington, Va., told The San Francisco Chronicle in 2000. 'Roy Aarons was at the head of the parade.'

Aarons was born Dec. 8, 1933, in the Bronx and grew up there. He graduated from Brown University and earned a master's degree from Columbia Journalism School. His jobs in journalism included 14 years as a national correspondent for The Washington Post, including stints as its bureau chief in New York and Los Angeles. In 1983, he joined The Oakland Tribune, where his posts included executive editor and senior vice president for news. He had earlier worked with Robert Maynard, who had bought The Tribune, at Maynard's Institute for Journalism Education, which trains and supports minority journalists.

Aarons was president of the gay journalists' group from 1990 until 1997. In 1999, he became a visiting faculty member of the Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California and director of its program for study of sexual orientation issues. In 1995, he wrote Prayers for Bobby: A Mother's Coming to Terms With the Suicide of Her Gay Son ( HarperCollins ) . He also wrote the libretto for Monticello, an opera about the affair between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings.

At the NLGJA site, there is a memorial at www.nlgja.org/news/royaarons.html. The page is filled with pictures of Aarons and quotes from friends and colleagues, including former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, who said that ' [ Aarons's ] commitment to gay issues helped raise the consciousness of the entire country.'

Gay Writer Hansen

Best known as the author of the David Brandstetter mystery series, Joseph Hansen passed away on Nov. 25 at the age of 81. Although he gained fame as a writer of mysteries, Hansen also published a considerable body of non-mystery fiction and poetry, and most of his work had gay characters and themes, according to GLBTQ.com .

Born in Aberdeen, SD, July 19, 1923, Hansen moved with his family to Minneapolis in 1933 and in 1936 to southern California, where he lived the remainder of his life. He attended Pasasdena City College, and in 1943 married Jane Bancroft, with whom he had a daughter.

Hansen's fiction, which featured gay characters and themes, began to appear in the pre-Stonewall 1960s, when he was forced to publish under a pseudonym ( James Colton ) with small West Coast publishers who specialized in erotica.

Notable among his early novels are Lost on Twilight Road ( 1964 ) and Strange Marriage ( 1965 ) .

From 1965 to 1970 Hansen helped Don Slater edit a gay literary/political journal called Tangents. In 1970, Joan Kahn at Harper & Row bravely took on Fadeout, the first David Brandstetter mystery, and the first detective novel ever with a homosexual hero.

In the post-Stonewall Brandstetter mystery series, some of Hansen's characters are able to achieve happiness and stability in gay relationships, but in his two 'mainstream' novels of the 1980s, A Smile in His Lifetime ( 1981 ) and Job's Year ( 1983 ) , the gay protagonists are plagued with loss and loneliness.

In the 1990s, Hansen turned from the Brandstetter series to writing novels that chronicle gay life on the West Coast during the 1940s and 1950s. The first of these, Living Upstairs ( 1993 ) , details young love in Hollywood during World War II. The second, Jack of Hearts ( 1995 ) , is a coming-of-age novel set in a small town.

The last novel Hansen published was The Cutbank Path ( 2002 ) .


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