When a small activist newspaper began in 1967, Aristide Laurent and the other co-founders probably did not anticipate the the reach that The Advocate would soon have. Last Wednesday, co-founder of the Los Angeles Advocate Aristide Laurent died in his L.A. home at 70 years old after a long battle with cancer. Details after the jump.
Pre-Stonewall, Pride marches, LGBT rights as we know them, Laurent and his co-founders were writing about politics and culture as it applied to the gay community. In his obituary, The Advocate writes:
Laurent, an ABC television employee, produced early issues of the The Advocate clandestinely in the studio's basement print shop. Laurent used a pseudonym, as most did at the time, and wrote a nightlife column for the nascent publication.
Laurent fought vociferously against police harassment of gays, participating in riots at L.A.'s Black Cat bar, which predated Stonewall by two years. Laurent was also active in ACT UP in the '80s, and attended the March on Washington in 1993.
The activist was born in Magnolia Springs, Ala. in 1941, the son of a farm hand and his wife. Laurent was an altar boy and choir leader at his local church before joining the Air Force in 1960, where he served for four years as a signals intelligence operator in Turkey, as well as an instructor to new recruits.
Rest in peace, Aristide, and thank you for helping pave the way for our community.
(Source and image source: The Advocate; via FrontiersLA)