#RIP

The 'Queen of Soul' Aretha Franklin Has Died at 76

Aretha Franklin, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest singers of all time, has passed away at the age of 76.

The "Respect" songstress died at 9:50 AM on Thursday morning in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan. She was surrounded by friends and family, according to her longtime publicist Gwendolyn Quinn.

The "official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin's oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit," the family statement said.

It was reported earlier this week that Aretha was "very ill" and had been "under the weather for several months" according to her sister-in-law Cendia Franklin. A release from Franklin's family shared these thoughts:

In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.

We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.

Aretha, otherwise known as the "Queen of Soul," earned quite the iconic career for herself over the past six decades. She won 18 Grammy Awards and was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 1987. 

She's also been considered by many LGBT fans as the "original diva" of music. She sung at a gay wedding in the past and worked with another legendary singer, the late George Michael, on their number one single "I Knew You Were Waiting" back in the late 80's.

May she rest in peace. 

 

 

Remembering Black Queer Activist, Dance Instructor and Professor Angela Bowen

African-American queer icon, activist and dance instructor Angela Bowen died in Long Beach on July 12, reports The New York Times. She was 82, and had been fighting Alzheimer’s. 

Bowen was born in Boston. She lost her father at the age of two. She married a man, Ken Peters, in the early 1960s. They had three children and established a dance school for underprivileged youths together. The Bowen/ Peters School of Dance operated until 1982 in New Haven, Connecticut. 

After her divorce from Peters, Bowen came out as gay in the 1980s. She became an activist and served on the board of the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays. She married Jennifer Lynn Abod in 2013.

Bowen earned a master’s and a PhD from Clark University. 

In recent years, Bowen was a professor at California State University, Long Beach, where she taught in the English and women’s/gender studies departments. 

For more on Bowen’s extraordinary life, check out the award-winning 2016 documentary The Passionate Pursuits of Angela Bowen

Rest in peace. 

h/t: The New York Times 

Remembering Black Queer Activist, Dance Instructor and Professor Angela Bowen

African-American queer icon, activist and dance instructor Angela Bowen died in Long Beach on July 12, reports The New York Times. She was 82, and had been fighting Alzheimer’s.

Bowen was born in Boston. She lost her father at the age of two. She married a man, Ken Peters, in the early 1960s. They had three children and established a dance school for underprivileged youths together. The Bowen/ Peters School of Dance operated until 1982 in New Haven, Connecticut.

After her divorce from Peters, Bowen came out as gay in the 1980s. She became an activist and served on the board of the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays. She married Jennifer Lynn Abod in 2013.

Bowen earned a master’s and a PhD from Clark University.

In recent years, Bowen was a professor at California State University, Long Beach, where she taught in the English and women’s/gender studies departments.

For more on Bowen’s extraordinary life, check out the award-winning 2016 documentary The Passionate Pursuits of Angela Bowen.

Rest in peace.

h/t: The New York Times

Gay Rights Pioneer and "Sip-In" Conceptualizer Dick Leitsch Dies at 83

Dick Leitsch, who famously led the “Sip-In” protests of the 1960s, died on Friday in Manhattan. He was 83.

Among myriad trailblazing achievements, Leitsch was known as the first gay reporter to publish an account of the Stonewall Riots, and he was the first journalist to ever interview Bette Midler in print media.

Louisville, Kentucky native Richard Valentine Leitsch was president of the Mattachine Society, one of the earliest LGBTQ+ rights groups in America, in the 1960s.

Leitsch was the creator and leader of the “Sip-In” protests at Julius’ Bar in New York City. inspired by the “sit-in” lunch counter activism of the south. These peaceful protests were centered around Julius’ in Greenwich village. Julius’ is now registered as an American monument by the National Park Service.

In his early days as a journalist, Leitsch wrote for New York’s first gay newspaper, Gay. He interviewed Bette Midler in an October 1970 issue titled “The Whole World’s A Bath!”—it was her first interview ever.

As for his personal life, Leitsch had a longtime partner, Timothy Scoffield, who died of AIDS in 1989.

Leitsch died of liver cancer. Following his terminal diagnosis, he donated many of his personal documents, and many from Mattachine, to the New York Public Library.

h/t: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/dick-leitsch-whose-sip-in-was-a-milestone-for-the-gay-rights-movement-dies-at-83/2018/06/22/eb54aae8-7667-11e8-805c-4b67019fcfe4_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.3613242ca491

BrokeStraightBoys Star Tyler White Found Dead Of Possible Drug Overdose

BrokeStraightBoys.com star Tyler White has died. He was 25 years old.

According to reports, White passed away on Tuesday at his mother’s apartment in Rhode Island. 

Fellow porn star Damien Kyle shared the news via Twitter and alluded to drug use as a possible factor writing, “No matter how hard you try to show someone theres a better life without drugs they dont seem to care...its too hard to kick the habit and for that mindset I lost a really close friend of mine... #TyleWhite #RIP."

White began his porn at the age of 21 joining adult website BrokeStraightBoys.com. Over four years, White appeared in over two dozen scenes for BSB and also made public appearances at Pride events for the company.

“It’s something we’re pretty sad about because he was a wonderful person,” Shannon Prewitt, a producer for Broke Straight Boys told AVN. “Some people have true illnesses that they just can’t seem to get away from. Unfortunately, it just got the best of him.”

This news comes just days after another porn star, Dave Slick, was found dead in Chicago.

(h/t Queerty)

DJ Avicii Found Dead At 28!

 

DJ Avicii Found Dead At 28!


Is The DJ Lifestyle To Blame?

Tim Berling - known more commonly as Avicii - one of the most popular DJs, has been found dead in Oman, a Middle East country, at 28. Avicii had retired from live performing due to health reasons in 2016. 


Upon his retirement from live performing in 2016, he posted a message to his fans that after almost a revelation - "think about things in a new way". This leads one to believe the celebrity and DJ lifestyle may have been too much for the young man to handle. He's been known to have a drinking problem. 

Although an autopsy hasn't been performed, with cryptic health issues and the assumed life of a DJ, we can speculate as much as we please on Avicii's death. Condolences to his entire family and fan base. 


Check out one of my favorite Avicii songs, Hey Brother, below:


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