Deaths Hub

Grieving Partner of Sydney Siege Victim Tori Johnson Speaks Out for the First Time: VIDEO


As we reported previously, Tori Johnson, the cafe manager of the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Sydney, Australia who was killed during the hostage siege earlier this week, was openly gay and in a fourteen year relationship with his partner Thomas Zinn. 

JohnsonSpeaking out publicly for the first time on Australia's Today show this morning, Zinn spoke about the love he shared with his "humble, fair, and generous" partner as well as how the flower memorial at Martin Place has comforted him during this time of mourning. 

Zinn also released a statement on behalf of Johnson's family that read in part:

This tragedy will remain with us forever. But the uniting effects of this week, how they have galvanized our city, our country makes us even more proud of Tori and Katrina and proud of all Australians.

Mother of three Katrina Dawson was the other hostage killed during the siege.



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Stonewall Uprising Participant Danny Garvin Passes Away at 65


Stonewall Riot witness and participant Danny Garvin (above left) has died at the age of 65.

In a press release sent to Towleroad, Stonewall historian David Carter (above right) recounts Garvin's long history with the gay community and his extensive knowledge about the unofficial start of the modern gay rights movement.  

“Danny was there the night it opened (on his birthday in 1967) and became a regular customer of the Stonewall Inn,” Carter said. “He met his first love there by dancing with him, dated the main doorman (Blonde Frankie), and was roommates with one of the men who worked in the coat check.  Danny’s knowledge of the club has contributed a lot to a better understanding of the Stonewall Inn.” 

“Fortunately, Danny also happened to walk up the street soon after the June 1969 raid began, and his detailed memories of that night significantly add to our knowledge about the Uprising,” Carter added.  

“Danny’s life story is all the more remarkable and historically relevant because his experiences mirrored those of his generation as if he were a gay Zelig,” Carter said.  “Danny was in a gay hippie commune before Stonewall and he was roommates with gay activist Morty Manford after Stonewall. Morty Manford’s introduction of Danny Garvin and another gay friend to Manford’s parents precipitated Manford’s coming out to his parents. Morty’s mother Jeanne Manford later founded what became Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, now PFLAG. He hung out with Andy Warhol’s crowd, and he founded the recovery contingent of LGBT marchers in the LGBT Pride March each June.” 

“Danny’s gentle and sensitive nature brought a great deal of warmth and humanity to the history of this watershed event in the LGBT civil rights movement and also endeared him to his friends and family,” Carter continued. “In addition to sharing his life story so generously with me, Danny became a friend. He was always a selfless person. Like most authentic Stonewall witnesses, he did not seek the limelight or recognition. Of all the persons I met working on the book, he was the sweetest.  I will always miss him and consider myself blessed and honored to have been his friend.”

 Garvin was featured in the 2010 PBS documentary Stonewall Uprising. You can check out a trailer AFTER THE JUMP...

Stonewall, a film by Roland Emmerich starring Jeremy Irvine, Ron Pearlman, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Joey King, and Caleb Landry Jones, is currently in production. 

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Philippine Prosecutors Recommend Murder Charge for U.S. Marine in Death of Trans Woman - VIDEO


Prosecutors in the Philippines are recommending that a U.S. Marine be charged with murder in the suspected killing of a transgender woman back in OctoberThe New York Times reports:

Joseph Scott PembertonThe Philippines does not have a jury system so the case will be turned over to a judge who will decide the case against the Marine, Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton, 19, in the death of Jennifer Laude, 26. Private Pemberton faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of murder, prosecutors said on Monday.

Private Pemberton was arrested in October while in the Philippines for United States military exercises. He met Ms. Laude in an Olongapo City nightclub and then accompanied her to a nearby hotel, according to a preliminary investigation that relied in part on closed-circuit television footage. Ms. Laude was later found dead on the hotel room’s toilet; her neck was broken.

Prosecutors said on Monday that they had recommended murder charges, rather than the lesser offense of homicide, because of aggravating circumstances, including the violent nature of Ms. Laude’s death.

“There was aggravated treachery, abuse of superior strength and cruelty,” said Emiline Delos Santos, the chief prosecutor of Olongapo City, about 50 miles outside Manila. “Because you have those three aggravating, qualifying circumstances, it is murder.”

Pemberton has not commented on the case and has yet to appear at any preliminary hearings. Back in October, the U.S. Embassy issued a statement saying:

“We are aware of the situation and express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. We are also aware that there are allegations that a foreigner, including possibly a US national, was involved in the incident. We are currently looking into these allegations and working closely with the Philippine National Police to take all necessary steps to help identify the suspects.”

Watch a news report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay UK Doctor Commits Suicide After Coming Out To Disapproving Mother Who Told Him to Get 'Cured'

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A London doctor committed suicide when he jumped from the fourth floor of his luxury penthouse apartment on Harley Street in reaction to his mother telling him to "seek a cure," after coming out to her, reports the London Evening Standard

Dr. Nazim Mahmood leapt to his death from his balcony the street on July 30, traumatizing nearby pedestrians and children who witnessed his death. An inquest at St. Pancras Coroners Court relayed information that before Mahmood's death, he told his mother that he was gay and revealed his 13-year relationship with his fiance, Matthew Ogston.

Dr. Mahmood kept his sexuality secret from his Muslim family in Birmingham because of fears that their religion would prevent them from accepting him. When Dr. Mahmood returned home to celebrate Eid, commonly known as Ramadan, he decided to come out to his family. Ogston, Mahmood's fiance, revealed that the doctor's mother was less than supportive.

Said Ogston:

"She had suggested to him he needed to see a psychiatrist to see if he could be cured. Together I think they agreed they would get through it. Telling someone they needed to be cured would not be the easiest thing to take."

The court found that Dr. Mahmood, having never suffered from depression or any other mental illness, took the drugs mephedrone and ketamine shortly before his death. Dr. Mahmood was a GP who also ran Face Clinic London - a chain series of medical clinics providing facial treatments for wrinkles such as Botox and chemical peels. Ogston is deeply saddened in the passing of the man he was about to marry, calling him his "soulmate."

Coroner Mary Hassell officially ruled that Dr. Mahmood took his life, and no foul play is involved. Hassell also expressed sadness for Dr. Mahmood's situation.

Said Hassell:

Uk"It seems incredible that a young man with so much going for him could have taken his own life. But what I’ve heard is that he had one great sadness which was the difficulty his family had in accepting his sexuality.

"It seems desperately sad that in 2014 a person should feel that they can’t be accepted because of the way that they live and I can only feel the deepest sympathy for Nazim that he felt so sad and desperate about this that he took his life."

Witnesses say Mahmood's body was left lying on the pavement, covered with a thin, red blanket, just yards away from a busy shopping area for almost four hours. One witness said, "The body was left outside for hours. I can't believe they just left it there. It's like he's an animal." A Scotland Yard spokesman apologized for not having a tent available to shield the body from the public.

The spokesman said:

"There was no tent available to officers to shield the body from the public. Officers instead used blankets. We apologise for any distress this may have caused members of the public."

Dr. Nazim Mahmood graduated from Birmingham Medical school in 2003 and moved to London a year later. He worked in several hospitals with a variety of specialties including HIV medicine, gynecology, orthopedics, pediatrics, accident and emergency before completing specialist training as a GP. Dr. Mahmood, along with colleague Dr. Anita Kapoor, founded Face Clinic London in 2009 with clinics located in Soho, West Hampstead and Harley Street.

Trans Pioneer and 'Stone Butch Blues' Author Leslie Feinberg Dies at Age 65


Leslie Feinberg, a well-known transgender activist and author of Stone Butch Blues, died on Saturday due to complications from multiple tick-borne illnesses. 

Feinberg's family provided The Advocate with an obituary that read, in part:

She died at home in Syracuse, NY, with her partner and spouse of 22 years, Minnie Bruce Pratt, at her side. Her last words were: “Remember me as a revolutionary communist.”

Feinberg was the first theorist to advance a Marxist concept of “transgender liberation,” and her work impacted popular culture, academic research, and political organizing.

Her historical and theoretical writing has been widely anthologized and taught in the U.S. and international academic circles. Her impact on mass culture was primarily through her 1993 first novel, Stone Butch Blues, widely considered in and outside the U.S. as a groundbreaking work about the complexities of gender. [...]

Stone bitch bluesAt the time of her death she was preparing a 20th anniversary edition of Stone Butch Blues. She worked up to within a few days of her death to prepare the edition for free access, reading, and download from on-line. In addition to the text of the novel, the on-line edition will contain a slideshow, “This Is What Solidarity Looks Like,” documenting the breadth of the organizing campaign to free CeCe McDonald, a young Minneapolis (trans)woman organizer and activist sent to prison for defending herself against a white neo-Nazi attacker. The new edition is dedicated to McDonald. A devoted group of friends are continuing to work to post Feinberg’s final writing and art online at

Throughout her life, Feinberg participated in and helped organize numerous anti-war, pro-labor, and anti-racist demonstrations. You can read more about Feinberg's long life of activism by reading her full obituary over at The Advocate here

Our thoughts go out to Feinberg's friends and family.

Prominent LGBT Attorney From D.C. Killed In Dominican Republic: VIDEO

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The Washington Blade is reporting the shocking story of the Halloween-eve murder of a well-known and highly respected D.C. defense lawyer. Van Teasley, 55, headed to the Dominican Republic last Thursday for a long weekend and was found dead in his own apartment on October 30th, bound and gagged with no sign of forced entry. There have been no arrests or suspects in the case but local police in Santo Domingo are still investigating.

Back at home, Teasley often represented low-income and LGBT clients and was a regular presence at Washigton's Superior Court building. Local affiliate NBC 4 did a piece on Teasley's murder, saying that he visited his second home in Santo Domingo regularly, sometimes as often as once a month. His cousin speculated that Teasley may have grown "too comfortable" in a country known for religious intolerance when it comes to gay issues.

You can watch the full NBC 4 video AFTER THE JUMP...

(photo via Instagram)

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