A Look Back at 2020: The Year That Changed Everything
Henry van Ameringen, a gay man who donated millions of dollars to LGBTQ+ and HIV organizations, died September 9 at age 90. Ash Christian, an award-winning gay actor, producer, and director, died at age 35 while vacationing in Mexico in August. His production company released the acclaimed AIDS drama 1985 and Hurricane Bianca, a 2016 film starring RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio. He appeared in numerous TV series, winning a Daytime Emmy in 2014 for his program ml Promise.
Lorena Borjas, a longtime transgender activist in New York City, died of COVID-19 in March at age 60. An immigrant from Mexico, she became an advocate for New York’s transgender population, opening her small Queens apartment to them, housing as many as 20 at a time.
Silvio Horta, 45, the gay creator of Ugly Betty, died January 7 in Miami, apparently by suicide. The sitcom, which ran on ABC from 2006 to 2010, featured queer characters including Betty’s colleague Marc St. James, played by gay actor Michael Urie.
Justin Flippen, the gay man and longtime activist who was mayor of the heavily LGBTQ+ city of Wilton Manors, Fla., died in February at age 41, of an apparent heart attack.
Lynn Shelton, a bisexual woman who directed four of the eight episodes of the popular and inclusive miniseries Little Fires Everywhere, died in May of a blood disorder at age 54. She had also directed queer-themed movies such as Humpday, Your Sister’s Sister, and Sword of Trust.
Camila María Concepción, a writer on the Netflix show Gentefied and a trans activist, died in February by suicide. She was 28. She was also a staff writer on Netflix’s zombie comedy-drama series Daybreak.
Nonbinary and autistic blogger Mel Baggs died April 11 in Burlington, Vt., at age 39. Baggs wrote extensively about life as a person with nonverbal autism and dealt with the subject in a short film, In My Language.
Lady Red Couture, a staple of the Los Angeles drag community, died in July due to complications from a chronic illness. Lady Red was cohost of the long-running interview show Hey Qween.
Melina Rayna Svanhild Farley-Barratt, a transgender woman who was running for Florida Senate, died of cancer October 14. She was only the second trans candidate to qualify for the ballot for a Florida legislative race.
David Carter, a gay historian who wrote the definitive book on the Stonewall riots, died in May at age 67, apparently of a heart attack. His book Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution came out in 2004 and became the basis for the documentary Stonewall Uprising.
Deborah Batts, the first lesbian federal judge in the U.S., died in February at age 72. She was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by President Bill Clinton in 1994. She retired in 2012.
Original Article on The Advocate
Author: From the Editors of The Advocate