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25 October 2010



OMG!! Joseph was a wonderful human being. Always had a smile and a word of encouragement. This deeply saddens me.

Jim J

Is this another hoax??

Chitown Kev

Ooooooh, boy.

First, my condolences.

I feel a couple o' three different ways about this posting.

I...is it right to group this suicide with the suicides of Clementi, Chase, and Hassan.

I mean, gay youth suicide is a problem, hell, LGBT suicides are a bit of a problem.

I just feel funny posting about this. Having been suicidal myself as a teen and as an adult, there...is a difference in this and the other cases (although there is a sameness too...)

Considering that Rod is citing Nathan James as source and that James is a regular contributor here....no, this isn't a hoax.

Former COGIC

This is very horrible and tragic news. God bless this young man's soul and family. May he find the peace in the afterlife that alluded him on earth.

Jim, I don't think its a hoax at all, when several people are cited as sources and James Saunders and others are leaving condolences on Joseph's FB page.

Kev, no offense, but perhaps you're bringing too much of your own experiences and parsing too much? On several suicide posts here, you have criticized the generally very good reporting and often argued against any linkage or comparison. There are no comparisons, besides the fact they all commited suicide. Joseph Jefferson was not a teen or college student but he was young and a longtime youth activist. Adding his name in ONE sentence to other recent gay suicides does not imply they all were related or shared the same cause.

And if anything, I will be glad when our community will take some time to talk about what is causing this and how we can try to prevent it.


This has got to stop!!! Community! We need to let our youth know that we are there for them..Do you think it's possible?

leroi jones jr

u notice how this blog (or the more accurately the news it relays) is becoming a compendium of lgbt pain? this isn't me asking for more "human interest" stories. i find it a pretty wide slice of black gay life. but one has to wonder where do we go from here? and i am not looking for anyone to say we should be proud of being gay or its the church's fault or society's fault. i'm a pretty expansive thinker, i can work with ALL of that. what i'm saying is when do we decide WE want something else and that WE are going to go head and create it.when are WE going to CREATE places, experiences, groups that counter the despair that runs up and through black gay life as we know it. and before someone reads this as another faggot of the self hatting variety hollaring about the wicked lifestyle. this isn't . . .that. this is me saying that the way we come together as gay men (women), seems to make us more prey than anything else. and its not cause we deserve it. and it CERTAINLY doesn't have to be this way EVEN with all the outside bullsh*t. i'm saying when are we gonna get tired of this. and decide we gonna do this differently, no platitudes, no excuses - just nose to grind stone work. to hold on to each other in a way that makes us individually and collectively stronger - and in a position to respond to and defeat the despair that preys on all of us.

Chitown Kev

@Former COGIC

No offense taken, but, yes, as someone who really, really, had to go through my own HOMICIDAL thoughts when the Columbine (and previous) incidents happened, knowing what I know about copycat suicides (though not more than Rod, of course)...

Yes, I know what this unprecedented volume of coverage does to me; never mind someone who really is vulnerable.

I don't have a problem with Rod's fine reporting and it's good that these issues are being brought out and discussed.

It's just a gray area for me.

Black Pegasus

Sorry, but as someone who has attempted suicide as a teen, I'm not about to get myself bent out of shape in a pool of heartache and disbelief any longer.

And I'll just stop there at the risk of being malicious in my comments.

MDH (Daevon)

As a close friend and adopted brother of Joseph's. I am grateful for the out pour of love & support. He was truly someone who cared, and was invested in what became of young people in our community.

I disagree with some statements made in this article such as his facebook page being locked and what his last status message was. his last status message was in actuality "Joseph Jeffersonomg i hate head colds, shit kicking my ass"on Thursday. There were no indications, there were no signs.

Not only have I worked closely in the LGBTQ community with my brother, but I also spoke with him regularly, We are all shocked and still dealing with this loss. Rod I respect your site/blog and am a little disappointed in the errors made above, with that being said I must say that at the end of the day these errors are not important, what is important is that my brother, someone who I love, and respect is no longer here.

Thanxs again for every ones Love & Support
MDH (Daevon)

MDH (Daevon)

I apologize for any grammatical errors in my above post, it's still a little hard expressing thoughts about my bro!


He was truly...and you can't say this about a lot of black men in our community....but truly a kind some spirit. At a time when it isn't popular or stylist to be an activist for your community, he was leading the fight.

I know now that his great deeds will not go unseen, and he is in a much happier place and truly at peace.

Lastly everybody, take two or three minutes to speak to someone you know or think is hurting...you may just be the one that is able to pull them out of the shadows of life.

MDH (Daevon)


As Joseph's adopted brother I thank everyone for there outpour of love & support. Thank you Rod for posting something about his passing. My little brother was devoted to the work we do, constantly sacrificing for the betterment of young adults in our community.

As I tried to post earlier, there are some discrepancies in the article. One being that his FB page is locked ( as of 3:07pm today it was open)

The other discrepancy is the fact that my brother left a status update implying he was distraught

(There is no such status message) In fact his last status update was on Thursday stating and I quote " omg i hate head colds, shit kicking my ass") .

Although these minor details might not be important in the overall scheme of things, for those of us still dealing with his passing, and trying to put together what ultimately drove my brother to take his own life, misquotes and rumors are not needed.

Joseph left no note, showed no indication that he was distraught. Those who were close to him still find it unimaginable that he would take his life in such a violent manor, and are still trying to piece together what brought him to this.

I enjoy coming to your page/blog Rod and I apologize if this post offends anyone, but understand this: As someone who works in this field, and truly had love for his brother I ask that some of these facts be fixed.

Joseph was a wonderful, inspiring, caring, intelligent individual, who will be missed, not only because of the work he was known for in the community, but for the relationships that he fostered. I apologize again to anyone who this might offend, but I ask that you understand.

Sorry for any grammatical errors.

Taylor Siluwé

Noting that there is such a thing as 'the copy-cat effect' is a valid point. But we certainly can not turn a blind eye and NOT report these tragedies either.

That's what the craZies from NOM and Focus on the Family want us to do, ignore the pain thats out there, to suck it up and do nothing.

The hoax recently was probably put out there by one of their cronies, to make us immediately react with suspicion with this happens.

What we can do is each of us make a call, today, to someone we haven't seen in a minute just to catch up. For all we know they could be going through something and are in desperate need of a kind friendly voice.

What we can't do is ignore it or become jaded or fail to report these things.

Another thing we can do is VOTE this November 2nd. Because as scary as things are now, it'll get a lot scarier once the GOPea-Party and their intolerant crazies take over.

As far as LGBT suicide goes, voting seems aside from the point - but its not. It's all for making society better, more accepting of difference for the mental health of our youth AND us adults as well.


wow wow wow community what happened we need to stay in battle that horrible world....

Taylor Siluwé

Just got off the phone with a friend who expressed how he'd just seen Joseph and he didn't seem depressed.

That's not surprising.

I've been there, deep in despair. It's a numbing and deceptive place to be where you go out of your way not to let those closest to you know that you've been fantasizing about ending it all.

I attempted suicide about 15 years ago. NO ONE knew I was thinking about it. It came as a bolt out of the blue to them. Fortunately, I didn't live alone and my cheating sonofab*tch boyfriend discovered I'd taken a bottle of muscle relaxers and called 911 -- this is after I'd been "asleep" on our sofa for over 24 hours.

So, yeah, no one knows how deep in despair we are sometimes. So I guess we have to learn to look past the smiles and know that dark clouds can move in and overwhelm even the strongest of us.


What in the hell is going on? He was 26 years old, not a teenager in high school being bullied in the playground. I'm so sadden by this. Was there more to just him being gay that he felt he needed to end his life? Was it health reasons? Money issues? Unemployment?

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