Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Reverend Luis Barrios on Juan Mendez

Today, the New York Daily News (here) and El Diario La Prensa (here) have moving obituaries in honor of Juan Mendez.

Yesterday I also spent some time referring people who were close to Juan to Gay City News which also runs an article on his death in today's edition (you can read in its entirety here).

I was particularly struck by this paragraph:
Father Luis Barrios, pastor of La Iglesia San Romero de Las Americas, a non-denominational church in Washington Heights, remembered that Mendez drew him, a straight Episcopal priest, into LGBT advocacy in 1990 when a transsexual youth named Jesus was murdered on Fordham Road in the Bronx, near the parish, St. Anne’s, where he was then ministering. Barrios celebrated a mass for Jesus at the church and also joined Mendez in pressing the police to classify the murder as a hate crime. Mendez later helped Barrios get a religious column—“from the left perspective”—at El Diario, which he continues to write.

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