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    In Memoriam

    Edith Carney
    Edith Carney, the mother of Patrick Carney, who is a founder of the Pink Triangle display constructed on Twin Peaks during Pride, died at age 95 after suffering from interstitial lung disease. Edith Carney died at age 95 after suffering from interstitial lung disease. Always supportive of Patrick, his husband Hossein and her other children and relatives, Edith traveled to San Francisco nearly every year to help with the Pink Triangle. Her positive energy could be felt whenever the display went up. The symbol was used by the Nazis in concentration camps to identify and shame homosexual prisoners, but it has since been embraced by the LGBTQ community as a symbol of pride and defiance, while serving as a reminder of the Holocaust.

    Edith was a strong, loving and vibrant force within her family. She also had a successful career, having begun work in real estate at a young age. She was most proud of her family, however, and the Dodgers! As a baseball fan from Southern California, she enjoyed cheering on her team. Many of us at the San Francisco Bay Times were rooting for the Dodgers in the World Series this year, thinking of generous and kind-hearted Edith Carney.

    Alana Devich Cyril
    Cancer claimed the life of filmmaker Devich Cyril, who in 2016 wrote at CrowdRise: “I recently received the devastating news that I have stage 4 metastatic gastro-esophageal cancer, despite being a healthy 40-year-old woman with no risk factors.” As a creative spirit, she turned her shock and struggle into the poignant film My Life, Interrupted, which was first shown this past June at the Queer Women of Color Film Festival. Her spouse Malkia Devich Cyril is the founder of the Center for Media Justice. The couple devoted much of their time together toward working for civil rights for all.

    Erika Luckett
    Singer, musician and composer Erika Luckett of our local LGBT community recently lost her battle with cancer. From her performance at the 20th Anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum to being honored as “One of the 100 Most Outstanding Women of the Year” (along with Oprah, Madonna and Queen Elizabeth) by both The Jewish Post and Modern Woman Today Magazine, Luckett showed how music can transform and unite people across the globe.

    Paul Miller
    Miller, who volunteered for numerous LGBT causes, recently died of cancer. A 30-year survivor of HIV, he often worked to help others with HIV/AIDS. Miller was further known for his love of gardening and nature. A beautiful memorial reflecting many aspects of his life in San Francisco, from friends and family to his fondness of hummingbirds, was created by his sisters and placed at “Hibernia Beach,” the corner of Castro and 18th Streets. A Celebration of his Life will be held at 1 pm on Saturday, November 3, at the National AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park.

    Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz
    One of the 11 victims of the shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, Dr. Rabinowitz was known for the dignity and respect that he gave to all of his patients, and particularly those with HIV/AIDS. “Before there was effective treatment for fighting HIV itself, he was known in the community for keeping us alive the longest,” Michael Kerr, a former patient, posted on Facebook. “Thank you, Dr. Rabinowitiz, for having always been there during the most terrifying and frightening time of my life.” The 66-year-old physician initially was not in the basement of the synagogue when the shooting occurred, but his nephew Avishai Ostrin speculated to CNN that “when he heard shots he ran outside to try and see if anyone was hurt and needed a doctor. That was Uncle Jerry. That’s just what he did.”

    Ntozake Shange
    Playwright Shange wrote numerous acclaimed works, including the choreopoem for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf. The powerful theater piece, which debuted in 1976, tells the stories of seven women who have suffered oppression in a racist and sexist society. Shange said that it was inspired by events in her own life. It earned her Obie and Tony Awards, and is still performed, resonating with audiences worldwide. Born Paulette Williams in 1948, Shange studied at Barnard College and the University of Southern California, where she changed her name to the Zulu Ntozaka, meaning “she who comes with her own things” and Shange “who walks like a lion.” See this Poetry Foundation biography, which lists many of her works:

    Billye Talmadge
    Born in 1929, Talmadge was a founder in 1955 of the groundbreaking Daughters of Bilitis, which was the first lesbian civil and political rights organization in the U.S. She, along with Del Martin, Phyllis Lyons, Helen Sandoz and other brave individuals, were at the forefront of queer liberation for decades. A teacher, Talmadge earned two doctorates in education and won the Golden Apple award for her work helping disabled children. See Herstories to learn more about her remarkable life: