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7 comments | Monday, January 12, 2009

This post was originally published by loldarian.com affiliate Clay Cane. I was so moved by it that I wanted to share it with my readers as well. Thanks Clay!

Please view the tribute video below to Jamall King. A beautiful young man who died of HIV/AIDS complications at 31 years-old on September 13th, 2008.

Him and his partner, Waris Grant, were together for five years, lived together in Brooklyn., and even wore rings. Of course they could not marry.

According to Waris Grant, "Jamall's situation in his last couple of weeks took a turn for the worse. One of his lungs had to be drained, which decreased his lung capacity. He had to be put on a restrictive mask that made a seal with his face and forced oxygen into his lungs mechanically. This procedure was only administered once. Jamall was informed that he would have to be placed on a respirator in an induced coma. As I stood there, I was stunned and saddened by this prospect since the doctors also advised him that people do not usually get off a respirator. Jamall and I spoke about this for no more than 5 minutes at the most -- a swarm of doctors and technicians came into the room to ask his decision. He agreed to the procedure since it seemed to be his last resort. One of the professionals in the room asked, 'Who is your next of kin or who do you want to be in charge while you are unconscious?' Jamall promptly answered while pointing to me, 'I want Waris to be in charge of everything.'"

Waris was not in charge of everything. He lost all of his rights.

Waris also says, "Jamall had an identical twin brother, Jermell King, who died of HIV/AIDS complications seven years ago. His family has always said his brother died of cancer. Now, his family denies to any of his friends, whom are already aware of his status, that Jamall's illness was at all related to HIV/AIDS. They tried to prevent me from bringing his close friends, loved ones and even his caseworker to see him while he was hospitalized. They had misconceptions about procedures that are necessary in these cases stating, 'I don't trust these fucking doctors.' His mother came to me and said that she thinks, 'Pills and medicine that they got pumpin' in him are makin' him sick.' When I begin discussing his condition with doctors or his case worker, his family said, 'Don't be telling nobody his business.'"

Waris continues, "Up until October 17th, which is more than a month after his death, Jamall still had not been laid to rest. My proposal for his final arrangements was refused by his family. It was refused out of prejudice and bias and up until 3 days prior to his mother's supposed arrangements -- I was still in the dark about the location of the venue. I was not invited. They thought I would divulge some closely guarded family secret and were under the impression that Jamall's employer would pick up the entire mysterious tab, therefore, me and all his friends were snubbed."

Waris Grant has gone through a horrendous experience. A situation like this proves how paramount equal rights are. So, for people who think gay marriage isn't a human issue or a civil right, you are deeply misinformed and tragically ignorant.


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

R.I.P. Jamall. Thats horrible that the family wouldnt let you attend his funeral arrangements. Wow. Then they lying about the deaths of their own flesh and blood. I hope my family would never do that to me. I don't think they would, I hope they don't have that much hatred in them cast me down in such a light. Hes a brutha and like the rest of our black brothas he lived his life and will not be forgotten.

January 12, 2009 5:10 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

The more things change the more they stay the same.

I'm old enough to remember black families/relatives lying about what their sons died from (HIV/AIDS) in the 1980s and early 1990s when so many people were dying it was surreal.

It pains me to know that this is STILL happening.

January 12, 2009 6:06 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

rest in peace jamall.its stories like this that remind me why you can never just sit back and be silent.to a world sick with homophobia... get well soon

January 12, 2009 10:17 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Darian, thank you for making this post. I did. not see it originally. Jamall, you beautiful young man, your courage and love lives and lights up us ALL! Your beautiful partner helps us to carry your joy! Let us not be swayed by the haters and the deluge of dumb niggaz, yes i said niggaz, cuz unfortunately thats how many or our families act. Strangling with ignorance and using their warped interpretation of the Bible as a weapon of mass destruction. While I have always agreed the same gender loving couples should have marital rights, I have not really been as active in the cause as I should. This story, one of the rare examples we see publicly of SGL men doing the damn thing, has certainly caused me to rethink my indifference. When the family that banishes and doesn't even grant you your dying wish can take control and dismiss your existence into their own comfort zone of ignorance....there needs to be critical change! AND NOW!!!!!! Hang in there Jamall...WE GOT YO BACK! LOVE YA! THANK YOU FOR STANDING IN YOUR LIGHT!

January 13, 2009 9:27 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

everytime i hear halo i will always think of jamall and smile

January 13, 2009 7:04 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Rest in peace Jamall.

My heart hurts after hearing this story.

We are all in this together.

January 22, 2009 1:20 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Wait.. I am just finding out about all of this TODAY January 29,2015!!!!
I'd been out of New York for Several Years and had seen Jamall only once since we left high school. Jamall and I were the best of friends during my senior year of High School and to read about him gone is a true true heartbreak. RIP my King. I love you.
I hope his family has accepted his truth after all these years.
Aisha C. John Dewey Class of 1995.

January 29, 2015 9:46 AM


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