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| Monday, July 27, 2009

The news of celebrated black gay author E. Lynn Harris' sudden passing last week from an apparent heart attack while on a west coast book tour has shocked many who were fortunate to know him personally and thousands more who fell in love with him through his work.

It has taken me a few days to wrap my brain and my heart around this devastating loss. There will never be another E. Lynn Harris, he was one of a kind. I'm finding it extremely difficult to describe the impact his gift had on me early in life when I was desperately looking to find literature that reflected my experience as a black gay man.

As I reflect on his life and his death it becomes increasingly easy to mourn this monumental loss to our community, although he may not be with us in the physical I know his work will live on.

I feel incredibly blessed to have known E. Lynn Harris and to have had his support. Never in a million years did I think such a literary giant as he, whose books I read in secret before I found the courage to walk in my truth would befriend me. Deleting your number from my phone E. Lynn and knowing that if I called you would no longer pick up was a hard pill to swallow.

I know you're up in heaven having a party with James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, and Audre Lorde. You will be missed but never forgotten.

The Final Interview: E. Lynn Harris Talks Love & Basketball Jones on Loldarian.com