Gay Youth Activist Commits Suicide 

BY Advocate.com Editors

October 25 2010 10:55 PM ET

A 26-year-old gay youth activist who worked with HIV/AIDS charities in New York and graduated from the Harvey Milk High School committed suicide over the weekend.

Rod 2.0 spoke with friends and colleagues of gay youth activist and HIV peer educator Joseph Jefferson. "Joseph was truly a sweetheart," a friend who asked to remain nameless said. "Extremely bright and impassioned about social justice causes... It's such a loss."

On Saturday, Jefferson posted on his Facebook page: "I could not bear the burden of living as a gay man of color in a world grown cold and hateful towards those of us who live and love differently than the so-called ’social mainstream.’"

Most recently, Jefferson worked as an assistant to Laurence Pinckney and James Saunders, New York City's popular Black LGBT event promoters.

He had previous worked on HIV prevention and outreach for Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) and the now-shuttered People of Color in Crisis (POCC), New York City's leading HIV/AIDS groups for Black gay men.

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