Mark Glaze, a founder of the modern gun-control movement, died last month at 51. Glaze, who was gay, contributed to The Advocate on issues related to his activism.
He died by suicide on October 31 while at the Lackawanna County Prison, according to a statement posted to Facebook by his family. He was being held for DUI and other charges. Glaze was arrested after fleeing the scene of a car accident, reported The New York Times.
"As we celebrate the life of our beloved Mark, we would be remiss not to mention his harrowing struggle with alcohol, depression, and anxiety," the family said in Glaze's obituary "In the last years of his life, Mark actively sought help. He completed several treatment programs, with the hope of finding peace and breaking free of the addictive cycle that caused him to feel so desperately alone and in pain."
"We pray that by being open about Mark's cause of death, something positive may emerge from our devastating loss."
The family described Glaze as "the face of the gun control movement," a role he took on following the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting.
They also noted that suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. "Omission of the true cause of death allows mental illness to remain impersonal, a silent killer," the family wrote.
Glaze was born in Pueblo, Colo. on October 21, 1970. The gun-control activist attended The Colorado College as a Truman Foundation Scholar and went on to graduate from the George Washington University Law School.
He worked at the D.C. political affairs firm the Raben Group, working with campaign finance reform, government ethics as well as LGBTQ issues, and served as director of Mayors Against Illegal Gun. He resigned from the Raben Group to serve full time as the director for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which eventually became part of Everytown for Gun Safety.
"With a razor-sharp sense of humor and boundless empathy, Mark could turn strangers into friends like no one else," Steven Fisher, a longtime friend of Glaze, told the paper. "His closest friends also knew a very complicated personality and his early and tragic death was, sadly, not a surprise."
Glaze was preceded in death by his parents, Charles Glaze and Nancy Green. He is survived by his 14-year-old son, as well as aunts, uncles, cousins, and many friends.
If you are thinking about suicide, concerned for a loved one, or would like emotional support, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States at 1-800-273-TALK. The Trevor Project offers 24/7 counseling for LGBTQ+ youth at 1-866-7386.