Friend and activist William Brandon Lacy Campos dies at 35

There is little I could write that would do justice to the memory of a friend and activist who spent his life pushing how we understand gender, sexuality, HIV, sex, friendship, race, words, movement-building and, well, hugs. W. Brandon Lacy Campos gave great hugs, the kind that would last for days. The kind you can’t imagine never having again.

It’s sad, weird, uncomfortable and just-not-right, to have to write the obituary of a friend that passed too soon. Thirty-five is too young to leave us, it’s when you are just starting and it’s when you start to realize how much more life you have to live. It’s how old I’ll be next year.

But I’m writing about Brandon, despite my own discomfort or denial that this could possibly be true–because Brandon was an important voice for all of us. Here’s Brandon’s keynote at this year’s CLPP Conference about the intersection of abortion, race, gender and sexuality:

Brandon was an advocate for justice, but it was his way with words that moved his community the most. I met Brandon because we worked together at the Center for Media Justice in Oakland. We immediately connected around our shared ideas about anti-colonial activism, sexuality and identity. The outpouring of emotion and support that have come out in the days following his death confirm that I was not alone in feeling this connection with him. He was a bright star, an important voice, an imperfect creature, a beautiful soul, an inappropriate talker, a poet, a seeker and a dreamer.

I can’t even believe I have to write this, it’s not fair, to you, to your family, to our community, to anyone. But, rest in power dear, dear Brandon. I don’t think you would even believe the impact you have had or the legacy that you left us.

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