Killed While Cruising, Defarra Gaymon Was a Man With a Big Heart

Aside from all the controversy surrounding the New Jersey police shooting death of Atlanta’s Defarra Gaymon while he was cruising for sex in a park, I think what his family would like everyone to most remember him for is how he worked to help other people.

The cop who shot Gaymon, Edward Esposito, is back at work and wants us (or rather, investigators) to believe Gaymon threatened his life. We may never know what truly happened last month, while Gaymon was in Jersey for his high school’s 30th high school reunion. But we do know he contributed to the well-being of his fellow man, relays the Times in a lengthy profile of both Gaymon and Esposito.

“In the early ’90s, banks suffered from a recession, similar to today’s situation, which afforded me a new opportunity,” he later wrote in promotional material for the Credit Union Executives Society. “I came across what was called a credit union — not knowing exactly what a credit union was.”

He prided himself on being something of a miracle worker for people who could not get loans elsewhere. Many such clients showed up for his wake. He helped Irish Brown, now 50, get a car loan when nobody else would. He helped Constance Hawthorne, 62, pay off debts and secure a loan for a $300,000 home. “He taught me about managing money,” she said at his wake. “If it wasn’t for Dean, I wouldn’t have any.”

Two hours before he was dead, “Gaymon sent a text message to Cheryl Wilcox, 57, who was seeking a loan for a new BMW, and then called the office at 4 p.m. to confirm that the loan had gone through.”

Says Defarra’s father George about his always impeccably dressed son: “I raised that young man. I know it’s not true [that he was gay].” But: “Even if that was the case, is that a reason to shoot to kill?”

The area where Gaymon died, Branch Book Park, appears for now to be free of men looking for sex.

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  • Jaydon

    His father knows WHAT’S not true? That he was gay/bisexual or that he was cruising for sex with men in the bushes of a park?

    His father acts as if it couldn’t be true because he knew everything about his son. I sincerely doubt that he knew what his son did when he went on trips out of town so how likely would have been that he would have known his son was gay/bi if he were hiding it?

    It’s not just gay people who need the closet. Clearly the closet is a very important thing for the parents, family, spouses and friends of gay/bi people (closeted and out) too. My parents STILL insist on closeting me when talking about people who don’t know me well.

  • Black Pegasus

    Queerty, I’m not really sure what your motives are here, but I doubt it’s to pay tribute to Mr.Gaymon good deeds.

    Can’t quite place my hand on it, but there’s something quite sinister and catty about this post.

  • Ty

    Every post Queerty has is catty and queeny. Are you not surprised? It’s called Queerty, for cryin out loud.

  • Jorge

    @Black Pegasus: I think you’re right, but, what’s new? The Queerty writers only seem to laud Davey Wavey alone.

  • j

    @Black Pegasus: That last line kinda set off my alarm bells, seemed abit tacky and disrespectful tbh.

  • Baxter

    The cops shot Jesus?

  • Kieran

    This is a tragic case and even more so that the victim’s father still apparently feels the need to deny his son was gay. That mindset of stigma and shame at being gay was probably what led Defarra to seek sex with anonymous men in park bushes.

  • Cheri

    I read the article in the Times. I think this story best exemplifies what the late E Lynn Harris wrote about in his books about black gay and bisexual men. They are truly out there. I came across one myself about a year ago when I discovered a former lover of mine is a gay black man, who in an unguarded moment told me that he could be kinky during sex, but that it had to be with a woman. It all made sense after that comment.

  • RomanHans

    Actually, it’s the NY Times article that’s sinister, and Queerty is just summarizing. It ends with a longer version of Queerty’s line, leaving to wonder exactly what they mean. (Their article is already questionable because the entire thing is based on Officer Esposito’s testimony. Does the Times really print as truth one person’s biased, nonsensical account?)

  • Jack E. Jett

    @Jorge: Yeppers…What is up with the Davy Wavy kid? Am I suppose to find him ..

    A. Sexy
    B. Cute
    C. Funny
    D. Laughing at him

  • Ogre Magi

    A sad sad story all around!

  • jason

    It’s quite incredible that the police officer is back at work. The police officer should be fired and sent to prison to share a cell with a big black inmate named Bubba.

  • adman

    As long as a story about a black man (father) who deprives another man (his son)the right to the same heterosexual privilges that he (the son) enjoyed while closeted, the “commenters” on Queerty will be happy. That’s what it is to be black in America, these days apparently. When did dignity for the male gender become an option for black people? And why do the advocates of this freaking diseased mindset think it’s such a good thing? Talk about dupes! Fight the power, brothas!!!!

  • Chitown Kev

    @Black Pegasus:
    Now you know, YOU KNOW this is Queerty.

    It’s race bait, pretty much. It’s better veiled than it usually is but it’s still race bait.

    And, yes, Queerty is the bitchy-queen-alone-in the-corner-of-the- bar of gay blogs and that’s what I love about it.

  • StyleBoy

    @RomanHans: You nailed it – the Times story is creepy, perhaps because it wants to hint at something by reporting that the officer’s car was a fixture at the park (suggesting some kind of obsession, ya think?) Then the story lingers over his high-school-age involvement in the theater (hint, hint) for a couple of paragraphs. Finally the fishy “lost his handcuffs” story – why hasn’t anyone been found or interviewed to back this up? Any way you report it, Esposito was alone, at dusk, in a known gay cruising spot. You do the math.

  • L.

    I do believe he was a good man (and his tragic death is only compounded by his father’s post-mortem denial of his dignity as a gay man) but I’m not sure how mentioning he approved “a loan for a brand-new BMW” demonstrates it.

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