OBITS: Gay Rights Champion Rodger McFarlane


After battling debilitating heart and back problems, Rodger McFarlane (seen here at an Outrage panel with Michelangelo Signorile, Larry Kramer and Kirby Dick in May), the former executive director of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and the Gill Foundation, and a superstar among GLBT and HIV/AIDS activists, took his own life last Friday. GLAAD: “In a letter found with his remains, Rodger explained that he was unwilling to allow compounding heart and back problems to become even worse and result in total debilitation. We know that Rodger was in a great deal of pain. Already disabled in his own mind, he could no longer work out or do all the outdoor activities he so loved. He was also now faced with the realization that he could literally not travel, making employment increasingly difficult. As his friends and family, we thought it was important that we communicate to the world that it has lost an amazingly wonderful individual who contributed so mightily to our humanity.”

We’ll always remember McFarlane for soundbite bombs like this one, directed at Larry Kramer: “When it comes to being an asshole, Larry is a virtuoso with no peer. Nobody can alienate people quicker, better, or more completely.” You’ll be missed, Rodger.