Friday, November 20, 2009

Activists plan massive Puerto Rico vigil in honor of Jorge Steven López

As vigils and other memorials for Jorge Steven López continue to pop up around the country, Pedro Julio Serrano of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force tells Boy in Bushwick he expects the murdered teen's family and thousands of others to march through the streets of San Juan ahead of a vigil on Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Hundreds of people took part in a march through the Puerto Rican capital last night to demand an end to homophobia. Serrano stressed López family, with whom he said he remains in constant contact, fully accepted the openly gay teenager--López's ex-boyfriend continues to speak publicly on the family's behalf.

"It has been devastating for the family, but they are comforted... in part by the overwhelming support they've received not only for the LGBT community and Puerto Rico," Serrano said.

Serrano further pointed out what he described as a "deafening silence" from the island's political and religious leaders over López's death. New York Congressmembers José Serrano and Nydia Velázquez have both condemned the gruesome murder. And New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's office has co-sponsored a vigil scheduled to take place this Sunday, Nov. 22, on the Christopher Street Pier.

Boy in Bushwick continues to try and reach out to López's friends and family, but Serrano stressed he wants people to know who the teen was and how he said he affected those who knew him well.

"He was very proud of who he was and he was very comfortable in his own skin," he said as he once again pointed out López identified as a gay man and he volunteered for a number of LGBT organizations on Puerto Rico. "He was a free man; a free human being who had no limits to what he wanted. It only took a minute to fall in love with him. He was so genuine, so authentic."

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