Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New York City Council honors Jorge Steven López Mercado's family

I always get extremely anxious when I have to potentially interview someone in Spanish because it is not my first language, but the questions I wanted to ask Myriam Mercado and Jorge López almost instantly came to mind while I drank a coffee outside Hot and Crusty on 14th Street and First Avenue late Monday afternoon. As I wrote them into my notebook, however, I became increasingly sad. And after a few minutes, I could only glare out into the busy Manhattan intersection and allow this sadness to envelop me.

I could feel tears begin to well up in my eyes as I thought about the unimaginable pain the López family has had to endure since Juan José Martínez Matos brutally murdered Jorge Steven last November. How do you possibly prepare yourself to ask a mother to describe the moment she learned her son’s decapitated, dismembered and partially burned body had been found along the side of the road? Is it even possible?

In the end, the best thing a journalist can do is to provide a source (or sources) an opportunity to share their story. Myriam and Jorge continue to mourn their beloved Steven, but the dignified strength and resolve they showed at the City Council’s annual LGBT Pride celebration last night proved nothing short of inspirational to this reporter and others in the chamber. And their example will undoubtedly continue to prove love does conquer hate.

¡Viva Steven!

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