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COMMENTARY: Mourning the passing of a community friend

Today we honor the passing of a friend.

Wednesday night we lost a long-time supporter of our community, one of our dedicated Center board members, and a personal friend, John Laird. Today we offer our love, thoughts, prayers and support to his husband and life partner of 28 years, Aaron Borovoy.

For almost two weeks John has been in my thoughts. When I learned of his illness, the complications and his struggle, I was filled with sadness at the impending loss for all of us.

Today I’m flooded with memories that make me smile. I remember John’s indefatigable passion for his community and for his beloved Center, his generosity of spirit, his infectious laughter, his warm, bear-hug greetings for all, and his never-wavering commitment to including and welcoming all people in “his” community.

John was absolutely devoted to this community – it was his extended family. He was a Center volunteer and supporter for decades and a Center board member for 8 years. Both he and his husband Aaron committed their time and energy to making our community better, in a hundred small, everyday ways and in larger, more important ones. And they succeeded. The San Diego LGBT community and its organizations have been made richer and stronger because of the incredible volunteer leadership and activism both Aaron and John have offered. They remind us all of the lasting, powerful difference two people can make on the lives of thousands.

Today we feel the loss, mourn with his husband, family and friends, remember the laughter and extraordinary kindness … and wish John peace and rest.