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Santos, MTV's 1G5G reality star, dies at age 27

TORONTO – Matthew Paul Santos, simply known as Santos on MTV Canada’s popular “1 Girl 5 Gays” reality TV show, died on Feb. 8 at the age of 27.

A funeral Mass was held on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Toronto.

His death is shrouded in mystery, and the cause of death has not been announced. Fans questioned on Facebook why the public was not informed about his death until after his funeral was over.

Santos was survived by his boyfriend and his family, according to the TV show.

Born on July 3, 1986, Santos rose to fame as an original cast member of “1 Girl 5 Gays.” He was known for his outspoken comments, “glamor” costumes and unvarnished originality.

“1 Girl 5 Gays” posted this on its Facebook page on Saturday, Feb. 15:

“It is with profound sadness that we share in the sudden passing of Matthew Santos. As a colleague and friend to MTV, Matthew was a generous, kind, and spirited individual of whom we will always hold wonderful memories. As part of the cast of 1 girl 5 gays, Matthew embodied a bold originality and fearless individuality so rarely seen, but so greatly appreciated. Through his honesty and candour, he bravely demonstrated the importance of living life on your own terms. Matthew shunned the ordinary, and because of that, became extraordinary. How very lucky we all are to have known him. Our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and boyfriend Taurel.”

Fans expressed their shock, condolences and memories on the Facebook page and on the online guest book at Dignity Memorial network.

A sampling of the Facebook comments

Christina Haines: “Throughout the week, i wondered many times why this wasn't announced to the public and had been kept relatively private. Santos was an amazing person that had so much individuality and personality. He was a loving soul with a big heart that left a mark on all of us that knew him. It makes me smile to see so many condolences, but it's sad for people to assume it's not real because it's not in the media or online to be found by Google searching. His family has the right to their privacy while they mourn the loss of such an amazing individual. Yesterday we said goodbye to Matthew as he was laid to rest, and I am sure that many days ahead will continue to be difficult for those close to him... Send love, not hate or ignorance.”

Linda Harris: “R.I.P. Santos. Heaven just got a little more fabulous!”

Chris Burnias: “Such sad news. Santos really left an impression on the viewers of 1G5G. His heart, spirit, individuality, and who could forget; glamour; really shined bright around those who knew him in person as well as through the show. Shine on in heaven, Santos! Shine on!”

Lynz Smits: “RIP Santos!!! Glamor just lost an icon!”

Curtis Buffalo: “WHAT omg really? I'll never forget his uniqueness on the show. Definitely stood out from all the rest. Just like that new shiny star is the sky tonight, it's Santos standing out from all the rest watching over us, laughing because he "can't believe we're wearing THAT" lol. Thx for making me laugh, and even realize some stuff just by listening to your opinions on the show. My condolences to his family, his friends, and family at MTV Canada. Rest Easy Girlfriend”

Natalia Belair: “All the boys on the show sort of feel like family to me. This news is extremely upsetting. I loved his free spirit so much, and how he was true to himself and no on else. Not a lot of people have that sort of courage. Rest in Peace. Glamour will always remind me of you XO”

A sampling of the Dignity Memorial comments

Yael Gottesman: “Such a terrible loss. I was privileged to have met you. You were such a kind, caring, loving, funny person who was loved by so many people. You helped to change the views of so many people just by doing what you did on 1g5g. I always loved you for your outgoing personality, your awesome fashion sense and your sense of humour. You will not be forgotten.. Ever!! Rest In Peace Matthew Santos.. Glamour Squad!”

David Goodwin: “So many people's minds were broadened and their hearts were entertained by your work. Thank you for that gift! May your partner and your family be comforted and surrounded by love at this difficult time! Love & Prayers!”

Alessandra Enright: “I had the privilge to meet you last June and it was although breif, one of the most inspiring encounters I ever had. You inspired me for years to be proud of being loud and different and who I was. You had the ability to light up anybody's face just by being yourself. My heart aches knowing you're gone, but will continue to keep your legacy moving. I hope you're wearing some fur and jewels up there beautiful #glitterglamour All my condolence to friends, family, and the boys of 1g5g.”

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Ken Williams is Editor in Chief of SDGLN. He can be reached at ken@sdgln.com, @KenSanDiego on Twitter, or by calling toll-free to 888-442-9639, ext. 713.