Don Maison, left and Dickie Weaver

Remembering those we lost in 2022

The LGBTQ community lost many members in 2022, including at least 35 people in incidents of hate violence against individual transgender people and against patrons of the Club Q bar in Colorado. Here are a few of the memorable losses for the community in 2022, listed in order of their deaths:

Don Maison
When Don Maison retired as president and CEO of AIDS Services Dallas in 2019, after 32 years at the organization’s helm, he was the longest-serving head of an AIDS organization in the United States. He died on Feb. 21, just three years after retiring and following a battle with esophageal cancer.

Before dedicating his career to housing people living with HIV, Maison was an attorney fighting for LGBTQ rights, and he was responsible for leading the legal effort to end police harassment in LGBTQ bars in Dallas. Then in the late 1980s, at the height of the AIDS crisis, Maison was hired to become the new executive director of what became AIDS Services of Dallas. Over the next decade, ASD grew as it opened Revlon, Ewing, Hillcrest and Spencer — housing facilities for people living with HIV/AIDS.

On Aug. 30, ASD, along with a number of elected officials, dedicated new sign toppers that the city created to remember Maison. And on Dec. 1 — World AIDS Day — ASD cut the ribbon on its newest housing project, which was named in Maison’s honor.

— David Taffet

Urvashi Vaid

Urvashi Vaid
One of the LGBTQ movement’s most longstanding and beloved leaders, Urvashi Vaid died May 14 in Manhattan from breast cancer. She was 63.

Vaid started her activism in Boston, working with Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders and then Gay Community News. She moved to Washington, D.C., to take a job as an attorney with the ACLU’s National Prison Project. By 1986, she was public information spokesperson for the then National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. In 1989, when she was just 30, she was elected executive director of the organization.

Vaid left the Task Force in 1992 but continued to contribute a prominent voice, ideas and organizing to advance the movement: writing books, serving as executive director of the Arcus Foundation and helping found numerous other groups seeking to advance equality for LGBTQ people.

Vaid lived in Provincetown and Manhattan with her partner of 34 years, pioneering lesbian comedian Kate Clinton.

— Lisa Keen

Iconic gay comedian and actor Leslie Jordan, right, with Dallas drag legend Cassie Nova

Leslie Jordan
Beloved actor, comedian and gay icon Leslie Jordan, 67, died Oct. 24 as the result of a car crash. It is believed he suffered a medical emergency while driving, which caused him to crash into a building. No one else was injured in the accident.

Out of his numerous roles on film, stage and television, the Emmy-winning actor was known for his appearances in American Horror Story, Will and Grace and Del Shores’ Sordid Lives film and series and Southern Baptist Sissies. He got his first big break on Murphy Brown.

Jordan is best remembered in North Texas for his numerous appearances at benefit performances for Legacy Cares.

During the pandemic, Jordan became a viral sensation on Instagram and TikTok often addressed to his “fellow hunker-downers.”

— David Taffet

Dickie Weaver
Dick Weaver, 84, died on Nov. 19, after an extended illness.

Weaver, known affectionately to his friends as Dickie, was among the creators of Razzle Dazzle Dallas, which became the city’s premiere Pride Month party for more than two decades. He was an early board member of Dallas Gay Alliance, serving on its first board and becoming an early president of what was then known as the Foundation for Human Understanding, now known as Resource Center. He continued to serve on the FHU board through a devastating fire at its original offices, the purchase of the campus on Reagan Street and the opening of the Nelson Tebedo Clinic.

Weaver, along with Ray Kuchling, William Waybourn, Mike Anglin and John Thomas organized the first Black Tie Dinner and Weaver remained on the Black Tie Dinner board until the organization created its advisory board, and then he served on the advisory board for the rest of his life.

Weaver was born in Longview and earned two degrees from Southern Methodist University. His career was in insurance for 50 years where he worked as a broker for Burns & Wilcox. Weaver found his spiritual home at Northaven Church and is a past chair of its board of trustees.

— David Taffet

Club Q
On the night of Nov. 19, shortly before midnight, a young man dressed in military gear and carrying a handgun and what police had described as an “AR-15-style” rifle entered Club Q, an LGBTQ bar in Colorado Springs. Five people were killed and as many as 18 others injured. Thoses killed were:

Daniel Davis Aston, a trans man who was a bar supervisor at Club Q

Kelly Loving of Denver, a trans woman who was on a weekend trip to Colorado Springs.

Ashley Paugh, who had traveled to Colorado Springs from her home in LaJunta, Colo. with a friend for a day of shopping.

Derrick Rump, a bartender at Club Q.

Raymond Green Vance, who was at the club with his girlfriend, Kassy Fierro. and her parents, Richard and Jessica Fierro. Richard Fierro is the person who tackled the shooter.

— David Taffet

Jim Kolbe
Former U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe, 80, of Arizona — the first openly-LGBTQ veteran and the second openly-gay Republican elected to Congress — died on Dec. 3 following a stroke. Kolbe was first elected to Congress in 1984 and retired in 2006 at the end of his 11th term.

Kolbe started his political career at the age of 15 by working as a page for Sen. Barry Goldwater. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1965 to 1969, and was deployed to Vietnam, where he was awarded a congressional medal for valor. He came out as a gay man in 1996 when activists threatened to out him for voting for anti-gay legislation including the Defense of Marriage Act.

Kolbe left the Republican Party in 2018 and became an independent because of Donald Trump.

He is survived by his husband Hector Alfonso.

— David Taffet