William Brandon Lacy Campos
Campos was born on August 31, 1977 in Duluth, Minnesota, to Deborah Carey Watt and William Edward Lacy. His great-great uncle was the Black historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the second Black man to be awarded a doctorate from Harvard University and the founder of Black History Month.
He attended schools in Minneapolis and graduated from the Patrick Henry High School in 1995, where he was a member of the Student Council. He continued his education at the Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa Valley, North Carolina, the Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, and the University of Minnesota where he received a bachelor's degree in political science.
He was co-executive director of Queers for Economic Justice where he worked on LGBT issues of social justice in New York City. He was a board member of the Audre Lorde Project. He was also involved in supporting the Hetrick-Martin Institute.
He had recently joined as a support, model and spokesman for Volttage.com, a dating site aimed at eliminating stigma and providing support to the HIV-positive community.
Campos was a regular presenter and participant at the National LGBT Task Force's annual Creating Change Conference. He co-chaired the United States Student Association's Queer Student Coalition. He was also a graduate of the Task Force Youth Leadership Training Institute in 1999.
HIV-positive since his mid-20s, he spoke extensively about his serostatus, his experience and reflection as a man of colour, but also on his recovery from addiction, his love for food, love and political, social justice reflections on life. He described himself as "a poet, playwright, journalist, amateur chef and life commentator doing his bit to put his foot in the asses of the regressive masses, while putting filling and nutritious food on plates of folks that ain't got much and deserve better."
Campos died on November 9, 2012, in New York.
Publications, blogs, writings
He was the author of the blog My Feet Only Walk Forward.
He was co-contributor to the Huffington Post discussing black masculinity image, perception and stigma. He also contributed a regular column in The Body entitled "Queer, Poz and Colored".
In 2009, MyLatinoVoice.com named him the number 2 queer Latino blogger to watch. In 2006, the Star Tribune named him a young policy wonk for his political shenanigans.
A poet, he was the author of the volume of poetry It Ain't Truth If It Doesn't Hurt with illustrations by David Berube from his Face a Day collection. The volume was published in July 2011.
He created the Alfred C. Carey Prize in Spoken Word Poetry in honor of his grandfather.
He published poetry in Ganymede (literary journal) in 2008.
He contributed to the anthology From Macho To Mariposa: New Gay Latino Fiction, published in March 2011.
He wrote about being “the only non-PhD candidate” to have written a chapter in an edited collection called Queer Twin Cities: Twin Cities GLBT Oral History Project.
He contributed to the poetry collection Mariposas: A Modern Anthology of Queer Latino Poetry, published in October 2008.
He was a contributor to Beyond Resistance! Youth Activism and Community Change: New Democratic Possibilities for Practice and Policy for America's Youth, published in March 2006.
In a speech in November 2012 at Tufts University, he tackled a recurrent theme in his life — his status as a multi-racial man:
I am standing in front of you a black, white, Ojibwe, Afro-Boricua, HIV-positive queer man, he said. And I am just as black as any of you… No more high yellow and midnight blue conversations when talking about skin unless it’s to talk about how that high yellow or midnight blue person rocked your socks last night after that party and you are about to take his or her last name. I could give a damn about the style you wear your hair, fried died and laid to the side or afro-tastic, I am with Miss India.Arie, I am not my hair!
In a speech in 2012 at the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Conference at Hampshire College, he called for HIV to be a central concern of the movement for reproductive freedom:
HIV isn’t over. It’s relevant to your work. It’s relevant to your lives. It is not just a disease that affects white gay men. It isn’t a disease that impacts only men of color on the down-low. In fact, it isn’t a disease that impacts only men. Women, and specifically women of color, and even more specifically African-American and Latina women, are the fastest-growing population of people living with HIV. And with 300,000 women living with HIV in the United States and women representing more than 50% of HIV cases around the world, you cannot in justice or in faith remove issues of HIV from reproductive justice.
- Paul, Schindler (21 November 2012). "William Brandon Lacy Campos: A Brilliant Flame Dispatched Too Soon". Gay City News. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- St. Amand, Jason (15 November 2012). "William Brandon Lacy Campos, Gay Activist and Poet, Dies at 35". South Florida Gay News. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- Amber, Hollibaugh. "Queers for Economic Justice Announces New Co- Executive Directors: Amber Hollibaugh and W. Brandon Lacy Campos". Queers for Economic Justice. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- Hannah, Daryl. "The LGBT Community Mourns the Loss of Activist Brandon Lacy Campos". Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- Guess, Aundaray (14 November 2012). "Feet Walking Forward: The Life of William Brandon Lacy Campos". Huffington Post. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
- James, Withers (11 November 2012). "LGBT poet and activist William Brandon Lacy Campos dies at 35". Gay Star News. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- KOUANCHAO, KETMANI (22 August 2010). "Saymoukda Vongsay receives spoken word award". Twin Cities Daily Planet. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- Team, Edit. "Activist and Poet William Brandon Lacy Campos, 35, has Died". Lambda Literary. Lambda Literary. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- "Queer, Poz and Colored: The Essentials". Thebody.com.
- Goodman, Amy (12 November 2012). "Queer Activist, Poet Brandon Lacy Campos Dies at 35". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 8 May 2013.