elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Nathan Christoffersen (December 1, 1977 – December 18, 2005)

Nathan Christoffersen (December 1, 1977 – December 18, 2005) was an American gay rights activist and journalist. Christoffersen was a frequent contributor to the Fresno, California publication GayFresno. He came to national attention after a letter he wrote was posted on the blog of gay rights activist and comedian Margaret Cho. Soon after he became the chapter head of Madera County for Marriage Equality California.

In 2005 he began working heavily as an activist for women's rights and was slated to be hired to work with Planned Parenthood. On December 16, 2005 he was found dead by his parents on the steps of their California home. He had a longstanding contentious relationship with them; they had frequently threatened to disown him. Toxicology reports by the coroner showed no alcohol or illegal drugs, but a potentially fatal combination of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications might have been the cause of death. He was 28 years old.

In published obituaries, Christoffersen's family made no mention of his sexual orientation and requested that donations in his honor be made to New Creation Ministry, a church solely devoted to the ex-gay movement — a movement which promotes attempts to change the sexual orientation of gay people to straight, in a Christian context. The gay community has expressed outrage at this, particularly due to the rumors that the drugs which may have killed Christoffersen were possibly being taken to cope with the way he was being treated by his unaccepting family.

Nathan's story was documented in The Advocate, a national LGBT magazine, in 2006. The two-part article was featured in the March 14 and March 28 issues. The article dealt with Nathan's story as well as the political climate facing the LGBT community in Fresno and the Central Valley.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathan_Christoffersen

Further Readings:

Advocate Days & Other Stories by Mark Thompson
Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Queer Mojo (September 15, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608640167
ISBN-13: 978-1608640164
Amazon: Advocate Days & Other Stories

What does it mean to be an advocate? To become a person who speaks out and defends a cause? In this collection of moving essays, longtime journalist Mark Thompson charts his own journey of becoming both a witness and participant in the gay liberation movement. He then goes on to describe other advocates of personal and political freedom he has known and how these friendships further informed his activism. His story begins in 1968 when, as a curious teenager in the throes of coming out, he accidentally discovers one of the first issues of The Advocate, a tiny Los Angeles newsletter that would grow into the gay movement's most important national journal of record. Little did he know that only in a few more years he'd be working for the publication-first as an enterprising young writer and then, after nearly two decades, as its Senior and Cultural Editor. Filled with historic eye-witness accounts of a movement and its primary chronicle always in flux, as well as profiles of artists and activists who have made a difference, Advocate Days and Other Stories is more than the sum of its parts. Taken together, these keenly observed tales offer a stirring testament to the significance of living a life graced with meaning and purpose.

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Tags: activist: nathan christoffersen, gay classics

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