elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Daniel Sotomayor & Scott McPherson

Daniel Sotomayor was an openly gay, nationally syndicated political cartoonist and prominent Chicago AIDS activist. He died of AIDS complications in 1992.

Daniel Sotomayor was born on August 30, 1958. He grew up in the Humbolt Park area of Chicago, at troubled youth of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent. He attended Prosser High School, studied acting at the Center Theatre, attended the American Academy of Art and graduated from Columbia College with a degree in graphic arts. He began to pursue a career in acting and graphic design.

Daniel's HIV seroconversion and sudden diagnosis with AIDS in 1988 shattered his personal and professional aspirations awakening in him the activist who changed forever the standard by which LGBT community leaders are judged.

After joining ACTUP/CHICAGO, Daniel proceeded through sheer force of will to propel that organization to its highest effective visibility. Daniel became widely known for his public confrontations with Mayor Richard M. Daley to bring attention to the AIDS crisis, the Chicago Health Department's responsibility to implement the City's AIDS Strategic Plan and inadequate education, prevention and media programs.

Scott and Daniel
Scott McPherson was an American playwright. In 1981, he moved to Chicago, where he acted in The Normal Heart, and The House of Blue Leaves. He was the author of critically acclaimed play Marvin’s Room, later made into a film. Daniel Sotomayor was a nationally syndicated political cartoonist and prominent Chicago AIDS activist. Daniel died as he lived, fighting, on February 5, 1992. Daniel's lover, Scott, in spite of variable and increasingly failing health, completed two commissioned screenplays and was working on a new play until shortly before his death, on November 7, 1992. 

Daniel Sotomayor

Daniel also established himself as the first nationally syndicated, openly gay political cartoonist. During his brief but brilliant three years career, he created over two hundred scathing, and often humorous, cartoons illustrating his anger with AIDS, with government inaction, with the insurance industry, the health care system, pharmaceutical companies and, frequently, with AIDS activists themselves.

Daniel has left his indelible mark on the AIDS movement, on the LGBT community's awakening as a political force, on the minds of "leaders" who have had reason to fear his unblinking honesty, and on the hearts of those who came to know the human being behind the headlines. Daniel's relentless pursuit of the truth helped him to live his life with a consistency of ethic that most of us can only aspire towards. In doing so, he changed forever the definition of "leader".

Daniel died as he lived-- fighting-- on February 5, 1992, at the age of 33. Daniel's lover, Scott McPherson, in spite of variable and increasingly failing health, completed two commissioned screenplays and was working on a new play until shortly before his death, on November 7, 1992, at the same age of 33.

Marvin's Room is a play by written by Scott McPherson that premiered off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons on 15 November 1991, and later adapted for a film of the same title in 1996. The play is based upon McPherson's experiences with AIDS in his family and with his lover Daniel Sotomayor.

Source: http://www.glhalloffame.org/index.pl?item=26&todo=view_item

Scott McPherson (October 13, 1959 Columbus, Ohio - November 7, 1992 Chicago) was an American playwright.

He was one of the first openly gay, HIV-positive American artists, a renowned playwright and accomplished actor. He was the author of the critically acclaimed playMarvin’s Room, later made into a film. Born in 1959, he died of AIDS complications in 1992.

Scott McPherson, renowned playwright and actor, author of the critically acclaimed, award-winning play Marvin’s Room, is regarded as one of Chicago's most vital artistic and creative forces. Amidst the homophobia and AIDS hysteria presently gripping this nation, McPherson was one of the first openly gay, HIV-positive American artists. He has spoken eloquently, both in his writing and in interviews, of the personal and familial ravages of chronic illness and the need for loving support and connection with lovers, family and friends.

McPherson was born in Columbus, Ohio, and raised, along with seven siblings, in a devout Roman Catholic home. He acquired his great love for literature in his youth. He began acting in high school and attended Ohio University where he majored in theater and dance. An early one-act version of his first play, 'Til the Fat Lady Sings, was first produced at Ohio University. Fat Lady was later produced in Chicago by Lifeline Theatre under the direction of Eric Simonson. Ohio University named a new theater space in McPherson's honor.

McPherson moved to Chicago in 1981 and was cast regularly in local theatrical productions, commercials and industrial films. His work as an actor included performances in The Shrew, Butler County, Gentrification, Expectations, The House of Blue Leaves, The Normal Heart and many others.

Scott McPherson, AIDS quilt

Three of McPherson's plays have been produced in Chicago: 'Til the Fat Lady Sings, Scraped and most notably, Marvin’s RoomMarvin’s Room, first produced by the Goodman Theatre in 1990, has also been produced at Hartford Stage in Hartford, Connecticut, Playwrights Horizon and Minetta Lane Theatre in New York City, and at Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The play has received the Drama Desk Award, the Oppenheimer Award, the Obie Drama Award, the John Whiting Foundation Award for Writing, and the Outer Critics Circle Award. It was later made into a major motion picture starring Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, and Hume Cronyn.

In spite of variable and increasingly failing health, and the illness and recent death of his lover, Daniel Sotomayor, McPherson had completed two commissioned screenplays and was working on a new play until shortly before his death. He died in Chicago on November 7, 1992.

Source: http://www.glhalloffame.org/index.pl?item=22&todo=view_item

Further Readings:

Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City's Gay Community by Tracy Baim
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Agate Surrey (September 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1572841001
ISBN-13: 978-1572841000
Amazon: Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City's Gay Community

Out and Proud in Chicago takes readers through the long and rich history of the city's LGBT community. Lavishly illustrated with color and black-and white-photographs, the book draws on a wealth of scholarly, historical, and journalistic sources. Individual sections cover the early days of the 1800s to World War II, the challenging community-building years from World War II to the 1960s, the era of gay liberation and AIDS from the 1970s to the 1990s, and on to the city's vital, post-liberation present.

Marvin's Room by Scott McPherson
Paperback: 72 pages
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Inc. (January 1998)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0822213125
ISBN-13: 978-0822213123
Amazon: Marvin's Room

The tale of one family's journey through humor and heartache, seperation and self-discovery, "Marvin's Room" examines the ties that bind families together ....whether they like it or not.

Marvin's Room
Actors: Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert DeNiro
Format: Color, DVD, Widescreen, NTSC
Language: English
Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: May 3, 2011
Amazon: Marvin's Room

Leonardo DiCaprio (TITANIC, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN) drives an electrifying performance as the criminally rebellious son in this funny and stirring tale of one family's humor and heartache. Seventeen years ago, fiercely independent Lee (Meryl Streep -- ADAPTATION) left home ... and left behind her kindhearted sister Bessie (Diane Keaton -- THE FIRST WIVES CLUB) to care for their father, Marvin (Hume Cronyn). But now Lee is returning with her teenage son (DiCaprio), for a homecoming that's sure to turn the entire household upside down! Also starring Robert DeNiro (CASINO), this entertaining motion picture proves that people you know the least may be the ones you need the most!

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Tags: activist: daniel sotomayor, author: scott mcpherson, days of love tb

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