RIP, Irving Martinez

My friend, Irving Martinez, died yesterday at age 51 in Macon.

He was very passionate about politics, and last time I saw him, he was very talkative about perceived corruption in Macon city politics. I first met him at a downtown bar after a Bibb County Democratic Party conference at Macon City Hall. Openly identifying as bisexual, he claimed to have been a participant in the landmark Stonewall riots in New York City in 1969. We talked about the work that I did with PFLAG Macon, and about the political status of LGBT people in Macon and Middle Georgia. We friended each other on Facebook that night.

The last time we met, or even spoke, was during my 16 April 2013 guest spot on The Morning Roast, a live-streaming Internet show hosted by Irving, Derrick Barrett and Anthony B. Harris. On a 2 April episode, they had hosted then-incumbent State Senator Miriam Paris.

I’ll never forget what he kept saying to me during my guest spot: “Look at the camera!”

Unfortunately, the video of the episode is blocked on YouTube for music copyright reasons. Last I read, he pursued his political dream and gained 6 percent in the Democratic party primary, forcing Paris and former State Representative David Lucas into a runoff which Lucas won. Perhaps his message got through to that district.

The last time he posted to his Facebook account was on 6 February. Nothing in his post indicated what would happen this past Sunday morning, 16 February 2013.

Solidarity for his friends and family. I hope that The Morning Roast will press on in his stead.

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