Turning anti-gay hate into love with a Loring Park memorial to Joel Larson


3 thoughts on “Turning anti-gay hate into love with a Loring Park memorial to Joel Larson

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  2. I worked with Jay Johnson, He was a great guy and i knew he was gay and he knew that i did.
    We worked the overnight hours and was mostly pretty quiet at work so it gave both Jay and i lots of time to talk.
    He was such a caring guy and i was shocked when i went into work and there were news crews everywhere. as soon as i walked in the door my manager rushed me into the back office and told me what Jay had done, I couldn’t believe what i was hearing because to me Jay was not the type to do something like that.
    While i was in the office the phone rang and one of my co workers said it was Jay and he would only talk to me.
    I was shaking and all i could say to him was you didn’t do this did you and he replied yes and told me that he got aids from him and wanted to get him back for what he did.Jay said he gave me a death sentence. He couldn’t talk long on the phone because he was in custody but he called to tell me to have the manager give his checks to his parents.
    I could hear in his voice that he knew he did wrong and knew now that he would die in jail from aids.
    My managers would not let me talk to the press or authorities and they knew that Jay and i worked together a lot.
    I felt so bad for both party’s because one died and the other will die and he was a good friend to me.
    I send prayers to Joel’s friends and family and friends and family of Jay’s.

  3. I remember attending the vigil for Joel in Loring Park in 1992. Even though I was just another face in the crowd of between one or two dozen people, I recall feeling that it was very important that I be there. It was the last rally I attended in Minneapolis before moving back to Wisconsin permanently a few weeks later. I was sad that I never had the opportunity to know Joel, and reading this article brings back that feeling poignantly.

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