Ric Weiland, 1953-2006
This is strange. I had originally penned this saying that this is the third high profile LGBT related death in the last week, but that is not true. Ric Weiland, one of the first five employees of Microsoft and a major investor in PlanetOut (the largest LGBT corporation in the world -- owner of things like Gay.com), actually died in June of 2006 of a gunshot wound to the head. It is reported that he suffered from clinical depression, and the death was ruled as a suicide.
What made news was that, yesterday, Mr. Weiland left $65 million to LGBT and HIV/AIDS related causes ($65m of $160m total bequeathed of his estate), thus making it the largest single donation to LGBT-related causes ever, according to the CNN report. Nineteen million alone went to the Pride Foundation, a funding source for other LGBT organization in the US Northwest. Other beneficiaries included AMFAR, GLSEN, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Lambda Legal, Parents Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), the Servicemember's Legal Defense Network, and the Lifelong AIDS Alliance, Seattle's local ASO.
All the usual contenders, in other words. Except... no Human Rights Campaign??? $65million would have paid for that nice building they have, wouldn't it???
Regardless of the drama, it is sad that Ric is gone, and I sympathize with his surviving partner, Michael Scaefer. But...
...thank you, Ric. Thank you for remembering.