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Stanley Bennett Clay Remembers E. Lynn Harris

Stanley Bennett Clay Remembers E. Lynn Harris

Author: Stanley Bennett Clay

July 14, 2010

I first met Lynn in the early nineties, just as his well-deserved star began illuminating the literary horizon, thanks to Doubleday’s publication of his self-published phenom Invisible Life. At the time I was publisher and editor-in-chief of SBC Magazine, the largest national monthly for the Black LGBT community. I knew immediately that this was a groundbreaking artist who absolutely had to be celebrated in the pages of my magazine. But upon meeting Lynn for our first interview, I not only found a visionary, but a new friend, whose southern charm, gentle ways and generous spirit made him more than just an editorial feature subject.

As I recall the many, many phone calls and lunches that we shared over the years, the laughter, the gossip, the ups and downs of our love lives, our genuine appreciation of each other, and our partings that always ended with an “I love you, man/ I love you, too,” I will always hear in my head and in my heart the gentle ring of his smiling voice, rich with the warmth of his southern-gentleman way.

Though the pain of his loss is a void I fear cannot be filled, I take solace in the sweet memories that we shared; two black gay men that truly knew love, knew life, knew friendship and shared dreams of a community that could be changed with the stroke of a pen.

I love you, man. I miss you, too.

This July will be honoring the memory of author E. Lynn Harris, who passed away last year. As a part of our tribute, we asked his friends and peers to tell us about the important legacy of his work and his incredible impact on the community.

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About: Stanley Bennett Clay

Stanley Bennett Clay received three NAACP Theatre Awards and three Drama-logue Awards for writing, directing and co-producing the stage play Ritual. He made his film writing and directorial debut with the film version, which won the Pan African Film Festival Jury Award. He is the author of three novels, Diva, In Search of Pretty Young Black Men, and Looker. He is also the co-author of the current Visible Lives: Three Stories in Tribute to E. Lynn Harris.

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