Northeast Baltimore suffers another gay murder

Less than three weeks after Tamala Harris was charged in connection with the stabbing death of her girlfriend Tekeya Amanda Johnson in the 6000 block of Amberwood Road in Northeast Baltimore, another murder involving a gay couple struck the area on Oct. 11.

Andre Nicholas, 28, who performed a variety of handyman jobs at Club Bunns, was found dead in the basement of his boyfriend’s mother’s home at the 2500 block of Garrett Ave. Nicholas’ boyfriend of about a year and a half, Jermaine Jackson, also 28, was arrested and charged in the homicide.

According to police charging documents, Jackson’s mother told police that the suspect was in the basement of her house with a male friend when she left the dwelling in the morning. She reported that she returned home around 6 p.m. to cook dinner when her son came up from his room in the basement telling her there was a dead body in his bed.

Jackson then told his mother to get important papers together because they needed to leave the house. When she asked what happened, Jackson told his mother, “he choked and stabbed Nicholas because the victim wanted him to do something he didn’t want to do,” police wrote in the documents. What that request entailed has not yet been identified.

The mother walked partway down the steps and saw what she believed was a body wrapped in plastic on Jackson’s bed. She then called police and the fire department. Upon arriving at the scene, police discovered a male wrapped in a sheet and plastic suffering from apparent stab wounds. Nicholas was pronounced dead at the scene.

A photo of the corpse was posted on Jackson’s Facebook page then removed following protests from the victim’s friends. Police are reportedly investigating how the photo was posted during the time Jackson was in custody.

Mark McLaurin, a very close friend of Nicholas and who knew the couple well, said that Nicholas frequently spent the night at Jackson’s mother’s home. “Andre was always the much bigger personality, and Jermaine was more quiet and laid back but not at all standoffish, almost shy but affable and approachable. It’s impossible to know what happened that day but I never would have guessed in a million years that Jermaine would kill Andre.”

McLaurin, a Washington D.C. resident and political director for the Service Employees International Union Local 500, added, “I know it’s a cliché but Andre never met a stranger, through the sheer force of his personality and the brightness of his light. To know Andre was to love Andre. Our community has lost so many, but this one is particularly hard.”

Court documents indicate Jackson was charged with Murder in the First Degree, Murder in the Second Degree, Assault in the First Degree, Assault in the Second Degree, Possession of a Dangerous Weapon with Intent to Injure and Possession of a Concealed Dangerous Weapon.

A preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 18 in District Court at 1400 E. North Ave. in Baltimore.

Documentary Gen Silent to screen twice in Columbia

The LGBT Older Adults Task Force of Howard County and PFLAG Howard County will be hosting SAGE Metro DC in a free showing of documentary film, Gen Silent. The film highlights how LGBT older people fear discrimination by caregivers or bullying by other seniors forcing many to simply go back into the closet. A discussion led by Dr. Imani Woody, Chair of SAGE Metro DC follows the film.

The first screening tales place on Nov. 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way, Columbia, MD 21045. The second occurs Nov. 20 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Bain Senior Center, 5470 Ruth Keaton Way, Columbia, MD 21044.

The 2010 documentary film is directed and produced by Stu Maddux. It follows the lives of six LGBT seniors living in the Boston area who must choose if they will hide their sexuality in order to survive in the long-term health care system. Their surprising decisions are captured through intimate access to their day-to-day lives over the course of a year.

It has been screened at numerous colleges and universities as well as in front of government agencies and healthcare organizations. Gen Silent premiered at the Boston LGBT Film Festival and has won numerous awards at others.

The title of the film is a reference to the generations of older LGBT people who remain in the closet or re enter the closet out of concern for their safety or quality of life. As a result of the documentary, the term “Gen Silent” has increased in use as a way to refer to this group.

Gay Life November 2014

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