imageContributing blogger Darian Aaron is an Alabama native who now calls Atlanta home. He’s the creator of Living Out Loud with Darian, a blog that offers his take on social, political and religious issues that impact the LGBT community.

The news of celebrated black gay author E. Lynn Harris’ sudden passing last week from an apparent heart attack while on a west coast book tour has shocked many who were fortunate to know him personally and thousands more who fell in love with him through his work.

It has taken me a few days to wrap my brain and my heart around this devastating loss. There will never be another E. Lynn Harris, he was one of a kind. I’m finding it extremely difficult to describe the impact his gift had on me early in life when I was desperately looking to find literature that reflected my experience as a black gay man.

As I reflect on his life and his death, it becomes increasingly easy to mourn this monumental loss to our community, although he may not be with us in the physical I know his work will live on.

I feel incredibly blessed to have known E. Lynn Harris and to have had his support. Never in a million years did I think such a literary giant as he, whose books I read in secret before I found the courage to walk in my truth would befriend me. Deleting your number from my phone E. Lynn and knowing that if I called you would no longer pick up was a hard pill to swallow.

I know you’re up in heaven having a party with James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, and Audre Lorde. You will be missed but never forgotten.

Read my January interview with E. Lynn Harris.