James E. Loepere

James E. Loepere

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  • Jeff Wilson

    I met Jim in the summer of 1974 at a dance for gay students in the old Student Union of the State University of Buffalo where we were both students. We spent the evening talking, dancing and getting to know each other. After the dance, we went with friends to one of the local gay bars, and by the time the bar closed, there was no public transport running. We walked from downtown Buffalo to Delaware Park, where we sat on a hill until dawn, talking and making out. He became my first boyfriend. We roomed together in the dorms that fall, but we parted ways in 1975 as I was not ready to be publicly ‘out’ and he was. We lost contact after that. I finally came out in 1997 after a long struggle with my sexuality and a failed marriage. While volunteering for Buffalo’s local AIDS organizations, I found out that Jim had passed away in Key West in1990 from complications due to the virus which both shocked and saddened me, as he was such a vital, talented man, proficient in several languages. I write this to honor his memory, and I hope to find out more about what he accomplished in the rest of his short life. Rest well, dear Jim…