Wednesday, December 01, 2021

WORLD AIDS DAY: Shane remembers his friend Matt

It is December 1st, WORLD AIDS DAY. Four years ago, my late husband, Shane Smith, creator, editor and curator of this blog wrote this poignant remembrance of his friend, Matt. They knew each other when they were both very young, having moved to the metropolis of Toronto from different smaller communities in search of themselves... somehow they found one another and became friends. 

I would like to think that if Shane were alive today, he would have reposted this. 

Before you read Shane's post, if there is someone you love, or loved... know or knew, that is in need of peace, healing and love, please take this moment - and many others - to offer your thoughts and prayers to them. 

Curtis Grest

Mourning Has Broken: Remembering My Friend Matt on World AIDS Day 2017

Written by Shane Smith, Editor, Stonewall Gazette

Today, on World AIDS Day 2017, I am thinking of my late friend Matt and I'm reminded of lyrics from the hymn "Morning Has Broken" a song which was made popular in the early 1970's by singer-songwriter Cat Stevens. The first line of the song is:

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird

The song has been playing in my head for a couple of days now since I read Hank Trout's recent article, Kintsugi: A Survivor’s Reflection on World AIDS Day 2017. In the piece Hank explains how the Japanese mend broken objects by filling in the cracks with gold. The gold emphasizes the many broken pieces.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Shane Smith: 1962 to 2021

Dear Stonewall Gazette Friends,  

My name is Curtis Grest and I was privileged to be Shane's partner and husband for nearly 38 years. 

It is with a heavy heart and deepest sorrow that I must announce Shane's death from cancer, which occurred just after 1:00 AM on Saturday, August 14, 2021. He was 58 years old. 

Shane had been ill for just over 2 years, eventually being diagnosed with Stage 4 Peritoneal Cancer in early March 2020. From April 2020 to January 2021, Shane endured 19 brutal rounds of chemotherapy and suffered from many complications related to his cancer right up until his passing. 

A month after what was to be Shane's final post here on Stonewall Gazette, his oncologist advised us that Shane had 3 to 6 months left to live. 

Shane was a paragon of courage and dignity throughout his "cancer journey" choosing not to wallow in sorrow or in fear. Death did not scare Shane and even in the face of great physical and emotional pain due to his body's failing health, Shane never complained. He never lost his sense of purpose, his humour or his kindness. We told each other, daily, even as he lived the last 6 weeks of his life in hospice care, that we were still making new memories together. 

Shane lived and he loved. 

Shane began his blogging journey in 2006 after a cycling accident left him with permanent spinal damage. Unable to return to his work in the travel industry, Shane created the blog that year. QTC eventually became Stonewall Gazette and Shane devoted himself to LGBTQ2+ advocacy through his social media presence over the next 15 years. 

During this time, Shane lived with chronic spinal pain and there were periods when he could no longer physically sustain the effort required to maintain a daily blog. However, when the Pulse massacre, and later, the election of the 45th U.S. president occurred, Shane dove back in to Stonewall Gazette with renewed purpose and fervor. Shane believed his social media mission through Stonewall Gazette was to continually encourage you, the readers and subscribers - especially those living in the U.S. - to never give up hope, to have courage and to take action. Shane was determined not only to ensure that Stonewall Gazette delivered relevant LGBTQ2+ news and perspectives from around the world but to also share his unwavering conviction that good would triumph. I believe that he succeeded in his efforts. 

Prior to his death, Shane had requested that anyone wishing to honour him could do so by kindly contributing to the organizations listed at the end of this post. Shane loved history, and it was of significant importance to him that we included The ArQuives: Canada's LGBTQ2)+ Archives on this list as they are dedicated to collecting and preserving the history of LGBTQ2+ here in Canada. There is also no small irony in the fact that The ArQuives is located across the street from where we first met in in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in January of 1984. 

Shane was a brilliant, highly intelligent man who was challenged by Dyslexia throughout his life. He did not receive a diagnosis until he was 38 years old, so my personal request for an honouring contribution would be to the SRCF Learning Centre for Windsor (Ontario), which supports children and teens with Dyslexia in cities across Canada. The link provided is for our local chapter. 

I would like to express, on behalf of Shane, my deepest thanks to those whose reading of Stonewall Gazette was your daily act of personal advocacy. A special mention goes out to those who took the time to personally communicate with Shane via direct message on Stonewall Gazette. He was always and truly humbled by your words of thanks, support, gratitude and love. 

Finally, I regret to advise that Stonewall Gazette will continue to remain on indefinite hiatus therefore comments will neither be reviewed or moderated on the site at this time. 

For anyone wishing to offer condolences, share their thoughts or comment on this post, please reply to: 

I will endeavour to respond to all messages.  

May you live in light, love and peace, in courage and with action, each and every day. Shane would want that for all of you. 

Kindest Regards,

Curtis Grest

By Shane's request, if you so desire, donations can be made to the following organizations: 

The Arquives: Canada's LGBTQ2)+ Archives

Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation

Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre

SRCF Learning Centre for Windsor 
(Please visit:

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Important Message from the Editor

Dear Readers,
Stonewall Gazette is being placed on an indefinite hiatus due to my health. I have stage four peritoneal cancer. 

Life's journey can be a rough road with many hard turns along the way however I'm determined to persevere and stay active for my community. My hope is to possibly continue the Gazette in some capacity in the future. 


Shane Smith, Editor