Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The avoidable death of Thomas Disch

In my previous post I spoke of how sad I was upon learning of the suicide of one of my favourite writers, Thomas Disch. Below is an article that posits the idea that perhaps if Disch and his partner, Charles Naylor had been able to legally wed things may have been very different for them due to the legal considerations given to married couples.

On July 4, 2008, the out science fiction writer shot himself in his New York apartment. Could gay marriage have saved him?

Renee Perry writes:

Writer Thomas Disch’s life has been hard over the last few years. His partner of 35 years, the poet Charles Naylor, died in 2005 after a long struggle with cancer that used up their savings. His own health was not good: Disch, a big man, was diabetic and had difficulty walking. In October 2007, the landlord of his rent-controlled apartment in Manhattan’s Union Square won a decision in appellate court against Disch -- because Charles Naylor’s name was on the lease -- and was threatening to evict him. The pipes in his second home in upstate New York burst in 2007. When Disch assessed the damage months later, he found mold growing on keepsakes, books, the piano, and the box containing his partner’s ashes. READ MORE