Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Slaughtered Gay Puerto Rican Teen Laid to Rest by Family and Friends

Toa Alto, Puerto Rico – Jorge Steven López Mercado was laid to rest by over a thousand family members and friends on Monday.  His mother, Miriam Mercado, and Pedro Julio Serrano, leading LGBT activist, made moving statements remembering Jorge Steven amidst bouquets of white roses and multicolored balloons.  The whole gathering offered a final tribute to the slain teenager by saluting his resting place with his signature hand gesture, captured in so many photos on happier days.  According to Boy from Bushwick, who has been covering the whole saga of young López Mercado’s brutal murder since the beginning, the youth’s maternal aunt, Ruby Mercado, told reporters present to cover the funeral mass, “The support we have received from the public and Steven’s friends has given us the strength to bear this moment of such horrible pain.  I asked Steven with his wings from heaven to help us carry on without having him by our side.”  One of his friends, José Alicia, said, “We definitely hope people and society wake up and demand justice.”  El Nuevo Dia reports that Jorge Steven’s aunt and his former boyfriend, Luis Rivera, opened the cask holding his ashes, and placed a small necklace bearing a cross and a white rose inside before the interment.  The service at Toa Alto bore the passion and style of the flamboyant young gay Puerto Rican from beginning to end.  Music accompanying his ashes to the grave was Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”: “I won’t tell you that I love you/Kiss or hug you/’Cause I’m bluffin’ with my muffin/I’m not lyin’ I’m just stunnin’ with my love-glue-gunning/Can’t read my, Can’t read my/No he can’t read my poker face.” Again and again during the funeral, family and friends called for respect for the LGBT community in Puerto Rico, and justice for Jorge Steven.  Rest in peace, mi amigo.

November 24, 2009 - Posted by | anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Condolences, funerals, gay men, Hate Crimes, Latino and Latina Americans, Puerto Rico, Remembrances, Social Justice Advocacy | , , , , , , ,

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