Robert Wade Brown, 64, formerly of Austin, died at his family home in Texarkana, Texas, on June 11, following a brief illness.
Brown was born and grew up in Texarkana where he graduated from Texas High School before attending college first at Texarkana College and later at the University of Texas at Austin.

From his earliest days, he was passionate about politics and government, and he was a tireless supporter of candidates and causes in which he believed.

During his college years and afterward, Brown spent countless hours working to make government open, honest and accountable.
After working in politics for several years, including the Connally for President campaign, Brown turned his political attention toward returning the Republican Party to its historical support of individual rights and liberties.

He formed one of the first gay Republican organizations in the 1980s, was one of the co-founders of the Log Cabin Republicans of Texas and was a strong supporter of the pro-choice movement.

In recent years, believing the Republican Party to be lost to the control of fanatics and sycophants, Brown devoted his time and talent to strengthening his local Democratic Party.

Though he considered himself a political independent, Brown was an active volunteer for Barack Obama’s election in 2008.

Among the things he considered his greatest moments were having the Capital City Men’s Chorus sing at the opening of the 1990 Travis County Republican Party convention, where the delegated passed the Texas GOP’s first — and only — countywide pro-LGBT equality platform; helping unseat Texas GOP Party Chairman Fred Meyer after Meyer reversed his support for inclusion and backed the party’s anti-gay platform; and arranging a broad-based coalition of Republican groups to convince Williamson County officials to reverse their votes against providing tax breaks to Apple Computer because of Apple’s domestic partner policies.

Brown also had a beautiful tenor voice that he enjoyed using in the Capital City Men’s Chorus and the Grace United Methodist Church choir.

Professionally, he owned Robert Wade Brown and Associates, a telecommunications consulting firm.

His clients included AIDS Services of Austin and the American Heart Association, where he served for almost 30 years.

Brown’s brilliant mind, sharp wit, love of good food and loyal friendship will be deeply missed. He truly left a mark on the world, and did all he could to make it a better place.

Brown was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by many friends and a legacy of fighting for integrity, honesty, equality and a better world.

A memorial service will be held at Grace United Methodist Church, 205 East Monroe in Austin, at 11 a.m. on Aug. 7.

Bennie “Ben” Aguilar, aka Clorritta Jay

Bennie “Ben” Aguilar, aka Clorritta Jay

Bennie “Ben” Aguilar, aka Clorritta Jay, 48, died Friday, June 4 at Parkland Memorial Hospital following a brief illness.

Aguilar was a 17-year staff member of the Hidden Door who will be remembered as a fun-loving, caring man who raised an untold amount of money for various GLBT charities through his persona as Corrita Jay, a former Miss Leo.

Aguilar was laid to rest next to his mother in McCamey, Texas, his boyhood home. He is survived in Dallas by his longest, dearest best friend, Michael Schuessler, and a host of other friends.

His friends and coworkers have invited everyone to attend a Fun Raiser show in his honor on Friday, June 18, at 8 p.m. at the Hidden Door, 5025 Bowser St.

The event will be hosted by Messy Panocha.

In addition, a memorial service will be held at the Hidden Door from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 19.

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 18, 2010.