11.55PM: Showing remarkable energy and frequently choking with emotion, Peter Taylor has paid tribute to his partner who he said is the reason he has put up with the increasingly debilitating effects of his deteriorating state of health. Taylor, who has both HIV and leishmanaiasis, has opted to come off all medications and interventions and allow his now failing body to succumb to the diseases. Taylor's lead clinician, infectious diseases specialist Dr Mark Thomas of Auckland Public Hospital, told the packed audience that his patient has fought strongly for his life. Likening him to Napoleon, Thomas said Taylor had taught him how to tolerate a tough life and about optimism, determination and generosity. Quoting from the title of one of Taylor's books, his past business associate of Sentinel Equestrian in Australia and mentor, Judith Peters, said "the philosophy Peter has taught me is: 'Don't Postpone Joy." MC Buckwheat recounted how Taylor had met Rodney Colman "the love of his life" eight years ago. At this point the emotionally drawn Taylor gently kissed Coleman. A video clip of Taylor's remarkable drag performance in a Queen Of The Whole Universe pageant drew cheers from the audience. Taylor was almost totally deaf and blind at the time and a documentary clip showed him talking about how isolating that had been. Robyn Pearce of the National Speakers Association said she and Taylor first met at his boutique Ponsonby Road bar, Dorothy's Sister. "We were like brother and sister," she told Taylor. "You could hardly see, hardly hear, but you still took me in as a friend and I thank you for that." The red book which had been circulating for people to write comments, messages and memories in was then presented to Taylor by Buckwheat who pronounced the words "Peter Taylor, this is your life." Thanking the audience for coming Taylor reminded them all "We need hope." With tears streaming down his cheeks he paid fulsome tribute to Colman. "He's the reason why I put up with this condition for the last six years."
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Saturday, 31st August 2013 - 11:55pm
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