Peter Taylor 8.30AM: Tributes are being paid to the late Peter Taylor, who died last night after a long period of illness. Taylor was a highly visible member of the Auckland gay community. He was open about his rare combination of HIV and leishmaniasis infections and the difficulties he experienced as he endured hundreds of courses of chemotherapy, blood transfusions and surgical interventions. His optimism and determined spirit, which endured for two decades spent fighting to stay alive, only flagged in recent weeks when his increasing frailty meant he could no longer summon the strength to continue. "It's really sad to see Peter go, especially before he'd lived what should have been a natural lifetime," said Bruce Kilmister, another openly HIV positive gay man and the general manager of HIV-positive people's peer support and advocacy organisation Body Positive. "Peter was an outstanding and inspirational man, his never give up attitude was so unique. He was just so amazing." Jonathan Smith, creator of the spectacular annual drag pageant which Taylor famously won in 2007 has also paid tribute to a man he calls "an inspiration." "Peter taught me so much about living with a chronic illness. I have very fond memories of our times together when he was planning his winning performance in Queen Of The Whole Universe 2007... the only winner to get a standing ovation," says Smith. "His strength and sheer determination to enjoy life must be acknowledged as one of his major achievements. Peter was, and will always be, an inspiration to me." Smith says the gay community has lost "a truly iconic character." Speaking from London, Taylor's Auckland Public Hospital infectious diseases specialist, Dr. Mark Thomas, has also paid tribute, saying his patient was "an absolutely remarkable man who had success in many areas of his life." "Peter's energy, confidence, enthusiasm, generosity and appreciation of life were an inspiration. It was an honour and a privilege knowing him," says Thomas. GayNZ.com readers can acknowledge Peter Taylor in the GayNZ.com Forum, here.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Monday, 16th September 2013 - 8:20am
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