Paul Harris, a local gay freelance journalist who had written for more than one hundred publications worldwide, has passed away.
I met Paul years ago through NLGJA, the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. In 1998, I wrote this:
Paul Harris, a freelance writer and playwright, hasn't been seen much in South Florida since becoming homeless in the recent Kings Point condominium fire in Wilton Manors.
"Dec. 18, " Harris says. "With the water and the smoke damage -- all my furniture, my carpeting, my books were totally damaged. Luckily, my computer survived. And some ceramics by my former lover, who died of AIDS, were saved."
Since the fire, Harris, 39, has been living temporarily in New York. He plans to come back this weekend for the South Florida premiere of his new play, To Have and to Hold, at the Edge Theater in South Beach.
The play, set in South Beach, is about "two gay men, HIV-positive and in their 30s . . . who meet through an ad and try to have a relationship, " Harris says. "It's about the greatest risk a human being makes -- getting to know someone else. It's about going for it, no matter what."
Harris knows of what he writes: He is HIV-positive, having been diagnosed 14 years ago.
"Aug. 30, " he says. "It's funny the dates you remember. The date your apartment burns down and the date you are diagnosed."