A gay man who went viral for protesting a drag queen story hour died Monday in an apparent suicide.
President of the University of Queensland’s conservative Liberal National Club Wilson Gavin died early Monday morning in Brisbane, Australia, at the age of 21, Buzzfeed reports. His death came a day after Gavin sparked internet backlash by protesting a drag queen story hour with about 20 others from the Liberal National Club.
The Liberal National Party had distanced itself from the student club, which disaffiliated with the Liberal National Party in December.
The young man was gay and had campaigned against same-sex marriage in the past, the publication reports. His friend Solomon Sankari described Gavin to Buzzfeed as a “very smart young man.” (RELATED: NBC Highlights Transgender Man’s Menstrual Pain: ‘I Felt Isolated’)
“Well-liked by all he met. Intelligent, funny and caring. A genuinely nice soul. It’s a shame he’s gone. Massive monarchist. He had a great passion and love for the Royal Family,” Sankari said.
University of Queensland senator Drew Pavlou, who tutored Gavin’s family members, also described the late 21-year-old as “a firebrand”.
“Very controversial politics. Like a swashbuckler,” he told Buzzfeed.
Gavin and his fellow club members “stormed” into the Sunday morning drag queen story hour at Brisbane Square Library, chanting “drag queens are not for kids,” according to a video from the Australian news outlet Sunrise.
A group of conservative uni students has been slammed online after they stormed a drag queen children’s storytelling event at a Brisbane council library.
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) January 12, 2020
Gavin’s protest caused outrage among prominent Australians and Twitter users who condemned the protest using the hashtag #Istandwithqueens, Buzzfeed reports.
LGBTQIA+ & Human Rights Activist Johnny Valkyrie, who is transgender, posted on Facebook that the protest “was planned and targeted at me. It hurt and affected so many others. I am sorry.”
Today, I went to Brisbane Libraries to read to children and families, an event organised by at Brisbane City Council for…
“There were children crying, families distressed and of course, Diamond & I were victim to vilification, harassment and nuisance. The police responded and have been notified. The fantastic staff at Brisbane Libraries were absolutely devastated and I commend them for their proactivity, their kindness and their bravery.”
Valkyrie also criticized Gavin in the post, saying that Gavin is “openly homosexual. He is hurting…hurt people hurt people.” Valkyrie did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The University of Queensland did not directly address Gavin’s death, but said in a statement that it understands that “the events of the past two days are very distressing for many people.”
“Our priority is to provide support for our students and staff who have been impacted,” the university, which did not respond to a request for comment from the DCNF, said. “Mutual respect and diversity are core values of the University, and we hope that everyone shows consideration for those affected during the difficult days ahead.”
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