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PASSAGES Gay philanthropist Henry van Ameringen dies
2020-09-16

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Henry van Ameringen, a major donor to LGBTQ+ and HIV organizations, died Sept. 9. He was 90, according to a Plus magazine item.

Lambda Legal CEO Kevin Jennings said in a statement that Windy City Times obtained, "Henry van Amerigen was a thoughtful and indefatigable supporter of and advocate for full equality civil rights for LGBTQ people and everyone living with HIV. He was justly celebrated and will be long remembered as one of the greatest philanthropists our community, New York City, and our nation has ever seen.

"Quite simply, our movement would not be where it is today if not for Henry van Ameringen: There has been no major advance in the fight for justice for LGBTQ people and everyone living with HIV in which his philanthropy did not play a role."

Besides Lambda Legal, van Ameringen also donated to Gay Men's Health Crisis, New York City Anti-Violence Project, National Center for Transgender Equality, Ali Forney Center, Griot Circle, Movement Advancement Prohect ( MAP ) and New York's LGBT Community Center, Plus added. He was also a funder of In the Life Media, which produced In the Life, a PBS series on LGBTQ+ people and issues.

Chris Cormier Maggiano—MAP's board chair as well as a longtime friend and advisor to van Ameringen—said in a separate statement, "As one of the first gay major donors, Henry gave at a level and in a way that made him a giant in philanthropy, but he did so with a humility that is rare and telling.

"Henry's true legacy is not just the hundreds of millions of resources that he gave away throughout his life, but also the way he took care of his community —and the inclusive way that he defined it."

Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen also issued a release about van Ameringen. In part, it read, "He was our superhero and the organization would not exist without his support. I love this man, who was an indispensable donor for LGBTQ causes and incredible human being with giant heart."

Gay City News reported that van Ameringen is survived by his spouse, T. Eric Galloway, as well as six nieces and nephews. Donations in his name can be made to Fountain House ( FountainHouse.org ), a New York City mental health services organization, or Lambda Legal ( LambdaLegal.org ) .


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