The 29-year-old local pioneer was named to the 2014 POZ100 list one week ago
SEATTLE, Wa.—Seattle Pride is saddened to have learned of the passing of Spokane, Washington native Brad Crelia, 29, on November 21st. Crelia co-founded HIVster.com with his friend Jesse James Kendall six months after learning he was HIV-positive himself. The beloved community member was named to the 2014 POZ100 list earlier this week.
“The Seattle HIV/AIDS community has lost a defining voice in the passing of Brad Crelia,” Seattle Pride President Eric Bennett said. “Our thoughts are with Brad’s family and friends during this difficult time.”
Regarding HIVster, Crelia told Seattle journalist Dan Savage on May 16, 2011: “Hivster.com is an online magazine that strives to give voice to anyone living with or affected by HIV. We believe that living life to the fullest is essential to everyone, especially those who are HIV+. The disease is only part of one’s life and it’s important to remember the things we love.” [pullquote]”…HIV+ guys are not doomed to life alone and you still can and will enjoy life. There are just a few more hurdles to jump over,” Crelia said.[/pullquote]
Love also meant dating for Crelia. He discussed in the same interview one of the common misconceptions regarding an HIV-positive status and courtship.
“That they won’t date you, sleep with you or care about you. After I found out I was positive, I had a few dates and the guys didn’t care about my status, and eventually met a really special guy, we were together until just a few weeks ago. HIV+ guys are not doomed to life alone and you still can and will enjoy life. There are just a few more hurdles to jump over,” Crelia said.
In 2012, Brad went to the International AIDS Conference as an attendee and journalist. This May, he attended the HIV Is Not a Crime conference in Iowa and gained insight on efforts to decriminalize HIV. At the time of his death, Brad worked with the Spokane AIDS Network and served on the board of the Odyssey Youth Center.[pullquote] “Brad’s courage and unreserved willingness to step into the sometimes harsh public light to further educate the LGBTQ community and assist HIV-positive community members to live fuller lives is truly going to leave a gaping hole in our community.—Seattle Pride Director of Events Teri Bednarski[/pullquote]
“While I did not know Brad personally, I was always moved by and grateful for his honesty and insights,” said Seattle Pride Director-at-Large Saracristina Garcia. “We will miss him.”
“Brad’s courage and unreserved willingness to step into the sometimes harsh public light to further educate the LGBTQ community and assist HIV-positive community members to live fuller lives is truly going to leave a gaping hole in our community. He will be more than missed,” said Seattle Pride Director of Events Teri Bednarski.
About Seattle Pride
Seattle Pride is a non-profit organization based in Seattle, WA, whose purpose is to create unity, honor diversity, and achieve equal human rights throughout our region and the world. Seattle Pride is focused on informing and educating the community on LGBT issues through community outreach and produced events, including the annual Seattle Pride Parade, Pride Idol,Pride Brunch, and the Seattle Pride Picnic.
[From a News Release]