Stephen Peter Gorman, 69, died at home Aug. 19 in Washington, D.C., holding the hand of his husband of 26 years, Richard E. Cytowic, M.D. “The best way to die,” he said, “is in the room of your choice, surrounded by the people of your choice, holding the hand of your choice.” In the 1980s, Gorman served as an AIDS buddy and subsequently had enormous experience assisting the dying.
He grew up in Waterville, Maine, the third of seven siblings to a family deeply steeped in politics, as he would be. Born profoundly hard of hearing and taunted relentlessly for it during his youth, he overcame the mockery to earn degrees in anthropology, economics, and nursing.
He worked in emergency medical rescue and became chair of the D.C. Mayor’s Committee on Persons with Disabilities. He was a champion of the marginalized and misunderstood.
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