When I checked in with our friend Wayne Harris up in Portland, Oregon, he delivered the news that Carl had committed suicide and we both had to process that info. Wayne shared this story from the East Bay RI news site:
A Bristol man jumped to his death off the Mt. Hope Bridge Sunday afternoon. Carl Goodman, 58, of Bristol, was pronounced dead at Rhode Island Hospital at 4:42 p.m. Jan. 5.
Police and firefighters were called to the base of the bridge on Lower Ferry Road at 3:53 p.m. A caller had reported seeing a man on the bridge looking over the side. According to the Bristol police log, the “male jumped, is under the bridge on land.”
Mr. Goodman was recently interviewed by the Providence Journal for an article about Obamacare. The Providence Journal reported that Mr. Goodman was “a consultant who does business development and training for lawyers.”
As I've gone through my morning routine, with tears and sadness, and a few giggles at the good times we shared over the decades, I have tried to come to grips with the fact that Carl was surviving all these years with AIDS and chose to end his life with an act of suicide.
In the BC era, before cocktails, Carl and I met and became friends when I was in the Mob and he was partnered with Tom Hannon, and together they were key individuals in the underground drug and then buyers club movements.
Carl heartily approved of the activism and strategic zaps we ten or so members of the Lavender Hill Mob carried out. In February 1987, after the Mob had appeared at and disrupted a CDC conference in Atlanta about a Reagan administration proposal of mandatory HTLV-III testing, putting anger and access to treatments on the agenda through media attention we brought about, Carl and I were excited that Larry Kramer was soon to speak at the NYC gay community center about the crappy state of AIDS.
Carl was with me at Larry's now-famous talk that led to the formation of ACT UP and participated in many early actions, and was an occasional member of the Treatment + Data Committee.
Ok, the tears are flowing again as I write this and in the background I'm listening to the classic album "Gonna Take a Miracle" from Laura Nyro and LaBelle. One of my earliest and fondest memories of time with Carl and Tom Hannon at their Greenwich Village Perry Street studio was listening to the album and we three queen singing along with the girls.
Rest in peace, Carl. You were and are very much loved.
UPDATE #2: I've posted a fond remembrance of a political project Carl and I worked involving Bill Clinton and the Arkansas sodomy law from 1992. You can read the remembrance here.
UPDATE: This info comes from my friend Melanie Nathan and I'm so happy she has reached out to me, and this is important information to share if you are experiencing mental health problems causing you to consider killing yourself:
Every county operates immediate mental health crisis response services. For information, contact your local county human services agency