This week, we lost one of the great ones. Not one of the good ones. One of the great ones.
Kirk Myers-Hill embodied the essence of #BlackBoyJoy. Kirk embodied the body and soul of all that we aspire to be. #BlackBoyJoy is acknowledging the struggle, building esteem and claiming that space for Black boys to feel happy, proud of who they are and free.
For so many of us – especially Black folx within the HIV response, we were already navigating incalculable losses with the passing of Dr. Dawn Smith and Janet Cleveland. These public health giants were not simply work colleagues – they were family.
These were the people who saw each of our struggles often before we even recognized them ourselves. These were the people who ensured that we know each and every day that we are the descendants of royalty who deserved to own the space of where we roamed. These were the people that demanded that we not just feel happy but feel and exude indescribable joy upon recognizing who we were, who we are, and who we dare to be.
Kirk Myers-Hill poured into the hearts & souls of all that met him. He unapologetically and joyfully loved on the very people who were deemed unlovable in their own communities and/or in society at-large. Specifically Black gay/same-gender loving men and transgender/gender nonconforming people.
For those of us who were blessed to know him well, we saw what unapologetic, energetic, and expansive love looked like. Every photo, loud laughter, or boisterous hug was sure to include his chosen family of Tam, Darwin, P.J. or Keisha. And most of those photos included all of them and more.
We saw what manifest love could like between two phenomenal Black men. The Myers-Hill Wedding was not just an event, it was an experience that continued on for ages. Black gay love is the New Revolution. Kirk and Ricky allowed us to share their love. And that Revolution was televised…and tweeted, reeled, and IG’d.
And for those who have known Kirk since his earliest days, his loyalty and unmatched love shone. Shone unabated. Shone unhindered. Shone gloriously. He spoke often and loved constantly on his biological sister Michelle Myers-Stephens whom he just recently was able to witness her nuptials.
Earlier this year, Kirk worked tirelessly to ensure that a park in the Queen City area of South Dallas that would be renamed for his beloved late mother, Ms. Irene H Trigg-Myers, would embody all that she was. The name reflected his love for her and for Community by naming it Prosperity Park giving honor not only to her but to the organization, Abounding Prosperity, that he built and reformed in the likeness of #BlackBoyJoy.
We thank you for the opportunity to get to know you. And to know you was to love you, Mister Kirk Myers-Hill.
– Ace Robinson, CEO, PCAF