our community lost a fighter who was also a good friend

Profile photo of Nigel Mahaffey

Nigel M Mahaffey, Jr.

(August 07, 1959 – June 25, 2020)

(photo from Linked In)

The obituary for this friend began “Nigel loved life and was one of the most joyful people to grace this earth.” I couldn’t agree more. He always greeted me with a smile that wasn’t forced, a hug to match the smile. Joyful – that’s a compliment these days when not many people are full of joy. Nigel was a true believer in sharing joy regardless of the circumstances.

Tige and Nigel. Nigel and Tige. I never really thought about them separately because Pretty and I rarely saw one without the other for the past twenty-seven years they were together. Tige and Nigel worked together in their political consulting business, lived in the same neighborhood for most of their married life, and more importantly to us they both loved to play trivial pursuit on regular game nights at their house or someone else’s. If Nigel were here writing this, he would add that Tige, Pretty and another friend named Curtis were always favorite picks for any trivial pursuit team while Nigel joined the race for the last ones chosen that featured me and Curtis’s husband, Dick. Such fun times.

Nigel and Tige made many contributions to the lgbtq community over the past 30 years, not the least of which was their magazine In  Unison which was a professionally produced news magazine intended for the lgbtq community in the southeast. During the early days of organizing our  queer movement in the southern states, In Unison was a powerful voice for a community struggling to discover that voice. The articles in the magazine, the advertising supporters, the distributors – everyone wanted to encourage the co-founders  to continue their positive messaging on behalf of the queer community in South Carolina and the surrounding area.

Pretty and I ran into Nigel and Tige earlier this year at The Kingsman restaurant. Truth be told there were so many gay customers in the restaurant that night I thought I must have missed the invite to a family party. But Tige and Nigel got up from their dinners, gave us both a big hug and we all promised each other we would definitely get together for a game night in 2020.

Opportunity lost forever – Nigel, you would have been my first pick if I were ever made team captain.

I know many of your friends who will join me in grieving your loss, my friend. Rest in peace, Nigel M Mahaffey, Jr.

Stay safe, stay sane, and stay tuned.














About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in family life, Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, photography, politics, racism, Reflections, sexism, Slice of Life, sports, The Way Life Is and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to our community lost a fighter who was also a good friend

  1. Wayside Artist says:

    My condolences to you and Pretty. As I get older, the loss of dear friends gets harder to bear. I’m sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tige and Nigel encouraged me to run for County Council in the early 2000s. We had done our first survey, had a bank account set up, and met a number of times with the guys to hear what they had to say. I felt the battle would be too difficult, did I really want to ask people for money, I just wasn’t well known – as the survey proved. If I had had their belief system, I might would have given it a go. I’m still not sure if I made the right decision to pull out before we really got started. But I will never forget the guys who wanted me to try. Nigel was definitely one of the good guys. And yes, the older we get, the harder it is to lose our friends. Thanks so much, Ann.


  2. cindy knoke says:

    I am sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry to hear about your losing Nigel — some people seem to be there at all the important points in a journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bob Slatten says:

    That was lovely. He sounds like a wonderful man.
    So sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

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