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.