Gay Rights Activist pulls Tibetan Monk Move

It has been announced that a well known gay rights activist has been found dead in Prospect Park (located in Brooklyn, NY) this morning. He was declared dead at 6:30 AM. The disturbing thing about this is not his death, but rather how he died. He died by self-immolation which is an act of killing oneself as a sacrifice. 

In the past, self-immolation has been referred to a wide variety of forms of suicide but since the 60's it has typically referred to one that set themselves on fire. In this case, David S. Buckel, 60, left a note in a shopping cart near his body and was found burnt to death. Prior to his death, he had also emailed several news venues including the New York times which was received at 5:55 AM. 

In his suicide note, he talks about the difficulty of changing the world  even for those that put forth vigorous efforts to do so. 

“Many who drive their own lives to help others often realize that they do not change what causes the need for their help,” Mr. Buckel wrote, adding that donating to organizations was not enough.

Noting that he was privileged with “good health to the final moment,” Mr. Buckel said he wanted his death to lead to increased action. “Honorable purpose in life invites honorable purpose in death,” he wrote.
— New York Times

 Susan Sommer, a former attorney for Lambda Legal who is now the general counsel for the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, said Mr. Buckel was“one of the architects of the freedom to marry and marriage equality movement.”

“He deserves tremendous thanks for recognizing this was in many ways at the heart of what it meant to be gay for many Americans and making it a priority,” she said. “I learned so much from him about the emotional center of what it means for a gay person not to be able to have all the protections for the person they love and that it’s worth fighting for.”

While Mr. Buckel was well known for his activism for gay rights, he did not die in protest to gay rights, he died in protest of the usage of fossil fuels, the very thing that he used to kill himself. "Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water, and weather." He also mentioned in the email he wrote to The Times, "Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result - my early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves."

Honoring David Buckel the way he wanted would mean the planet pays closer attention to the use of fossil fuels and how they are poisoning the earth around us.