Los Angeles LGBT Center Mourns the Passing of Former Board of Directors Member Michael Epstein - Los Angeles LGBT Center

Los Angeles LGBT Center Mourns the Passing of Former Board of Directors Member Michael Epstein

August 17, 2021
Contact: Gil Diaz

Upon news of the passing of Michael Epstein, a former member of the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Board of Directors, the Center’s CEO Lorri L. Jean issued the following statement:

“On Monday, August 16, the Los Angeles LGBT Center and our entire community lost a dear friend. Michael Epstein was a generous supporter of the Center for nearly 40 years. He also served on the Center's Board of Directors from 1987–1994. He had an aggressive form of skin cancer and was suffering from mental health issues. Sadly, he took his own life.

“Michael served on the board at a time when the Center was making a historic transition from a relatively small community center to a much larger, multi-faceted health and social services organization. He was among a small group of board members who helped steer the Center through that critical period. It seems hard to even imagine now, but legal equality and social justice were years away from becoming a reality for LGBT people, even here in ‘progressive’ California.

“Michael was one of that quiet band of activists who saw the bigger picture and took the longer view. He was a kind, funny, and loving man; never one to draw attention to himself or take center stage. Rather, the driving force behind his service was always a dedication to the Center and a deep commitment to our community.

“That passion for the community in his public service was mirrored in his personal life by his longtime love and devotion to his husband, Scott Schwimer. Michael and Scott continued to support the Center long after Michael left the board. Today, our hearts go out to Scott and all those who share our sorrow in losing such a stalwart friend.

“Scott understands how insidious mental health issues can be and how important it is for people suffering with such problems to get help. We encourage anyone struggling with mental health issues to seek help, especially during these particularly challenging times.”

For a list of such services, including the Center’s Mental Health Services, visit bit.ly/mentalhealthLA

About the Los Angeles LGBT Center

Since 1969 the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed, and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond. Today the Center's nearly 800 employees provide services for more LGBT people than any other organization in the world, offering programs, services, and global advocacy that span four broad categories: Health, Social Services and Housing, Culture and Education, Leadership and Advocacy. We are an unstoppable force in the fight against bigotry and the struggle to build a better world; a world in which LGBT people thrive as healthy, equal, and complete members of society. Learn more at lalgbtcenter.org.

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