This project was inspired by a much larger one developed
by the San Francisco GLBT Historical Society and the
Bay Area Reporter, using obituary data from the newspaper.

Visit their site.
We thank them for allowing us to consult with them, and for
providing guidance for our own project.

The time span chosen focuses especially on 1982 through 2000, which reflects
the main AIDS crisis years. The data begins in 1976, and it is planned to expand
the years covered in the future. While the majority of individuals in the data base
have died of AIDS, we do not intend to infer that to be the case if it is not mentioned
in a specific listing, nor is the sexual orientation implied to be GLBT. For many of
the listings, the tag word "AIDS" has been added, so that the internal search
engine can find it, but again, only for those listings that state the individual died
of AIDS, or imply that by requesting donations be made to an AIDS organization.

See Comments & Observations About the Data

Data was scanned from the magazine This Week in Texas (TWT),
and other publications, such as Montrose Voice, Houston Voice,
Outsmart, Texas Triangle, and others, from holdings at various
Houston archives, including Gulf Coast Archive & Museum,
The Botts Collection,
and the private collection of JD Doyle.
Special thanks to Dr. Brian Riedel for advice along the way,
and to Roger Ritthaler for contributing additional research.

I would like to give special thanks to Dr Laura McMorris, of Austin,
for doing extensive research regarding the data on this site, and
providing "missing" data not found in the obituaries themselves,
like age, or city.


This project was developed by JD Doyle, who is a long time member of
Houston ARCH, and is a local historian. Since 2000 he has produced the
radio show and website Queer Music Heritage, and questions on this project
can be directed to him at Also, while we aim for no errors,
this is a mountain of data to process, so if you find mistakes, please let us know.

Other listings of AIDS deaths can be found at The Names Project.
Also, see Digital Names Quilt

A note about TWT: the statewide publication began in 1975 and for decades
has been a much loved part of gay culture in Texas. This was especially
so during the "AIDS years" when as a community service it ran free
obituaries. It was the sad routine of many people during that time when
they picked up a copy of the latest edition to go immediately to the
back section to see if people they knew had died. We again thank TWT
for graciously allowing use of the obituary images on this site.

As stated above, the Texas Obituary Project is directly inspired by one
done in San Francisco, by Tom Burch, and I want to specifically thank
him for his work. He is a long-time member of the San Francisco Gay
Men's Chorus, and he can be seen talking about the SF data base in an
incredibly moving documentary called "Singing Positive," filmed first in
1995 with a sequel in 2009. The 43-minute film can be viewed at
This Site and he describes the project for a couple minutes around the
19:20 mark. I was in contact with Tom Burch, and also Dan Liefker,
who gave me invaluable early advice.

Brandon Wolf wrote an excellent article about TOP for the March 2014 issue of Outsmart

It's always gratifying when an "out-of-town" newspaper notices your work,
so I was delighted to have been interviewed for a Dallas Voice story.

Their site link to story

And, also in the Montrose Star, 5/7/14

The Chronicle Article

On April 29, 2018, the Houston Chronicle ran a story on my work with the Texas Obituary Project,
and I could not be more pleased. In January the writer had interviewed me for at least a couple hours,
and the photographer took about 600 photos. Then she did more research, with my help contacting
Jacqueline Kiffe, of College Station, for whom my site had a particular impact. And she worked in
other aspects, but I could not have been more surprised when she told me it was scheduled to
run on the Front Page. As in, The Front Page! How often in a life does that happen?
It's such an extensive article that I've placed it on its own page.
Read the Article

My comments on the article: I think Monica did an excellent job in fleshing out the human side
of how people sometimes react to my website. I will state however, that while the main impetus
for the project was the AIDS crisis, that is not the sole focus. I encourage submissions of
obituaries for any LGBT person living in Texas, for deaths by any causes. Also, it shoud be
acknowledged that I would only notate someone's death as due to AIDS if the obituary indicated
that, or if I had personal knowledge. I estimate the true number of AIDS deaths would be double
what search results on the site would indicate.