LGBTQ Activist James Williams Passes Away from COVID

by Brendan Walker

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday May 5, 2021
Originally published on May 4, 2021

James Williams
James Williams  

James Williams, an aspiring media-based LGBTQ activist, passed away from coronavirus related complications last week according to the New York Times.

Williams was an Alabama native who faced rampant homophobia earlier in his life, though eventually saw the U.S. as a whole become more tolerant of his sexuality. He often attributed this to television programs like "Will & Grace", and sought to use similar shows to raise tolerance in other parts of the world.

In 2017, Williams moved in with future fiancé Ayush Thakur after spending some time in India on vacation. After seeing the way that India as a whole remained unaccepting of gay people following the country's legalization of same-sex intercourse in 2018, Williams tried to use his love of media to fight the issue.

Prior to the pandemic, Williams met with dozens of Indian producers, trying to get shows in the ilk of "Will & Grace" off the ground in the hopes of changing hearts and minds in the same way the show did with American audience.

The outbreak of Coronavirus put these plans on hold, though, as the country faced a swell of cases over the past year that exploded over the last few weeks.

Williams tested positive for the virus in late April, and struggled to find a hospital and oxygen like many others in India at the moment.

According to his family, he passed away in a Delhi region hospital on April 28, even after finding the appropriate care.

Williams is survived by Thakur, in addition to his extended family and his brother John.