Words: Steve Brown
The Mayor of Wilton Manors and longtime LGBTQ activist Justin Flippen has died at the age of 41.
The Mayor of the ‘second gayest city in America’ was travelling to the City Commission meeting when he became ill on Tuesday (February 25).
He was rushed to hospital where he sadly passed away, according to official news reports.
“We are very sad. Our hearts go out to Justin’s family and friends,” the Wilton Manors city officials said in a statement.
“This is a horrible loss for our community.”
Flippen was elected mayor in 2018, a landmark year for the South Florida city as all its elected city officials were LGBTQ.
Following news of the tragic loss, the Pride Center wrote on Facebook: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic news that Mayor Justin Flippen has passed away very unexpectedly.
“Justin led by example, serving those around him and advocating passionately for the marginalized in our communities. He was a trusted collaborator and colleague.
“He was a consistent, tireless advocate for the work of The Center and our sister nonprofits in the area.
“Our city and our community were better because of his hard work, insight, compassion, humor, service and dedication.
“He will be deeply missed. Words truly fail in the face of unexpected loss and grief. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and love. Rest in power, Mayor.”
Flippen was planning to run for re-election in November.