As published in Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Tuesday, October 10, 2017.
MAY, Adam R., 44, of Atlanta, Georgia, became one with the Force on Friday, September 29, 2017. He is survived by his partner and husband of 21 years, Todd Vierling; several nieces and nephews; and friends of many stripes all over the world.
Adam was born May 16, 1973, in Fort Pierce, Florida, to Marcia and Clarence May, with a twin who was lost that day. At 12, during reconstructive shoulder surgery after an accident, he suffered an attack of malignant hyperthermia (MH), a rare but life-threatening reaction to some anaesthetics. His experience through that episode led to new discoveries about MH, which have reduced the risks of anaesthesia and surgery worldwide.
He spent much of his life immersed in art and the music industry, especially that of musician Morrissey; a passion for action figure toys in the science fiction genre; and the building of pioneering communities for others to share these interests. His love for both toys and Star Wars reached a climax in 2008, when his boyhood dream finally came true: Adam was immortalized in an action figure made in his likeness, named “Stormy Sevenspire.”
Adam didn’t desire notability, but got it anyway after the Millennium March on Washington to raise visibility for LGBT people. His quote, partly a paraphrase of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., led AP’s national news of the march on May 1, 2000: “We’re only asking for the same rights as anyone else. Depriving one person … puts everyone at risk of losing.”¹
Per Adam’s wishes, there is no formal memorial service. In lieu of flowers or other gifts, he asked for donations to be made to any of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States (MHAUS), or the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
A website for memorial messages is at stormysevenspire.com.
Est lucem quod nunquam extinguitur.²
¹ Also cited in Lost in the USA: American Identity from the Promise Keepers to the Million Mom March, by Deborah Gray White [Amazon | Google Play]
² “There is a light that never goes out,” also inscribed on Adam’s mother’s tombstone.