Community Leader in Queens Killed
Lou Rispoli, a Sunnyside, Queens resident for more than 30 years, was brutally attacked with a blunt object on October 20th and died yesterday. Rispoli was assaulted by two men outside a large apartment complex at 41-00 43rd Avenue. It was not unusual for Rispoli, an insomniac, to be out walking at midnight. and sometimes later.
According to a published account by New York’s Gay City News, Rispoli was hit with so much force that neighbors who heard the assault but did not see it, thought he had been shot. Once he fell to the ground, a car with the two men disappeared. He was not robbed. A suspected hate crime, his death is being treated as a homicide, and NYPD investigators are offering a $22,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction. Anyone with information about the attack should call the NYPD Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS,
“A Pillar of the Gay Community”
Rispoli, a Concert Manager of the Greenwich House Music School in Greenwich Village, has long been active in the GLBT community. Before there was God’s Love We Deliver, which delivers nutritionally-tailored meals to HIV/AIDS patients, Rispoli was cooking meals and delivering them to AIDS-afflicted people in the neighborhood in the 1980’s. In the 1970’s, he was involved with the Gay Academic Union, a group of LGBT academics who aimed making the academia more cognizant of the LGBT community. For many years, he was secretary to the legendary gay American composer and critic Virgil Thomson awarded the Pulitizer Prize for Music. Rispoli worked on gay Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s campaign in 2009. Van Bremer represents Rispoli’s 26th district.
When same-sex marriage was legalized in New York in 2011, Rispoli married his partner of 31 years. They raised two daughters together.