Professionally, JD produced LGBT-related films like A Marine Story, Shelter, and Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds. DiSalvatore also promoted The Smoking Cocktail, easily one of our favorite Wednesday night promotions at O Bar (now Norah’s) during the 2000’s.
Members of the West Hollywood reacted to DiSalvatore’s passing online Thursday.
On their official Facebook Page, Outfest announced the news:
Outfest lost a beloved member of its family this morning. Many of you have been touched by JD’s life over the years through her passion and longstanding commitment to Outfest and LGBT film. JD began her involvement with Outfest as a Production Coordinator for Outfest Los Angeles in the late 1990’s. Her drive and commitment quickly moved her to Festival Manager in 1999 and 2000. She took favorite scenes from old movies and made them queer in GAY PROPAGANDA and then went on to produce SHELTER, MARINE STORY, and ELENA UNDONE. For many years, JD edited the Achievement Award clip reels that were screened at Outfest Los Angeles Opening Night or at the Fusion Gala. In 2014, Outfest awarded JD with the Tom | Thom Award for her volunteer service throughout the years. She was a passionate enthusiast for LGBT film and filmmakers. Her laugh, her fierceness, and the way she called everyone “honey” will be missed by many.
Thank you, JD, for all you gave to us and all the ways your battle the past few years inspired us all to fight harder for “more life”.
Former Christopher Street West President Rodney Scott (pictured with JD, above) shared his sadness on Facebook:
My heart broken, Today the world lost a extraordinary human today, JD Disalvatore She was and always will be a brilliant light. As a filmmaker and an activist she always asked us to be better . She was a courageous warrior through her battle with cancer.
Join me in lighting a candle saying a prayer and sending love, light to all the people she touched. ,RIP…
LA LGBT Center Communications Manager Greg Hernandez wrote on Facebook:
Anyone who ever knew JD Disalvatore knows what a loss we have just suffered. It’s hitting us like a ton of bricks. She is the definition of community. She touched so many lives for so many years from her work in movies (Shelter, A Marine Story, Elena Undone) to her amazing LGBT mixers at O Bar and her presence – with camera in hand – at so many Outfest, Pride and other events. As she battled cancer, she remained such a vibrant and witty presence on Facebook. We were lucky to have her and will never, ever forget her.
The LA Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce emailed its members this afternoon with the following statement:
It is with a heavy heart that the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce announces the passing of former board Vice President JD Disalvatore.
JD Disalvatore was an American LGBT film and television producer/director and gay rights activist. Her credits included the award winning Shelter (2007), Eating Out 2 (2006), A Marine Story (2010), Gay Propaganda and Elena Undone.
In 2009, JD was honored at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center’s An Evening With Women with a LACE (Lesbians and Bisexual Women Active in Community Empowerment) Award for her work in the community,and was featured in Go Magazine’s “100 Women We Love”. She also won a GLAAD Media Award for Shelter for best feature film in limited release.
JD served on the Chamber’s Board of Directors for three years including one terms as its Vice President.
Personally, we met JD through The Smoking Cocktail and as then-Chairman of the West Hollywood Transportation Commission, would make sure the meetings ended promptly before 9 PM so we could make our way across the street in time. JD was warm and welcoming to all comers and left West Hollywood–and the global LGBT community–a better place. May she Rest In Peace.
Do you remember JD DiSalvatore? Share your memories and memorials here in the comments… We’ll be adding more as tributes come in.
(Featured image via JD DiSalvatore’s Facebook, hosting the 2014 LA Pride Parade TV broadcast with Rodney Scott)