Coming out - after I’d finally come to terms with it myself and drunkenly professed my love to Claire at the company Christmas party - hadn’t taken long. I texted my friends that night. I told my boyfriend, mom, and sister within the next two weeks. It was a process but I always place it on January 10, David Bowie’s birthday and the day that Blackstar dropped.

It was Jeff who first told me two days later. He’s such a nice guy and we had decided to remain friends. We’d gone to Bullmoose together the night before so I could pick up a copy of the album. I thought he was handling it well but this petty act of revenge suggested otherwise.

He sent me a link to a Facebook article. I read it then did my own search to confirm. I cried and read essays about the impact he had on everyone from random bloggers to his close friends to Chuck Palahniuk to Lady Gaga.

I listened to Blackstar for two months and then never again. The physical weight of the music is both the kind of artistry all creators aspire to and too much to bare. His swansong became the anthem to my coming out, coloring the otherwise happy experience with the weight of death.