07 Sep “This photo was taken in 1986, the day of my parents wedding. Between them is…
“This photo was taken in 1986, the day of my parents wedding. Between them is my Uncle, Anthony Louis DeVizia (April, 27 1957 – September 6, 1987), a man I never got to meet but who I was assured, as a very small child by all of my family, that I would have loved. I was also assured that he was watching for me, my very own gay guardian angel.
Anthony was a true artist. Growing up a dirt poor Sicilian child, he displayed the classic gay thrift and creativity. Every Halloween and Christmas, he would spend days decorating the tiny house he grew up sharing with his perpetually pregnant mother, motorcycle riding father and 9 brothers and sisters.
Anthony’s great childhood dream was to have one of his creations featured in the Home & Garden magazines he read constantly. He would hand make Halloween costumes for himself and his siblings, aspects of which still survive as artifacts to this day.
Another of Anthony’s passions was music. In the early 1970's, he acted as conductor of the greatest marching band Matawan High School has ever seen. Videos of his work, in this capacity, have been archived by the school and a plaque and large scale photos commemorating his contributions currently hang in the school.
Anthony left New Jersey and became a celebrated DJ in Manhattan. His youngest brother Billy, remembers sitting in the DJ booth of packed late 1970's and early 80's NYC gay clubs as a young teenager while Anthony played for hundreds of shirtless dancing men.
When he became sick, Anthony knew he had to leave the city for his physical and mental health. He spent the last portion of his life living back in New Jersey with my mother and father. My parents caught a lot of hostile questions caring for my uncle in his last months. It was the height of the AIDS panic and my mother was pregnant with my older sister at the time.
Thinking back, my mother recalls that any idea of danger didn't cross her mind. For her, there was no question about where her brother would stay while he tied up the loose ends of his short life. I never met Anthony but have known his spirit my entire life.” — by Lydia Brunch #whatisrememberedlives