Jun Dishes

verb/diSH/ : food or sex or gossip or fiction in real life

RIP John Zsa Zsa Martin aka GaYToR

GaYToR.

We met on a website called Big Brother Dish in the summer of 2009, where I was writing Big Brother blogs for fun. I never even thought to charge for my writing. I was doing it for the love of Big Brother and “for the fans.” The concept of fans was so new to me, even after so many years after winning Big Brother because at the end of the day, I’m just like everyone else. My mother thought I was crazy to write for free, so I lied to her and told her I was getting paid $25 an article, and this made her happy. That was 2009.

I didn’t know what to make of GaYToR at first. I didn’t know why the “Y” and “T” and “R” were capitalized in his username. I still don’t know. I always meant to ask but always forgot to. It didn’t matter. He was GaYToR. He was a drag queen in fabulous New Orleans, and he was a huge and old school fan of Big Brother.

Then, at some point, GaYToR went from fan to friend. The Big-Brother-Fan-to-Friend. This doesn’t happen often but when it does it’s warm and sincere and long-lasting. I learned that GaYToR’s real name was John Martin, and Zsa Zsa his stage name, and his loving partner in life’s name was Danny Stark.

John Zsa Zsa Martin and I were friends before I ever had a Facebook fan page or Twitter account, or my own blog. I tasted my first-ever New Orleans King Cake because Zsa Zsa sent me one with Louisiana love. Zsa Zsa never asked me for a thing but gave a lot of himself.

Over the years, John Zsa Zsa Martin watched me go from single thrill-seeker to married to mom and we exchanged stories and anecdotes like any other friends would, regardless of how we met. Zsa Zsa shamelessly lusted after my husband Davy, to my delight and Davy’s laughs. Davy and I talked about Zsa Zsa often, and interestingly enough, we always referred to Zsa Zsa as “her” or “she” and it always just felt right. Davy always laughed extra loud when Zsa Zsa flirted with him.

Zsa Zsa loved his Danny Stark, but Zsa Zsa held a special place in his heart for Davy too and for me and Noah.

After all their years together, Zsa Zsa and Danny were to be married this past Friday in Connecticut. On Saturday morning, I received the news that Zsa Zsa died of a massive heart attack right before the wedding. April Fool’s Day had already come and gone, and the reality of Zsa Zsa’s passing was cold and shocking and raw still. Danny is now mourning his partner of 33 years and yet still so in love.

Davy wasn’t home yesterday when I received the news. He was helping a friend move into the city. I told him everything in one long breath when he got home and the hairs on his arms stood up as his face fell. Neither Davy nor I had ever met Zsa Zsa in person. How could we be so affected?

GaYToRRIP John Zsa Zsa Martin

I can only imagine what Danny is going through right now. Bringing John home to New Orleans from Connecticut is the harsh reality that must be addressed. Who has extra money these days? Nobody I know. But what Davy and I could, we spared and sent to Danny. Danny needs help to repay a kind minister who paid all final expenses up-front. With no legal recognition or death benefits to collect, Danny Stark could use a compassionate shoulder to lean on.

At the time of this writing, the John Zsa Zsa Martin fundly fundraiser is nearly two-thirds of the way there. If you can, please help. The smallest amounts can amount to enough.

We miss Zsa Zsa already.

Always dishing,

Jun

Posted under: Big Brother, Reality TV Dishes

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16 comments

  • Jun, I live in the same city and yet have never formerly met him. I’m sure our paths have crossed many times, but we’ve never spoken. Like you, I felt as if a ton of bricks hit me when i found out. And I have cried over this wonderful man whom I had never met. The circumstances and timing were so horribly wrong. From what I’ve seen GaYToR and danny have touched many lives. He will definitely be missed. One of his last tweets saying his wedding colrs were two subtle shades of purple moved me to call him Shelby (Steel Magnolias) . Ironically another tragic character. <3

  • I heard of GaYToR’s death on BBDish, and was instantly heartbroken. I never met her in person, either, but feel I knew her. I loved her quick wit and sense of humor. I have contributed to Danny, but did so with a broken heart. RIP John!

  • I remember Gaytor from BBDish. I stopped visiting the site because I found some of the commenters to be hypocrites. We’re all peace and love unless you offer constructive criticism. Then you get attacked for being a loyal follower. I never found Gaytor to be that way. His posts were always fun, lighthearted, fair, and/or an effort to play peace maker.

    No, I didn’t know him. Only online. I did enjoy him and, more than once, thought about how much I’d love to see one of his shows.

    Rest peacefully Gaytor. And hang in there Danny. You found a good one that was loved by many and had the ability to make people he didn’t even know smile at their computer screens.

  • Thanks for sharing this info with us Jun. I loved GaYToR’s comments and sense of humor about BB and life. So sad.

  • I cried, I am still crying. I still haven’t met you and I never met Gaytor. I had intentions to meet you both. Maybe we’ll just cry together when it does happen… I sent what we could. I’ll miss him terribly.

  • I never physically met him, but he touched my heart as he did so many. Your tribute to him is perfect. He was a rare individual who will be sorely missed.

  • So very tragic. I knew him from BBDish and followed him on Twitter too. I thought his flirting with Davy was too cute. My heart goes out to Danny and all who loved him. Rest in peace, GaYToR.

  • Anonymous on April 7, 2014 at 6:00 pm said:

    Reply

    We love. U uncle Danny and y’all r in are. Prayers we all know he was a really good man he’s sure gonna be missed

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