Gay man living with cancer surprised with emotional video from loved ones at Pride in London
Friends and family of a gay man and LGBT rights activist living with cancer have paid an emotional tribute at Pride in London.
Dean Eastmond has been battling cancer for more than a year.
The 21-year-old was recently told that, despite months of agonising treatment in the US, his type of cancer is now treatment resistant.
The news prompted his loved ones to pay a very special tribute at the July 8 pride celebrations in London.
With more than 10,000 gathered in Trafalgar Square to watch the main stage, loved ones surprised Eastmond with a special video dedication.
Friends recorded messages of tribute to the activist – who they labelled “inspiring”.
Despite his cancer diagnosis, the brave activist has continued to campaign for LGBT rights.
Eastmond set-up HISKIND, a queer culture magazine distributed across London.
He has also written and campaigned on the challenges of being a young gay man going through cancer treatment.
Following his surprise, Eastmond said: “I was so overwhelmed and shocked! When the drag queen on stage mentioned a 21 year old with cancer, my initial reaction was ‘oh wow, there’s someone here like me’.
“It took a while for it to click on that she was talking about me!
“The video has really shown me how important my friends are to me and (apparently) how important I am to them!
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“I have no idea how they kept it as quiet as they did, but it was a beautiful last moment until I re-start chemotherapy.”
Mike Buonaiuto, Executive Director of Shape History said: “When we first heard Dean’s story we were truly touched and inspired by what he has been working on in spite of going through treatment for cancer.
“He’s campaigned and stopped discrimination faced by LGBT people living with cancer wanting to freeze their sperm, he has launched a successful queer culture magazine across the UK for young people, and has written about his struggles going through cancer – inspiring thousands online in the process.”
“When his treatment was unsuccessful we decided as a team we had to do something – and spread Dean’s message to thousands more people in Trafalgar Square on Saturday – surprising Dean in the process. It’s our hope more people will find his work and be inspired.”
Watch the video in full here: