He died tragically and unexpectedly. | Photo: Twitter @MattPalazzolo
The LGBTQ activist Matt Palazzolo died on Tuesday (9 January) while hiking in Australia.
Palazzolo, 33, was based out of Los Angeles’ gay community, West Hollywood. He was also an actor, with titles like Bloomers and Switched at Birth.
He was hiking Mount Sonder, the fourth-highest peak in the Northern Territory of Australia. Sonder is situated across the MacDonnell Ranges. The temperature was 108 degrees when Palazzolo was trekking the 4,530 ft. mountain with a friend. He died of heat stroke.
ABC News reported Palazzolo set out with his friend around 8:30 am. The pair separated and Palazzolo made a wrong turn while his friend alerted authorities. Unfortunately, police found his body several hours later.
A life of activism and duty
Palazzolo was involved in local politics and activism. He was a member of West Hollywood’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board, where he served for eight years. Furthermore, he was also a member of the Christopher Street West board.
His father, Pat Palazzolo, made a Facebook post about this on Wednesday (10 January).
Dear family and friends,There were times when I reacted with resentment when people acted or spoke badly towards or…
Posted by Pat Palazzolo on Wednesday, January 10, 2018
‘There were times when I reacted with resentment when people acted or spoke badly towards or about my son Matt because of his sexuality,’ he wrote. ‘But he seemed to always react with compassion, love and understanding. He told me once that everybody has their own timetable for understanding what they previously didn’t understand.’
He further commented on his son’s activism, writing he was ‘determined to bring awareness and knowledge to those who didn’t yet have it’.
Then he included a video of his son protesting California’s Prop 8.
A day later, he showed a screenshot of a text his son sent him when left for Australia.
This is the text I received a few nights ago from Matt when he left Los Angeles for Sydney using his pass benefits.
Posted by Pat Palazzolo on Thursday, January 11, 2018
Fellow activists and members of the community are remembering him on Twitter.
I’m heartsick. The world has lost another amazing soul way too soon. @MattPalazzolo was one of the most loving and caring people I’ve ever known. In his short time with us, he affected so much positive change in the world. He was loved by so many. #RIP https://t.co/v6pGKZxOTd
— Jeffrey Reddick (@JeffreyaReddick) January 11, 2018
This breaks my heart open. I loved this kid. He was a power house…. https://t.co/3rRCSb2QNG
— Doug Spearman (@DougSpearman) January 11, 2018
Ugh! Just found out about this! RIP Matt Palazzolo! Nice guy and great member of the LGBTQ community! Sorry it… https://t.co/yrNx23AxVU
— Manny Patel (@MannyPatelJnr) January 11, 2018
Awful. I acted with @MattPalazzolo in my first gig ever. I played a closeted kid encouraged to be himself by his charisma, confidence & love. He was perfectly cast & guided me thru a deep experience. My heart aches for his family friends & LGBTQ community for which he was a force https://t.co/kAUNn46OKp
— Charley Koontz (@charley_koontz) January 12, 2018
I knew Matt through my work on Atlantis Events. He was a sweet, warm human with a great laugh and a bright future. I can’t bear to think about the way he passed. So I’ll just think about the last time we laughed. https://t.co/qt9hmXzYDf
— Brad Loekle (@BradLoekle) January 11, 2018
So sorry to hear about this young man’s death. I didn’t know Matt, but I’m among the MANY who have him (and his activism) to thank for the incredible progress we’ve made since the passage of Prop. 8. https://t.co/ChtOMTLnGE
— Jon Barrett (@joncbarr) January 11, 2018
You are a role model.
You joined the ranks.
“We will be the role models. And we will join the ranks of the many heroes that have stood and marched in this country throughout its great history. “ —@MattPalazzolo, 1984-2018.https://t.co/jPZU9WTnbQ
— Brian M. Westbrook (@BrianWestbrook) January 12, 2018