by Chuck Colbert
Gary Lacinski, former publisher of the gay entertainment guide HX, has died of an apparent heart attack at the age of 53, according to a news story first reported by Edge Media.
Lacinski came to HX Magazine in the early 1990s and was largely responsible for the weekly's growth. He stayed with the publication until rival gay nightlife guide Next Magazine absorbed it in 2009.
After HX, Lacinski worked with the Village Voice, Meridian Publishing, 1800Postcards, and AY Digital.
The New York Times obituary provided these details of his life: “Gary was born in Montclair, N.J., and was the son of Dolores and Frank Lacinski, both now deceased. He grew up in New Jersey with his twin brother Franc, younger brother Jeffrey and his older brother Mark (now deceased).
“He attended William Paterson College where he majored in communications and pursued his interests in acting and radio broadcasting. Once he received his degree, he forged a career in New York City in advertising at a number of agencies including Synchronal Media and Wunderman Worldwide. He continued his acting studies at HB Studios in Manhattan.”
His longtime partner Chris Pagoota survives Lacinski. They married in 2014.
"Such a generous, funny, smart human being passed over to the other side last night," wrote adult media personality Robin Byrd on Facebook Monday, according to Edge. "R.I.P. Prayers for his husband Chris Pagoota and Gary's family. Still very shocking to hear that he's gone."
"Sad to hear about the passing of Gary Vincent Paul Lacinski," wrote drag artist Cherry Jubilee on Facebook. "He was always a pleasure to work with when he headed the original and legendary gay party magazine HX."
"Condolences to his closest family and loved ones," DJ Corey Craig wrote, quoted by Edge. "His spirit will never leave me and continues to push me higher. We will miss you Gary!"
"I am so saddened by the loss of Gary Vincent Paul Lacinski today," wrote HX founder Matthew Bank on Facebook. "He was my righthand man, best friend, and ray of sunshine for over 20 years! Rest in peace. My sincerest condolences to Chris Pagoota and his family."
Rivendell Media's Todd Evans offered his thoughts. "Gary was a dedicated gay media professional. I worked with him for over 15 years while at HX, and he had the wonderful gift of gab which made him a pleasure to do business with. I always smiled when he called even if it was about a problem, for we both knew relationships are everything in business and especially the gay media business. We remained in touch professionally after he left HX, but now I wish I saw and talked to him more. He will be deeply missed."
Funeral arrangements have not yet been made public.
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