Last weekend, a well-known and -liked member of our community was murdered brutally in the relative’s La Horquetta house where he was staying. In what many in the community feel certain was a pickup crime, 25-year-old Derek Nirel Parks, an army private from D’Abadie, was stabbed to death and his vehicle stolen early Saturday morning July 11th. One media report described stab wounds to the “head, chest, stomach and groin” and that “the murder weapon remained remained lodged in” his stomach when he was found. Friends report he was stabbed close to 50 times.
Nonetheless, the murder has raised the concern of many about an apparent rise in date-related violence in the gay community, and a number of Nirel’s friends have expressed shock at how close his murder brings this home. In March, 47-year-old Oral Brathwaite, a Petrotrin employee and father of four from Claxton Bay was beaten and stabbed to death in his underwear while fleeing a man he had picked up and was driving through Penal. Anderson Gould, a person known to members of the community, has been charged.
Friends reflected last week on Nirel’s and other community members’ sexual risktaking. Some remembered him at the Celebration Pride party on July 4th, and that he was planning to attend the Elements fete last weekend. Among the fond memories was the following one from a young friend, M.:
It is with great sadness that I have to comment on the relationship I had with Nirel. From day one he had always been charismatic, bubbly, full of life, hilarious and a swanky dresser. An excellent chef, I would never forget the curry goat he had me try (mind you at that time I only did chicken). But it was the best curry goat I ever had, instantly making me change my perception on trying new foods.
We partied, we limed, we shit-talked (which he was famous for), but most of all we laughed. He was really a live-wire, and to me a genuine person that just loved life. I will never forget you Nirel: RIP.