Amy Winehouse has now joined the 27 Club: rock stars who died at the same impossibly young age, including Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Kurt Cobain.
She fought her addiction in the same way recovering addicts like me once did: by denying it, throwing it in your face, saying no to rehab and then saying yes, begrudgingly. Recovery from addiction demands a lot of us, but mostly it asks that we surrender to the baffling fact that the drugs are mightier than our best intentions, and to throw aside our pride (and, in Amy's case, the trappings of fame) long enough to find the humility necessary to start life again.
This weekend, Amy experienced her terrible, final surrender.
She was always easy to ridicule, of course. The beatnik getup, the mountain of hair extensions, and her well-documented drunken interviews and stage disasters. But lest we forget, we as LGBT people are far more likely to suffer from drug and alcohol abuse. Our community is intimately familiar with the wreckage of alcoholism and the seduction - and horrific consequences - of the crystal meth "party and play" scene.
I have witnessed talented and capable people come undone, despite their efforts to conquer their addictions. I hope the passing of Amy Winehouse will elicit empathy and sadness for the loss of life, and that we'll resist the urge to judge or blame her.
Amy didn't just produce music that reflected our heartaches and our hopes. Her disastrous final days reflected a dark corner of our own community. She was brilliant and she was trapped in disease. And she was a lot more like us than we might like to admit.