On Monday, tributes to the late, great Leslie Jordan came in. At the age of 67, the actor, writer, and entertainer from Tennessee passed away in Los Angeles. According to his agency, he experienced a medical emergency while driving.
He was hailed as an idol and an inspiration by those in Middle Tennessee. Minister Eric A. Patton stated, “I came out in 2008.” “The first thing I was instructed to do was watch Will and Grace. It was the first time I saw someone who sounded like me, with a country queer voice. He was being honored on this fantastic TV show that I had already fallen in love with.”
Jordan is an inspiration to many people, including Patton, a minister in Nashville. “Leslie was such a strong believer,” Patton said. “Queer people are frequently excluded from the church.” That he is out and proud to be not only gay but also a gay Christian, is powerful.”
Patton stated that he first became a fan of Jordan’s after watching his Emmy-winning performance on Will & Grace. Jordan went on to appear in shows such as American Horror Story and Call Me Kat. During the pandemic, he became a social media sensation.
Jordan died in a car accident in Los Angeles on Monday at the age of 67. “I’ve had a few good cries,” Patton admitted. Jordan was a Chattanooga native who served as grand marshal in the Nashville Pride Parade in June.
“It meant a lot to me personally,” Nashville Pride Board of Directors member Nicholas Gulick said. “A lot of people my age, queer people in Tennessee, in the south, definitely identified with him and what he stood for and all the work he did.”
Patton is a wedding officiant, and he says Jordan’s joy influences his work. “That’s what I like to do, spread some love and light,” Patton explained. While Patton will miss Jordan, he hopes to meet his role model one day. “I know he’s back with his momma and maker today,” Patton said. “I’m heartbroken for myself, but I’m happy for him.