San Diego gay journalist dies in apparent suicide

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A prominent gay journalist in San Diego has been found dead after apparently jumping from a seven-storey hotel.

Michael Portantino, 52, was the publisher of the weekly San Diego’s Gay and Lesbian Times, which he bought in 1989.

He was credited with turning the newspaper’s focus to news and politics and was said to have been dedicated to LGBT equality.

However, reports said he was rumoured to be depressed after closing the newspaper in October when it suffered financial difficulties.

He was found dead on Wednesday night after apparently jumping from the building near Balboa Park.

Jeri Dilno, a former editor of the Gay and Lesbian Times, told the San Diego Union-Tribune that Mr Portantino was “sometimes controversial and not afraid to point fingers”.

“He was very committed to the community and provided a lot of free ads to struggling organisations,” she added.

Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, chair of the Legislative LGBT Caucus, said: “He was a passionate and fearless advocate for the cause of LGBT equality.”

Mr Portantino is survived by his daughter, Tatiana Hughes.