July 19, 2003 by

Mike Salinas


Categories: Media

Mike Salinas, a journalist who brought news of the gay community to the mainstream public’s attention, died on June 15. Cause of death is unknown. Police have ruled it an accidental heroin overdose, but a preliminary coroner’s report suggests it was a heart attack. Salinas was 46.
In the 1980s, Salinas wrote for the New York Native and the Village Voice. While he had a passion for theatre — and was the founding editor of Theater Week magazine — Salinas put most of his energies into covering issues of importance to the gay community. He investigated AIDS organizations he thought were corrupt, covered the Catholic Church sex scandal and published stories about the murder of a gay U.S. soldier.
In 1998, Salinas published a story in the Bay Area Reporter bearing the headline: “No Obits.” It was the first time in 17 years that the San Francisco-based weekly newspaper did not publish an AIDS-related obituary.

7 Responses to Mike Salinas

  1. Wendy Harrison

    Michael was my big brother, no one anywhere could have ever had such a wonderful brother.Mike was one of the lucky people to have touched all the lives he came in contact with, weather it was through love or laughter or or the care and concern he showed to people who were suffering.
    Mike was a truly wonderful human being and I am proud I was his sister and his friend. I love him dearly and will miss him.

  2. claudia figueroa

    Mike hired me on as an intern at the Bay Area Reporter, while I was a journalism student at CSUSF. I was new to San Francisco and he taught me a lot about the city, gay politics and journalism. after i moved to southern california i got a job at LATimes Community News and my beat was Laguna Beach. I wrote about AIDS support groups such as Laguna Shanti and other gay organizations in the area. I e-mailed the stories to Mike when he was living in New York, just to let him know that I was able to use my experience and the compassion he taught me to have for others. He was a great guy, I will miss him.

  3. Dave Hetherly

    Mike was my editor at the BAR in San Francisco for 2 years. He was remarkable – intelligent, charming, witty and had a certain editorial style that was outrageous yet fun!
    He was the best man I ever worked for.
    Find peace my friend.

  4. Scott Geyer

    I met Mike in the early -mid 80’s. He was my agent.
    To tell you the truth Mike gave agents a bad name! He was caring! He felt worse than I would if I didn’t get a role. He was the best agent I ever had and whenever I would see him I’d tell him, “Mike, come on get back in the business!” I’d see a glint in his eye but he never did. I guess his writting was more important.
    I hadn’t heard from in a while and I couldn’t find his phone number so I googled him and, well, read about his death! Felt like I was kicked in the stomach……
    I miss him! Hope he finds peace!

  5. tracey

    Michael was my best friend and protector in Manhattan in the early 80’s. We met in high school in Phoenix. I miss him. Sorry,I didn’t know until a few months ago. I’ll always think of you Mr. Salinas…
    Miss Bennett

  6. Brad

    Mike was my friend from High School in Iowa. We were Music Theatre freaks together. We were best friends. I stayed in touch with him always. East coast or West coast in the business or out it did not matter we always made time for each other. No matter how much time past between our visits when we were together it was as if no time had lapsed. He made me laugh and cry with joy and sorrow. His death has left a mark on me and I miss him every day.
    I am dimished
    with or without you
    It is funny to see this posting after so much time. I know the names of the others who have posted.
    Love you Mr. Mike

  7. Tom

    Mike Salinas was the lover of my best friend, Ralph Learnard, who himself was murdered in NYC in the Fall of 1989. Mike and I were each other’s last link to Ralph until Mike’s senseless death in the summer of 2003. The heroin use, in retrospect, should not have been a surprise – too many enormous changes (of plans) at the last minute – but it was still a shock and his death of tragic waste of potential.
    I have wonderful memories of him sauntering through the lobby of San Francisco’s Palace Hotel in full leather, taking us to a pot dispensary on Market Street (then missing a turn somewhere and ending up in Oakland), seeing “Evita” the night it opened at the Orpheum Theatre, ending up at Keller’s AND at the Endup, Greek coffeeshops in the Village and dinners at the Essex House, him explaining the state of AIDS research to me when I learned that someone near and dear to me was affected, having to repeat what I knew about Ralph’s last hours first to him and then to the NYPD detectives which led them to his murderer, and so much more.
    Mike was the kind of friend you’re lucky to get once in a lifetime, and I was. I still miss him.

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