He didn’t want to fight, but Ifti Nasim could provoke

From Chicago Tribune:

Ifti Ifti Nasim, who died of a heart attack Friday night at 64, was one of the most famous Chicagoans most Chicagoans have never heard of. He was a columnist, a radio show host and a poet who earned followers around the world for his poems about life as a gay Pakistani.He was a luxury-car salesman at Loeber Motors for a while, too, and once, the story goes, sold a Mercedes to Oprah Winfrey. She asked how big the engine was. He replied, “Are you going to sleep with it?” Since last weekend, Nasim has been mourned by friends and fans from India to France, from Facebook to the shops of Chicago's Devon Avenue. On Saturday, 1,000 or so crowded into the Muslim Community Center on Elston Avenue to pray over his body.

“According to every convention, my friend Ifti was all wrong,” blogged Azra Raza, a prominent oncologist. “He was born in the wrong country. He should have been born in Hollywood. … He was born in the wrong body. He should have been Marilyn Monroe.” Being born “wrong” was what made Nasim the remarkable person he was, though. The son of a newspaper owner in Faisalabad, an industrial city built on cotton, he was the fifth of seven kids of his father's first marriage. His mother died when he was young. “As one of a large family,” he once said, “I was the invisible child.”

More here.