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Jacob Nathaniel Pring, a DC-area LGBTQ rights advocate whose career has included working as a mortgage loan officer and Lyft driver by day while hosting social events and parties at night and on weekends at bars gays from DC and other venues, including “Gay Day” at the National Zoo, died Sept. 26 at his home in Springfield, Va. He was 47 years old.
His longtime friend Nicholas DiBlasio said another friend and roommate at the group home where Pring lived found him dead in his bedroom. DiBlasio said Pring’s death was sudden and unexpected and that friends and family members were awaiting the results of toxicology tests associated with an autopsy performed by the Virginia Chief Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death. .
“Jacob was a good man, and he had an engaging personality and a wonderful smile,” according to Sasha Chijoku, one of his housemates who posted a tribute to Pring on Facebook. “Above all, Jacob’s personality was big, and the only thing that was perhaps bigger was his smile,” she wrote.
DiBlasio and others who knew him and posted on social media said Pring had organized and promoted weekly leather-focused events at gay clubs and other LGBTQ support clubs for many years. Among them were events held at DC’s Green Lantern gay bar and the LGBTQ-friendly Crucible nightclub called CODE and XXX parties.
In a January 2013 interview with the Washington Blade, Pring said between 100 and 150 mostly gay men showed up at these events.
“There are always new people coming in,” he said. “People bring their friends. It’s funny. No attitude, no drama.
DiBlasio said Pring was born and raised in Pennsylvania. Pring’s Facebook page says his hometown was Levittown, Pa. Pring’s LinkedIn page says he studied computer engineering at Temple University in Philadelphia from 1998 to 1999 and studied biology at the University from the District of Columbia from 2014 to 2017, where DiBlasio says he believes Pring earned his bachelor’s degree.
“I served in the US Air Force and Air National Guard,” Pring said in a September 2020 Facebook post. “I chose to do my part to keep our country safe,” said Pring. he wrote, adding, “This stuff about Trump saying crazy things he said makes me so mad! Please vote for this bastard! Please!”
Pring, a strong supporter of LGBTQ rights, makes it clear in his social media posts that he is a staunch Democrat.
While a student at SVP in 2015, Pring started a group of student military veterans called VERTUS, which he said stood for “Values, Preparation for Integrity, Tenacity, Unity, Excellence, and Service.”
On his LinkedIn page, Pring says he worked from 2003 to 2006 as a senior mortgage consultant for the company Preferred Service Mortgage and the following year held a similar position with Access National Mortgage. He says as of 2020 he was a loan officer at Intercostal Mortgage LLC.
DiBlasio said about a year later in 2021, Pring changed jobs to return to his job as a Lyft driver, which he did periodically in previous years.
David Mariner, former executive director of the DC Center for the LGBT Community, praised Pring for creating another important event – Gay Day at the Zoo – which Mariner said served and continues to serve as a fundraising event for the DC Center.
“He had come out as an HIV-positive person and created social spaces for HIV-positive men,” Mariner said in a Facebook post this week.
Mariner was referring to Pring’s launch of a series of “Poz” events for people living with HIV and their friends and loved ones.
“Poz events bring faces to the disease and help eliminate STIGMA surrounding people living with HIV/AIDS,” Pring said in a Facebook post. “The DJs are HIV positive and Jacob Nathaniel Pring himself has been Poz for 7 years!” indicates his message.
Pring’s friends pointed to other social media posts by Pring discussing his own struggles with drug addiction and depression. But in recent years, Pring’s publications have reported that the support he has received from counseling and support groups has helped him “stay away” from drug use.
“I’ve had a blessed life,” he wrote in a September 7, 2020 Facebook post. “Stay away from drugs for good makes me remember my youth,” he said. writing. “We can’t go back, but we can certainly live an older life. I shifted gears,” he continued.
“Sex ruled my life for 30 years. Now I feel like a retired elder,” he said. “I have lived life to the fullest. I can’t imagine what life has in store for me. But I have reached a new mental frontier. I feel lucky and blessed to have reached this new age in life!!! “
But DiBlasio said about a year later that the death of Pring’s mother, whom he was very close to, took an emotional toll on him. “That was about a year ago and it hit him pretty hard,” DiBlasio said.
Another friend of Pring’s, who identifies himself on Facebook as Mike Di, appeared to sum up Pring’s life as he was known to many of his friends and relatives in a post the day he learned of Pring’s passing.
“Jacob, I’m so sad to hear the news of your passing tonight. The progress you’ve made over the past 10+ years by putting yourself through school, tackling demons, living cleanly, etc. Everything was outstanding and I am so proud of you,” he wrote.
“I’m grateful that you left about a thousand photos of yourself (and with friends) here on your Facebook,” Di said. “It’s truly a gift… you can never be forgotten, nor the ups and downs of the last 15 years of your life that are documented in the photos.”
Chijoku added in his tribute to Pring, “He was a good man, and heaven is certainly being greeted at this time with the most toothy smile I have ever had the pleasure of knowing!”
Pring’s sister, Michelle Forrest, said family and friends are planning a memorial service or celebration of life for Pring in the family’s hometown of Levittown, Penn. as well as DC, and an announcement will be made when plans are finalized.
Pring was predeceased by his mother, Paulette Marks of Levittown, Penn. He is survived by his father, John Pring of Bethlehem, Penn.; his brother, Matthew Pring of Texas; his sisters Michelle Forrest of Brooksville, Fla., and Amy Lindquist of Levittown, Penn.; and many friends. Friends include Nicholas DiBlasio, Sasha Chijoku, Todd Westberg, Babak Movahedi, John Madej and Tommy Sanders.