Arbor Vitae Cemetery Madera, Madera County, California, USA, Plot Blk 7 Row 4
Christoffersen (December 1, 1977 – December 18, 2005) was an American gay
rights activist and journalist. Christoffersen was a frequent contributor to
the Fresno, California publication GayFresno. He came to national attention
after a letter he wrote was posted on the blog of gay rights activist and
comedian Margaret Cho. Soon after he became the chapter head of Madera County
for Marriage Equality California.
In 2005 he began working heavily as an activist for women's rights and was slated to be hired to work with Planned Parenthood. On December 16, 2005 he was found dead by his parents on the steps of their California home. He had a longstanding contentious relationship with them; they had frequently threatened to disown him. Toxicology reports by the coroner showed no alcohol or illegal drugs, but a potentially fatal combination of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications might have been the cause of death. He was 28 years old.
In published obituaries, Christoffersen's family made no mention of his sexual orientation and requested that donations in his honor be made to New Creation Ministry, a church solely devoted to the ex-gay movement — a movement which promotes attempts to change the sexual orientation of gay people to straight, in a Christian context. The gay community has expressed outrage at this, particularly due to the rumors that the drugs which may have killed Christoffersen were possibly being taken to cope with the way he was being treated by his unaccepting family.
Nathan's story was documented in The Advocate, a national LGBT magazine, in 2006. The two-part article was featured in the March 14 and March 28 issues. The article dealt with Nathan's story as well as the political climate facing the LGBT community in Fresno and the Central Valley.