Sydney gay writer and columnist Brad Johnston has died, leaving behind a much admired record as a journalist within LGBTI media.

Tributes from former colleagues have flowed in since Johnston’s death last week.

In the late ‘90s and early 2000s, Johnston was a regular contributor and editor at a number of gay titles including the Sydney Star Observer, SX, Outrage and Blue.

Journalists, editors and artists have recalled his sense of humour, patience, love of a good time and wit as a writer.

“Brad was the kind of opinion writer you couldn’t help but envy – pithy, effortlessly funny but also able to make every point he needed to make in a reasoned and intelligent way,” former Sydney Star Observer editor Stacy Farrar said.

“As a friend, Brad could be charming, sheepish and acidic all at once – a sometimes lethal cocktail for the uninitiated. His departure will be felt by many,” former Sydney Star Observer columnist Nic Frankham said.

“He was extremely funny and a conversation with him was always an adventure, to say the least,” cartoonist Richard Hughes said.

“I’ll miss Brad – I’ll miss working with him and I’ll miss our boisterous conversations at the pub.”

Another former Sydney Star Observer editor, Marcus O’Donnell, said it was Johnston’s emotional complexity that made him such an important commentator on the gay scene

“Brad was one of the most talented, irritating and delightful contributors I ever worked with as editor of OutRage and editor of the Star Observer,” O’Donnell said.

“He was a real natural writer and he could be wickedly satirical, very funny and very incisive all at the same time. He could also be a bitch. But he wasn’t just one of those look at me bitchy queens, there was usually bite to his bitch and thought behind the snark.

“I don’t feel any need to sugarcoat my memories of Brad because Brad never felt the need to sugarcoat what he was thinking or what he was feeling. So it has to be said that Brad could also be a fucking prima donna.

“He felt what he wrote and he wrote what he felt and he made us all laugh and think as he did it.”

INFO: Brad Johnston will be farewelled this Friday at the Oxford Hotel (I34 Oxford Street, Sydney) from 4pm.

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