February 4, 2021 at 8:29 am EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Beloved Univ. of Md. student, LGBTQ activist Jude Maloney dies at 19
Jude Maloney, gay news, Washington Blade
Jude Maloney was a junior at the University of Maryland College Park.

Jude Maloney, a third-year student at the University of Maryland at College Park who identified as a transgender male and who was active with LGBTQ campus organizations, including the Pride Alliance and the group TransU, died on Jan. 25 at Maloney’s off-campus residence at the age of 19.

People who knew Maloney said Maloney preferred the pronouns he/him or they/their.

A statement released by Luke Jensen, director of the university’s LGBT Equity Center, where Maloney worked part-time, did not disclose a cause of death but said there was “no foul play nor was it related to COVID-19.”

During a Feb. 1 virtual service of remembrance for Maloney organized by the College Park campus’s Lutheran Ministry, with which Maloney was involved, people who knew Maloney referred to the death as a suicide.

“Jude was an outstanding student studying Information Science and was a member of the University Honors program in the Honors College,” the statement released by the LGBT Equity Center says. “They were an integral part of various campus communities including Lutheran campus ministries,” says the statement.

“In addition to their responsibilities as student staff in the LGBT Equity Center, they were involved in many of our programs including the Speakers Bureau, the Lavender Leadership Honor Society, and as a student leader for Q Camp,” the statement continues. “Jude was active with several student groups including the Pride Alliance and TransU,’ it says.

“They brought joy and light whenever we saw them,” the statement adds.
Rev. Ray Ranker, pastor and chaplain for the Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of Maryland at College Park, said Maloney grew up in Calvert County, Md.

“I would say that two important parts of who Jude was include that they were a faithful Christian and that they were a transgender person,” Ranker said. “And so, Jude was active with the LGBT Equity Center, was very active in our campus ministry, was a Sunday school teacher for Hope Lutheran Church at the campus.”

He said Maloney also served as a camp counselor at a Lutheran summer camp in Maryland.

“Jude was very good with kids, loved kids,” Ranker said.

“Jude was incredibly smart and intellectually curious, curious about faith questions and God,” Ranker said. “Jude had a really strong sense of justice and, of course, around LGBTQ issues. But it wasn’t just confined to LGBTQ issues,” said Ranker, who noted that Maloney had a strong interest in learning about the Black civil rights movement.

Information released by the Lee Funeral Home in Maryland says Maloney’s family received friends at a visitation held at the funeral home on Feb. 2.

Ranker, who attended the visitation, said family members and friends then attended the internment of Maloney’s ashes at the Chesapeake Highlands Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Port Republic, Md.

“Jude was a loving child, and friend,” a statement released by the funeral homes says. “Any person who knew or worked with Jude knows what a kind, brilliant, quirky, and tenderhearted person Jude was,” the statement says. “Jude touched many lives and will be greatly missed by all.”

Maloney is survived by parents, Leah Woods and Patrick Maloney; sisters Amanda Webber and Anna Louise Webber, and many friends, including fellow students at the University of Maryland.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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