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William Bacon
Beast William

ARRIVED   May 18, 1962
DEPARTED   May 14, 2022


7 Comments

  • Thomas Devine writes:
    I too am sad to hear that Beast William has passed. I met him many years ago at a Billy gathering. He and I were roommates, and we were comparing notes about our CPAP machines, which were new to both of us. I remember him as charming, interesting, smart, and generous — I too have one of the tokens he made, and I treasure the memory of our encounter. I tried to call him in the hospital Saturday, but I was too late.

    Condolences to all who knew him better than I did. May he rest in peace, or make heaven roar with his energy.

    Reply
  • Ed Wolf writes:
    I’m laughing remembering how upset he got at a number of us once and started posting rants on billenet, which he referred to as Bilesnest! So clever . . .

    He was a totally magical creature at my first maypole gathering . . . he stayed in a tent that lit up at night and he carried a gigantic umbrella adorned with all kinds of strange things. His devoted boyfriend’s name was Juan.

    Truly unforgettable . . . as Kirk says, some of us go to gatherings hoping to meet someone as different as he was . . .

    Rest In Peace Will I Am . . .

    Reply
  • Daniel Felitti writes:

    Oh yeah, I still have some of those little objects he generously bought to give during the ceremonies he created.

    He was controversial, something I’m sure he enjoyed being, and always dangerously sharp, but at times also very sweet and friendly. And he had this cute small boyfriend that was completely enthralled by big and turbulent Beast William.

    I remember him wearing beautiful flowing fabrics while also wearing a cow’s, or bull’s, skull on his head.
    A very distinctive character in Billy’s history. I’m sad to know he died.

    Daniel

    Reply
  • Here’s part of the “art statement” written by William and Naomi (art director) at the Wellness and Advocacy Center in Santa Rosa.

    “William Bacon has been an artist all his life. A lifelong survivor of poverty, much of his work comes from the abundance of America’s waste stream. He has worked for many years as an educator in the fields of art reuse/up cycling and as a peer in the (mental health) self-help movement. He has been featured in many newspapers over the years including the LA Times. William has a high moral standard and has been homeless many times since his exposure to toxic chemicals at the hands of UNOCAL in 1995. … His Ultimate Dream [was] to be a resourcer and channel reuse/rescued art materials to under funded projects in Santa Rosa.”

    Reply
  • Oh Mike, I’m sorry to hear the news.

    Yes, William could be the Beast in the past. He told me enough about his history that I understood his challenges. He grew up in Alaska among Native people and he came to love them and their culture, yet his parents were fundmentalist missionaries set on destroying Native culture and the little sissyboy that was their son. He also suffered a severe head injury as a child.

    Sad stuff!

    I tried to help him integrate into the Billy and Faerie cultures and perhaps because of that, I became the brunt of his anger on B’net. Yet I knew it wasn’t personal, knew it was coming from a part of himself that was both impossible to control and profoundly disappointed in the ways of our dominant white culture.

    I’m glad I got to meet the new William several times over the past few years, after his meds were adjusted correctly. And yes, he was sweet and gentle. I’m glad I got to talk to him this past week and wish him well on his Journey.

    I’ll always remember the fabulous faery shaman persona he carried with him, his powerful, awesome effect he had at Pride parades and elsewhere, and the little tokens he gave to everyone he encountered, modeling something he learned in his beloved Tribes of the North.

    Mike, I know he was a close friend of yours. You have my condolences. I’m holding you, William, and all his close friends in my heart.

    Reply
  • I did not know Beast well. He was kind of scary. I did see how the Billy community embraced and loved him and made room for him among the Billys nonetheless. I’m heartened to read Mike Goldstein’s message that Beast softened over time and remained a Billy. Good night, sweet prince.

    Reply
  • Mike Goldstein writes:

    I just talked with William Bacon’s nurse. He passed at 10:30 am this morning, Saturday May 14th. I believe the primary cause of death was kidney failure.
    William was problematic for many, so I want to add these few sentences about how he had evolved over the past 20+ years. When I met him, he was homeless & had been for some time. He could be very confrontational & nasty. He was much loved, but he made it difficult for Billys & Faeries & the mental health community to like him. After all, his “Faerie name” was “Beast William.”
    Some years ago the doctors found the right psych meds at the right dosages to stabilize him emotionally. He found a permanent home, a cabin in Sebastopol. He became one of my very best & sweetest friends. I felt safe with him.
    A memorial ceremony & gathering are being planned.
    Rest in Peace, dear friend.

    Reply

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