JP Sheffield, executive director of Atlanta Pride, said of Barrett, “Greg was a really, really good man. I know Pride was really important to Greg, but everything he did was important. That’s the kind of character he had.”
“I can’t count the number of times Greg Barrett was there for me,” Sheffield said at the memorial service.
Barrett also staffed the bar at the Atlanta Eagle every other week and donated his tips to Atlanta Pride.
“It’s because of people like Greg that we have a voice in this town,” Atlanta Eagle co-owner Robby Kelley said at the service.
Barrett leaves behind his partner, Tim Garrett, and many other family members and friends. Memorial donations are requested for Atlanta Pride and the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus.
Originally from Dora, Ala., Barrett was a 1984 graduate of Corner High School and a 1987 graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
According to a police report obtained by Project Q Atlanta, Barrett was visiting a friend on June 2 and inhaled the recreational drug poppers and took a tablet of Levitra, a prescription drug for erectile dysfunction. When he did not wake the next morning, the friend called an ambulance; Barrett was dead at the scene.
Levitra warns that it should not be used with poppers. Police do not think Barrett’s death was the result of foul play, but they are awaiting the results of a toxicology report, Project Q reported.
Barrett was chair of the Atlanta Pride Operations Committee, putting him in charge of the golf carts, radios, and tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment needed to put on the annual festival.
In an interview, Sheffield estimated Barrett had been volunteering with Atlanta Pride for at least 15 years.
“He was the one always doing the work and all our organizations have people like him,” he said. “They’re not in the paper or getting awards and Greg was a shining example of that. Even if people didn’t know him, we should all be grateful for his work.”