Chris Harris, co-owner of Club Ego in Providence, dies at 51
The LGBTQ community in New England is mourning a local icon.
Chris Harris, a concert promoter and co-owner of Providence's Club Ego, has died after a battle with cancer. He was 51.
“Today we suffer a great loss,” a post on the club’s Facebook page noted. “From Boston to Providence, Hawaii and everywhere in between, Chris Harris made his legacy, EGO and personality known to all. We now come together to celebrate in memory of our friend, partner, brother in our community, fighter and King of Clubs, Chris Harris.”
Two of his close friends, Alexis Gorriaran and Rob Zuromski, were with him when the Scituate native passed away Wednesday morning. They told NBC 10 News that the community will always remember Harris for his joyful attitude, noting that he inspired everyone he met.
“In the work that he did both personally and throughout the community, to me, was about creating experiences,” Gorriaran said, adding that he and Harris shared a love for travel, arts and entertainment. “His will and desire to dream big was infectious to everyone else, too. That brought everyone else up in their lives and what they were doing.”
Zuromski shared similar sentiments.
“Even in his journey with cancer, he never stopped dreaming big,” Zuromski said. “He bought a house while sitting in ICU because he never stopped working until the very end. What made him happy was seeing other people happy. In his productions and parties, he’d just sit there and look around and just seeing everyone so happy put a smile on his face and really drove him to be successful.”
They also said Harris has done a lot for the LGBTQ community through the years. It wasn’t just about having fun in clubs, they said.
“Chris has been creating safe places for the LGBTQ community for generations,” Gorriaran said. “Back when it may not have been safe to be openly gay or openly lesbian, Chris created environments where people can come together and celebrate who we are and not have to worry about being discriminated or attacked, where people can truly come together, meet people from all walks of life, have fun, dance and fighting for equality.”
Zuromski added that Harris found time to make the LGBTQ community more visible despite his illness.
“It didn’t matter what was going on in his personal life, he just wanted to make others really happy and make everything a success,” Zuromski said.
Gorriaran and Zuromski said services and a “Celebration of Life" will be announced soon.
“That was one of his wishes,” Gorriaran said. “He wanted a celebration."