By Nick Mattos, PQ Monthly
Chemist, gay porn superstar, activist, and philanthropist Arpad Miklos was found dead in his New York City apartment this weekend, with cause of death believed to be suicide.
Arpad Miklos, otherwise known as Peter Kosma, reportedly killed himself in his apartment last weekend. Randal Lynch, writer and friend of Miklos, confirmed the passing of the adult actor in a YouTube newscast titled “The Howard Bragman Show” this morning:
Fleshbot gives more about the sad news:
The Hungarian-born legend moved to America after being discovered by porn studio Kristen Bjorn in 1995, and pursued a career in the adult industry “on a whim.” Miklos appeared in hundreds of films and scenes for a number of popular gay porn studios during his 15 years in the business.
“He was a great guy, and on top of that, there was a lot more to him than just that surface persona. He was a very active person in the gay community, he gave a lot of money to charities, and was overall a really good guy”, Lynch says of Miklos. “He was probably one of the biggest pornstars out there.”
Miklos, 45, was found dead in his New York apartment on Sunday, leaving only a suicide note with detailed instructions for an ex-boyfriend concerning his burial services. When asked if depression may have played a role in the suicide, Lynch claims “he [Miklos] wasn’t happy, but he wasn’t going into crying fits. I knew he was depressed, but I didn’t realize the severity of it because he wasn’t a very talkative person.”
Also in the note, Miklos’ final words for the judgement he expected today, as interpreted by Lynch: ”haters can hate, people can speculate, but he’s not going to give a specific reason and give that satisfaction to anyone.”
The situation also illustrates some interesting (and at times disturbing) facets of how the gay porn industry and fans create a sort of caricature of the people involved. Long before he loomed large over the gay porn world as the aggressive and well-endowed daddy top Arpad Miklos [link NSFW], Peter Kosma was a chemical engineer in his native Hungary. After being signed by Kristen Bjorn and coming to the United States, Kosma became Miklos, along the way teaching himself English and abandoning his work as a chemist in lieu of the adult film industry and later working as an escort. He appeared as the face of BUTT magazine for American Apparel products, with all proceeds from his work going to New York City’s queer youth housing resource the Ali Forney Center. He even branched out from adult modeling to appear in a music video for out Seattle performer Perfume Genius:
Fellow adult actor Colby Keller, who appeared in several scenes with Miklos and who recently chatted with PQ Monthly about his thoughts on queer erotica, posted a poignant memorial to his [NSFW] blog Big Shoe Diaries in which he considers Miklos’ fondness for handkäse and his struggle with depression:
I didn’t know Arpad well, but worked with him on several different memorable scenes. He was an incredible performer– dedicated and professional. Off screen, his sense of humor kept cast and crew continually entertained. My fondest memory involves his unusual appreciation of German hand cheese, or Handkäse. I made the mistake of buying a block at a local farmer’s market while on location with Ray Dragon. While I’m an adventurous eater, the waxy ball of translucent cheese had the faint aroma (and strong taste) of iodine soaked bandages. I took one bite and nearly threw the whole chunk straight in the trash can. A delicacy of his native Hungary, Arpad greeted the uneaten ball of cheese with enthusiasm and graciously offered to take the whole batch off my hands. I watched in amazement as he sliced two huge chunks from the ball and immediately scarfed them down, pocketing the rest.
While I don’t pretend to fully know the rationale behind his decision, I can say that I’ve struggled myself with depression and suicide. Like any physically-demanding, socially-vexed form of labor, sex work isn’t easy work– not least because of the stigma and meager income. You give a lot of yourself for what can seem like very little in return. It can take its toll emotionally. The naked body is a vulnerable body after-all. We should remember to celebrate Arpad, the sexy man behind the scenes and in front of the camera who gave so much of himself for our desire, and not condemn a choice privately considered and personally significant enough to result in such extreme measures.
Our sincere condolences go out to the actor’s friends, family, and fans who are impacted by this very sad news.