Michael Portantino, Gay Lesbian Times publisher, commits suicide

By City News Service

Friends and family Friday were mourning the suicide of Michael Portantino, longtime publisher of San Diego’s Gay and Lesbian Times.

The 52-year-old apparently jumped and landed on a cement walkway in the 500 block of Spruce Street sometime before 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office reported.

His body was discovered by a passerby next to the hotel, Park Manor Suites, according to the Medical Examiner’s office, which ruled the manner of death as suicide.

A former stockbroker, Portantino bought one of San Diego’s smallest gay publications in 1989 and grew it to be one of the largest gay publications in Southern California, with a circulation of more than 15,000, the Union-Tribune reported. In October, the weekly publication, which covered news, politics and community issues, was shut down due to economic difficulties.

Services were pending.