Harvey Bosco Lennon Parker

July 2001 - December 2021

Biography


Creative to the core: a gifted writer and musician, kind to the vulnerable, tenacious, determined, independent and brilliantly funny. Non-conforming, not interested in the middle ground, Harvey was unique, and loved so much.

They were deeply and passionately concerned about equity and those who felt at life's margins: they championed inclusive rights for queer and trans people, and for marginalised people.

Harvey lived for music: born during the weekend of the first ever Lovebox weekend festival, they attended their first festival - Womad - aged 2 years old. 

 

Harvey mastered flute, oboe, piano and organ, and also sang – with a distinctive sound that reflected his character - a gentle, powerful voice with huge emotional depth.

With a speed, light and grace that any dancer would be envious of, Harvey showed huge promise in both gymnastics and karate in early years, and enjoyed fencing at school - the ability to move swiftly and silently earned Harvey the household nickname of ‘ the ninja’.

Despite being ridiculously naturally gifted as an athlete, Harvey had no interest in sport whatsoever, to the chagrin of early PE teachers. In a junior school football match a 9 year old Harvey hung about the goalposts doing cartwheels to the confusion of the other team and the goalkeeper. He was great at sprint and that almost impossible distance, 800m.

Childhood


Harvey's talent for music was first evident during infant baby music sessions where baby Harvey would disrupt sessions by running around and bashing both ears whilst the mums and other babies sang - we later discovered this was because Harvey loved the singing, but not out of tune singing... years later they would be able to moderate their response with maturity, generosity and kindness: in school in music leadership roles, Harvey supported individuals to navigate and manage the complexity of singers' voices breaking during puberty. 

Harvey moved really, really quickly. We struggled to photograph them as a toddler - being always just out of frame by the time the picture was taken. One of Harvey's earliest sentences was a delighted, proud, 'I'm just getting away' before bolting off beyond sight and reach. 

Teenage

 

Harvey's musical talent flourished at Westminster School where they performed in everything going, as a soloist, setting up ensembles, running music societies, touring to Slovenia, Austria and France, conducting the orchestra in Berlin, performing on many of the UK’s leading musical stages and winning scholarships and prizes as well as studying at weekends at the Royal Academy of Music and playing in the National Children’s Orchestra as well as Chineke! Juniors amongst many, many other orchestras and ensembles.  Harvey's tastes and knowledge of music was beyond eclectic: from classical, contemporary, trance, dance and beyond, it was encyclopaedic. From Vengerov to JpegMafia, Harvey attended hundreds of concerts during their short life. 

 

Harvey was magical, somewhat otherworldly – delicate but with a steely, stubborn mind about what he cared for, and unwavering from a chosen path.

This tenacity was part of his neurodivergent perspective – Harvey saw the world very differently, which made the world at times difficult to navigate.

Adulthood​

 

Harvey was wickedly funny. Their best joke I can't share here, but they enjoyed hyperbolic melodrama of all shades, and scenes verging on the horrific (or the outright messed up) - laughing to the point of weakness at films like It, The Shining and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. He was the master of understatement, with a superbly wry, ironic tone. Their most arch, 'it won't end well' delivered with perfect timing, a raised eyebrow and withering sidelong glance often saying so more than any words could. 

 

Harvey enjoyed spectacle and socialising, exploring and taking ownership of their gender fluidity - and dazzling at a photo shoot for Lanvin. 

Harvey embraced colour, spectacle, ambiguity.

They were a regular at Heaven and G -A-Y, where they were popular and made great friends.

At York, friends would contact him to go out at the end of the week, to find he was already in Leeds clubbing there, or London packing in sometimes several gigs in one night, and almost always a gig then a club.