Faun Weaver, Gulfport’s first Gecko Queen in 2013, celebrated people’s differences and “was not afraid to do fun and crazy things,” said Rick Nale of St. Petersburg, a long-time friend who also served as a member of her royal court.
Weaver was subsequently honored with of the title of “Gecko Queen emeritus.”
When asked in 2018 what it takes to be royalty, she laughed gleefully and said, “Be bombastic! Be Bold! This is not the time for serenity and calm. It’s really an honor to be queen. You put in a lot of hours and it’s all done with a smile.”
Weaver was brought home from the hospital on Thursday, January 17 and died peacefully on Saturday, January 19 under the care of Suncoast Hospice, said Rachel Macleod of Gulfport who is one of Weaver’s close friends. Weaver was in the company of her cats on her lap and had some of her close friends nearby.
In her role as queen and as a resident of Gulfport for years, “she was liked by everyone,” said Brian Liggins of Gulfport who served as Gecko Queen from 2017 to 2018. He has known Weaver for years. “Her friends were her family for life. She loved unconditionally. She loved this town 100 percent. Faun was Gulfport.”
And, she also loved pink.
“She was always wearing something pink like wigs or platform flip flops,” said Liggins. “That was her signature color when she was out and about or participating in events.”
Weaver was always willing to help other people, said Higgins.
“I admired the fact that she was about human rights no matter what,” said Jon Ziegler, of Gulfport, the reining Gecko Queen. He met Weaver 12 years ago while she was bartending. “She would never miss a Pride parade in St. Petersburg. She would create a costume in her way and it had always had to have the color pink involved. That’s why everyone calls her the ‘Pink Goddess’ and people are writing on Facebook, ‘Your pink wings are waiting you.’”
Weaver was also self-employed and cleaned houses, said Ziegler. When she wasn’t working, she loved being outdoors, the water and kayaking. Annually, she would go scalloping in Homosassa.
Weaver was also an advocate for everyone “regardless of lifestyle, walk of life or economic level,” said Ziegler.
And, she volunteered often.
“She was involved in everything Gulfport,” said Nale.
“She participated in Gecko Fest, Gecko Ball, Dining Out for Life, marches, benefits – everything. She was political but didn’t want to hold an office of any sort,” said Nale. “She liked being a free spirit. She was dynamic, artistic, a dancer who was outgoing and all embracing.
“She brought everybody together.”
A celebration of life for Weaver will be held at the Gulfport Casino Ballroom, 5500 Shore Boulevard, on Sunday, February 17 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., said Macleod.