Yesterday marked the 35th anniversary
of the founding of what would become known as the the Gay Men's Health Crisis.
On August 11, 1981, Nathan Fain, Larry Kramer, Lawrence Mass, Paul Popham, Paul Rapoport, and Edmund White met with Dr. Alvin Friedman-Kien and discussed the "gay cancer" that was affecting their friends and lovers. "In 1983 Larry Kramer, one of the founders of Gay Men’s Health Crisis, was kicked out of the organization he helped create,
due to his loud and often controversial methods of raising public awareness about the AIDS epidemic." Today, GMHC serves
more than 10,000 people per year. [more inside]
An oral history of "Longtime Companion."
The first major release movie to deal with the AIDS epidemic, 1990's Longtime Companion
focuses on a group of gay friends in New York City, revisiting them one day per year starting in 1981. Bruce Davison won a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. [more inside]
Thirty two years ago this weekend, Bobbi Campbell and his partner, Bobby Hilliard appeared on the cover of Newsweek
magazine, most notable because the two men, embracing, were living with AIDS. [more inside]
Writer John Reed remembers
growing up as a kid in New York in the 1970s, when his mother, artist Judy Rifka
, was friends with queer artists like Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat and David Wojnarowicz, under the lurking presence of AIDS.
[Eleven] days ago, The New Yorker’s Daily Comment blog published an essay by Michael Specter titled “What Young Gay Men Don’t Know About Aids,
” in which Specter points to the increase of “unprotected anal intercourse among gay men,” claims that “the rates of HIV infection will surely follow,” and then identifies the cause of this shift as the ignorance of my generation, who weren’t around to see the AIDS epidemic for themselves. The piece is a call to arms of sort, stating the need for increased public funding for HIV/AIDS prevention, and concludes by quoting Larry Kramer’s famous 1983 warning, “1,112 and Counting.” It’s a familiar argument—one that, in my lifetime, I have heard repeated ad nauseam and, I fear, largely misses what AIDS means to me and many other young gay men.
"The Sound of Stigma
: An essay by Mark S. King—an AIDS advocate, an author and a blogger living with HIV since 1985—on why HIV stigma among gay men persists."
"The Most Important Gay Porn Film Ever Made?"
[NSFW Warning: Pictures of a naked guy, no sex or penis shown.]
"Dawson's 20 Load Weekend
redefined bareback porn and the men who appear in such porn. It influenced subsequent videos and expanded the availability of bareback films. It depicted a prevailing truth about gay sexual behavior "post-AIDS" and arguably encouraged risky sexual adventure-seeking. It led to the saturation of bareback porn online, making unprotected sex normative to whomever might be watching. To dismiss this film, to minimize its social and cultural impact, would be to demonstrate a profound misunderstanding of gay sexuality today."
Diseased Pariah News
started in 1990 as "a patently offensive publication of, by, and for people with HIV disease (and their friends and loved ones). We are a forum for infected people to share their thoughts, feelings, art, writing and brownie recipes in an atmosphere free of teddy bears, magic rocks, and seronegative guilt." It ran for 11 issues over the next 9 years, 8 of which can be found here
. (NSFW, irritating interface) [more inside]
Petition against Anti-Gay Bill Delivered to Ugandan Parliament.
Fierce debate continues in Uganda over the Bahati Bill, a controversial anti-homosexual law currently under consideration by the Ugandan government (prev
). [more inside]
Anyone who was moved by Zelda Rubinstein
's performance as the eccentric medium in "Poltergeist"
will be dismayed to hear that she is seriously ailing
. What you may not be aware of is her role, first in Los Angeles (way back in 1984), and later internationally, in gay rights and AIDS education advocacy. [more inside]
The plague is over, lets party.
Article by Elizabeth Pisani describing the troubling consequences of a gay scene in a world where HIV is treatable and AIDS is avoidable.
In 1974 - or 1976, depending who you ask - Armistead Maupin
began writing "an extended love letter to a magical San Francisco” in the form of a serialized, fictional drama published originally in the Pacific Sun, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner, originally called "The Serial"
which then became collectively known as Tales of The City
It is a suprisingly beautiful, deep, emotional, cosmopolitan and lasting
tale about life in San Francisco in the turbulent, heady days of the 1970s and 1980s. Widely credited with and cherished for helping spread a little of the openess, tolerance and acceptance that San Francisco is now famous for
. It then became a series of books - Tales of the City
, More Tales of the City
, Further Tales of the City
, Significant Others
, Sure of You
- and lastly, the spin-off tale of Michael Tolliver Lives
. Almost exactly twenty years after first publishing, it then became an excellent miniseries
from the United Kingdom's Channel 4, which aired in the United States on PBS
, but not without protest or limitations
. [more inside]
Who goes to POZ Parties?
Researchers profile HIV-1 positive men who have sex with men (MSM) at so-called "POZ parties
": "Predominantly white and over the age of 30, subjects in the sample include a broad range of years living with HIV infection. Motivations for using a POZ Party venue for sexual partnering include relief from burdens for serostatus disclosure, an interest in not infecting others, and opportunities for unprotected sexual exchange. High rates of unprotected sex with multiple partners are prevalent in the venue. Although the sample evidences high rates of lifetime exposure to illicit drugs, relatively little drug use was reported in these sexual environments."
Dear Bareback Andy
--a response by Signorile to Andrew Sullivan's recent article on HIV--"Still Here, So Sorry"
-- how HIV vastly improved his life. (Sullivan also famously and prematurely wrote about the End of Aids in '96
HIV prevention efforts are failing.
Last year, the discovery of a New York man with a novel form of drug-resistant HIV that rapidly progressed to AIDS caused some to warn of the emergence of a "superbug
." The first clinical analysis of the case will be published
Saturday in The Lancet (NYT preview
); Dr. Martin Markowitz concluded the cause of the rapid progression to AIDS may be incomplete -- but that efforts to prevent the epidemic must be redoubled, especially in light of the growing use of methamphetamines
. Dr. Carlos del Rio is blunt
: "This is telling us that AIDS prevention programs have been a failure." The Gay Men's Health Crisis agrees
The San Francisco Chronical has an observance
on the 10th anniversary of the death of Randy Shilts. His second book, And the Band Played On
opened my eyes to the AIDS epidemic, as I am sure it did to a lot of straight people. I was amazed to see him pilloried in the gay press as being a traitor to his "kind." My understanding is that this disfavor arose from his assertion that aspects of the hard-won sexual freedom enjoyed by many gay men were also killing them. Anyone want to weigh in on this?
Frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear the accuser and accused freely speak.
In the west, before it was HIV/AIDS, it was GRID, for Gay-Related Immunodeficiency Disease, or Kaposi Sarcoma-Opportunistic Infection, or simply "gay cancer." But there are other names for it now, where it hits hardest, but no less euphemistic or obscuring. More inside...
Michael Johnston, a strong voice of the ex-gay movement, falls from grace
, admitting he willingly had unprotected sex with men without disclosing his HIV+ status, after appearing in national advertisements to promote the ex-gay movement
. One of his strongest supporters, the Concerned Women for America, are calling it a "severe moral failing"
and equating homosexuality to alcoholism (i.e., a disease).
takes on the Rolling Stone "bug chasing"/HIV+ gay sex story in his column today, and lambastes one of his favorite sacred cows, Gay Men's Health Crisis
and other outreach groups that seem to have a lackadaisical attitude towards their clients' risky behavior. He's written
about this before
, in the case of Seth Watkins, an HIV+ sex education worker who admitted in the NYTimes he has unprotected casual sex at clubs. Does any of this coverage increase awareness of the still-plenty-big threat of HIV, or does it just make gay men look bad? Respectful discussion within...?
An AIDS timeline from 1981-2001.
As part of an exhibition by the Museum of the City of New York on Gay Men's Health Crisis,
one of the first service organizations created to help fight the disease, a very simple interactive timeline was created--just pick a year or browse through them all...from a "Rare Cancer Seen in 41 Homosexuals." (NYT-1981) to "15,000 new HIV infections a day in 1999".
on the whole Andrew Sullivan and Michael Signoreli fiasco. Finally, a well written viewpoint about the barebacking incident
that raised the hackles of gay conservatives and liberals alike.
Is this Andrew Sullivan's ass?
This morning, Jim Romenesko
made a questionable publishing decision. He ran a link to an article in last Friday's edition of the newspaper LGNY
, in which Michelangelo Signorile
makes a very serious allegation: That Andrew Sullivan
has been advertising for "bareback" sex online
(anal sex w/o condoms). Such actions on Sullivan's part would be seen by many as exceedingly hypocritical given his voluminous writings of a moral conservative bent and his "arrogance toward the ghettoized gay scene" (as Signorile puts it), if not downright dangerous given his HIV+ status.
If true, this brings up plenty of ideological and moral issues, which I'm sure will be discussed in this thread. But that's not why I'm bringing it up here. I'm posting because of the vaguely Kayceeish nature of the whole thing. If you look at Signorile's article, you'll see that all the evidence is circumstantial. Several people who Signorile really really trust say they answered the ads and Sullivan was the guy that showed up when they met. The photos in the ads look like what most people expect Sullivan's body to look like (minus his head, of course). Also, Sullivan hasn't responded to anyone's questions about this, and after all, if the accusations were false wouldn't Sullivan be loudly denying them (wink wink)?
Complicating the whole mess is Signorile's own journalistic history - he made his name during the late '80s-early '90s running gossipy columns outing famous people against their will - and that Romenesko decided to publicize this article in the first place, thus ensuring that every single person in the national media is fully aware of the allegations, true or not. Is this actual proof that Sullivan is guilty of barebacking, or is he being Borked (Kayceed?)? Should it have been publicized like this in the first place, since a mention in Romenesko is the best way to start up a classic pack journalism action short of running a front-page story in The New York Times? Will other media outlets jump on this now and sully Sullivan's reputation, whether the allegations are true or not?