Posts tagged AIDS
Posts tagged AIDS
Thirty years since the death of pioneering producer and synth genius Patrick Cowley, Rory Lewarne looks back on the creator of the “San Francisco Sound”
I got to know a lot of my dad’s friends, but this particular friend I became very close with and had a crush on, and he went to my birthday party, and he even bought liquor for my friends and I once when I was a teenager. It hit me when he died. I never got to say goodbye to him. … Like a lot of young men in the city, he didn’t want to share his decline with very many people. He basically went into hiding and didn’t tell anyone about it other than his lover and his roommate. And so my father had heard he was sick, and I had suggested we go visit him, but we never did. And time passed, and I really didn’t know what was going on until my father got a call that he had died.
My freshman year at college I wrote an essay about him. You know, just about missing him and as well about the homophobia that I had seen at the time in San Francisco when the AIDS epidemic was hitting very hard. Some men would be targeted in the city for violence, and there would be anti-gay graffiti scrawled on walls or on the back of bus seats. … This affected me, and so I wrote about all of this in this essay about how, because of Sam, I was now going to stand up against homophobia, and I would defend gay men. But in this essay I never even wrote that my father is gay, and I never even wrote that he might be HIV-positive, which, at the time, he was. So I was aware of what was going on, but I probably had a lot of denial or fear about how the AIDS epidemic was going to hit me at home.
Image from a Valentine’s Day card Alysia’s father gave her via SteveAbbott.org
Peter Staley posted this this image from ACT UP New York’s facebook page. Their caption reads:
“Where were you on March 24, 1987?
ACT UP held its first action on Wall Street to protest the profiteering of pharmaceutical companies on AIDS drugs (especially Burroughs Wellcome, manufacturer of AZT).”
Happy Birthday Keith!
You are missed.
Haring artwork 1985 ©Keith Haring Foundation
Used with permission
Christopher Boatwright, 1985
photo by Tom Zimberoff
I get a sinking feeling whenever I see a portrait of a young gay man from the mid-’80s, because I know that more than half the time the first thing I’ll find when I research them is an obituary dated from the ’90s. Sadly, this was the case with Christopher Boatwright, an extremely talented classical dancer who died of AIDS in 1997, aged only 42.
Please take a moment to appreciate his talents. If you’re anything like me you’ll need a tissue and a hug afterwards.
I have the EXACT same problem. As well, when I go to the Castro, it’s impossible not to notice how there are relatively few gay men of a certain age (in their 40’s-60’s); an entire generation was virtually wiped out. And yet HIV infection rates among gay men are now on the rise. *smh* Like that toxic potpourri of hatred, fear & ignorance hasn’t wrought enough heartbreak & destruction already?
If he had lived, my friend Jamie would be in his late fifties today, How different the past nineteen years would have been if he had been here…and how much I don’t want anyone else to lose a beloved friend who was like the kind, funny gay brother they had always wanted.
My friend Jamie died in January 1994. Later that year was when the tremendous breakthrough in AIDS treatment occurred, with the discovery of the HIV drug “cocktail.” While I was of course relieved at this development that would save so many lives, there was a small angry part of me that raged at how this happened too fucking late to save my friend.
Then I see the new cover of Time tonight, and it’s deja vu all over again.
A baby girl in Mississippi who was born with HIV has been cured after very early treatment with standard drug therapy, U.S. researchers reported on Sunday, in a potentially ground-breaking case that could offer insights on how to eradicate HIV infection in its youngest victims.
The child’s story is the first account of an infant achieving a so-called functional cure, a rare event in which a person achieves remission without the need for drugs and standard blood tests show no signs that the virus is making copies of itself.
Huge story that could potentially redefine the fight against AIDS.
This is incredibly exciting.
I had no idea that Frank Silva (~Killer Bob) was Native American and died from AIDS in 1995. :(
31 Years of HIV & AIDS Awareness Posters. The top poster is the work of artist Keith Haring, who himself succumbed to AIDS at the age of 31 in 1990, while the bottom graphic was often used in protests by ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power). I was with my friend Jamie when I put that sticker on my car—he really loved it. A few months later, he too died from AIDS. It’s been eighteen years since then, and I still think about him every day.
Peter Allen, 1978
Now that is what a I call a distinctly non-heterosexual ensemble. Bless him.
Put on your thinking cat
Herbert Tobias with his cat, 1962
In the bio at this page, one line reads, “His leaving has ripped a hole that will never close at the edges.” That’s exactly how I feel about other beautiful, talented men who we also lost to AIDS: Klaus Nomi and Freddie Mercury immediately come to mind.
Make Up Artist Way Bandy (1981)
“Well… You’ve taken a perfectly pretty girl and turned her in to a painted hussy.”
Way Bandy may well be the reason why I have gravitated toward beautiful, talented gay men my entire life (though I love the non-beautiful ones too, of course). In my teenage heart, I hoped that maybe a session with him would transform me from a geeky ugly duckling into the self-possessed swan I longed to be. Also, look at the attitude he throws at .35! Though I think they might have screwed this up in the editing, because he is shown using an eyelash curler after he has applied mascara, which you should never, ever do! (It weakens the lashes.)
I can’t recommend We Were Here enough, especially for anyone interested in LGBT history—which hopefully is everyone, since it’s human history, after all. (Woah, preachy right out of the gate—sorry!)
Young people today don’t know what it’s like to see all of their friends and lovers dying left and right. Try to imagine it, if you can; envision all of the people you love best—BFF’s, roommates, girlfriends, boyfriends—being ripped away from life by a merciless scourge. Then imagine this also happening in your neighborhood, to the people you see every day—the cute guy who brings the paper, the hawt girl at Starbucks—what it would be like if those people were all dead or dying too? Then on top of that, think about the celebrities you love the most, and what it would be like if Tom Hiddleston & Benedict Cumberbatch were sick and dying as well as all these other people. Now you have some idea of what it was like to be a gay man in the 1980’s. The fact that any at all have survived to tell the tale is miraculous.
One of the saddest moments I had with my friend Jamie was when he told me that everyone he had ever loved was dead. Some of his survivor guilt passed to me when he died, but part of how I deal with that is to make sure the younger generation know what we went through…because some of us were there.
If you’ve ever seen the film Silverlake Life, you’ll know why this song always brings tears to my eyes. (And if you haven’t seen it, you really should. Trust me on this one.)