Saturday, January 22, 2011

We Where Here & Obituaries

This new documentary, We Where Here, promises to be a so needed historical piece on the arrival of the AIDS epidemic and the gay liberation movement. There is a plethora of books, academic and otherwise –including my on forthcoming book CompaƱeros – chronicling the AIDS epidemic and its impact on the gay and lesbian communities, but we’re missing the imagery, sounds, and voices of the time. It will be screened this weekend at Sundance.

Take a look at the trailer here

Through the film’s site, I found the archive of the obituaries published by the San Francisco gay news paper, Bay Area Reporter. I found myself hooked reading those published in the 1980s-1990s. To give you a sense of the devastation among gay men: between January and February of 1982, there were only 2 obituaries published, four years later, same month: 74.
I'm showing two obituaries here from the archive of the 1990s.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The boomers in the NYT and the ones I know

This piece on the NYT reminded me of a man (to whom I’d refer to as Charles) I have come to know in the last few months. He is turning 60 in a few weeks. He is gay and living with HIV since the mid 1990s. Charles has never had a birthday cake or celebration. Never. Growing up, he did not have mom or dad around. He was abused. He has been in many places. I can see his wounds and his fragility through his eyes. Charles rarely looks directly into my eyes. He chuckles anxiously and briefly; it sounds like a cry. But he is tall and looks robust, despite his frail health.

Charles does know that a few of his new friends (and I) are preparing a birthday celebration for him, with a home-made cake. We know he is not in a good place right now, but hope he comes out for his birthday cake.

Boomers Hit New Self-Absorption Milestone: Age 65