How did you deal with the early stages of the AIDS crisis? Did you become celibate?
Yes to the celibacy question. I graduated from high school in 1981,just as news of this disease started to hit. I was still in the closet and the few people I knew who got AIDS were shunned by family and 'friends'. For those who had families that cared, the sick were hidden away to die in anonymity-like my next door neighbors son. Coming from a large,single parent household,my overriding thought then and now was not to let myself become a burden to my family from something I could avoid.
Even though there is less hysteria associated with AIDS today,It still affects me to the point where-at nearly 50 years old now,I have had very few sex partners.
Why are all these questions about "AIDS in the 80s" always so fucking stupid and wide-eyed? Motherfucker, there are books and plays and films and poems and documentaries and memoirs out there. Avail yourself. Don't count on DL - OMG, what a concept - to do your thinking for you.
By the way, "celibate," from the original Latin, means "unmarried": from caelibatus "state of being unmarried," from caelebs "unmarried." It does not originally mean "abstaining from sexual intercourse." Self-identified gay men who were not involved in heterosexual marriages in the 1980s were all "celibate," technically speaking. Whether or not they were abstemious is perhaps your question. But it's a stupid question. Be smarter.
heal your anger r2.....people can ask whatever they want. Why do you expect people to listen to you?
I don't expect it!
Jesus, though, I just get tired of the wide-eyed-ness of kids saying, like, "What did you do during the AIDS crisis, Daddy?"
Because, for one thing: duh, the AIDS crisis never ended. New HIV infections are significantly on the rise among young gay men, especially in the south, especially among men of color.
Get a fucking clue. Don't die like we did. Duh.
you sound like a wonderful person r2/r3/r5 too bad you didn't die like the others
Safe sex since 1984. And no StD's either. No exceptions. And I'm a whore, darling.
Why don't queers know their own history?
Seriously, it's on them.
No excuse for willful ignorance. The information is out there. Google some shit. It takes 3 seconds.
Simple. Wore a condom for all encounters.
Celibate then learned to use condoms.
r2/r3/r5/r8 = Larry Kramer
I fucked cats.
It wasn't necessary to *not have sex*. Jesus. It was necessary to talk about the kind of sex you were going to have, to figure out what kinds of behavior were least likely to facilitate HIV transmission, to think about and talk about and eroticize thinking and talking about sex. People did not run and hide from sex. People got more inventive about sex. Let's not treat it like, "Oooo, scary time all you old fags lived through. Were you cowering in a corner for two decades?" The level of stupidity on DL is beyond my grasp.
The older DL gets, the younger and stoopider it becomes.
Is it terrible that I find that comforting?
Waves against the shore...
I remember when I first heard about the new gay cancer. And how it would add another layer to gay hate. Probably about 1980.
I forget how long it took researches to figure out how it was transmitted. People were even afraid to touch, to hug, to kiss. Maybe early 90s.
There's a theory that some people are geneticly immune to AIDS. Ancestors may have lived through European plagues. This could explain my survival. Or maybe just dumb luck.
THE WAY YOU WORDED IT , SOUNDS LIKE YOU COULD BE A PROBLEM , OP
Fanny be tender with my fanny
Don't let me be just one of many
Unless you lived in NYC or San Francisco, or possible Belle Glade, FL, the crisis was way overblown. People in other cities didn't get effected much. I lived in Chicago and DC during the 80s, and never met anyone with AIDS or HIV.
In fact I know only one person now who has HIV and didn't get it while in NYC or SF and he lives in Miami.
Other STDs were a big problem then too so safe sex was preached. I'm straight so I didn't worry as much, not because I didn't think I could catch the virus, but because my partners were just not likely to have been exposed. I knew several peopel who were dying of it even back then. Plus straight guys had to worry about getting women pregnant so condums were a must anyway.
It was the end of the sexual revolution, basically.
R15, it was around 1984-1985 that they understood. After the shellshock had worn off, ACT UP began in the late 80s and maybe it was the fact that people were actually doing something but the community grew stronger and more visible than ever.
At first I was afraid...
I was PETRIFIED!
Yes, OP, I became celibate and so did a lot of other people and we stayed that way for a while. It was terrifying and lonely and awful, as people I'd known and loved for years died agonizing deaths. As a special bonus, while they were suffering and dying they were vilified by stupid people.
I have a certain amount of sympathy for the rage of R2/3/5/etc. The whole "what did you do during the plague" thing is a bit much. However, even he will admit that although the books and films about it should be read and seen, if you weren't there you'll never really know how it was for us. It was like living through a war without bullets. Well, not completely without bullets. I knew someone who shot himself in the head when the lesions showed up.
Can't stand the tone of wide-eyed incredulity in which these questions about "Old Timey AIDS" are asked.
AIDS is now, AIDS is happening all over the world, new HIV infections are increasing, particularly among young gay men, particularly in the American south, particularly among people of color.
Stop treating it like it happened to THEM. It is still happening to all of US.
Get a clue, or you'll be dead, too.
This topic was exhaustively covered only three months ago OP with a stream detailed recollections from survivors. Use the search function either here or via Google Advanced Search = datalounge
I have no doubt I'd be poz if I came out and started doing sex things earlier. But I came from a small town, and was closer to thirty than twenty- so the opportunities were already dwindling. I did do a couple risky things, but- knock wood- escaped the plague.
Now I'm pretty much celibate. I'd like to find a partner, and have a monogamous relationship. But I've seen what goes on online and now I'm gunshy. I'd rather live (healthy) than expose myself to another trickster.
[quote]Why don't queers know their own history?
Maybe because when people like the OP ask a simple, sensible question they get shrieked at and called stupid?!
Reading a book about the Battle of Iwo Jima is quite different from being able ask someone who was there, "What was it like?"
And just because you ask someone who was there "What was it like?" doesn't mean you're ignorant of history. It means you know the significance of the historical event (otherwise why would you ask?), and now you're interested in hearing a first-hand account from someone who lived through it.
It's odd to me that people would jump on the OP for his question, and then lament the lack of interest and knowledge about gay history.
r19 is an idiot. AIDS was a big deal in my mid-size midwest town. I saw more people die than I want to recall.