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Do You Remember Gay Life Before AIDS?

Do you remember how it was before AIDS?

by Anonymousreply 48January 17, 2015 3:29 AM

I came out in 1977 and moved to NYC in 1979. Yes, definitely.

But I was a "new wave" queer, so I scoffed at the Saint crowd. So I wasn't in the middle of that milieu.

by Anonymousreply 1June 23, 2012 2:54 AM

I was born around the time Rock Hudson was said to have "liver cancer." I remember being a kid and seeing news footage of Ryan White. I became convinced that the first guy I fucked (back in 2000) had HIV.

All I know is dating in the world of AIDS. It sucks.

by Anonymousreply 2June 23, 2012 3:00 AM

I was born in 1969.

During my junior year in high school (1986) our English teacher took a day off from teaching us Shakespeare and Chaucer to teach the class about AIDS and encourage us to use protection.

I figure people born just a few years before me became sexually active before AIDS awareness. I think I'm around the cut-off age for having a gay life before AIDS.

by Anonymousreply 3June 23, 2012 3:32 AM

yes, as a youngin

lots of "queers" went out dancing, but so did the straights, lots seemed to be hooking up, LOTS - like all of them all the time.

I noticed because I was a young "queer" myself. AIDS hit when I was 17.

by Anonymousreply 4June 23, 2012 3:40 AM

I turned 18 in '82. No, it's always been there.

by Anonymousreply 5June 26, 2012 3:17 AM

I sucked my first dick in 1982, when I was 15, just before the age of AIDS. So just barely.

by Anonymousreply 6June 26, 2012 3:24 AM

I moved to NYC in 1979 at the age of 19. So I had a couple of years before the AIDS crisis started to appear. It was very carefree. There was lots and lots of sex, anywhere and everywhere.

by Anonymousreply 7June 26, 2012 3:35 AM

I was born in '70 and was 11 when the first cases were reported on tv, but I remember it vividly because 20/20 did a piece on it. Prior to that, I knew gays were laughed at and wore dresses, leather, and did 'something' that people didn't like. I also knew that I could sense who these people were and felt a bond. I loved seeing Charles Nelson Reilly, Liberace and Paul Lynne on tv. I think stories of gay life in the pre-AIDS era are fascinating and those that lived through it are my idols. What I wouldnt do to have a friend from that generation. The hell with jokes about caftans and earrings.

by Anonymousreply 8June 26, 2012 3:37 AM

Was Grindr as big a deal before AIDS? Or was everyone on Manhunt?

by Anonymousreply 9June 26, 2012 3:41 AM

I was a young child with worldly, well-travelled parents. The first flamboyant fay man I ever met was a friend of my mother's. I met a lot of gay men in Paris and NY and DC in the brief window of the 70s who were having mature, out sexual relations and were beautiful and sexy. I met amazingly groomed and charming Halston a few times (friendly with his niece whom I still know), briefly saw Andy Warhol and the occasionally queer Salvador Dali.

When AIDS hit people in our family and circle were really shocked. Gays had been the creme de la creme of the social set and with the onset of the disease were dumped. Americans have short memories so now gays are getting more acceptance, but I'll never forget gays enjoying the adulation of the elite and then being discarded. To the point that Calvin Klein and Elton John got married to women -- which they would like you to forget. The amnesia that runs through American society is unbelievable.

by Anonymousreply 10June 26, 2012 4:03 AM

Oh dear I remember life before AIDS. We didn't have that delicious candy to control our weight. We used speed. It was horrible. We were all fat and running around.

Then came AIDS candies that beautifully controlled the weight. Then came the GRID and the homosexual community decided to change the name to force the diet company into bankruptcy.

by Anonymousreply 11June 26, 2012 8:25 AM

Born in 1957 I had the seventies to call my "cuming of age decade". I fucked anything that didn't fuck me first. I spent get-away weekends at the Club Baths in Houston. My diet included a regular regiment of Qualudes,meth,cocain,lsdn fine wines an cheap beer. Ten cent wednesdays at The Village Station always included drugs, drunkeness and debauchery. I worked as a waiter and requested Thursdays off. I got fucked by B-list pron star Steve York. Twice. In the butt.

We fucked bareback but didn't call it that. Using condoms was something truck drivers did.

As a waiter I made enough money to support a "Bohemian" apartment in the gay ghetto and support multiple bad habits.

I had a lot of pretty pretty boys I called "friends"

Lots of those guys did not survive the epidemic. I don't know how or why I have dodged so many bullets in life.

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by Anonymousreply 12June 26, 2012 8:51 AM

I was born in 1987 so that's a no.

by Anonymousreply 13June 26, 2012 9:03 AM

Isn't that what the movie Xanadu is for (to jog eldergays' memory)?

by Anonymousreply 14June 26, 2012 9:43 AM

I'm glad for our "liberation" but I miss the days when our lifestyle belonged to us. Before it became public property.

by Anonymousreply 15June 26, 2012 11:38 AM

I was born in 1947, so I have lived through various generations of the gay community, and I remember each decade well even the days when "moral laws" existed and we had to pay off cops to keep them from busting gay clubs.

I'm 52 now, but look 19 so guys my assumed age admire that I'm out and confident at such a young age. I think because I have taken care of myself for decades is the reason why I look 19, and because of that I "come out" again and again to the young gay men and women of every generation.

I've been 19 for a long time.

by Anonymousreply 16June 26, 2012 12:51 PM

Hell, I don't remember what happened yesterday.

by Anonymousreply 17June 26, 2012 1:32 PM

"I was born in 1947, so I have lived through various generations of the gay community... "I'm 52 now, but look.."

Gurrrrrrrl. You are TERRIBLE at the maths. You aren't 52. You're 65.

by Anonymousreply 18June 26, 2012 1:59 PM

[quote]We fucked bareback but didn't call it that. Using condoms was something truck drivers did.

Exactly. Condoms were birth control for straight people. The cum flowed freely before 1983.

by Anonymousreply 19June 26, 2012 2:08 PM

Yup. First sex in 1978. Had unprotected sex until 1982 or 1983. I lived in San Francisco and remember reading one of the first articles on "gay cancer".

I do not know how I never seroconverted. I have another friend who was also very sexually active from 1974 and he is HIV-negative. His partner died of AIDS; my ex died in 1984.

We should both be dead. Who knows why.

God probably wanted me to live so I could post here, so he gave me a pass.

by Anonymousreply 20June 26, 2012 3:52 PM

The appetite-suppressant candy was called Ayds. I was 16 in 1983 and listened to Paul Harvey on my lunch break and they were his sponsor. I remember their desperate attempt to distance themselves from the plague. I also remember them being a prize on Let's Make a Deal.

by Anonymousreply 21June 26, 2012 4:54 PM

Last month, I was cleaning the garage and found a box of my old stuff which included a couple of Christopher Street magazine cartoon anthologies from the late 70s.

Back then, we were still contending with our parents' attitudes, fretting about fashion, and seeking "The One," but the main themes were gay men's penchant for the clone look, and the women's insistence on never moving from the same social circles despite breakups and heartbreak.

by Anonymousreply 22June 26, 2012 5:05 PM

I was 21 in 1982 and consider myself very lucky.

Dodged many bullets, I'm sure.

by Anonymousreply 23June 26, 2012 5:12 PM

In 1982 I was a freshman in college. I remember the fear that people had of the "gay disease." When I hear people today talk about what a great president Ronald Reagan was, I can just spit. Yeah he was great alright...at turning a blind eye to a health crisis and the deaths of thousands. Yeah, that's real leadership!

The heroes in those days were Hollywood actors and actresses, chief amongst them Elizabeth Taylor. She had compassion, drive, and guts!

A recent PBS documentary highlighted the other heroes of that era...lesbians. They saw their brothers dying and rose to take care of them...the same brothers who until then had largely ignored them

by Anonymousreply 24June 26, 2012 5:46 PM

AIDS made America grow up. They were forever trapped in a sort of ignorant, snickering adolescence.

by Anonymousreply 25June 26, 2012 6:14 PM

I just read "Dancer from the Dance" and, boy, were the 70s wild. NYC and Fire Island must have been perpetual orgies back then.

by Anonymousreply 26June 26, 2012 6:17 PM

It was a glorious mosh pit of sex.

I somehow walked away unscathed.

by Anonymousreply 27June 26, 2012 7:17 PM

R26, it wasn't just New York. It was everywhere gays could find each other, even in flyover country. Away from the judgmental eyes of the straight world, *we did everything.*

by Anonymousreply 28June 26, 2012 7:24 PM

God, I couldn't even imagine BB sex without extreme fear. If only we could time travel.

by Anonymousreply 29June 26, 2012 8:47 PM

I was a child in the 80s, so I cannot even comprehend what it was like to be a sexually active adult in that time. The fear and paranoia must have been overwhelming. By the time I became an adult and was having sex, it was the mid-90s, so of course by then the worst of the AIDS epidemic had passed and we knew how to protect ourselves.

And yes, Reagan and the rest of those amoral assholes in government did absolutely nothing. You can bet your life that if the majority of AIDS cases had been straight white men, it would have been declared a national emergency and tons of money and research would have been put in place to combat it.

Fuck Ronald Reagan. Every time I see or hear something about how "great" a man and President he was, it makes me want to scream. he was a total fucking disaster, and not just in regards to AIDS, but for so many other reasons as well. I hope he's roasting in hell.

by Anonymousreply 30June 26, 2012 9:07 PM

Billy don't be a hero, don't be a fool with your life.

by Anonymousreply 31June 26, 2012 9:20 PM

Is R11 insane...or what?

by Anonymousreply 32June 26, 2012 9:36 PM

R11 isn't insane. Just a trolling twat. And it was "AYDS," asshole.

If you're going to make any jokes about the subject, you'd better make sure they're funny. But then you're not smart enough to know why, are you? You're just a lucky survivor, like a fungus.

by Anonymousreply 33June 26, 2012 10:35 PM

[quote]AIDS made America grow up. They were forever trapped in a sort of ignorant, snickering adolescence.

Boy, are you clueless.

America hasn't grown up. It's devolved.

Those who went through the Depression and World War II - that great generation - that was a grown-up America.

Their children are a blight and have nearly destroyed America.

The Baby Boomers are spoiled, selfish brats whose lack of responsibility and stewardship have crashed the American Dream.

And the Echo Boomers haven't fared much better.

by Anonymousreply 34June 26, 2012 11:02 PM


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by Anonymousreply 35June 26, 2012 11:08 PM

Oh bullshit. The "Greatest Generation" was anything but. They didn't solve the Depression and WWII their elders did. They just reaped the rewards, not understanding a fucking thing about what it took to give them the opportunities they were given.

by Anonymousreply 36June 27, 2012 12:23 AM

Life before every other person had herpies, was kind of nice too.

by Anonymousreply 37June 27, 2012 1:50 AM

Nope I was born in 1983.

But I have safer sex with whoever I'm with as I'm bisexual and have male and female partners, and just assume that the person I'm dating is HIV+ even if they're a woman and have safer sex.

Most of my hetero and gay male friends do not do this and some have the mentality that HIV or other STDs won't happen to them and they can have unprotected sex with whoever they want.

by Anonymousreply 38January 16, 2015 11:01 AM

Nope. I hadn't been born yet.

by Anonymousreply 39January 16, 2015 11:16 AM

The summer of 1980 Iived on Church and Market, just down from Castro Street, SF. I was 20. Castro Street, with all of the bars wide open in front with patrons literally spilling out into the street and the disco music blaring. All of the hot men hanging out at the entrance to the Muni station with their pendleton shirts. And everyone was on the make.

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by Anonymousreply 40January 16, 2015 11:37 AM

San Francisco, early 70s. We had to worry more about the cops than disease. Everything was free, open, and as R40 mentioned, everyone was on the make. Fucking was uncomplicated. Glad I experienced authentic sexual freedom before it became an angst-ridden act.

by Anonymousreply 41January 16, 2015 12:37 PM

Watching movies like Milk and Cruising, it seems like gays were happier in the 70s and early 80s. Gays have much more acceptance and opportunities now, but I think we're unhappier as a group.

Perhaps there's a mystique or romanticism about being an underground group that made gay life more exciting and special back then.

by Anonymousreply 42January 16, 2015 4:53 PM

Joining the hetero herd in the suburbs - the fake, plastic, materialistic, boring, unintelligent real clones with their stunted deprived children - will prove a serious tactical undoing.

by Anonymousreply 43January 16, 2015 5:22 PM

Born in 1981, so no. AIDS has always been there as long as I can remember. When I was a teen and hanging around AOL chat rooms some guy wanted to meet me and asked if bareback. I had never heard that term and when he told me what it meant I was shocked. I wouldn't consider it any more than I would consider climbing a high tension tower.

by Anonymousreply 44January 16, 2015 5:33 PM

I was a child of the seventies, but out in the hinterlands of the Midwest. Gays didn't exist.

by Anonymousreply 45January 16, 2015 11:24 PM

I hope I'm around to see what post-AIDS gay life looks like.

by Anonymousreply 46January 16, 2015 11:44 PM

Nope, too young

by Anonymousreply 47January 17, 2015 12:01 AM

[quote]Nope, too young

Why do people say nope?

The whole point of slang is to abbreviate words not make them longer.

& who's that weirdo who said he was born in '47 and is therefore 52?

I'm almost 52 and was born in '63.

I was able to see the pre-AIDS gay world, but by the time I was ready to participate, IT STRUCK.

Maybe that's why I'm such an irritable bastard.

I used to visit NY from London when I was growing up in the 70s and there was a very cool and care free vibe around gay people.

BUT, I used to find the gathering of clones in places like the West Village very alarming from my teenage perspective. It was not pretty. They were like the orthodox homosexuals and when they gathered in large numbers it gave off a very strange hostile atmosphere to non-clones. The real heavy duty leather clones disappeared overnight, when AIDS arrived.

I originally came from "sophisticated" London which was a VERY homophobic place in the 70s, even before AIDS. I arrived in NYC to live in 1983...great timing, right? Even when AIDS struck, New Yorkers were still a very tolerant and accepting of gays in comparison to where I came from, I think New Yorkers are very nice and liberal minded in general.

by Anonymousreply 48January 17, 2015 3:29 AM
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