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What percentage of gay men died of AIDS during the 80's?

I was just a little kid during the 80's so I was oblivious to it all, but I have an 'eldergay' friend who's always telling me he has no idea how he lived through the 80's without getting HIV/AIDS, and how all of his friends at the time were dropping dead left and right. If you were in your adult years during the time, what percentage of your gay friends (or just peers) would you say were lost to AIDS?

by Anonymousreply 23811/17/2014

Well, aren't you just the most sensitive little shit in the history of the DataLounge?

by Anonymousreply 101/31/2013

I'm sorry R1, what exactly do you want from me?

by Anonymousreply 201/31/2013

r1, as someone who lived through that period and lost friends, I don't see OP's question as at all insensitive. It's a very important question and I'd like to know the answer.

OP, even though I lived through the 80s, I can only give you anecdotal evidence. And all I can say is that i know many gay men, including myself, who survived (including some who became positive very early on and are still with us), and also know many gay men who died.

by Anonymousreply 301/31/2013

Too bad R1 hadn't been one of them.

Yeah, it is a good question, OP. I'm not sure.

by Anonymousreply 401/31/2013

please honor the dead by learning the difference between plurals and possesssives... as in 80s, whcih is the plural form. (80's is possessive, and the decade did NOT own these people.)

by Anonymousreply 501/31/2013

I'd say I lost about 80% of my gay friends and acquaintances by the time I was thirty.

by Anonymousreply 601/31/2013

Thanks, R3 & R4. I wasn't aware that simply being curious about gay history was considered insensitive, but nothing surprises me here anymore. It seems that no matter WHAT thread topic I post about, it's met with snark. I could start a thread called "The sky is blue" and would inevitably be attacked for it. Why people pay $18 to be subjected to this is beyond me. I've certainly learned my lesson!

by Anonymousreply 701/31/2013

Not that many for me. Maybe 15%.

by Anonymousreply 801/31/2013

Snark alert @ R5

by Anonymousreply 901/31/2013


by Anonymousreply 1001/31/2013

And I was involved in gay and AIDS activism, otherwise the number would have been under 5%.

by Anonymousreply 1101/31/2013

[quote]Why people pay $18 to be subjected to this is beyond me. I've certainly learned my lesson!

You know something? It's only a tiny percentage that are nasty for the sake of it. It just seems like more because they sort of jump up at you. But you do need to develop a thick skin and never start a new thread when you're feeling vulnerable or sensitive, especially about something that you feel sensitive about.

Also, it's good to answer back and stand your ground. They tend to fall away. They're just bullies and bullies are always cowards.

by Anonymousreply 1201/31/2013

The obituary section in most gay magazines were pretty full on a weekly basis.

If I had to take a HUGE guess, I'd say 10% or less died.

But that's of the whole population - if you took those between 25 and 40, I'm guessing it was like 25%, maybe more?

by Anonymousreply 1301/31/2013


by Anonymousreply 1401/31/2013

[quote]If I had to take a HUGE guess, I'd say 10% or less died.

I'd guess WAY more than that.

by Anonymousreply 1501/31/2013

Almost an entire generation of gay people wipe off the map. Be sure to see the recent Aids documentary.

by Anonymousreply 1601/31/2013


by Anonymousreply 1701/31/2013

I really would like an answer to this question.

by Anonymousreply 1801/31/2013

I imagine it's something you're never going to have an accurate count. There's no real way to fix a true population size for gay men, especially in the 80s, and you'd still have the people who weren't publicly identified as AIDS deaths.

by Anonymousreply 1901/31/2013

A lot of guys who were staring to come out of the closet in the era of AIDS went running back in and never came out.

by Anonymousreply 2001/31/2013

I left DC when I had two friends left. I lost at least five I'd've called BFFs if they'd lived long enough to experience the internet, and another twenty five acquaintances, friends of friends, etc.

There are certain songs, movies, restaurants, holidays, that are momentarily almost unbearably sad when I think about them. I can't sit through STEEL MAGNOLIAS because everyone I saw it with is dead; it hurts to listen to certain piano music; there's an Italian restaurant I could no longer go to.

Also painful is missing those people I didn't know by name, necessarily, but whom I saw here and there, and was always drawn to, even though we didn't speak.

And then there was the ineffable joy I felt when I ran into a man named Scott who I thought had died a couple of years earlier. We lived in the same building and used to walk to work together. That stopped when I moved, but we'd always stop to catch up, until he finally got a terrible case of AIDSface and I heard he never went out. I assumed he'd died, and then I ran into him on Connecticut Avenue and I cried and cried, as I am about to do now.

It doesn't matter what percentage. It was too many.

by Anonymousreply 2101/31/2013

Using roughly math and assuming EVERY AIDS death in the 1980s was a gay man...

Number of AIDS deaths in the USA 1980 -1989 (based on link) - 58,250

Number of Gay men in the USA (assuming roughly 5% of 150,000,000 American men)


So 58,250/7,500,000 = 0.7 %

by Anonymousreply 2201/31/2013

It's probably higher than that r22, but I agree it was very low. Still included a lot of people, just not a huge percentage.

by Anonymousreply 2301/31/2013

To both R6, and R21, your posts were very moving. I am sorry for your losses. I'm not the Op, but I was also just a young kid during the 80s. I am so sorry that you both lost dear friends to such a cruel disease.

by Anonymousreply 2401/31/2013

OP/R7, don't mind the crabby ones.

I actually think it's great that you're curious about something that happened before you were around. Most eldergays on here bitch and moan constantly about younger men not paying any attention to history.

I was a kid/teen during the 80s but even in the late 90s about a half dozen people that I knew died. They were mostly acquaintances but I did lose a close friend and roommate.

I think for men in the 80s the number was significantly higher. The drug cocktails didn't come down the pike for a long time after the first case.

I would also recommend checking out the JoeMyGod blog, as he's written a lot about the huge number of friends he lost.

by Anonymousreply 2501/31/2013

The percentage of gay people in metropolitan areas in the 18 to 45, even 50, was staggering. It varied by city, big cities of the midwest fared best, but those of the west coast and east coast lost a generation. I was 40 in 1985 and living in San Francisco. I will never forget the horrible weekly notices of those who had died. The listing was long and yet only a small fraction the total who had died in the Bay Area. All but two of my friends and acquaintances died and the numbers remained huge through 1995. I had lived in San Francisco all my life and I couldn't take being in the City after that. I moved to Chicago in '85, NYC in 88, London in 93 and Sydney 96, I've in LA since 98 and keep myself active. For some of us, the experience has as bad as the plagues of middle ages Europe.

by Anonymousreply 2601/31/2013

Ten years younger than R26 but also in San Francisco. There were a few years where it seemed like there would be a memorial service every month, for someone we had just seen in a performance or art show six months before.

Agree that it seemed like the plagues in the middle ages.

Unbearable to watch vibrant young men in horrible agony die.

by Anonymousreply 2701/31/2013

[quote](80's is possessive, and the decade did NOT own these people.)

Well, if they died, maybe it did ...

by Anonymousreply 2801/31/2013

Clearly my soul mate (or mates) died before I ever got a chance to meet him (or them).

by Anonymousreply 2901/31/2013

OP, watch the movie "Longtime Companion" to get a feel for how it was. And the contrast, between the full beach, and the empty beach... it's breath-taking and drives home how an entire generation was lost.

Then watch "And the Band Played On".

I was a teen and early 20-something during the 80s. I was so terrified I didn't have sex until I was 22 (and not with more than one man until I was 27). I lost several friends, including one I cared for until he died in the hospital. It was a gut-wrenching time.

I know dozens of guys who are HIV positive now, and I've known them for many, many years (decades in some cases). HIV isn't the death sentence it once was. In those early years, you just have no idea how terrifying it was.

Honestly, I think it fucked me up. Broke me.

by Anonymousreply 3001/31/2013

[quote]80's is possessive, and the decade did NOT own these people

An apostrophe followed by the letter 's' is commonly (and correctly) used to denote the plural of numbers and individual letters.

ex; There are two l's in my name.

the 1980's.

by Anonymousreply 3101/31/2013

The Associated Press style is '80s.

Some other publications, including the New York Times, use the construction 80's.

Either is correct.

Move on.

by Anonymousreply 3201/31/2013

There were 35,000-50,000 casualties annually from 1990-1997 and then the numbers decreased from 50-80 percent because of medical advances. But there are 50,000 new cases diagnosed annually.

by Anonymousreply 3301/31/2013

Thanks for the recommendations, R30. I've seen And the Band Played On but I'll check out Longtime Companion. I found the full movie on YouTube if anyone else is interested and hasn't seen it...

by Anonymousreply 3401/31/2013

I'm not sure what R1 wants. The history of AIDS needs to be remembered, not put into a place that's never spoken of. I was lucky in that I was only 14 when it really hit so I didn't lose anyone close but throughout the years I've become close to people who are positive.

by Anonymousreply 3501/31/2013

I lived in San Francisco, and I saw a co-worker die within a month after he quit. He looked like he could run a long race, then.

Then I read a write-up about a guy who found out he was mis-diagnosed years afterwards. The hell he went through all the while he thought he was going to be a victim, I can't imagine!

For some of us there was the constant tension of wonderin' if symptoms would show up, and yet not wanting to know.

Then there were those whose T-cells were so very low, yet they were active.

by Anonymousreply 3601/31/2013

The effects were concentrated especially in large cities with populous gay ghettos, because those infected would sleep around with multiple people in a concentrated populate population, and they would become infected, and it would exponentially increase (just as any plague increases in larger cities with infected people).

Thus your chances were much better percentage-wise if you were gay and living in Boise or Duluth than if you were gay and living in San Francisco (which was hit worse than any other city) or Manhattan.

by Anonymousreply 3701/31/2013

R12, because this is more fun than pulling the wings off of flies.

by Anonymousreply 3801/31/2013

OP, thank you for asking. I appreciate your empathy and curiosity about an epic event in our history.

For a perspective what most San Franciscans experienced in the 80s and early 90s (thank you, r5), I would recommend seeing the documentary "We Were Here," and another about AIDS/HIV activism, watch "How To Survive A Plague". Both might be on Netflix.

I was a young medical researcher in Early Eighty's S.F. at the time, had just come out, then ended up watching many study subjects, friends, co-workers, neighbors, an ex-lover, acquaintances, etc., die.

Have no idea what the mortality statistics of my own community back then might be, but it was way, way, too many.

by Anonymousreply 3901/31/2013

Well I grew up in a small town. I was 17 in 1980 so no internet, computers, TV shows or anything really except a one hour radio show called IMRU.

It was only that show where I heard that some people in the big cities were breaking out with some kind of gay cancer. They didnt even know how it was spread or why it seemed to only affect gay men. It seemed like only a hand full of people.

7 years later, I am living in Los Angels with my partner from the same town. I was monogamous so I thought I was safe. We broke up. I start dating, meet a guy and we decided to go get tested together. I though for sure he was positive but I was going to be ok with that. After a 2 week waiting period, we finally got the results. Went in to pic up the paper work from the clinic and the guy says, "well, your positive"

I was devastated. No cure, my prognosis was not good. I held it in for about a month until I told my family or any other friends.

A big recession hit, office closed and I lost my job. My X would not go get tested no matter how much I begged him. Died two years later. His family was freaky religious so I raise money for his funeral and did all the speaking myself.

I decided to do something for other people before I left the planet. I signed up to be a guinea pig for some unknown double blind drug test. Even though it might ruin my chances of good drugs working later, I felt if it helped other gay people down the line it was worth it. I never got to find out the results.

I was really depressed and alone, without a job, part of my life gone and looking at impending doom. So I did what all self respecting gay men do, I went to a bar.

Felling sorry for myself, the bar was having a fundraiser for someone with AIDS in need of financial help. It was like that every week in those days. I chipped in a few bucks for a raffle thinking at lest its something, because I was almost broke.

Well, out of the blue, I won the stupid raffle. The guy came to give me the cash and said if you want, some people kick back a couple of dollars. I though you know what, that guy is hurting, he need it more then I do, I told him to take the entire pot of cash and give it to the person being honored. The bar cheered and I was embarrassed. (it was the first time in a leather bar. LOL)

Things turned for me on that day. I realized I was being selfish all that time. Things changed after that. A few years later they invented combination therapy (the cocktail). It seemed to be working, people stopped dropping like fly. The doctors offices went from standing room only, to one or two people in the lounge and even laying staff off.

Maybe I was just lucky. I saw a lot of other people die who didn't respond well to the drugs. But somehow I am still alive.

I am undetectable and never had an opportunistic infection (AIDS diagnosis). I'm in another long term relationship, and guys still occasionally flirt with me.

I survived the war, but still shell shocked. So cut some of us older gays some slack next time you call us bitter trolls and write us off. We have been through a lot you younger guys will fortunately, never have to experience.

by Anonymousreply 4001/31/2013

R40, thanks for posting your story.

Actually, thanks to everyone on the thread for posting.

by Anonymousreply 4101/31/2013

Omg, it was awful. I miss my dear friends that died so tragically.

by Anonymousreply 4201/31/2013

I was younger, but it seemed like back then it was mostly friends of friends that were in their mid 20s to mid 30s.

Some guys would just give up and not even try to save themselves. Would not go to doctors since there was no cure. Partied their ass off till they got too sick to play.

I had one friend that I lost contact with when he moved across country. I found out he died when I walked into a new clinic and his name and picture was on the wall in his honor.

The first gay bar I ever went to, I knew 3 bar tenders, the owner, and patrons. Evey single one of theme that worked there is now dead. Still hard to wrap my head around that.

It was random like that. Some people were immensely effected and other sort of slipped by without much notice.

by Anonymousreply 4301/31/2013

Well it is almost a generation lost. I am guessing like 50% gone over the course of 20 years and maybe half of the guys still alive are probably long term survivors.

The thing is, it dosent kill you right away. Before the meds came out, you could almost predict how much time you had based on your t-cell count.

So if you tested out at say 600 t-cells and you only lost say 100 a year, 200 was the magic number where people got sick and died within months usually.

So when thoese first few guys started dying, they were probably positive 10 years before that.

by Anonymousreply 4401/31/2013

That sad part is, most of the younger guys today think its an eldergay problem. Or they will only get it if they sleep with old guys.

The reality is, HIV infection rate is higher in the 20 something age group now then when AIDS first came out.

by Anonymousreply 4501/31/2013

For DL newbies: The R1 is ALWAYS supposed to be a cunt. It's DL tradition.

Thank you, carry on.

by Anonymousreply 4601/31/2013

The phobia and fear level was high then too. Doctors didn't know what to do so they were just giving guys cortisone shot in their lymph nodes.

I remember a then elder gay telling me to watch out for that. He pointed out a couple of guys in a gay bar that had these huge welts like a bee sting on their necks.

by Anonymousreply 4701/31/2013

I have to say, Lesbians despite their normal standoffish demeanor really jumped in to help us boys. None of them were getting sick so they could have just ignored the whole problem. But some of them did really get out there and help us raise money, start organizations, and really the first time I felt we were brothers and sisters.

I often wonder now with the new generation of women if they would rise to the occasion given that they are completely disassociated from the experience their elder sisters experienced.

by Anonymousreply 4801/31/2013

[quote]There were 35,000-50,000 casualties annually from 1990-1997

and then you link to a site that proves you wrong?

1990 - 18,447 (not quite 35,000)

1991 - 20,454 (again, not quite 35,000)

1992 - 23,411 (still not quite 35,000)

1993 - 41,920 (Finally passed 35,000, you're 1 for 4)

1994 - 32,330(still shy of 35,000)

1995 - 48,371 (2 out of 6)

1996 - 34,947 (still not 35,000)

1997 - 21,399 (sigh... still way short)

by Anonymousreply 4901/31/2013

What is your point R49? Add those up why dont you? How many Americans died in the last 2 Bush Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? 2000 troops?

241,279 deaths from AIDS is equal to 120 TIMES MORE then all of the men lost in war since 911.

And we are talking about a tiny percent of the American population that's gay. That' still a big hit to one generation.

by Anonymousreply 5002/01/2013

A better question, R48, is whether gay men would ever rise up to help their lesbian sisters.

by Anonymousreply 5102/01/2013

My point is that we grossly exaggerate the numbers for dramatic effect, as if the truth wasn't bad enough. When you lie to make a point you lose credibility. Credibility on this topic is kind of important.

[quote]241,279 deaths from AIDS is equal to 120 TIMES MORE then all of the men lost in war since 911.

[quote]That' still a big hit to one generation.

So true! Both of those statements stand on their own. But when you throw in "There were 35,000-50,000 casualties annually from 1990-1997" you are wrong and you pollute everything else you say.

by Anonymousreply 5202/01/2013

Gay men paved the way for all gay people, so yes, R48 I think they would.

Gay men don't mind lesbians in their hangouts, not true the other way around.

The younger gay men are just tired of straight women using them to fill in for their husbands that wont dance with them, shop with or do couples things with them other then sex. Oh and help them move AND redecorate.

Lesbians don't seem to USE gay men that way. So, gay men don't usually have a problem with gay women. Other then you guys just seem to disappear for years at a time then reappear as if nothing happened.

by Anonymousreply 5302/01/2013

R5 is a stupid dick. 80's is right WITH the apostrophe. You don't say the Roaring 20s. You say the Roaring 20's. In this case it's not used as possessive. Learn the fucking English language, then post.

by Anonymousreply 5402/01/2013

The people that die/died, are/were they all bottoms? You can't really get it from topping can you? Magic Johnson clearly got fucked in the ass, right?

by Anonymousreply 5502/01/2013

Don't assume every aids death was counted because many were not diagnosed or reported. The numbers will be vastly different depending on where you live. AIDS was being spread in the metro areas long before it hit the provinces.

by Anonymousreply 5602/01/2013

Seriously R55? Is that a joke?

I will assume you are asking a real question just in case your are young. So no not all bottoms. Butter risk only because its possible to get fucked and not know that you might have got a small tear inside.

Look at it this way, if tops didnt have HIV then bottoms would never get it.

by Anonymousreply 5702/01/2013

There was a lot of misdiagnosis (or under-diagnosis) of HIV disease at the time. One of my college advisees died in 1987 at age 21. His parents did not want to admit to their family/friends/Church that he was gay, so the obits mentioned that he died only of pneumonia. There was a lot of closeted men in those years whose cause of deaths were also misrepresented.

The death toll seemed especially large in urban areas where young gay men gathered. Not only were the population higher in those areas, but also an "ease of transmission". My partner is from Nebraska, and there just were not many other gay men there to meet up for sex or even dating.

I lived in DC from 1979-2000, and recall the year when there were multiple HIV/AIDS related obits in the Blade every week. But I also had friends pass whose obits were not in the Blade (their parents did not want anything in the public domain about the deaths --- the shame of the closet was especially strong among out-of-town family).

by Anonymousreply 5802/01/2013

R56 has a good point. Most went unreported. Even the big celebrity that were obviously gay denied it.

Liberace said the reason he was loosing weight was because he was on a watermelon diet.

For you younger guys, this is him in full glory:

by Anonymousreply 5902/01/2013

Rock Hudson was probably the most famous actor at the time to die of AIDS. Most people, except gay in the know thought he was straight.

While a lot of people embraced his openness about it, I feel it was just a last minute ditch to save his legacy.

He was basically going to doctors for years, knew what he had and hid it until about 2 weeks before his death. What did he have to loose?

Most of those celebrities did nothing for us in the beginning like they fain now.

Pay attention younger gay men, the only celebrity to say screw it, I dont care what people say, and come to our defense was Elizabeth Taylor. YEARS before anyone else.

She was not just some Hollywood diva like what we got today.

by Anonymousreply 6002/01/2013

There was only one person that I know of back then who came out before they were on their death bed and that was Elizabeth Glaser.

She was the wive of Paul Micheal Glaser (Starsky & Hutch)

Got HIV from a blood transfusion during child birth. There is a whole foundation created in her name. One of her kids died of it too passed on at birth.

by Anonymousreply 6102/01/2013

R60, I agree that Hudson was no hero to gays for announcing he had AIDS at the last minute. But I disagree that his being gay was only widely known in the gay community. I remember my mom, from the WW2 generation, remarking that "everyone knew he was gay." The tabloids successfully outed him to the mainstream long before he was dying of AIDS.

by Anonymousreply 6202/01/2013

Why did Hudson do Dynasty? Didn't it really put him back in the public eye for the wrong reasons?

by Anonymousreply 6302/01/2013

This is why I can't understand why the fuck little hipster gaylings (or even worse, deluded, nostalgic eldergays) wish to romanticize/idealize the '80s as some "cool, fun" decade.

Yeah. Reagan, AIDS, Republicans. Sooo great. Sooo fun.

For every little baby-step forward that the late '60s and '70s took forward, the '80s took 5 steps back, and the '90s/00s/'10s have had to correct.

Yeah, fuck the '80s hard and deep, indeed.

by Anonymousreply 6402/01/2013

Well that's funny R 62. I asked my mom that same question. She said there were rumors, but people back then didn't talk about that stuff in polite company. You wouldn't just bring that up at a party. So lots of people didn't now. There was no TMZ or over the line paparazzi. If fact, he sort of had a deal with the press not to talk about it.

Everyone knew, but it was a secret.

by Anonymousreply 6502/01/2013

I would never want to go back to the 80's R64. You are right about most of that. Only thing I still like was the music and fun break from traditional style.

So in a sense, what was cool about the 80s that you dont get is the rebel against the other stuff you mentioned in the 80's. IF you were the rebel, it was fun.

Of course, now its just fun to laugh at.

by Anonymousreply 6602/01/2013

R66, that's just the thing.

The '80s was the beginning of the American public embracing the "fun" of pop-[MTV]culture at the expense of ignoring the harsher, more important reality of shitty politics/economy/etc. And worse than that, I will never, EVER (I know, Mary!) forgive the Republican '80s for "catsup as a vegetable" public school lunches, CIA-sponsored crack epidemics, voodoo trickle-down economics, the phantom fear of "welfare queens", or the bullying of little boys like Ryan White. [I could go on and on and on].

So long disgusting '80s. Rest in piss --- progressive gay rights and a black president is exactly what you and your apologists deserve. It's finally morning in America, indeed!

by Anonymousreply 6702/01/2013

Hugs, R21.

(I was just in my teens/20s in the early 90s, and I only knew a couple of people that died of AIDS.

Recently, I had eleven dear friends and family members die with a 2.5-year period (and my partner of 15 years and I broke up too). The losses shell-shocked me beyond belief, and I am still recovering, though feeling better.

I really can't fathom how people kept putting one foot in front of another back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. People like you and the other survivors here. But you did, and that is amazing. I think until I went through it myself I did not truly realize how comprehensively shattering it is to lose friend after friend after friend (etc.). Much love to all of you on the thread who went through so much, and thank you for reminding us of those who are gone, and also how your own lives carried on.)

by Anonymousreply 6802/01/2013

[quote] It doesn't matter what percentage. It was too many.


by Anonymousreply 6902/01/2013

[quote]This is why I can't understand why the fuck little hipster gaylings (or even worse, deluded, nostalgic eldergays) wish to romanticize/idealize the '80s as some "cool, fun" decade. Yeah. Reagan, AIDS, Republicans. Sooo great. Sooo fun.

Hmm, I don't know--maybe the fact that we were "little hipster gaylings" at the time & were oblivious to all those negative things you just listed? God forbid we reminisce about our childhoods when, from our perspectives at the time, life WAS cool and fun. You're obviously one of those people who wants everyone around you to be just as miserable as you are. Well it ain't happening!

by Anonymousreply 7002/01/2013

R5 is not a stupid dick, R54.

Somewhere along the line, the rule changed and 80’s was deemed correct in addition to the already correct ‘80s. I'll never write it any other way than ‘80s, with the apostrophe in front of the 8, to indicate the contraction.

R55 Three friends who contracted HIV always insisted they were exclusive tops. Two have died.

by Anonymousreply 7102/01/2013

Thank you for sharing your story, R40.

by Anonymousreply 7202/01/2013


by Anonymousreply 7302/01/2013

Yes thank you R21 and R40. I wasn't even going to look at this thread and I am not going to relay my personal losses and how it changed me forever. Can't.

I miss many people still and as R40 stated and shows there a lot of shell shocked older gay men walking in this world. Lots of heroes too.

One thing I know for sure is that it isn't much worth worrying about percentages or grammar.

My doctor(who is straight if that matters)once put his head down on his desk and cried in front of me saying that he didn't go into medicine to have all his patients die.

The eighties were tough years and days. So much collective fear and sadness. Lots of love, lost.

by Anonymousreply 7402/01/2013

I wonder how the counts were made -- one man I knew died from a heart attack from the damage AZT wrought. In the final count, as he an AIDS death or a cardiac casualty?

by Anonymousreply 7502/01/2013

[quote]This is why I can't understand why the fuck little hipster gaylings (or even worse, deluded, nostalgic eldergays) wish to romanticize/idealize the '80s as some "cool, fun" decade.

It's the same with any decade that is 'idealized'. The roaring 20s (or 20's, or '20s) was actually a decade that of great racism, xenophobia, suppression of free speech and economic turmoil. We think of it as all Charleston and flappers and bathtub gin.

by Anonymousreply 7602/01/2013

No one except little hipster gaylings romanticizes the 80s.

But they're stupid.

by Anonymousreply 7702/01/2013

Exactly, R76.

A lot of gay men romanticized the 70s as this fabulous era of free love, massive amounts of sex and drugs available at all times and just a non-stop party.

But the 70s were really uncertain and bumpy. There was massive gas shortages, the hostage crisis, Nixon's resignation, and a few big recessions. It was the beginning of the total collapse of manufacturing in the US.

And as for the clubs/sex - it did exist, but in far fewer places than the books and movies would have us think.

by Anonymousreply 7802/01/2013

It was a nightmare.

by Anonymousreply 7902/01/2013

I was just coming of age in the early 80's when AIDS was first making headlines. I had one close friend die in 1989, a handful of acquaintances around that time, as well. There were the celebrity deaths we knew, like Rock Hudson. In the 90's, I had another friend pass away, which I didn't find out about until later - he'd kept his infection a secret from me. In the last decade, I had a former colleague and close friend pass away.

But the 80's before even AZT, it seemed like it was everywhere, and most of the hottest gay guys ended up dying - something like 50%, in my estimation.

by Anonymousreply 8002/01/2013

I was just hitting my teens when AIDS hit, so I was terrified of having sex until I was well into my twenties.

I was in a community theater production of Jesus Christ Superstar in 1987 or so in a mid-size Midwest town. Large male cast, 12 disciples, Jesus, Judas, Pilate, priests, etc., so probably 20-25 guys in the cast, not all of them gay, but plenty of them. At least 10 died of AIDS, if you include the guy who killed himself sometime after testing positive.

by Anonymousreply 8102/01/2013

I live in NYC and in the 80s and early 90s it was harrowing. I would say about 1 out of 3 day men I knew within 10-15 years of my age (b 1953) died. In some cases whole groups of friends. It was like nothing I could ever have imagined as a young adult and most deaths were gruesome- much the same in San Francisco and to a degree LA. It was surreal. I have a good life, but barely a day goes by that I do not recall the losses and the suffering and at times I weep over it- I am not depressed- I love life, but it was quite the experience and has made a big mark on my life.

by Anonymousreply 8202/01/2013

My husband and myself arrived in SF in 1972. We had a large circle of friends in the city and 95% died. It was awful. You would hear that someone was "diagnosed" and within a year and a half or less they were gone. We go so burned out going to memorials, we just don't do it anymore. It damaged everyone.

by Anonymousreply 8302/01/2013

I came out 10-15 years after the first case, but even in the mid-90s I can remember - in my small little ass backwards rust belt town - being in a gay bar one Friday night.

One guy in the group of the "in" clique of bitches at the bar tested positive and either someone blabbed or he told the wrong person, but in any case, word traveled fast.

He went to join his friends - nasty ass bitches - and they all looked at him, gave him the wordless stink eye - and turned their back on him.

I still hate them.

I can't imagine dealing with the actual virus/illness and then also getting that kind of treatment from people.

It boggles my mind, but while we had a lot of people helping and fighting the epidemic, there was also plenty of people who gave that sort of shitty treatment to those with HIV/AIDS.

by Anonymousreply 8402/01/2013

r40 That's a very inspiring account.

I wish you a long and happy life.

by Anonymousreply 8502/01/2013

Betweem 1980 and 2010 according to the CDC about 500,000 Americans died of AIDS, with most of the deaths in New York and Florida.

The CDC says slightly over one million Americans are HIV+ and 47% of them are African American, despite blacks making up about 12% of the general population.

The Kaiser Foundation of California estimates about 90,000 gay males have died of AIDS since 1980 (which would be about 18%).

But Kaiser says the number may be somewhat higher due to self reporting that many gay males in the 80s refused to ID themselves as gay.

by Anonymousreply 8602/02/2013

30,000 a year is 1% of 3 million. Over 10 years it adds up. Decimate means 10% dead. Especially when you're generation isn't supposed to be dying yet. Choose different numbers for the denominator or numerator of the fraction as you like but the bigger losses like other posters described fit within the range for all the reasons people gave.

by Anonymousreply 8702/02/2013

So in the 80s, if you were not hot, maybe you were lucky?

by Anonymousreply 8802/02/2013


Please try to be a little more thought-full about what you are saying.

Being hot or not has nothing to do with it, nor does what you are implying.

by Anonymousreply 8902/02/2013

You're vile R88.

by Anonymousreply 9002/02/2013

[quote]30,000 a year is 1% of 3 million.

Where do you get 30,000 a year? And why 3 million (1 % of the US population? Is that supposed to be the number of gay men?)

by Anonymousreply 9102/02/2013

I loved the '70s, R78. Sorry your '70s were "bumpy and uncertain."

by Anonymousreply 9202/02/2013

And the Band Played On is a must read, especially now with the death of Ed Koch and people lionizing Ronald Reagan. It is crazy to read about the level of denial on all sides, and I can't believe it was during my lifetime. Lots of finger pointing, anger and denial that led to countless deaths.

by Anonymousreply 9302/02/2013

Timing of when a person contracted the virus was key to survival.

Brian May of Queen said if Freddie Mercury contracted the disease a few years later (he is estimated to have gotten HIV about 1986-87), he would have survived with the advances in medicine and research.

by Anonymousreply 9402/02/2013

I also came of age in the early 80s and was terrified of having sex or even kissing another guy. I, probably like a lot of other paranoid gay guys, slithered back into the closet and stayed there for several years until I got up the courage to start having sex with guys. It was a terrifying time. Not then, but in hindsight I do feel like somewhat of a coward for retreating to the closet, but it did save my life. I can only begin to imagine the horror that guys my age who did had the courage to pursue their lives as a gay man must've experienced and witnessed.

by Anonymousreply 9502/02/2013

Now that I've recovered from this thread from yesterday, I remember working in the lab with blood from GRID patients, some of whom were friends and colleagues.

A viral etiology was implied, but no one knew for sure. Didn't know if I'd been exposed through sex or working in the lab and if doing so increased my risk. There was so much hysteria. I was far more worried about the possible genocide of the entire (sexually active) gay community that whether or not I had "it".

Until the HIV test was available, I was shunned, or approached with caution by many of those who knew where I was working, including potential dates.

There was so much fear back then, OP.

by Anonymousreply 9602/02/2013

Interesting to see that not only has the OP continued to merit the low opinion I had of him/her (smells bad either way), but that he has equally offensive nitwits who can't - because of spoiled entitlement, social ignorance and a lack of discretion - see that using phrases such as "dropping dead left and right," "always telling me," and "nothing surprises me anymore" reflect a fundamental void.

Imagine, you arrogant, slack-jawed nuisance, speaking pejoratively ("Oh, I didn't mean to!") to Jews about the Holocaust while trumpeting your ignorance of it, and then jabbing them about percentages. Oh, and if you happen to be a gay guy and not a twat, it would akin to a younger Jew doing it?

You really have no decency, at heart, do you? And, of course, the whole point of being such a creature is that you cannot understand what people are talking about when they react to your offensiveness. Idiot. Foul idiots, you and your clot of clowns.

by Anonymousreply 9702/02/2013

WELL! Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed today.

by Anonymousreply 9802/02/2013

wtf r97?

by Anonymousreply 9902/02/2013

r53 rocks!!

by Anonymousreply 10002/02/2013

I lived in New York City's Greenwich Village in 1982 and had been there since 1972. I was 40 and had participated in all of the gay activities and venues for all that time: the baths, bars, summers on Fire Island, the discos, etc. So I admitedly was at the center of the inferno. I was friends with Larry Kramer and even played a part in the founding of GMHC.

I kept a list of all those who died: ex-lovers, friends, acquaintances. I stopped after it went over 150. I would estimate that 90% of my friends died. I have today no cohort of buddies with similar experiences. I suffered a nervous breakdown very early on when this began, in September 1982, because for some reason I could see what was to come, and it turned out to be true. All those who died then were infected before any of us knew there was a virus spreading among us.

Today I have a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is no exaggeration to state that AIDS has been the most significant and the most tragic event of my life.

by Anonymousreply 10102/02/2013

(hugging R101)

by Anonymousreply 10202/02/2013

Much love r101.

I think people here had different experiences and that both points of view are valid. R101 and many people like him saw many or most of their friends, acquaintances and FOFs die during that time. It devastated the gay populations of a certain stratum in NYC, SF and a couple other cities with large gay populations.

However, it is also true that throughout a lot of the US, it wasn't the case for many reasons. No one will ever know the exact count. Many times the cause of death was "liver cancer" or some such thing.

by Anonymousreply 10302/02/2013

I once heard Bob Hope casually say on tv, that some famous hollywood names, some of them very big, died of Aids. He said the papers listed some other cause for their deaths.

by Anonymousreply 10402/02/2013

AIDS deaths seem bigger because they were concentrated in Florida, New York and San Francisco. Smaller concentrations were in Los Angeles, New Orleans, DC and Atlanta. Still smaller were the major cities like Chicago, Philly and Boston.

This made the problem seem worse because you had pockets where large numbers of gays died. On the flip side you had cities largely untouched by the AIDS crisis, in the west and in rural states like Maine, Vermont and Arkansas.

AIDS has always been blown out of proportion to it's casualties, because people assumed it would get into the general population.

When this failed to happen, the real treatments and problem solving started to happen.

by Anonymousreply 10502/03/2013

r105 is right. In some circles it would indeed seem that everyone died whereas on a national scale it wasn't as severe. Numbers don't really tell the whole story though. There was a large amount of fear and paranoia and disinformation. Still I think every gay man, regardless of location, was touched in some way by the crisis.

by Anonymousreply 10602/03/2013

{R88] Has been taken to task for insensitivity. Perhaps that is true,however, I have often thought perhaps I was lucky that I wasn't the hottest little fuck bunny around.

by Anonymousreply 10702/03/2013

Why Florida? That seems kind of random.

by Anonymousreply 10802/03/2013

US government terrorized the gay population. oh make no mistake this is where Hiv came from.


by Anonymousreply 10902/03/2013

I usually don't believe in conspiracies, but the Reagan administration was packed full of the most vile, evil and anti-gay people to run a government since Nazi Germany. So I would not be shocked to see evidence that someone in the Reagan administration started the AIDS epidemic.

I have seen no evidence of this yet, but it certainly seems possible. The Reagan people were out of control and evil. They all have rightwing radio talk shows today.

by Anonymousreply 11002/03/2013

What R110 said, only the evil probably began earlier, with LBJ.

by Anonymousreply 11102/03/2013

r110, I don't understand how Reagan and his cronies could have started the epidemic. Most of the guys who got sick early on probably sero-converted 5-10 years earlier.

by Anonymousreply 11202/03/2013

R101, if you are still reading this, I can truly Identify. There is no on left to share common experiences from my life.

I can understand why older folks become depressed as all their friends die along with some one to talk and remember together about shared life experiences.

It is hard to explain this loss and void. You are not alone in this.

by Anonymousreply 11302/03/2013

Please don't confuse the tin-hats with facts, R112.

by Anonymousreply 11402/03/2013

R112, So you mean they sero-converted while the anti-gay Nixon administration was in power?

by Anonymousreply 11502/03/2013

or Ford or Carter.

by Anonymousreply 11602/03/2013

Yes, I'm sure Jerry Ford set out to mastermind the extinction of the gay community. Good grief.

by Anonymousreply 11702/03/2013

No it was Reagan who DENIED funding, and refused to say the word AIDS out loud, and denied that there was an epidemic that was killing so many... denied it because they were gay. THAT is what Reagan did wrong.

Reprehensible, disgusting. And all those who concoct some kind of freeper hagiography about him.

by Anonymousreply 11802/03/2013

Get it in the butt. Get the aids.

by Anonymousreply 11902/03/2013

According to the CDC, by the end of 1989, 90,628 had died of AIDS and another 60,711 were PWA.

If anyone knows where I could find the state stats broken up by counties, that would be a help.

by Anonymousreply 12002/03/2013

Where did you get those stats r120? I'm not finding that breakdown on the CDC website. Interesting though that the site says that only 46 % of all HIV infections in the USA were from Male to Male sexual contact.

by Anonymousreply 12102/03/2013

[quote] I will assume you are asking a real question just in case your are young. So no not all bottoms. Butter risk only because its possible to get fucked and not know that you might have got a small tear inside.

Is that English? Butter? I'm confused. How do tops get HIV? I guess it's just spread throughout versatiles?

by Anonymousreply 12202/03/2013

What they died from was drugs - both pharma(especially HIV drugs) and recreational.

by Anonymousreply 12302/03/2013

How does the virus get shot into your system if you're topping?

by Anonymousreply 12402/03/2013

R121 -- the site I found back in 2005 (when I researched a history for the 30th anniversary of the first NYTimes article) had cases diagnosed and deaths by year starting in 1980.

Your table kind of groups them all into periods and doesn't list deaths separately.

by Anonymousreply 12502/03/2013

R124 blowjobs?

by Anonymousreply 12602/03/2013

This site seems to match your figures, r125.

This map gives Diagnosis breakdown by state

by Anonymousreply 12702/03/2013

Sorry... THIS site

by Anonymousreply 12802/03/2013

Was watching Boys in the Band on youtube the other day, and I realized that all five of the out gay actors died of AIDS. Although Peter White is still alive, and I've never been sure of his orientation. LaTourneaux who played the rentboy actually became one in real life. His story is probably the saddest of all.

by Anonymousreply 12902/03/2013

R122 and R124:

Gay tops get infected with HIV the same way that straight men get infected from screwing infected women.

by Anonymousreply 13002/03/2013

Ignorance is appalling. Gay tops get infected with gonorrhea from fucking (without a condom) an ass infected with gonorrhea.

by Anonymousreply 13102/03/2013

How does the virus get into the penis? Through the urethra? If your Penis doesnt tear or bleed, how do you get it? Can you get HIV from being blown? What about kissing?

by Anonymousreply 13202/03/2013

Something in saliva has been shown to suppress viral transmission, but it's not anywhere near 100%

The virus binds to mucous membranes and enters the body through them... these membranes include the inside of foreskin, the inside of the urethra, the rectum, and the inside lining of the lips and cheeks, as well as the throat.

Because of saliva, oral sex is safer than anal sex, but... "safer" isn't "safe".

There can also be micro tears in the skin... in the mouth from, say, brushing or flossing, and in the penis from, say, vigorous fucking or masturbation. And of course, it's far easier to get micro-tears in the rectum/anus. This makes it even easier for the virus to enter the blood stream.

by Anonymousreply 13302/03/2013

Random related story I thought about in light of this thread:

In the late 80's, there was a door guy at a gay club I'd go to - very hot young guy. He died about 1989 or 90. I recall one of the bartenders at the place there later stating about him words to the effect, "yeah, it's too bad, but he had a lot of fun."

Here it is now, about 25 years later and I'm still here, still attractive and fit. I never had nearly as much sex as most others did, most of the time.

There are times when I ask myself, if I could go back and overdose on sex knowing that I'd die by the age of 30, would I do it, I have to say no. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 as they say, and when your hormones are raging, you don't have much of a choice.

by Anonymousreply 13402/04/2013

69%, Rose.

by Anonymousreply 13502/04/2013

All you have to do is go to a city like NY or SF and count the number of gay men in any given gay establishment who are over 50 compared to the number of gay men under 50. The contrast is quite obvious. I was just a kid in the 80s so I wasn't directly affected by AIDS, and I really can't imagine the fear and sadness of living through that time. And quite a few young guys my age think nothing of barebacking - it really angers me that some of us have really learned nothing.

by Anonymousreply 13602/04/2013

[quote]All you have to do is go to a city like NY or SF and count the number of gay men in any given gay establishment who are over 50 compared to the number of gay men under 50.

Well, a lot of gay men outgrow these 'establishments' (I assume you are talking about bars?)

by Anonymousreply 13702/04/2013

[quote]How does the virus get into the penis?

There have been scientific studies showing that the inside of the foreskin is susceptible to "catching" the virus. They describe "receptor" cells in that area. It seems to be a major form of transmission heterosexually in africa.

by Anonymousreply 13802/04/2013

I am 50 and moved to West Hollywood in 1989 and those first 7 years there before the anti-viral cocktail were such a mixed time...I think people were trying to live in the moment and really enjoy they day...I remember the tests that people started to get...finding out their t-cells and then finding out their viral load and then doing the math and trying to figure out how much time they had and if they had a life insurance policy, should they sell it and go on vacation or some friends would just go on credit card binges because they knew they wouldn't live long enough to pay the bill if they got dragged into court...I lived in Orlando,FL from 1985 - 89 and AIDS was just beginning to show up with people ex-boyfriend tested positive and I remember he had to go in the backdoor of the doctors office in Orlando and getting AZT was something that you went to the underground for......I went to see Madonna with a group of friends in 1987 in Miami...ten of us went and only two of us are alive today.....all but one died from HIV, the other was a drug I do think a high percentage of guys in the ghettos did die....I think about 1/3 to 1/2 of the guys I knew from the Athletic Club in West Hollywood many of their names are on the West Hollywood Memorial Walk on Santa Monica Blvd....looking back on it now, it seems like some horrible science fiction movie...but reality kicks in when I occasionally run into guys from my nights Studio One or the Athletic Club....many of those that survived have moved to Palm Springs or out of town......I still live in West Hollywood....and at times, it is a ghost town to me......but am glad I survived that chapter with my health intact.....

by Anonymousreply 13902/04/2013

The foreskin, which if unfolded would measure 20 to 30 square inches (that's 400-600 inches for size queens), contains a large number of a variety of cells called Langerhans. They are concentrated on the inner foreskin layer, which lies directly against the head of the penis. Langerhan cells are biological magnets for HIV. Because of this, the inner foreskin layer can absorb HIV up to nine times more efficiently than a woman's cervix.

Usually, Langerhan cells play a protective role. They ingest pathogens and ferry them down lhymph channels along the penis to the lymph glands in your groin to be killed by white cells. A Langerhan cell will swallow HIV as readily as any other bacteria or virus, but unlike other pathogens, HIV will reproduce thousands of copies of itself inside the Langerhan's belly for the duration of its trip through your lymph system (about five days). After reaching the lymph nodes in your groin, the Langerhan cell explodes--literally--spewing tens of thousands of copies of HIV, where it then rapidly infects other immune cells before slipping into the bloodstream. If that's not enough, the intact foreskin is also susceptible to small tears and abrasions during sex that can provide even more opportunities for HIV to enter the body.

Remember, though, that HIV can (and does) enter the body through a circumcised penis via small abrasions, preexisting STDs such as herpes, and/or the urethra.

by Anonymousreply 14002/04/2013

How in the world does an unfolded foreskin measure 20-30 square inches?? You mean 2-3?

by Anonymousreply 14102/04/2013

ONLY people who cross the street get hit by cars UNLESS they were a victim of car rape.

by Anonymousreply 14302/05/2013

I stopped counting after 44 of my friends and acquaintances died. I would say I lost about 65% of my "circle."

by Anonymousreply 14402/05/2013

How does anyone not understand how a top gets HIV? Sounds like extreme ignorance...

by Anonymousreply 14502/05/2013

Obviously the risk is greatest for bottoms, but there is a risk for the top.

by Anonymousreply 14602/05/2013

R142 There was a time when no one even knew how HIV was spread, so nobody knew that being "holy and pure" would avoid it.

by Anonymousreply 14702/05/2013

Op, WHY do you need to know this?

Are you trying to understand what trauma really is?

by Anonymousreply 14802/05/2013

r110 - it was developed during the Nixon administration, black Africans were the main target, seems like they went after gays in the united states merely for kicks

by Anonymousreply 14902/08/2013

I lived in SF from 1984 to 1995 and I felt like The Flying Dutchman -- going from one hopeless shipwreck to another. I would say I lost 80% of the people I knew and worked with. Sometimes I have dreams about them. I'll be in a disco with great lighting and music and I am having a good time when all of a sudden these beautiful people like angels walk in holding these glowing stars and moons in their hands. They all bend down and place the stars on the dance floor and they turn into all my dead friends. And we have one last dance together. I always wake up with a feeling of joy and happiness after I have this dream. Everyone looks like they did at their peak.

The Bay Area Reporter kept a record of all the obituaries they printed from the start to the end of the AIDS holocaust. It's startling how many died.

by Anonymousreply 15002/08/2013

R150 - sort of like Longtime Companion.

I recall seeing this at the Music Box Theater in Chicago with an HIV+ friend of mine who passed a couple years later. He was someone who was truly always the life of the party, always smiling and laughing, but when that beach scene happened, he was in such tears, I'd never seen him like that. It was heartbreaking.

by Anonymousreply 15102/11/2013

It's hard for me to comprehend the percentages. I worked in a corporate travel agency in SF. Out of 30 or so men in the office all but two were gay. Only three of us survived. We were all around the same age.

One overweight black guy, one somewhat overweight white guy (me) and one closeted guy married to woman from London survived.

by Anonymousreply 15202/11/2013

Go to r150s link and search on the year 1991

Then you'll see how many just in SF, and not only that, many didn't get obits.

I did a study back in 2005 and learned only about 1 in 10 people who died of AIDS were commemorated anywhere.

by Anonymousreply 15302/11/2013

Step by Step: How to Make a Panel For The Quilt

You don’t have to be an artist or sewing expert to create a moving personal tribute remembering a life lost to AIDS, but you do have to make a panel in order to add a name to The Quilt. It’s not as complicated as many people think, though. It doesn’t matter if you use paint or fine needlework, iron-on transfers or hand made appliques, or even spray paint on a sheet; any remembrance is appropriate. (This is however the only way to have a name added to The Quilt- by making a panel to remember your lost loved one.)

You may choose to create a panel privately as a personal memorial or you may choose to follow the traditions of old-fashioned quilting bees by including friends, family, and co-workers. That choice, like virtually everything else involved in making a panel, is completely up to you.

Here in a few easy steps is how to create a panel for The Quilt: 1. Design the panel

Include the name of the person you are remembering. Feel free to include additional information such as the dates of birth and death, hometown, special talents, etc. We ask that you please limit each panel to one individual (obvious exceptions include siblings or spouses). 2. Choose your materials

Remember that The Quilt is folded and unfolded every time it is displayed, so durability is crucial. Since glue deteriorates with time, it is best to sew things to the panel. A medium-weight, non-stretch fabric such as a cotton duck or poplin works best.

Your design can be vertical or horizontal, but the finished, hemmed panel must be 3 feet by 6 feet (90 cm x 180 cm)– no more and no less! When you cut the fabric, leave an extra 2-3 inches on each side for a hem. If you can’t hem it yourself, we’ll do it for you. Batting for the panels is not necessary, but backing is recommended. Backing helps to keep panels clean when they are laid out on the ground. It also helps retain the shape of the fabric. 3. Create the panel

In constructing your panel you might want to use some of the following techniques:

Applique: Sew fabric, letters and small mementos onto the background fabric. Do not rely on glue – it won’t last. Paint: Brush on textile paint or color-fast dye, or use an indelible ink pen. Please don’t use “puffy” paint; it’s too sticky. Stencils: Trace your design onto the fabric with a pencil, lift the stencil, then use a brush to apply textile paint or indelible markers. Collage: Make sure that whatever materials you add to the panel won’t tear the fabric (avoid glass and sequins for this reason), and be sure to avoid very bulky objects. Photos: The best way to include photos or letters is to photocopy them onto iron-on transfers, iron them onto 100% cotton fabric and sew that fabric to the panel. You may also put the photo in clear plastic vinyl and sew it to the panel (off-center so it avoids the fold).

4. Write us a letter

Please take the time to write a letter about the person you’ve remembered. The letter might include your relationship to him or her, how he or she would like to be remembered, and a favorite memory. If possible, please send us a photograph along with the letter for our archives. 5. Make a donation

If you are able, please make a donation to help pay for the cost of adding your panel to The Quilt. The NAMES Project Foundation depends on the support of panel makers to preserve the Quilt and keep it on display.

Gifts of any amount are welcome and greatly appreciated. 6. Fill out the panel maker information form

This provides us with vital information about you and your panel. Click here to fill out the form. 7. Send Us the Panel

Once your panel is completed there are several ways you can submit it to The NAMES Project so that it becomes a part of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Submitting a Panel for The Quilt

Once a panel is completed, there are several ways to submit it to The NAMES Project, so that it becomes a part of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

by Anonymousreply 15402/11/2013

Submitting a Panel for The Quilt

Once a panel is completed, there are several ways to submit it to The NAMES Project, so that it becomes a part of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

You can send your panel to The NAMES Project Foundation or you can opt to bring the panel to a Quilt Display or to a local chapter. Send it to us directly at The NAMES Project Foundation

ATTN: New Panels

The NAMES Project Foundation

204 14TH ST NW

ATLANTA, GA 30318-5304


Be sure to send it by registered mail or with a carrier that will track your package. We recommend panels be shipped via Federal Express or UPS.

Bring the panel to a Quilt display

Please be sure to contact the local display host first for more information on how and when they are collecting new panels (many displays accept new panels only on the last day of the event, while others are prepared to accept new panels at any time during a display). Bring a new panel to one of our chapters

Your panel will stay in the community for up to three months, being used for education and outreach, and then will be sent to the Foundation to be sewn into the Quilt. Important

No matter how you decide to turn in a new panel, please be sure to print out the panel maker information form, fill it out and include it with the panel. This information helps us to stay in touch with you and keep you up to date on both the panel and The Quilt. How your panel becomes part of The Quilt

When a new panel arrives at our national headquarters in Atlanta, it is carefully logged and examined for durability. Some panels might require hemming to adjust for size; others may need reinforcement or minor repairs. Next, new panels are sorted – some grouped geographically by region, others by theme or appearance. When eight similar panels are collected, they are sewn together to form a twelve-foot square. This is the basic building block of The Quilt, and it is usually referred to as either a “12-by-12″ or “Block.”

Once sewn, each 12-by-12 is edged in canvas and given a unique number, its “Block Number,” which makes tracking the block possible. All panel, panel maker and numerical information is then stored in our Quilt databases. Once this happens, you are sent information including which block the panel you submitted has been made a part of, how to request the block for displays of The Quilt, and a current display schedule.

The entire process, from our receiving the panel to incorporating it into a 12-by-12 in The AIDS Memorial Quilt, typically takes between 90 days and six months.


“The only dumb question is the question you have but never ask!” Email us at or call Roddy Williams, Panel Maker Relations, or Gert McMullin, Production Manager, at 404.688.5500.

by Anonymousreply 15502/11/2013

I don't know if anyone mentioned it on here, but there's a movie on Netflix streaming right now called "How To Survive a Plague". I heard about it on Anderson and watched it last was pretty intense. Lots of great archival footage from the 80's and early 90's. Really shows how the gays banded together (without the internet, which I find impressive) and got shit DONE.

by Anonymousreply 15602/15/2013


by Anonymousreply 15702/18/2013

While the OP's question is a good one, I think it shows how clueless the young are that they can't find the answer to, what is, a simple history question. The answer to his question is common knowledge and all he had to do was make a little effort to do some research but, instead, asks on DL??? I weep for the future.

by Anonymousreply 15802/18/2013

They all died, OP, which is why there are no gay people now; the gene pool was drained.

by Anonymousreply 15902/18/2013

[quote]While the OP's question is a good one, I think it shows how clueless the young are that they can't find the answer to, what is, a simple history question. The answer to his question is common knowledge and all he had to do was make a little effort to do some research but, instead, asks on DL??? I weep for the future.

And the 'oh so obvious' answer is...?

by Anonymousreply 16002/18/2013

Many of my favourite porn actors died of Aids so many young men its awful where did this come from.

by Anonymousreply 16105/06/2013

My big brother in my fraternity warned me about safe sex, and died himself of AIDS. I just searched for his name on the AIDS Quilt, and it was incredibly sad to remember that sense of loss.

You don't know what it's like to walk into a bar knowing there's a greater chance of walking into a bar and meeting someone who will kill you, than someone who will love you. It has profoundly affected my ability to let go and love, to this day.

I'm incredibly grateful to be negative, and have to admit that my own mediocre looks (overweight) might have saved me from unsafe sex when self-control might not have.

I only lost a very few good friends (most of my close friends at the time were straight) but the fear was shattering and the emotional damage has never ended.

by Anonymousreply 16205/06/2013

TO know that OP, you'd have to know how many gay men there were. And nobody anywhere has ever had a scientific answer to that question, your question cannot be answered.

by Anonymousreply 16305/06/2013

I would have to say at least fifty percent of the gay men I knew eventually died of HIV - AIDS related diseases.

I have no idea how I survived.

by Anonymousreply 16405/06/2013

I don't even know the count. And to this day I am ashamed of this. As a straigt woman in the 80s who had a Lot of gay male friends during college at University, people kept "disappearing" and when I would ask about them "oh they are sick they went home" I was too afraid to ask why all these college friends were going home, all I know is they never came back. It was a lot of them. My only gay friend left from those days used to be nicknamed "not quite out of the closet yet stuart" one friend was from town and shared his status with me and we hung out til the end, I wish i knew what happened to the illustrious most enigmatic man I have ever known (john bales) my good friend Bootsie and Ben and all the other guys. I wish I had pushed harder to find out and been there it was such early days then. It was like here they are now there gone one by one. Be glad you weren't there.

by Anonymousreply 16506/26/2013

Remember when Axl Rose wore that t-shirt around '88 that said "AIDS kills Fags dead", like Raid, the bug spray? Sounds corny, but I think Princess Diana kissing and holding the baby with AIDS meant something. Same thing with Madonna, taking bites of her friend's food when he clearly was dying of AIDS. That was in the Andy Warhol diaries. Sort of fearless for back then. I remember being afraid of AIDS - and I was having straight sex with high school girls. So much misinformation - a combination of paranoid raving and not enough serious discussion.

by Anonymousreply 16606/26/2013

I think that was Sebasion Bach.

by Anonymousreply 16706/26/2013

I think you're right. I was Sebastian Bach.

by Anonymousreply 16806/26/2013

Bumping this up in memory of some incredible human beings taken way too soon from this vile disease. One of them being my oldest brother. Spending time with him while he slowly slipped away in 93 brought me out of the closet. I was 27 and still faking it. He actually made that transition for me much easier taking the brutal emotional hits when he first came out around 83. He had just turned 31 and as my parents watched him suffering they realized what a waste all the judgment had been. I wish all of you could have known him. He was so handsome. Looked a lot like a young Mark Spitz. He was gifted artistically. I have all his final works hanging in my den. They were briefly shown in Laguna Beach by an associate back in 2000. They are one of kind originals. I've been offered good money for a few of them but there is no way in hell I'd part with them.

So the impact of AIDS for me is very deep. We grew up in a very conservative small northern california town. My first venture to the big city of San Francisco was in 88. I was 22. I had tagged along with a friend who had been invited to a new years eve party in SF and it changed my life. At that point I had only been with one man. He was in the military and it was a very secret "relationship" ( translation... incredible sex but boring as fuck outside of the bed ) and on that new years eve have gay life puke in my face. I fell in love instantaneously with those I met. They were this close knit family of friends. All of them hot as hell. George looked like John Stamos. Grant had that whole tall, lean, square jawed thing going on. And the list goes on and on. All very accomplished successful men and their faghags living vicariously through them. I was the baby or so they called me. And they had a blast opening up that world to me. They were very protective. By 1991 All but one had passed away. Long Time Companion is the closest movie I've seen that depicts how fast and brutal it was back then. These guys were in their late 20's early 30's and basically one day working out at the gym and the next in ICU unable to breath and two weeks later dead of Pneumocystis pneumonia. If they lingered is would get gruesome with multiple forms of cancer. In 98 after years of popping pills like candy and trying every suggested method possible we lost Grant. They're all gone. I see their names on the quilt along with my brothers and I'm stunned. It shocks me when I look in the mirror and see this 47 year old guy that whole they all represented went with them. I treasure the memories. I have some pretty cool angels if all that heaven stuff is true.

To the O.P. I think the reason you got some negative backlash for the thread was in your presentation. It comes off hallow to ask a person who watched the beginning ravages of AIDS to simply give you a death number. Each person was more than a number. You have no idea those that we lost. They paved the way for a generation now who is so vapid they don't really even understand what gay pride events are about and they don't want to understand it.

The 80's was incredible for me personally but it was also heart breaking. I don't think we will ever really know how many died either during that decade or directly after it. Even in 93 when my brother was in a teaching hospital there were nursing staff who contractually refused to provide hands on care to those diagnosed HIV. I'd just spend all day and night with him to make sure he got the care he needed for comfort. Now it's very different. Those who we lost early on also paved the way for much more dignity and respect.

God bless them all. We miss you and will never forget you. I'm gonna name drop for my friend Grant who never shut up about this incident. He swore he did an eigh tball with Linda Rondstadt after he had catered a party for her. He'd drop that around here all the time if he were still alive :)

by Anonymousreply 16909/26/2013

This is a very interesting and moving thread. I’m 21, so when I had my first boyfriend things had changed a lot. I don’t really talk to elder gays about how AIDS affected their life back in the 80’s, because the few times I’d asked I got pretty snarky answers. It’s not my fault that I wasn't around in the 80's and young guys today get AIDS too. The only difference is, that today you know how you could avoid it. What I’d like to know, when did people realize how to protect themselves? And how did they get the information? There was no i-net, so what did people do to educate themselves?

by Anonymousreply 17009/26/2013

LOL R5. Thank you Grammar Maven!

The OPs question can only be properly answered by splitting it between the gay ghettos and the suburbs/country.

In the ghettos it felt like half or even more.

God I miss the ghettos: I miss the way they oozed public sexuality. The pendulum will swing and it will come back, but oh the pleasure of walking down the street and seeing that wild Roman Empire sexuality of bulging 'baskets' prominently highlighted, and everyone fizzingly alive and 'up for it', instead of just wanting to drink green tea.

Today I saw a boy with big fisting scarf in his jeans. I hadn't seen one on the street for almost 20 years, so maybe the revolt against the hideous uptight judgemental PC world we now inhabit is commencing?

by Anonymousreply 17109/26/2013

If you were gay, and not in a monogamous relationship, the 80s were silent screaming terror with bad gelled hair.

Rupert Everett writing in his second autobiography that he felt imprisoned behind a wall of glass beyond which the 'normal' world was happening was exactly how it felt.

by Anonymousreply 17209/26/2013

"There's a new disease"

I remember saying this to a share house of gay men, and the biggest slut in the place replying:

"Well I'm going to get it, because every time I go out these days I get something!"

Everyone in that house is long, long, long dead.

Except him.

by Anonymousreply 17309/26/2013

To R170 as I said above back in 88 my friends living in SF who took me under their wing literally protected me and that included schooling me over and over about safe sex and condoms. They save my life. I can remember before even trying speed I had 4 body guards who remained with me that whole evening knowing where there's speed there's going to be a lot of sex and back then I could have easily been talked into just about any situation being very naive. I was 22 but looked about 16.

I also have to say the gay community was so strong and so resourceful while losing so many at the same time. Your jaw would have dropped at how generous they were given the fact the media and most religious outlets had pulverized them daily yet if a straight family who had been ostracized by the medical community didn't know who to turn to while dealing with AIDS the gay community would willingly open their arms with as much help and support needed.

I have to say again in regard to getting snarky comments when you ask about that time. I hope you understand clearly what was taking place. When this disease was first mentioned some stupid fuck decided to call it the gay cancer and in the minds of many they honestly believed number one that a disease has a damn brain and actually picks it's victims based on sexuality and two... it was targeting the right individuals. Add that to an already pissed off conservative closeted nation that just loved daily berating the gay community and it's not a pleasant image to recall. Not to mention as I said in my other post it's tough to water it down to numbers when there are so many beautiful faces to recall. It still shocks me that every friend that I met on new years eve 1988 died from that disease. I don't even like going to SF because of the memories I feel when I'm there.

by Anonymousreply 17409/26/2013

Lots of weird terminology on this thread. You can't catch or get AIDS, you contract HIV.

by Anonymousreply 17509/26/2013

You have no idea how lonely it is for a lot of gay men in NY who lost all their friends. I worked at GMHC as a buddy in the early 1990s and all my clients died, and many of them were so alone, all their close friends had already passed on. It was awful. Just awful.

by Anonymousreply 17609/26/2013

True R176

The toll in NYC at that time was devastating.

My bf's brother lived in Manhattan, was infected and somehow had the bad luck to outlast dozens of friends and lovers even though he was facing the same end. He visited and cared for them. He had the strength of will to attend every memorial service. He was a member of Act Up, took part in many of their daring acts. Appeared on national televison debating Pat Buchanan about the government's lack of response. As a therapist he continued to counsel and support gay men until months before his death. He faced things with courage.

by Anonymousreply 17709/26/2013

I grew up in San Francisco (b 1957, came out in 1975) and AIDS touched our lives daily, both in ways expected and unexpected.

In 1989 I had way overextended my credit cards so I took a second job driving a SuperShuttle at night. Late one night I picked up a single fare at the airport, a middle-aged woman who gave me an address in the Castro. We got to talking, she told me she was from the midwest, and was coming to SF to take care of her son, who was 'sick'. I could tell she wasn't happy about the situation, and when we got to the house, as I carried her bags to the door, the door opened and two young men in their mid 20's stepped out onto the porch. One was quite frail-looking, and as he hugged the woman, the other helped me with the bags. It was obvious that the boyfriend and the mother didn't get along, and, as I drove away, I couldn't help but think how tense things must've been inside the house.

Fast forward a few months, and I get a call for a pickup in the Castro. I didn't recognize the address, but as soon as I pulled up, I recognized the house. This time, it was just the one young man, no boyfriend, no mother, with several large suitcases. I loaded the bags and helped him into the van. As we drove across the city to pick up other fares, he told me he had been sick and was 'going home to get better'. The more we talked, I realized that the boyfriend was gone, he couldn't pay the rent, and he had no place to go other than some awful small town (in, I think Nebraska) where he would most likely be isolated by his family and gossiped about by the neighbors. As we drive through the dark streets he told me how much he loved and would miss San Francisco. At one point he softly said 'I don't know if I'll ever kiss another man again'.

The van filled up and I headed for the airport. He was flying TWA, which was in the first terminal, but I told him that if he'd let me drop off the other passengers, I'd circle around and help him with his bags. He agreed, and I parked at the curb, helped him out of the van, and up to the curbside check-in. I went back to the van, got the bags and brought them to the porter. Then I said 'come here', and, still wearing my SuperShuttle uniform, I put my arms around his thin body, and as firmly as I dared, gave him a long hug, followed by a kiss, on the mouth, right in front of the porter and the other passengers. Trying to keep it together, I said 'promise me that this will not be the last time you kiss another man', and, with tears streaming down his face, he quietly said 'I promise'. Of course, we both knew it probably would be the last time.

After watching him going into the terminal, I managed to drive to the airport holding lot before I parked the van, turned off the lights, and sobbed uncontrollably.

I never knew his name, he never knew mine. A decade earlier our kiss may have led to a night in bed together instead of a sad farewell. So to those who wonder what it was like, yes we lost many friends. But we also lost many of our gay brothers, people who gave us a sense of community and belonging just by being there, next to us on the dance floor, or behind the counter at the coffee house, or exchanging a smile on the streetcar. People who came from little towns and cities where they couldn't be open about who they were, and for the first time in their lives, were able to live with hope and pride. And the, in the blink of an eye, so many were gone.

And in many ways, to my generation, that loss was unrecoverable.

by Anonymousreply 17809/26/2013

That was lovely Paul R178. Lovely.

by Anonymousreply 17909/26/2013

Estimated AIDS deaths USA cumulative as of July 2008 565,927. Presumably 400,000 of those were gay men.

by Anonymousreply 18009/26/2013

This is where I go when I want to see my friends now.

by Anonymousreply 18109/26/2013

I looked up my five best dead friends there, R181, and not one of them was on the list.

Even the dead have "A Gays."

by Anonymousreply 18209/26/2013

Did they live in San Francisco R182? All those people are just from the Bay Area.

by Anonymousreply 18309/26/2013

Oh, no. I didn't realize. Thanks, R183.

Many of my dead DC friends are on this list. I don't know who created it, but he's got to be someone I know.

It was my best friend's 21st deathday yesterday. Purely by coincidence, I read David Levitan's TWO BOYS KISSING yesterday, a YA novel written in the first-person plural voice of all the men of my generation who died of AIDS.

On p. 20, Levitan, writing in that "we" voice, refers to us survivors: "And there are some men, fewer and fewer, who fall to bed and think of us. In their dreams, we are still by their side. In their nightmares, we are still dying. In the blurriness of night, they reach for us. They say our names in their sleep. To us, this is the most meaningful, most heartbreaking sound we ever had the privilege and misfortune to know."

by Anonymousreply 18409/26/2013

Now ask what percentage of gay men are alive but not really since that time.

by Anonymousreply 18509/26/2013

I've never been the same R185. I know I've pushed down so much heartbreak and tears after living through the holocaust that took so many of my friends. Sometimes it surfaces at strange times and I'll be subject to something like an emotional dam bursting. Like in the play "Rent" when the little drag queen dies. I remember I was watching it with my Mom and Dad, and I couldn't stop crying. I sat there long after the scene had finished trying desperately to stop the tears before the curtain came down.

by Anonymousreply 18609/26/2013

R40, thanks for your story, and a hug to R21.

by Anonymousreply 18709/26/2013

The obituaries of the NY Times were frightening in those days; every day men of achievement in every field (politics, medicine, the arts, the media, finance, etc.) were dying of lymphoma, pneumonia. Only a few were listed as dying of AIDS.

Funeral parlors were not taking the bodies.

by Anonymousreply 18809/26/2013

I hug you back, R187.

by Anonymousreply 18909/27/2013

I was 16 in 1985 and it was all over the media then, I remember young guys a few years older than me falling ill with it, many guys born between say 1957 and 1963 died as they were the young gay men of the late 70s early 80s. I count my self lucky to be born at the end of the 60s because he message reached me. I knew I hot fit guy and he contracted it , it was a death sentence then, I doubt they will ever cure it in my life time if is so closely linked to cancer, All young gay men and older ones like me just stick to safe sex and keep faithful to one partner, if you feel the need to stray just buy a good gay porn dvd or magazine and have a good wank, that way you will keep safe.

by Anonymousreply 19012/25/2013

Where the hell did it come from why only gay men affected, I read dr Alan Cantwells book , prior to 1978 and the HEP B drug trials this dam thing never existed, so many healthy young men list their lives to this virus.

by Anonymousreply 19112/25/2013


How about you learning correct spelling!

by Anonymousreply 19303/27/2014

I would say that between 1981 and 1991 I lost ten good friends and knew of a peripheral group of about 10 others. And then, of course, there were the celebrities one would read about. AIDS was in the news every single day. It was a horrible time.

by Anonymousreply 19503/27/2014

I moved to NYC in the early 80s and I very well could be typing this from heaven now, except for one saving grace -- lack of self-confidence (then, not now). I'm a very sexual person, not bad looking, but always had the hardest time doing the pick-up thing in bars (remember, this was before the days of the internet, grindr, and all the rest). Uncle Charlie's on Greenwich, Regency on the UES, etc. -- I hit them all and more often than not, went home alone. If I'd had access to all the anonymous ways to hookup that are out there now, I'd be gone.

Anyway, lost many friends -- including my first serious relationship and my first roommate in NYC. I found out about Bill (the roommate) when I was watching the Rosie Show on National AIDS Day and his picture flashed up. I'd been gone from NYC for a while then, hadn't kept in touch with Bill, and then BAM...saw his picture (I think he went to school with John McDaniel, but could be wrong). It was sobering.

As I age (I'm 52 now), more and more I think about how lucky I was that I was a shrinking violet back in my youth...and mourn the loss of so many great guys.

by Anonymousreply 19603/27/2014

If I had to guess, I'd say 20-25 percent.

by Anonymousreply 19703/27/2014

R194 is like the epitome of a FF. FF the shit out of that.

How does somebody so homophobic find their way to a fucking gay forum.

by Anonymousreply 19803/27/2014

Don't forget that most who died in the 1980s were infected in the 1970s or before. In the 1980s, it was thought that the incubation period was only a few years, and that "patient zero" had started the pandemic in 1977, but it was later shown that the first US case of "GRID" came to the country in 1969.

I'd say maybe 50 percent were infected before safe-sex took over, with maybe half of those dying before 1990. The drug users and those with poor lifestyles went first, while guys like Greg Louganis are still ticking.

by Anonymousreply 19903/27/2014

I'm surprised the numbers are so low. I thought everyone died during the 80s.

by Anonymousreply 20003/27/2014

[quote]How does somebody so homophobic find their way to a fucking gay forum.

They get off on reactions like yours. Best way to handle them is to FF them without calling attention to them.

by Anonymousreply 20103/27/2014

It is not only how many men died from HIV in the 80s but also what they were doing.

HIV+REAGAN-dead gay men in the arts=the rise of rap/thug culture.

Just an observation by a paleo gay.

by Anonymousreply 20203/27/2014

[quote]dead gay men in the arts

I think it was Fran Leibowitz who said that it was't just the men who produced the art, it was also the discerning men who supported it. In their absence, culture really suffered -- especially Broadway.

by Anonymousreply 20303/27/2014

I was born in 1958, which means I was a young man in my early 20's when AIDS was first noticed by the media. I lost quite a few of my friends. Three of my closest friends (1 a former roommate/fraternity brother) were among the deceased.

I remember a dinner party of about 15 I attended. A year or two later, I realized I was the lone survivor from that group.

My friends were dying in such rapid secession, that I used to clip their obituary and keep it in a tiny keepsake album. I didn't want to forget them. I have about 15 friends' obituaries in there. These were just my closer circle of friends. There were a lot more acquaintances. (When I say "friends", I am not using it in terms of "facebook friends" either)

I am still around, in my opinion, because I was very shy and lacked confidence. I wanted to sleep around but felt I was not very attractive.

I have never had a real serious long term relationship. I am scared to death of commitment/intimacy, and I think a lot of that stems from those rough years.

by Anonymousreply 20403/27/2014

Absolutely, r203.

by Anonymousreply 20503/27/2014

Two dear friends.

by Anonymousreply 20603/27/2014

To answer OP's question,

In those days, outside the cities, many gay men were closeted so it is hard to know. But it is a fair assumption that of the hundreds of thousands who died in the US, the dead include some of the most "out", the most interesting, talented etc. The type of person who chooses to have lots of sex with others is often also the type of person who takes other bold chances in life and goes for experience... for better or worse.

The quilt tells many of their stories.

by Anonymousreply 20703/27/2014

So…was barebacking the norm prior to HIV/AIDS then? Seems like it must have been.

by Anonymousreply 20803/27/2014

R208, most definitely, among those who engaged in buttsex.

by Anonymousreply 20903/27/2014

As so many have posted here already, it would be impossible to know the precise % of deaths, as we will never have the precise # of gay men at that time. It's just not a solid #.

However, I would think that the larger the city with the larger # of gay men, would have a larger % of deaths. I don't think that 20-30% in NYC & SF in the 80s would be an unrealistic %. Places like LA,Miami,DC would have lower %s, but still very significant #s.

Remember too, that many who died of AIDS then, were listed as dying of some other cause, were taken back to small-town America, from NYC or SF, by their families to die, the true # will never be known.

I came out back in the late 70s in NYC. I ran with a grp of guys (just friends, no sex) who were in their early 20s.

Around 1979, one of them caught a "cold", which by the next day progressed to pneumonia & hospitalization. He was dead within a week & was only about 23 y/o then. The hospital told his parents that they had no idea what exactly happened, it was that quick & lethal. The parents remember the MDs being absolutely stunned.

This is why I don't believe the gov't figures saying that the AIDS crisis started in 1981-82. Ppl in NYC were dying before then. It was either being kept quiet to avoid a panic, or the medical establishment had simply not yet connected the deaths & realized the common causality. ALL the other guys in that grp died within the next 2 yrs. None was older than 26, I'd say.

I also remember, separate from the events above, that there were alleged medical staff coming to the NYC bars, who were seeking volunteers for Hep B vaccine/treatment development.

I spoke to one & she (supposedly a nurse) told me that it would involve blood from other gay men in whatever they were going to shoot into the volunteers. I practically ran away when she said that, knowing how rampant VD in general was at the time. But I recall many,many guys volunteering. I have always suspected that, deliberately or accidentally, this Hep B effort helped spread the HIV virus.

Does anyone else remember the above going on?

I remember a few years ago, reading an article that said that tissue samples from a man in St Louis (I think) who had died in the early 1950s, confirmed the presence of the HIV virus. So HIV has been around much longer than we have been originally led to believe. I also recall that the reason the MD had kept this man's tissue sample, was because he couldn't figure out what the man died from & it evidently happened very quickly (remember, there was no test for HIV back then).

by Anonymousreply 21003/27/2014

I was in my 20s in the late 70s early 80s in Toronto. Of my 10 closest gay friends only one died, one became positive and is still alive and the other eight, most of whom were involved in what we now think of as unsafe sex, stayed negative.

by Anonymousreply 21103/27/2014

I want to thank so many of the folks who responded with their heartwrenching stories and express my love and admiration for you. I spent the morning reading this thread and was deeply affected by it.

by Anonymousreply 21203/27/2014

[quote]So…was barebacking the norm prior to HIV/AIDS then?

Yes. It was just called "fucking" then.

by Anonymousreply 21303/27/2014

Like R210, I may have noticed it in the late '70s. I had a friend -- we were on our way to becoming boyfriends -- who was starting to get sick in ways neither he nor his doctor understood. He stopped having sex with me because he was afraid I'd get it, too, and eventually he moved away from LA and, shortly thereafter, died. This was in 1978-79, a couple of years before anyone heard of GRID or HTLV-3.

by Anonymousreply 21403/27/2014

I think of them as martyrs. There's no way we'd be this far along if not for AIDS. Gay acceptance/gay self-esteem was not happening in 1979.

AIDS busted open the closet door- not gays.

by Anonymousreply 21503/27/2014

I could have written R196's post myself. We were probably both at Uncle Charlie's at the same time, watching early Roseanne stand-ups on the big screen and not talking to anyone other than the platonic friend you came with.

by Anonymousreply 21603/27/2014

I spent the spring of 1981 at Uncle Charlie's on Greenwich. I didn't go home with anyone because I had recently entered a relationship with someone who was tying things up on the West Coast before we moved in together in DC (I was staying at my parents' in between). It may have saved my life.

by Anonymousreply 21703/27/2014

"Bette Davis Eyes" was the popular video then at Uncle Charlie's.

by Anonymousreply 21803/27/2014

I was living in SF and the song was "Losing My Religion." Two things happened around the same time back in the 80s: AIDS hit, and the Catholic Church was exposed as harboring pedo priests and moving them around when people complained their altar boy was coming home with hickies.

by Anonymousreply 21903/27/2014

[quote]"Bette Davis Eyes" was the popular video then at Uncle Charlie's.

Funny, I heard that song today for the first time in years. I thought how dated and tacky it sounds now. Dreadful electric keyboards. I liked it back then.

My Uncle Charlie's era was a bit later. More 'I Wear My Sunglasses At Night'.

by Anonymousreply 22003/27/2014

R202's post doesn't quite compute, at least not for me. It seems to suggest that gay men were responsible for all or most of the music and art prior to the 80s. However, R203's post clears it up a bit. I don't know if it's entirely accurate but it makes more sense.

by Anonymousreply 22103/27/2014

It's hard to wrap my head around that, R213. All I've ever known is safe sex and condoms.

by Anonymousreply 22203/27/2014

Just as I find it hard to wrap my head around the term "barebacking," R222.

by Anonymousreply 22303/27/2014

"And there are some men, fewer and fewer, who fall to bed and think of us. In their dreams, we are still by their side. In their nightmares, we are still dying. In the blurriness of night, they reach for us. They say our names in their sleep. To us, this is the most meaningful, most heartbreaking sound we ever had the privilege and misfortune to know."

I'm one of those men.

Also, I don't know how many are aware of the fact that during the early days of the AIDS crisis, when nobody would touch us, the Lesbian community formed some amazing home health agencies which took up the slack. It was so welcome. And they weren't afraid. I remember the comfort of being able to take a morning or afternoon off during the worst of it because a woman had arrived from one of those agencies.

by Anonymousreply 22403/28/2014

I was living in a small street near the Castro District in San Francisco and the street went from gay to non gay in about 3 years. All the gay guys just disappeared. It was creepy.

by Anonymousreply 22503/28/2014

Thank you to all of the people who posted their stories on this thread. I read this thing through in one sitting and cried like a jackass.

I missed most of the initial AIDS onslaught. I got the tail end and it was a mere tip of the iceberg that you guys lived through. I can't go through all of the poster names and offer you all internet hugs, but trust me that my love and support for you is immense. For all of you.

Every few months I watch a documentary, or read a thread like this, or read a book about the beginning. I feel that I have to remind myself. So many have forgotten or never even knew. It tears my guts out. It hurts like hell. But I do it over and over again. I feel the need to honor our dead. To honor their lives and the struggles everyone endured - the fallen and the survivors alike.

Those of us still standing missed so much. The humanity lost is beyond measure. Talent, humor, love, friendship, family, and history. For all of you guys who posted, know that I feel for you. All of the buddies you lost along the way live in your stories so please keep telling them. Those guys mattered. They should not be lost in time. I love reading about your friends and I wish I could have known them too. So please keep talking about them.

I am often torn about when I was born. I have wished I was ten years older. I could have been at Woodstock! I could have gone to the Mineshaft! I could have danced at The Saint! Seen a 70's David Bowie tour! Those priceless videos of the gay rights marches in the 70's... men have never been so beautiful before or since. Hairy, mustached, happy and free. It makes my nuts hurt just thinking about it. But if I had been there I may not have lived through it. For those of you who did you need to know that guys like me treasure your lives and memories. We wish we could be you. If you stop telling us what we missed, it is all lost. Tell us. Please. Keep yourselves and your lost friends alive forever. Without you, we are nothing.

by Anonymousreply 22603/29/2014

[all posts by tedious, racist idiot removed.]

by Anonymousreply 22703/29/2014


by Anonymousreply 22803/29/2014

I don't want to get too far off topic but that's not necessarily accurate, R202. It's misguided to suggest that thug culture is some sort of recent phenomenon. I can't think of a time in American history when there wasn't a thug culture.

Thug culture was very prevalent in the 1920s/30s, the various mafia families, The Purple gang, Bonnie and Clyde etc.... I mean drive by shootings were invented in the 1920s and many murder records from those days still haven't been surpassed ( even much of the thug lingo still in use today was established back then). Billy the Kid, Jesse James, Buckshot Roberts... were all thugs. The problem is our society has a tendency to glamorize and romanticize thug culture. We've had countless Bonnie and Clyde, Mafia movies, Westerns, Gangs of New York.... The media glamorizes, sanitizes, and makes thugs into heroes. But make no mistake, thug culture has always existed.

by Anonymousreply 22903/31/2014

R224 - I want to add there were a number of straight women that were there for people dying of AIDS during that time.

I am a straight woman. I ran support groups, did home visits, and worked in a hospice where I comforted numerous gay men on their deathbeds. It was a horrible time and I couldn't imagine that in the future there would be drug cocktails that would keep people alive for decades.

by Anonymousreply 23003/31/2014

R229 - good insight. I would really underscore the mafia.

by Anonymousreply 23103/31/2014

Isn't it nearly impossible to know.

You don't know the number of gay men to start with.

by Anonymousreply 23203/31/2014

Lies r199. The St. Louis man did not have HIV.

by Anonymousreply 23303/31/2014

In the early days...many weren't correctly diagnosed.

by Anonymousreply 23403/31/2014

[quote]I wasn't aware that simply being curious about gay history was considered insensitive, but nothing surprises me here anymore. It seems that no matter WHAT thread topic I post about, it's met with snark. I could start a thread called "The sky is blue" and would inevitably be attacked for it. Why people pay $18 to be subjected to this is beyond me. I've certainly learned my lesson!

Umpy, I don't think you're quite as innocent as you'd like us to believe.

by Anonymousreply 23503/31/2014

Was r194 joking?

If not, I want to shove my fist down her throat.

by Anonymousreply 23603/31/2014

Laguna Beach's AIDS memorial garden — once well-tended on a bluff decades ago when the beach city's gay community was first touched by the disease — is in neglect.

Ice plant has grown over much of the Garden of Peace and Love off Mountain Road, and the white roses and bougainvillea that once grew in the area have disappeared.

Now administrators and members of the city's HIV Advisory Committee are asking what can be done to breathe new life into the memorial garden and who should take on the work.

by Anonymousreply 23711/17/2014

The correct answer to OPs question is " too large of a percentage " .... Still infuriating how slow the reaction was ....look at the current Ebola response ... To think of hundreds of thousands dead by early 90s is heartbreaking still.

by Anonymousreply 23811/17/2014
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