Do you think gay rights would be further along if the AIDS crisis never happened?

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    May 01, 2013 7:44 PM GMT
    From what I've been reading lately it seems like the gay community was starting to make a lot of progress and gain traction in the 70's and then BAM! It seems like AIDS really helped further notion we are unclean and wicked. Where do you think we'd be if that never happened?
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    May 01, 2013 7:46 PM GMT


    Yes, I do. AIDS was brandished like a knife by the Religious Right and used to potent effect.
  • MikeW

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    May 01, 2013 7:49 PM GMT
    Well, hard to say. Blacks were making strides and that also came to an end during the Regan administration (think 'crack babies' and all that). The right will always find a 'way' to slow down if not prevent social equality.
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    May 01, 2013 7:49 PM GMT
    meninlove said

    Yes, I do. AIDS was brandished like a knife by the Religious Right and used to potent effect.


    It was used effectively but I think in a way it was a double edged sword. It brought gay rights to the fore front in a very real way and it allowed us to work from there.
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    May 01, 2013 7:53 PM GMT
    MisfitToy said
    meninlove said

    Yes, I do. AIDS was brandished like a knife by the Religious Right and used to potent effect.


    It was used effectively but I think in a way it was a double edged sword. It brought gay rights to the fore front in a very real way and it allowed us to work from there.


    Those things were not simultaneous. We were vilified for years before really effective advocacy (like ACT-UP) started.

    And for those wishy-washy queens out there, it was the offensive, loud, in your face advocacy that got the ball rolling. We'd still be stuck back in Reagan-land without it.
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    May 01, 2013 7:58 PM GMT
    don't think things would have been different. if it wasn't aids, it would have been something else.
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    May 01, 2013 8:06 PM GMT
    showme said
    MisfitToy said
    meninlove said

    Yes, I do. AIDS was brandished like a knife by the Religious Right and used to potent effect.


    It was used effectively but I think in a way it was a double edged sword. It brought gay rights to the fore front in a very real way and it allowed us to work from there.


    Those things were not simultaneous. We were vilified for years before really effective advocacy (like ACT-UP) started.

    And for those wishy-washy queens out there, it was the offensive, loud, in your face advocacy that got the ball rolling. We'd still be stuck back in Reagan-land without it.


    How long was it until effective advocacy?

    I wasn't there so I'm asking.
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    May 01, 2013 8:25 PM GMT
    yourname2000 saidI actually disagree. I think we had always been marginalized and while we were on a slow path to some sort of acceptance, I don't think we were actually making "progress". When AIDS hit, just the extremeness of the situation caused our detractors to push harder than society at large was willing to accept anymore and we mobilized like we never had before. It was because of AIDS that Rock Hudson was found out to be gay and that shattered a lot of preconceptions. And as gay talented people started to die, Hollywood really came to our side and rallied support as only Hollywood can.

    Before AIDS we were a bunch of largely closeted independent individuals just trying to get by...we sought solace together in safe environments, but really didn't venture out into the world. AIDS and our desperate need to get the attention we deserved launched Act-Up, PWA, and a number of other "out-reach"/protest groups. And that made it more tenable (imo) for people to march in our Vancouver Pride Parade and stand up for ourselves throughout the rest of the year, even outside our regular safe venues.

    I don't know if the gay community would have really rallied together except for the pressure of AIDS. As horrible as the disease has been, as many beautiful men as it's ripped from my life, I don't see them dying in vain: their deaths paid a price that has allowed the rest of us to stand proud..."Silence = Death". Years from now someone may be able to calculate that AIDS actually saved more gay lives than it cost....that while many died horrible deaths, and many more endured cruel treatment, the acceptance that is coming in America (and has already come in Canada and a few other countries) may actually save many young lives from suicide, and from ruining two people's lives by marrying women to feign normality.

    It's our holocaust, and like the Holocaust inflicted on the Jews in WW2, in the end it may unite us as we never were before and give us strength and resolve we would not have mustered without it. "Never again" is now our moto, too.


    That's beautiful. You make a good point. It allowed us to really become bold and ignited about our situation. It made us fight harder.
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    May 01, 2013 8:39 PM GMT
    Great post from Yourname2000!.....

    ... although it appears we had very different experiences. icon_wink.gif

    The seventies up til 1982 were very busy for this Doug. I flew to California a few times,openly gay as you please. The West End of Vancouver was gay central, lol. I moved to NFLD and enjoyed openly gay living there as well.

    In 1973 the Psychiatric Associations had pronounced gay was OK, and the gay onslaught (love that term) began.

    The Plague frightened a whole lot of straight people, because not only was it rapid, aggressive and a very visual sickness, but no one knew how it spread.

    At work others wouldn't use a chair or hold a pen that someone gay had sat in or used. The myths that openly circulated were horrible.

    OK, having some baaaaddd memories right now, so enough for this topic.

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    May 01, 2013 8:42 PM GMT
    No! I think AIDS is just an excuse for uninformed individuals to find comfort in placing their ignorant views on the topic of homosexuality.
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    May 01, 2013 8:43 PM GMT
    meninlove said Great post from Yourname2000!.....

    ... although it appears we had very different experiences. icon_wink.gif

    The seventies up til 1982 were very busy for this Doug. I flew to California a few times,openly gay as you please. The West End of Vancouver was gay central, lol. I moved to NFLD and enjoyed openly gay living there as well.

    In 1973 the Psychiatric Associations had pronounced gay was OK, and the gay onslaught (love that term) began.

    The Plague frightened a whole lot of straight people, because not only was it rapid, aggressive and a very visual sickness, but no one knew how it spread.

    At work others wouldn't use a chair or hold a pen that someone gay had sat in or used. The myths that openly circulated were horrible.

    OK, having some baaaaddd memories right now, so enough for this topic.



    I didn't know the AIDS crisis had really affected anyone else besides America at that time.

    How'd it get everywhere like this?
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    May 01, 2013 8:57 PM GMT
    MisfitToy said

    How long was it until effective advocacy?

    I wasn't there so I'm asking.


    HIV started circulating broadly in the early 80s.

    ACT UP was founded in 1987, Queer Nation in 1990.
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    May 01, 2013 8:58 PM GMT
    yourname2000 said
    MisfitToy saidI didn't know the AIDS crisis had really affected anyone else besides America at that time.

    How'd it get everywhere like this?

    Gay people tend to be better educated and have more disposable income....end result: we travel more and brought back AIDS from our travels.


    Oh I see that gay people travel a lot but better educated and more income?

    I think that's a myth.

    Think of how many LGBT in rural areas and in communities of color that are still struggling.
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    May 01, 2013 9:03 PM GMT
    showme said
    MisfitToy said

    How long was it until effective advocacy?

    I wasn't there so I'm asking.


    HIV started circulating broadly in the early 80s.

    ACT UP was founded in 1987, Queer Nation in 1990.


    So when did gay rights as a movement start gaining serious traction?
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    May 01, 2013 9:12 PM GMT
    yourname2000 said
    MisfitToy said
    yourname2000 said
    MisfitToy saidI didn't know the AIDS crisis had really affected anyone else besides America at that time.

    How'd it get everywhere like this?

    Gay people tend to be better educated and have more disposable income....end result: we travel more and brought back AIDS from our travels.


    Oh I see that gay people travel a lot but better educated and more income?

    I think that's a myth.

    Think of how many LGBT in rural areas and in communities of color that are still struggling.

    http://tinyurl.com/d3ph9xs

    Google's your friend.


    They're going by openly gay people and most of those live in larger metropolitan areas.

    There's a large amount of uncounted poor gays and lesbians who have no voice become of where they live to still in the closet
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    May 01, 2013 9:14 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    Yes, I do. AIDS was brandished like a knife by the Religious Right and used to potent effect.

    Agree. HIV/AIDS set us back at least 20 years. And the US Right is still using it against us.
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    May 01, 2013 9:15 PM GMT
    I think one day Historians will look back at the a.i.d.s. Crisis and deem it an important, galvanizing factor that actually did, ultimately, advance Gay Rights.

    They will of course make their observations through the priveleged microscope of time and distance. Living in the mist of Academic conjecture and speculation and weighing the pros and cons over snifters of really good brandy.

    For those of Us that were there - the price was beyond comprehension.

    I can't help but wonder...HOW MUCH FARTHER WE MAY BE RIGHT NOW IF THOSE PEOPLE HAD JUST FUCKING LIVED.

    If only they had lived.

    The poole of talent, vision, integrity and gifted genius that was lost is just unfathomable.

    The Survivors have done AMAZING things - often beyond what they thought they were capable of.

    It is the reason I believe in Gay Pride and am so vocal (and often vilified by My RJ brethren) regarding Gay Rights -- The price was ENORMOUS for Us to have THIS thread on a Gay Website.

    Those who survived changed the World.

    Those who didn't changed it too.

    I just wish they could have somehow lived to see all that was accomplished....in Their names...on Their shoulders...on Their graves....and sadly, in Their memory.
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    May 01, 2013 9:15 PM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    meninlove said
    Yes, I do. AIDS was brandished like a knife by the Religious Right and used to potent effect.

    Agree. HIV/AIDS set us back at least 20 years. And the US Right is still using it.


    Do you think we would of mobilized like we did because of the AIDS crisis?
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    May 01, 2013 9:18 PM GMT
    yourname2000 said
    MisfitToy said
    yourname2000 said
    MisfitToy saidOh I see that gay people travel a lot but better educated and more income?

    I think that's a myth.

    Think of how many LGBT in rural areas and in communities of color that are still struggling.

    http://tinyurl.com/d3ph9xs

    Google's your friend.


    They're going by openly gay people and most of those live in larger metropolitan areas.

    There's a large amount of uncounted poor gays and lesbians who have no voice become of where they live to still in the closet

    Spin reality anyway you like. Facts don't lie. icon_confused.gif


    I'm spinning facts.

    It's almost like the five percent stat. You can only count the ones who are open or live in areas would they would be counted. Almost every gay person I know is broke as hell.
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    May 01, 2013 9:33 PM GMT
    MisfitToy said
    ART_DECO said
    meninlove said
    Yes, I do. AIDS was brandished like a knife by the Religious Right and used to potent effect.

    Agree. HIV/AIDS set us back at least 20 years. And the US Right is still using it against us.

    Do you think we would of mobilized like we did because of the AIDS crisis?

    We were already mobilizing after Stonewall in 1969, and were making advances in the 1970s. AIDS is the hammer the Right Wing used against us, to beat us back.
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    May 01, 2013 9:37 PM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    MisfitToy said
    ART_DECO said
    meninlove said
    Yes, I do. AIDS was brandished like a knife by the Religious Right and used to potent effect.

    Agree. HIV/AIDS set us back at least 20 years. And the US Right is still using it against us.

    Do you think we would of mobilized like we did because of the AIDS crisis?

    We were already mobilizing after Stonewall in 1969, and were making advances in the 1970s. AIDS is the hammer the Right Wing used against us, to beat us back.


    But do you think we would become as much of a force as we did?

    Like Yourname said AIDS made Hollywood side with us and they've been a huge support to us. And they've helped us create to a point images that show us in a different light. It helped us turn politicians to our side.
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    May 01, 2013 9:38 PM GMT
    Maybe AIDS was a necessary evil.
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    May 01, 2013 9:40 PM GMT
    MisfitToy saidMaybe AIDS was a necessary evil.


    Oh god, no. The loss was incalculable, immeasurable. So many friends, boyfriends, wonderful guys, gone long before their time.
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    May 01, 2013 9:41 PM GMT
    yourname2000 said
    MisfitToy saidI'm spinning facts.

    It's almost like the five percent stat. You can only count the ones who are open or live in areas would they would be counted. Almost every gay person I know is broke as hell.

    Right....that's called "anecdotal evidence"....maybe 50% of the people in your city are black...but you can't extend your experience to everyone. Scientific survey is objective and there's enough surveys to confirm that couples without children have more disposable income. And men still make more than women, so a couple made of two men has more disposable income than a heterosexual childless couple.


    The point you arent getting is that there's a lot of inner city gays and lesbians who aren't being counted because they are closeted.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    May 01, 2013 9:43 PM GMT
    Cash said... If only they had lived. ...

    So, so true. icon_sad.gif