aids related

The original ‘Beauty and the Beast’ cartoon was a metaphor for AIDS

  • During a sit-down with Attitude magazine, Bill Condon — who has directed the new Beauty and the Beast — discussed how the animated feature’s lyricist, Howard Ashman, had HIV, and saw himself reflected in the film’s material.
  • Presented with the initial story ideas, which mostly centered around Belle and her plight, Ashman allegedly pushed for the story take a more sympathetic look at her romantic interest, the titular Beast.
  • Ashman died from complications related to AIDS on March 14, 1991, just four days after the film’s first screening. He was remembered as one of the first openly gay men in show business. Read more (3/1/17 3:56)

I just finished this book. It is a biography of Lou Sullivan, a gay trans activist who laid the groundwork for the ftm community that we have today. This is a truly important work. Despite the fact that gays and lesbians have worked hard to uncover and reclaim their history, we as trans people are still largely disconnected from our past and ignorant of the trailblazers who have made so much of what we have today possible. Lou died of AIDS related complications when I was only a year old, and yet I see echoes of his life’s work here on Tumblr, on YouTube, and in the trans magazines and publications. Reading this was incredibly emotional for me and I feel that this is a very important book and would strongly recommend it. This is our history, and I think it is a powerful thing to learn about it.


The Oscars’ “In Memoriam” tribute left out trans actress Alexis Arquette

  • In an interview with ABC News, Patricia Arquette chided the Academy for leaving out her sister Alexis Arquette, a transgender actress and activist with credits in movies like Pulp Fiction and The Wedding Singer.
  • “I was really pissed off the academy left out my sister Alexis in the memoriam, because Alexis had a great body of work, but Alexis was one of very few trans artists that worked in the business,” she told the outlet.
  • Arquette died in September after battling what People later identified as an “AIDS-related illness.” Read more (2/27/17 2:24 PM)

Felix Gonzalez-Torres “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) 1991 

“This installation is an allegorical portrait of the artist’s partner, Ross Laycock, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1991. The 175 pounds of candy can be seen to correspond to Laycock’s ideal body weight. Adult visitors are invited to take a piece of candy; the diminishing pile parallels Laycock’s weight loss prior to his death. The museum can choose to replenish the pile, metaphorically ensuring Laycock perpetual life, or to let the pile disappear over time.”

As a queer artist Felix has inspired me to not be afraid to make queer art, I am grateful to experience one of his many great pieces of art in real life. This piece will always have a special place in my heart.

Debunking the “Fake Dating/Marriages in the Entertainment industry dont Exist!” Myth

In this post  I want to talk about fake dating and marriages in the entertainment industry. I advise everyone, whether you ship or not, to put aside your viewpoints on shipping and take into consideration the points that I will be making in this post. I will not edit any names in this post for this reason, so if you arent interested please just ignore this and dont give me shyt about why I am ‘tagging’ other ship names. *roll eyes* You have a choice on what you do and dont want to read, and this is also why the ‘keep reading’ option has been included.

Keep reading


Hillary Clinton reminiscing about visiting the AIDS Memorial Quilt in a speech at the 2012 International AIDS Conference.

VOCALS - The Show Must Go On
VOCALS - The Show Must Go On

VOCALS - The Show Must Go On - Queen

Written by Brian May, the song shows the effort to Freddie Mercury to continue to write and sing despite the approaching end of his life. The artist was dying of AIDS-related complications. The singer was ill and could barely walk when the band recorded the song in 1990. Brian was unsure whether Mercury was physically able to sing it.

“I said, ‘Fred, I don’t know if this is going to be possible to sing.’ And he went, ‘I’ll fucking do it, darling’ — vodka down — and went in and killed it, completely lacerated that vocal.“

Freddie recorded it in one take, one of the most remarkable vocal interpretations of the artist in his later years.


On September 5th, 1991, I put a giant condom over Jesse Helms’ house.

Why? Because, as the condom said, “Helms is deadlier than a virus.” Senator Jesse Helms was one of the chief architects of AIDS-related stigma in the U.S. He fought against any federal spending on HIV research, treatment or prevention. He once said, referring to homosexuals, “it’s their deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct that is responsible for the disease.” Here’s another choice one: “There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy.”

-Peter Staley

Are you a gay trans man or woman who has been able to medically transition without your sexuality getting in the way? You have a trans man to that for that.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 16, 1951 Lou Graydon Sullivan grew up with a complicated relation with gender and sexuality. Pre-transition in his publication “A Transvestite Answers a Feminist”, he says, “at age 5 I had a Davy Crockett birthday party. The climax was when I appeared. I was Davy Crockett and I can still remember my thrill at the moment”.  At age 17, he had a self-described “feminine” male partner. The two of them played with gender roles and were very attracted to the gay liberation movement. From early in his life he felt an attraction towards effeminate gay men especially.

In 1973 he was identifying as a female transvestite. He immersed himself and was accepted by the Milwaukee gay drag scene. During this time, he began to furiously research historical FtM transsexuals, disparately searching for another gay trans man but continually coming up empty. He would sometimes wonder if he was delusional.

In 1975 he moved to San Francisco. By this point he was recognizing himself as FtM, but felt isolated in the exclusively MtF community. The day he was to start individual therapy, the story of another FtM man broke. Steve Dain had transitioned in the Bay Area and desired to continue to work in the school where he taught, though switching from girls to boy coach. This was Sullivan’s first contact with another FtM individual and he followed the story (the principal reacted phobically, Dain won a series of lawsuits and ultimately was forced to leave his job. He did, however, find success as a chiropractor.). He contacted Dain, making his first contact with another FtM man.

When Sullivan attempted to start physical transition, he was routinely denied on the basis of his sexual orientation. At the time, heterosexuality was a prerequisite for transition. He  campaigned for, and was eventually successful in, removing homosexuality as something that barred a person from transition. He was able to obtain hormones and top surgery. However, when seeking a phalloplasty, the gender clinics still denied him even though he had happily been living as a gay man for years. He eventually went to a doctor and in 1986 obtained what the doctor called a “ganitalplasty”. It was after this surgey he was diagnosed with Aids and given ten months to live.

Upon his diagnosis, he wrote, “I took a certain pleasure in informing the gender clinic that even though their program told me I could not live as a Gay man, it looks like I’m going to die like one.” He ultimately died on March 2, 1991 at 39 from AIDS-related complications. He left an organization, now known as FTMI, or Female to Male International and a series of books and pamphlets he wrote for FtM individuals that are still used to this day. He was identified as the first trans man to die from AIDS.

He is largely the reason we see sexuality and gender as separate entities. Lou Sullivan is a trans man who left the world better for being in it. I, as a gay trans man, owe him a debt for being able to live as I do.

A government-supported public discussion broadened and deepened in the period between the 1985 conference and a second held in the city of Karl-Marx-Stadt in 1988.

Hillhouse concluded in her 1990 article that “The new openness concerning homosexuality was evident not only in literature and scientific publications, but also in print and broadcast media. In 1984 the popular monthly health magazine, Deine Gesundheit (Your Health), began printing a series of readers’ letters on homosexuality; soon after, several other major publications published substantial articles on sexual orientation.”

More than 200 articles on homosexuality were printed in the GDR during the 1980s, she continued, mostly about gay males. (Slavic Review, Winter 1990)

Articles about same-sex love appeared in the press and were incorporated into some state radio and television station programming. Much of this information was aimed at youth–an audience with many questions about sexuality.

When public media focused on AIDS education, same-sex relations were not portrayed as a central feature. And it is important to recall that everyone in the GDR enjoyed free medical care.

The television health program “Visite” broadcast a report in September 1987 “that described homosexuality as an entirely natural variation of human sexuality.” (Hillhouse)

The following year, the state film company DEFA, working with gay and lesbian activists, produced East Germany’s first documentary about “the satisfactions and problems” facing same-sex couples, called “Die andere Liebe” (The Other Love).

In 1989 DEFA also released “Coming Out,” a feature film about a gay teacher.

The same year, literature with gay themes was published, including a book about the life histories of several gay men in the GDR, compiled and written by a gay man.

“Important social institutions also began to implement reforms with great speed,” Parsons continued.

“For example, the Commission on Marriage and the Family, which is responsible for running a system of counseling centers, passed a resolution asserting that the national network of sexuality and family counseling centers should aid in dismantling prejudices regarding homosexuality and foster the integration of gay men and lesbians into society.”

Same-sex love was significantly included in a new sex education curriculum for the public school system.

A chapter on lesbian and gay identity in the 1984 edition of the standard sex-education textbook presented homosexuality as a natural variation of sexual identity. Lesbianism was part and parcel of this chapter. The book included among its sexually frank and romantic photos two men together and two women lying naked in each other’s arms.

And most significantly, the book acknowledged that the main problems faced by homosexuals result from persecution and isolation, which themselves stem from social discrimination and homophobia.

—  Leslie Feinberg, Lesbian, gay, bi and trans pride series part 22, Workers World newspaper (Dec. 9, 2004)

Felix Gonzalez-Torres
Untitled, 1991

Billboard; dimensions vary with installation.

“Between February 20 and March 18, Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s “Untitled” (1991) peppered the New York skyline, on six billboards throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. With locations ranging from 10th Avenue near the Javits Center to the far corners of Brighton Beach, the work reached diverse populations and altered the associated media landscapes. The provocative yet ambiguous image on each—an enlarged black-and-white photograph of the artist’s recently shared double bed—stood out amid the text-heavy advertising signage that dominates the city. Devoid of the text, logos, or captions typically associated with billboards, this work summoned a second look or even a momentary pause, the introspective quality of the image bringing a perceptible stillness to the surrounding bustle of the city.

…Throughout his work, Gonzalez-Torres (American, born Cuba. 1957–1996) questioned the notion of the unique art object, making series of works based on identical pairs (two clocks ticking side-by-side, two mirrors embedded in a wall) or finding inspiration in the possibilities of endless reproducibility (stacks of sheets as give-aways for visitors, piles of candy to be continually replenished). He wanted his work to be disseminated, to exist in multiple places at the same time, and to be realized completely only through the participation of the viewer, which he described as “one enormous collaboration with the public,” in which the “pieces just disperse themselves like a virus that goes to many different places—homes, studios, shops, bathrooms, whatever.” Reproducibility, collaboration, and circulation—sound familiar? His particular approach, which has been enormously influential for contemporary artistic practice, also made Gonzalez-Torres an essential presence…

For Gonzalez-Torres, art was an effective means of addressing social concerns—even more so when it could be multiplied. Inhabiting the familiar forms of Minimalism and post-Minimalism with his stacks and floor pieces, the artist embedded subtle but insistent references to current issues, from political violence to gay rights. In billboard projects like “Untitled”, the artist played with the powerful juxtapositions that could be generated between private and public spaces. By choosing this photograph of his bed, the artist exposed this most intimate of spaces, emphasized by the rumpled sheets and the recent impressions of two heads in the pillows. In the early 1990s, with controversies surrounding homosexuality and the AIDS crisis simultaneously wreaking havoc across the gay community, the bed also represented a site of conflict, symbolizing both love and death. That Gonzalez-Torres’s partner, Ross, died of AIDS in 1991 brings an intensely personal note to this work, but does not diminish it of its universal associations with comfort, intimacy, loneliness, or loss.

Every time I passed by my “local” billboard, on Queens Boulevard and Van Dam Street, I stopped to take it in again. It is a commanding work, even capable of overshadowing the roar of the elevated 7 train and the honking cars exiting the Long Island Expressway (not an easy task!). The presentation in Print/Out marks the 20th anniversary of the first realization of “Untitled”, for MoMA’s Projects 34: Felix Gonzalez-Torres, organized by Anne Umland in 1992. Imagining the future reception of this work, Umland presciently wrote in that exhibition’s accompanying brochure, “A photograph promises the possibility of replication, of reemergence in a different time and under different historical circumstances, a moment when this poignant image of ‘a dwelling in the evening air’ may come to mean very different things.” I look forward to seeing the next iteration!”

-Kim Conaty

Felix Gonzales-Torres - “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.)

An allegorical portrait of the artist’s partner, Ross Laycock, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1991.

It is comprised of 175 pounds of candy, corresponding to Ross’s ideal body weight. Viewers are encouraged to take a piece of candy, and the diminishing amount parallels Ross’s death.

Gonzalez-Torres stipulated that the pile be continuously replenished, granting perpetual life.

With the help of @elvenclub we have gathered a list of queer entertainment for you to consume when you are looking for some good queer media


Sense 8 – Eight people discover that they have become psychically linked to each other, and use this bond to escape people who would seek to destroy them. Among the cast is a trans lesbian hacker, a closeted Latino actor.

A Single Man – A day in the life of an English Professor after his long-term lover dies in a car crash. Stars Colin Firth. This is both heart-warming and bittersweet. Bring the hankies.

I love you, Phillip Morris – A con man finds the love of his life in prison and works to free him in this black romantic comedy. Stars Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor. Insanely sweet in its way and worth a watch with ice cream on a rainy day, or if you need something not doom and gloom.

Holding the Man – Two boys in high school discover they have feelings for each other. Despite being complete opposites, they work through the difficult life of homosexuality from the 1960s onwards. Warnings for Aids related story and bereavement.

The Out List – A documentary about notable LGBT+ personalities that discusses being openly LGBT+ today.

De-Lovely – A musical portrait of Cole Porter’s life, from his meeting Linda until his death. Still can’t get the tunes out of my head.

Books (and Comics)

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters – An oyster girl in North England falls in love with a ‘masher’ (a woman who performs variety acts in men’s clothing) and runs away with her to Victorian London. There, she becomes part of the act until she discovers a shocking revelation. Eventual happy ending.

Fun Home: A Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel – The biography of Bechdel’s home life and her discovery of her homosexuality, she compares her struggles with the struggles of her closeted father. Engaging read that is frank, honest and funny, while able to be serious when it needs to be.

Love is Love – In honour of those lost in Orlando, DC and IDW co published a graphic novel that celebrates the LGBT+ community and mourns those lost in the Orlando Shooting. All proceeds go to the survivors and families of the victims.

If I was your girl by Meredith Russo – A coming of age story about a trans girl who falls in love with a boy at her new school, yet fears the repercussions of revealing her past.


Matt Fishel – A gay singer/song writer who writes about his experiences as a gay man in London in a humorous way.

Hayley Kikeyo – A Sapphic singer/song writer who sings about her experiences as a lesbian in awesomely catchy pop tunes.

Jenny by Studio Killers – a song about a woman trying to tell her best friend that she is in love with her.


Unspeakable Things by Laurie Penny – An award-winning journalist from London, Penny’s book lays out the ins and outs of patriarchy in a clear and decisive way. She discusses the harmful effects of patriarchy for men, women and everyone in-between.

Meat Market: Female Flesh under Capitalism by Laurie Penny – A smaller book by Penny, she discusses how female sexuality is taken from women only to be repackaged and sold back to them.

by Diamanda Galas

In 1992, when I wrote “we are all HIV positive” on my hand with a tattoo artist from Brooklyn, I said several things: One was that you may not separate the uninfected from the infected as so many so-called liberal doctors wanted to do, by putting the infected on Plum island outside of New York City. You cannot separate the uninfected from the infected by denying them access to your country. You cannot separate the uninfected from the infected by putting the infected on a separate floor that has red danger contagion signs and giving them crap to eat and instructing Catholic nurses not to administer painkillers to the guilty and allowing Catholic priests to visit them and inform them of their future in Hell if they do not confess that their entire life has been a crime. You cannot separate the infected from the uninfected by saying I do not have AIDS, I have syphillis, but most assuredly nothing to do with HIV, and then allow them to die an early death because they would rather die of the disease than the stigma, as so many did, and do, including my best friend– in 1996–who would be living today if he had not been petrified of the stigma and intentionally saw a doctor whose research was based on the option and the opinion that HIV did not cause AIDS. A second opinion, or better yet,my friend’s own research with other researchers would have been smarter. He knew better, but he told me when we first met in 1989 that he would kill himself if he were diagnosed with HIV. No matter what I said to him he continued to visit the one practitioner who would condone this denial for six years until it was too late, and the following year protease inhibitors hit the market—the year after he died. No, you cannot separate the uninfected from the infected by saying “I do not suffer from this virus: I have been spared.” Because one day, in one city, in one moment, you will learn that you suffer from some virus, some pathogen, something poisonous that will not exit from your body; and you will realize that you do not mourn the dead, you mourn the suffering of the living while they are still alive. No one can escape death, and worse than that, no one can escape the life of anything and everything that smells your blood and lives because of it.


anonymous asked:

hi, i'm hiv-, but i like to consider myself well educated on criminalization and serophobia and hiv/AIDS in general (im a gay history minor, so, haha). when people ask me about topics relating to hiv, should i answer them myself to the best of my ability, or do you think it's better to pass them over to actual educators or people living w/ hiv who would know more than me? especially with ethical questions

don’t be afraid to speak up! 

HIV+ people are demographically small - and in many situations even otherwise openly HIV+ people do not feel comfortable disclosing their status to engage in HIV/AIDS-related talk. as a result, we need HIV- people who are ready & willing to share accurate information & analysis about HIV/AIDS, especially in LGBT circles.

obviously if someone were to ask “how does it feel to live with HIV”, “what types of serophobia have you encountered”, or a similar question, it wouldn’t be appropriate to speak for experiences you haven’t lived, but otherwise if you’re educated it is absolutely appropriate to spread your knowledge! just be sure you’re leaving room for others to join the discussion😊


Remembering Our Dead: AIDS Quilt Panels of Bisexual People who had passed from AIDS. A ceremony of love and remembrance held during the US Bisexual Conference held in June 1990 in San Francisco CA USA.

AIDS had a profound effect on the bisexual movement. Bi men were stigmatized as spreaders of HIV from homosexuals to the “general population.” In the late 1980s, as awareness of AIDS in women increased, bisexual women began be to stigmatized as spreaders of HIV to lesbians.

These developments spurred discussions about the distinction between sexual behavior and sexual identity (for example, many self-identified bisexual women did not have sex with men, while many self-identified lesbians did). Activists and public health officials alike began to emphasize behavior, not identity, as a risk factor for HIV infection. Many men who had been leaders in the bisexual movement became ill or died, and many other bi men and women turned their attention to AIDS-related activism and service work…

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, students and youth became more active in the bisexual movement. College students began to include bisexuals by name in campus gay and lesbian organizations, with over 100 such groups in existence by the end of the decade…

At the same time, a new “queer movement” had begun to take shape. Young activists, many of whom were involved with the AIDS activist group ACT UP, formed Queer Nation in the summer of 1990 … Parts of the new movement emphasize the inclusion of bisexuals, transgender and other sexual minorities under the queer umbrella; other parts are less welcoming to those who are not exclusively homosexual…

In June 1990, BiPOL organized a US National Bisexual Conference in San Francisco, with over 400 attendees. The conference was comprised of over eighty workshops on a broad range of subjects.

~excerpt from pamphlet “A Brief History of the Bisexual Movement” Liz Highleyman with editorial assistance from M Beer, S Berger, D Berry, W Bryant, A Hamilton and R Ochs, originally published by the Bisexual Resource Center late 1990’s last updates in 2001.

ovrkill  asked:

i hope you understand why someone might not want you saying queer, right?

its so funny how everyone thinks that anyone who uses queer must not know its history as being used as a slur. yes it was used as a slur and was reclaimed as a way to derive power from the word, unite everyone under a queer community, and actually historically came from important AIDS activism. Queer Nation, an important activist group formed during the AIDS crisis (closely related to ACT UP, an AIDS activist group), was formed in order to combat violence against queer people. Queer has political meaning, a word reclaimed to mean inclusivity, power, and resistance. Queer has academic significance as well, the development of queer theory and the recent upsurge in academic study of lgbtq peple and intersections has been so significant for the community and for queer and trans people like myself who now can study queer theory in college and graduate school. As a more inclusive and expansive term, ‘queer’ makes academic theorizing so much better. And then there’s the fact that people like myself because of these reasons and many more feel truly connected to queerness and feel powerful in self identifying as queer. I didn’t feel like any label for my sexuality or identity truly fit me until I discovered the word ‘queer’ and really after I started studying queer theory, I feel even stronger about the word and its significance for me. I also use the word as a blanket term to describe the queer community which I find is the easiest and most inclusive method. People have told me to not use it as a blanket term because they are gay and don’t like the word queer being used for themselves, but when i say ‘the queer community’ or I use it as a blanket descriptor, I’m really only talking about those who identify as ‘queer’ or who would use that word. So if you are offended by it, just know I’m not talking about you when I say ‘the queer community’ or ‘queer people’. So really I think its funny that people complain about me using the word as if I don’t know its history, chances are I know its history better than you do.