Monday: Intro to the Early AIDS Epidemic in the US

To start us off, here’s a little bit of the historical background. We’ll be getting deeper into community activism, safer sex, and the politics and policy issues around HIV/AIDS in later days as well. This isn’t a definitive or comprehensive history, and we absolutely welcome your submissions and suggestions!


In June 1981, the American Centers for Disease Control published reports of unusual disease clusters. Young gay men in Los Angeles dying of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), a rare fungal lung infection. Young gay men in San Francisco and New York City start dying from Kaposi’s sarcoma, a rare cancer. In July, the news finally reached the New York Times: Rare Cancer Seen In 41 Homosexuals.

By the end of 1981, there were a cumulative total of 270 reported cases of severe immune deficiency among gay men, and 121 of those people had died. 5 to 6 new cases were being reported every week. In 1982, the disease was given a name, Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome, and the first cases started being diagnosed in straight intravenous drug users and hemophiliacs.

It’s hard to imagine now, but no one had any idea what was causing these illnesses, and homophobia made it harder to figure out the cause. Scientific theories ranged into ideas that today seem ridiculous: for example, the theory too much anal sex and STDs had overloaded these men’s immune systems to the point of collapse. And systematic homophobia meant that the epidemic was not given the priority that “mainstream” health scares like Legionnaire’s Disease had been given.

Even after the CDC officially described AIDS as an epidemic, it was still not mentioned in Reagan’s press secretary’s briefings except as a joke. In 1983, Health & Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler called AIDS the nation’s “number one health priority,” but no additional funding was given to the CDC or NIH for research. Sometimes localities stepped in: In San Francisco, then-mayor Dianne Feinstein championed education and risk reduction. Sometimes they didn’t: New York’s mayor Ed Koch was silent about AIDS for years as thousands of people died in his city’s hospitals.

Stigma and fear continued to be major factors in treatment and research through much of the 1980s. Doctors and nurses refused to touch AIDS patients, fearing contagion. AIDS advocacy groups were thrown out of their offices by worried landlords. News reports of transmission through casual contact created hysteria, and recommendations ranging from quarantines to mandatory tattooing of all AIDS patients with their status were taken seriously in mainstream public opinion.

In the absence of government response, community groups spring up to provide care. 1982 brought us the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in San Francisco published the first-ever sex-positive safer-sex guide, Play Fair. And in New York, the Gay Men’s Health Crisis was founded by a group that included Larry Kramer. Its story inspired The Normal Heart.

Some general history resources we drew on to write this:

AIDS.gov, “A Timeline of AIDS
AmFAR, “Thirty Years of HIV/AIDS: Snapshots of an Epidemic
Avert (UK), “History of HIV and AIDS in the US.
TheBody.com, “A Look Back at the History of AIDS in the US

Have stories to add? Submit a post, send us an ask, or post your own tagged #normalheart-history and #hiv/aids


Fic: Seeing (Kurt/Blaine honeymoon)

Summary: Kurt and Blaine take an art class with a bunch of old folks while honeymooning in Provincetown. Fluffy fluff (with brief allusion to the early AIDS epidemic) by prompt of lishashisha, who is a darling and has great ideas.

~2,300 words | Teen&Up | Episode 6.08 “A Wedding” & 6.09 “Child Star”

Also on AO3.

* * *


Sue was lying. Kurt and Blaine get Andrew Sullivan’s summerhouse in Provincetown for a full two weeks, not just a weekend.

Which is good, because it takes at least two full days to get into the routine of not doing or worrying about anything, especially with Rachel texting every half hour with panicked messages about bar mitzvahs and New Directions personality conflicts.

Keep reading

Matt Bomer won’t let go of HBO ‘Normal Heart’ role — 'he changed me’

Physical transformation is the surest way for an actor to get an audience’s attention, but the changes went much deeper for Matt Bomer for HBO’s “The Normal Heart.” Bomer says that playing the role of Felix Turner, who becomes ill during the early days of the AIDS epidemic, had a lasting effect on his life, well beyond the 40 pounds he lost for the second half of production.

“I’ve been a fan of the play for over 20 years,” Bomer says. “It was one of those pieces that made me want to become an actor in the first place.” The Ryan Murphy-directed film was written by Larry Kramer, whose play is loosely based on his own life. Mark Ruffalo also stars as Ned Weeks, Felix’s boyfriend and a writer turned activist who starts the Gay Men’s Health Crisis organization to look for the reasons behind a mysterious cancer affecting gay men in the early 1980s. Bomer recently spoke to The Envelope about why the role was so important to him and how difficult it’s been to leave Felix behind.

How did you build your onscreen chemistry with Ruffalo?

We were fortunate enough to film things mostly sequentially for the first half of the film, so we stayed in character together on set. Without sounding overly Methody about the whole thing, we just related to each other as Ned and Felix. If it was a scene where we had to be really tender with each other, we would sit together in closer proximity than actors might normally do and tell each other personal stories, so that when the cameras were rolling, we didn’t suddenly have to affect something. It was coming from a place that we had already created.

his is such an emotional role for you. Was it difficult to leave Felix behind at the end of each day?

I don’t want to let go of Felix. Usually by the time I’m done [with a role], I’m like, “OK, let’s close that chapter and move on,” but I don’t want to let go of him because I think he changed me for the better. I grew from getting to play him. What I love about their relationship is it is so symbiotic, because Felix is having trouble with his authenticity but is also incredibly available to intimacy and a real relationship. And Ned is this firebrand who’s completely authentic, and comfortable with who he is, but is terrified of intimacy. Together they help heal each other.there was a moment when Mark and I — after we finished the wedding scene, which I think was the last thing we filmed together — just held on to each other and sobbed for a good 15 minutes. Not because of anything we had done but because we were a part of this story that was so much bigger than us, and because we knew that this was how a generation of people had to say goodbye to each other. Taking in the gravity of that moment was really overwhelming. It was just one of those things you don’t ever forget.

It’s striking how much this group of people made a lasting impact on history. How important is that activism today?

One thing I hope that the younger generation will take from watching this film is how much we owe to these people who banded together when it was not an easy thing to do. I wouldn’t be able to call Simon [Halls] my husband if it weren’t for these people…. To get to tell the story is a gift, and something I feel that I owe to them.

You’re starting the sixth and final season of “White Collar.” Are you looking ahead to what’s next?

I’m trying to put aside my sadness that this is the last season we’re going to get to work together. It’s a sad thing to think about, having to say goodbye to that. I can’t allow myself to be excited about anything until I’ve processed that moment. [LA Times]

In the Beginning
A new exhibition at the New-York Historical Society traces the early narratives of AIDS in Gotham. Titled AIDS in New York: The First Five Years, the exhibition draws together photographs, audio and video clips, journal entries, newspapers and other items to recount the personal stories, research, activism and hysteria of the “gay plague.”

For more information, click here.

The Bomer Method | OUT June/July 2014

Cover story by Shana Naomi Krochmal 
Photography by Kai Z Feng

How Matt Bomer met Larry Kramer, won his dream role in The Normal Heart, and kept on living his own normal, yet charmed, life.

Read it at OUT.com.

This one means a lot to me. (Related side project: a Tumblr teach-in about the early AIDS epidemic.) I’ll have more outtakes, commentary and miscellany here throughout the week. Extremely HQ cover above, as promised.

As always, hit my ask box with any questions/comments/!!!. <3

Living with AIDS, especially in the early years, was physical and mental torture. It was not dropping cartons of milk on your apartment floor and dying one scene later. It was blood, shit, tears, hatred, disgust, brimstone, alienation and being very alone. It is not something that can be summarized or understood. It is not a history representable by numbers painted on an upstage wall. It cannot be compartmentalized as such.

[…] How many white-washed AIDS testaments can we hear before it becomes a paragraph in a textbook? And what, if anything, will shock us out of our seats and remind us that this is real, and this is still happening?


Why I’m Not Excited For ‘The Normal Heart,’ and It Troubles Me To The Core That Many Are

Sentimental revisionism about the early days of AIDS…

Join @GAYSAGAINSTGUNSNY! Picture: “REAGAN IS KILLING ME,” Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade, San Francisco, June 28, 1987. Photo © S. Bromberger & S. Hoover. “The bitter truth,” Randy Shilts wrote in “And The Band Played On,” “was that AIDS did not just happen to America—it was allowed to happen.” The early history of AIDS in America, Shilts explained, was “a drama of national failure, played out against a backdrop of needless death.” As the New York Times summarized, “even when [the] understanding was dawning and the massive epidemic threat was clear…, the Reagan administration ignored pleas from many scientists and physicians, cut funding mercilessly, and sent its agency heads to mislead Congressional committees by saying that the researchers had everything they needed.” Even when funding for research became available, the right-wing blocked funding for education and prevention; in 1987, for example, at the behest of Senator Jesse Helms, Congress banned the use of federal funds for AIDS education campaigns that “promote[d] or encourage[d], directly or indirectly, homosexual activities.” So, the death toll grew: in 1982, there were 618 AIDS-related deaths in America; in 1985, there were 6,933; in 1988, there were 20,967; in 1992, the number was 38,333; 1995 saw 48,979 deaths, bringing the total number to 319,849. These deaths were allowed to happen because, as Deborah Gould writes in “Moving Politics,” “the overwhelming majority of them were gay and bisexual men, and the others were seen as similarly expendable: drug users as well as poor men and women, a disproportionate number of whom were black and Latin[x].” The level of violence that the gay community faced during the AIDS epidemic’s first decades gave rise to a new generation of gay activism. To read about ACT UP’s response to the AIDS crisis, please go to @GAYSAGAINSTGUNSNY! #lgbthistory #lgbtherstory #lgbttheirstory #lgbtpride #QueerHistoryMatters #HavePrideInHistory #GaysAgainstGuns (at San Francisco, California)

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Did homophobia crush 'The Normal Heart' at the Emmys?

Did “The Normal Heart” practically get shut out at the Emmys by the same anti-gay fears that hurt  ’‘Brokeback Mountain" at the Oscars?

Ryan Murphy’s HBO adaptation of Larry Kramer’s 1985 play about the early days of AIDS was one of last season’s most acclaimed telefilms. In June, it won Best TV Movie at the Critics’ Choice Awards, where Matt Bomer also won Best Supporting Actor in a Movie or Miniseries. At GoldDerby.com, “The Normal Heart” was the overwhelming favorite to win Best TV Movie (14 out of 14 Experts), Supporting Actor (for Bomer, 14 out of 14), Directing (for Murphy, 11 out of 14) and Screenplay (for Larry Kramer, 10 out of 14).

Instead, “The Normal Heart” watched one Emmy nomination after another crash and burn, losing three of its bids to “Sherlock: The Last Vow”: Bomer lost to Martin Freeman, Mark Ruffalo lost to Benedict Cumberbatch, and Kramer lost to Steven Moffat.

What the f*ck happened? Eerily, it was reminscent of “Brokeback Mountain’s” legendary loss at the 1996 Oscars. It, too, lost all its acting bids, but won Direction (for Ang Lee) and Screenplay (for Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana) … yet lost the biggie: Best Picture. “The Normal Heart” also lost all its acting bids, but in a reverse variation. It lost Direction and Screenplay, yet still won the biggie: Best TV Movie. Did the film’s gay sexual content keep the Emmy voters from fully embracing it? Did they give “The Normal Heart” the prize for Best TV Movie, so it wouldn’t get shut out and open up the voters to charges of homophobia?

Or did “The Normal Heart” simply lose its other bids to a superior movie? Until this awards season, “Sherlock” had never won a single Emmy. In 2012, “Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia” was nominated for 13 awards, and lost every one. In 2011, “Sherlock: A Study in Pink” was nominated for 4 Emmys, and lost every one. So why did “Sherlock” win now? Was it merely overdue?

“The Normal Heart” also had a compelling backstory: Imagine the full standing ovation that the ailing, 79-year-old Kramer would’ve received if he had won the Screenplay Emmy, not only for his writing but his nearly 30-year fight to get his story on screen. And a Bomer victory would’ve also made history: He could’ve been the first openly gay actor to win an Emmy for playing a gay role. By contrast, straight actors are cited for their “bravery” and win Emmys for playing gay (i.e., Michael Douglas as Liberace in “Behind the Candelabra”) or Oscars (i.e., Tom Hanks in “Philadelphia”). Does Hollywood assume that it’s not really award-worthy for out actors to play gay roles? [Gold Derby]

HBO’s adaptation of The Normal Heart airs tonight. We’ll be watching, and we hope you will be too.

We’ve collected these resources over the last week—with lots of help—in hopes of providing more context to the story of the early AIDS epidemic than what we’ll see on the screen.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Please, help us spread the word about normalheart-history by reblogging this and our other posts.

Encourage anyone who’s watching the movie to ask us anything  about the people and stories portrayed in the film.

And submit your own story about the epidemic so we can post that, too. 

One thing we know is that so many black women took care of black men in the early days of the AIDS crisis, and still do. But no one is telling that story. And when I say cared for, I mean they moved these men into their homes, or they moved into their homes and made a commitment to be with those men until their last breath. This engagement has always fascinated me. And at the same time, when it comes to HIV / AIDS, I am erased. Black women are at great risk for HIV and yet as a Black queer woman I am cut out of the conversation.
—  Tiona McClodden
Kramer has long believed gay people fight the wrong way. A bitter critic of the promiscuous 1970s-era sex culture, he advocated a politics that presaged today’s fight for marriage. Crucial to his brand of activism was that AIDS was a life-or-death question. But now the urgency seems to have waned. This may be a bad thing for Kramer: If gay men are now able to take a pill to dodge the threat of fatal infection from sex, how will they know to refrain from the promiscuity Kramer thinks is so deadly?

The silences of Larry Kramer’s ‘Normal Heart’: HBO adaptation of his account of AIDS’ early years enshrines his biases as fact

read the whole article, especially if you didn’t live through the worst of the epidemic and don’t understand how conservative and biased kramer’s representations are.

Love and War

Ryan Murphy and his all-star cast bring Larry Kramer’s catalyzing 1985 play The Normal Heart, which captured the early days of the AIDS epidemic to the small screen. 

Should you ever find yourself having to choose the most galvanizing play of the last 30 years, you wouldn’t be wrong to name The Normal Heart, Larry Kramer’s scalding 1985 drama about the HIV/AIDS epidemic then decimating the gay community in America. Written at a time of appalling official apathy, it tells the story of Kramer’s fictional alter ego, Ned Weeks, as he tries to rouse a hostile political and medical establishment to take action against AIDS while desperately urging his fellow gay men to come out of the closet and fight for their lives. At once a manifesto, an indictment, and a cri de coeur, the play has gone from being a searing call for action to a cultural landmark.

“This play is comparable to Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” says playwright Tony Kushner, the author of another groundbreaking play about AIDS, Angels in America. “It’s one of the rare works of American art that had a direct political impact. And it’s still relevant today for many, many reasons, including the silence still surrounding the world pandemic of AIDS.”

The Normal Heart is so undeniably important - 36 million people have died of HIV so far - that it seems incredible nobody ever managed to film it. One who was incredulous is Ryan Murphy, the writer-director-producer best known for creating Nip/Tuck, Glee, and American Horror Story. “I grew up loving the play, he says, "and I remember thinking, Why has this movie not been made? And so he made it.

On May 25, nearly three decades after The Normal Heart premiered at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater in a production directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, HBO will air Murphy’s screen adaptation, which stars Mark Ruffalo, Jim Parsons, Taylor Kitsch, Matt Bomer, and Julia Roberts. Scripted by Kramer, the story carries us from the sun-drenched pleasures of gay parties on Fire Island in the early eighties into the pitch-black of the nascent AIDS epidemic, with its young bodies being devoured by lesions from a virus made all the more terrifying because nobody could explain it. As our heroes - and Robert’s feisty doctor - try to halt its spread, the film bristles with still-fascinating arguments about how to change the world: Is it more effective to work within the system or confront authority? And it captures the irony in the idea that just at the moment when gay men felt liberated to have sex as they chose, they were being asked to curtail it - or die.

In a choice that may well be controversial, Kramer’s play has been substantially retooled, and softened, for a present-day America, where ideas that once made Kramer seem like a revolutionary firebrand have become so mainstream that according to a recent survey, the majority of Americans now support gay marriage. If the film lacks the original’s provocative incandescence, its nuanced performances bring to life the personal dimension of a trailblazing political movement.

"It’s no longer as angry,” says Murphy of this gentler new version, which harks back to the terror and sadness of an era when gay life often looked like a death sentence. “It’s not agitprop. It’s stories about different kinds of love.”

Some of that love is on display in a private dining room at Warner Bros., where I have lunch with Murphy and the male leads from the cast. The room brims with a genuine warmth and enthusiasm, and it’s clear that the actors feel bound by having played a diverse group of gay men who work, flight, love, and grieve in the face of the greatest crisis of their lives. “I would never seriously compare acting to going to war,” says Jim Parsons in the distinctive tones made famous by his role as Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, “but we do feel like we went to battle together.”

Leading the charge was Mark Ruffalo, an actor brilliant enough to have made the Incredible Hulk into an interestingly nuanced character. Himself a political activist on environmental issues, Ruffalo feels a clear affinity with Ned, a well-known writer who helps found a gay health group to deal with the AIDS epidemic, only to have his cofounders accuse him of being too aggressively outspoken in public. “Every movement has that guy,” says Ruffalo, “and they need him.” Yet as Ruffalo plays him, Ned’s fabled stridency is less striking than the sensitivity he shows as he feeds, comforts, and even bathes his dying lover, Felix Turner (Matt Bomer). “You realize that it cost gay people to love at that time,” Ruffalo says. “There were already so many things going against them - and then you add the disease.”

The story really hit home for Bomer, the startlingly handsome star of TV’s White Collar, who plays Felix, a genteel, sweet-smiled New York Times reporter whom we (and Ned) watch waste painfully away. One of the movie’s best surprises, Bomer first read the play as a gay teen in Texas - “I knew it was part of my story,” he says simply - and knocked himself out to land the part of Felix, even charting for Murphy the way AIDS would make Felix’s muscle mass decompose. “It’s the first great role I’ve had the opportunity to do,” he tells me, adding that the experience was profoundly emotional. After shooting their climactic hospital scene, he and Ruffalo hugged and sobbed for so many minutes that everyone left them to be alone on the set.

If Felix casts Bomer in a rich new light, the movie marks a happy return to character work for the charismatic Kitsch, who’s knack for exploring the wayward corners of troubled masculinity (obvious on Friday Night Lights) got lost in misbegotten blockbusters like John Carter and Battleship. Here he plays Ned’s friend Bruce Niles, a corporate type whose poise and martial goods looks should make him the perfect front man for a gay organization - except he’s professionally closeted and believes it’s safer for gay people not to come out. “I’m kind of the villain,” Kitsch says with a wry little smile. “But I found Bruce incredibly relatable. He’s scared and doesn’t know the truth about why people are dying, and he thinks he’s doing the right thing.”

So does the movie’s most practical and even-keeled character, Tommy Boatwright (Parsons), who floats above all the furious arguments about tactics, closeting, and sexual liberation that divide the other activists. Parsons, who played the same role in the 2011 Broadway revival, says that what really connects him to Tommy is less their sexual orientation than their common personality traits: “I do tend to take a somewhat analytical view of things,” he says, “so I like that Tommy’s a peacekeeper who can get along with everyone.”

Oddly enough for a film whose actors are so emotionally naked, nobody exposed himself more on The Normal Heart than the man behind the camera, Murphy. “Ryan can be so clever, so jaded, even world-weary,” says Ruffalo, “that it can keep him from being vulnerable. But with us he created the atmosphere of vulnerability we needed.”

Murphy says that tackling Kramer’s play was daunting, and not simply because it is a modern classic. “The project scared me because it meant so much to me. I came of sexual age in 1982, so that feeling of ‘I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die’ has never left me. I now realize that there was a lot of stuff I didn’t deal with as a young man. Making it was a very cathartic experience, and I hope it is for people watching it.”

For Murphy, the movie is both about the past - it allows those who lives through that time to finally see their story being told - and about today, when countries like Russia and Uganda target gayness and many governments prefer to think that the HIV/AIDS crisis is over even though, on average, 6,300 men and women a day still contract HIV. At the same time, as an openly gay man, he thinks the struggle against the virus depicted in The Normal Heart offers reason for hope.

“Larry and the other organizers were true heroes,” he says. “I have a wonderful life. I’m married, I have a kid, I have freedoms that as a child I never thought I would have. And I don’t think I would have those freedoms without those guys. So I was interested in paying them tribute.” He gives them a little nod: “Thank you for my life.”

Vogue USA May 2014

While trauma keeps us dumbfounded, the path out of it is paved with words, carefully assembled, piece by piece, until the whole story can be revealed.

Activists in the early campaign for AIDS awareness created a powerful slogan: “Silence=Death.” Silence about trauma also leads to death–the death of the soul. Silence reinforces the godforsaken isolation of trauma. Being able to say aloud to another human being, “I was raped” or “I was battered by my husband” or “My parents called it discipline, but it was abuse” or “I’m not making it since I got back from Iraq,” is a sign that healing can begin.

We may think we can control our grief, our terror, or our shame by remaining silent, but naming offers the possibility of a different kind of control.


If you’ve been hurt, you need to acknowledge and name what happened to you. I know that from personal experience as long as I had no place where I could let myself know what it was like when my father locked me in the cellar of our house for various three-year-old offenses, I was chronically preoccupied with being exiled and abandoned. Only when I could talk about how that little boy felt, only when I could forgive him for having been as scared and submissive as he was, did I start to enjoy the pleasure of my own company. Feeling listened to and understood changes something in our physiology; being able to articulate a complex feeling, and having our feelings recognised lights up our limbic brain and creates an “aha moment.” In contrast, being met by silence and incomprehension kills the spirit. Or, as John Bowlby so memorably put it:“What can not be spoken to the [m]other cannot be told to the self.”

If you hide from yourself the fact that an uncle molested you when you were young, you are vulnerable to react to triggers like an animal in a thunderstorm: with a full-body response to the hormones that signal “danger” without language and context, your awareness may be limited to: “I’m scared.” Yet, determined to stay in control, you are likely to avoid anybody or anything that reminds you even vaguely of your trauma. You may also alternate between being inhibited and being uptight or reactive and explosive–all without knowing why.

As long as you keep secrets and suppress information, you are fundamentally at war with yourself. Hiding your core feelings takes an enormous amount of energy, it saps your motivation to pursue worthwhile goals, and it leaves you feeling bored and shut down. Meanwhile, stress hormones keep flooding your body, leading to headaches, muscle aches, problems with your bowels or sexual functions–and irrational behaviors that may embarrass you and hurt the people around you. Only after you identify the source of these responses can you start using your feelings as signals of problems that require your urgent attention.

Ignoring inner reality also eats away at your sense of self, identity, and purpose. Clinical psychologist Edna Foa and her colleagues developed the postraumatic cognitions inventory to assess how patients think about themselves. Symptoms of ptsd often include statements like “I feel dead inside,”“I will never be able to feel normal emotions again,” “I have permanently changed for the worse,” “I feel like an object, not like a person,”“I have no future,” and “I feel like I don’t know myself anymore.”

The critical issue is allowing yourself to know what you know. That takes an enormous amount of courage.


Recovery required learning to tell the truth, even if that truth was brutally painful.

—  Bessel van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

May 25

“The Normal Heart” (9 p.m., HBO)

Ryan Murphy, creator of “Glee” and “American Horror Story,” tackles the most serious subject of his eclectic career when he adapts Larry Kramer’s play “The Normal Heart.” The incendiary work depicts the early years of the AIDS epidemic as the disease devastates a group of professional young men in New York City, some of whom are based on real-life figures. A revival of the play was staged on Broadway a few years ago and won several Tony Awards. [X]

The Normal Heart

Larry Karmer, 1985

The Normal Heart is an important play that discusses an issue we all need to know more about by dealing with the early days of the AIDS crisis in the USA.

Picture source (X)

This revival production of the play sought to reignite an awareness of an issue that never died. In the play, Ned Weeks - a fictional depiction of Kramer himself - gathers a group of diverse gay men to help him make their community aware that attention must be paid to a little-understood but fast-growing health issue.

To show the audience that AIDS is not an “issue of the past” Kramer distributed a letter out on the sidewalk in front of the theater, it is heart-wrenching and it makes you think “What if I’m next? What would I do?”

Letter found - NPR

You are missing a lot, if you are not AT LEAST reading the play.

More insight about the production can be found on this here care of @halapipita

Picture from - LA Times Blogs


/// download here!

In 1983, Americans Richard Berkowitz andMichael Callen published the book How to Have Sex in an Epidemic: One Approach, which is credited as being the first piece of safer sex literature for gay men. In the early days of the AIDS epidemic and in the absence of state action people with HIV and their friends banded together and took things into their own hands. Through advocating the use of condoms and by sharing available HIV prevention information, safer sex in the late 80s and 90s was conceived as a way as a way to take collective accountability for addressing the epidemic, care for one another, and resist fear-based and abstinence-only responses.

Thirty-years after the publication of How to Have Sex in an Epidemic we face a new type of emergency here in Canada. State neglect in the response supporting people with HIV is now coupled with intensified forms of state control, surveillance and criminalization. Canada is among the most punitive countries in the world for HIV-positive people, where the state is turning towards criminalization instead of public education and support.

An anonymous collective of people living with HIV and our allies produced this document. We have no leaders, no spokespeople, and no meetings. Copy this, share it, add to it, and adapt it to your own setting. Join us by doing it. Time is running out!

President Of The Black AIDS Institute: Gay Men In New York Did Not And Do Not Matter

The recent release of the much-anticipated film “The Normal Heart,” which follows a gay activist trying to raise awareness in the early years of the AIDS crisis, has sparked a renewed conversation about the disease…

Critics’ Choice Awards: ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘OITNB,’ ‘Fargo,’ ‘Normal Heart’ Among Top Winners

“Normal Heart” won for best movie and supporting actor in a movie/miniseries for Matt Bomer.

Bomer, star of USA Network’s “White Collar” was emotional in his remarks, thanking his husband, PR maven Simon Halls, and “Normal Heart” director Ryan Murphy for helming the long-awaited film adaptation of Larry Kramer’s groundbreaking play chronicling the early days of AIDS epidemic. “To the generation we lost, I just want to say, we remember you and we honor you. This is for you,” Bomer said, his voice breaking.

Murphy was also feted with the Broadcast Television Journalists Assn.’s “Genius” award.

Fore more go to: Variety