It’s been more than two years since legendary screen siren Elizabeth Taylor died at age 79 and her loss is not only felt by the entertainment industry and her legion of fans but by LGBT activists, as well. Among them is out entertainer Cheyenne Jackson, who has served as an international ambassador for amfAR for the past seven years. The powerful AIDS advocacy group is a result of the combined relentless determination of Taylor and Dr. Mathilde Kim to fund research and education about the disease.
Following the Outfest screening of The Battle of amfAr, a documentary from Oscar-winning director Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, on Sunday, Jackson expressed that he is irked that some young people are so uneducated about the struggles gay people have faced and their general indifference to the AIDS epidemic.
“It’s the arrogance of youth,” Jackson suggested. “The lack of education, especially among the twenty-somethings, they don’t know their history and it pisses me off. I talk to these 22 or 23 years olds and there is so much rampant unsafe sex and they think, ‘Oh, I’ll take a pill’…Half of them don’t even know what Stonewall is and I just want to knock their heads together.”
Jackson, whose gorgeous new pop album, I’m Blue, Skies, is now available, also finds it lamentable that no high-profile celebrity has stepped up to take over Taylor’s mission.
“I’m baffled that some people don’t even know what amfAR is,” he said. “I think we need this generation’s Elizabeth Taylor – someone beautiful and well spoken like Jennifer Lawrence.”
Photo: By Doug Inglish/CheyenneJackson.com