Generational divide

Alan Cumming says some younger gay men don’t care about the AIDS epidemic

While promoting his new film After Louiewhich tells the story of an aging AIDS activist coming to terms with a modern LGBTQ movement that seems to have left his generation behind, Alan Cumming had some interesting remarks about how younger gay men today view HIV/AIDS.

“That sort of discussion between an older gay man and a younger gay man, and the differences between their generations, is happening everywhere,” he tells The Guardian.

“It’s pandemic, and yet I’ve never really seen it represented in a film. I know so many older gay men who are like: ‘You don’t know what the AIDS crisis was like,’ but I also know a lot of young gay guys who are like: ‘Who cares?’”

Yes and no. Sure, younger generations don’t know what the AIDS crisis was like. Mainly because they weren’t alive at the time. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t care.

Cumming continued:

I can see it from both sides. I can understand why younger people can feel slightly patronized by older people who lived through it. But at the same time, I can also understand the bewilderment and despair that people from an older generation went through. I know people who went through all that, who are like: ‘Isn’t it amazing that these kids don’t have to worry like we did?’

It is, indeed, amazing. At the same time, there’s still much work to be done.