LGBT History Month

Out Of The Past: We Were Here Travels To The Dawn Of The AIDS Crisis In SF


In urging friends to go see We Were Here, a new documentary about the dawn of the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco, I’ve been met with a lot of “I already know about that” and “Um, that sounds depressing.” But director David Weissman (The Cockettes), never intended to make downer.

“I wanted to make an inspiring movie,” Weissman tells Queerty. “It’s really an advocacy film for compassion and community engagement.”

Read full story here.

Images via We Were Here, Cleveland International Film Festival

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  • Pitou

    I wish this would come around to New England… maybe something less remote then Bangor Maine! I REALLY want to see this!

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    What is it with too many gay people not wanting to know about their own history? I’ve met white gay people who know more about black history, than queer history.

    A few years ago, some twenty-something moron said to me, “That’s all about old gay guys getting AIDS, and dying. That’s not me, that’s not my life.”

    Those “old gay guys” died fighting for the freedom you have today!

  • jason

    The problem with many gay-identifying men is that they lead suicidal lifestyles. They haul themselves from one anonymous sexual encounter to another in the search for peroonal fulfilment, only to find that they go home depressed and thus needing more of the same type of fulfilment the next day. It’s a cycle of endless nothings.

    When you build your community on a sex act, you are defined by that sex act. Having lots of sex acts of the anonymous, promiscuous kind will define you thus. You will get lots of ailments because you are in contact with many different people.

  • ewe

    wow. wow wow wow wow. I am reminded clearly when he says it was perplexing that this was “the normal.” Having spent the entire 80s and 90s living in San Francisco i routinely pinch myself being extremely grateful for my excellent health and well being. I sit here in my own company having moved so far beyond those times. I am alive when so many are not. I am moving through middle age when so many cannot. It is a good thing to pay homage to everyone who is no longer here. Can you imagine how much brigher this world would be if AIDS had not occurred? This film is the story of my life and the story of so many other people. It’s way overdue. Thank you to David Weissman for saying “probably more than anything, i made (the film) for gay men…”

  • ewe

    @jason: STFU Jason. You are an idiot. Nothing like painting everyone with your personal broad ignorant stroke. Say your fucking sorry asshole.

  • ewe

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones: I remember when my own friend (who later died of AIDS) looked at me in 1984 and said “ugh, that only happens to transvestites on O’farrell Street.” Shit shit shit shit shit i felt. I am so grateful i became afraid at that same time. When the film “Longtime Companion” came out and i saw Campbell Scott washing his hands in the hospital room, i completely broke down in sobs. It was the first time i saw who i was. This movie is moving on so many levels if we just accept it as an expression of love.

  • Nick

    @jason: If only we weren’t persecuted like you’re doing right now, maybe our suicidal “lifestyles” wouldn’t be a problem.

  • ewe

    We did not get the word out as fast as we should have. I distinctly remember The STUD Bar hopping in 81 right up until 83 when i stopped frequenting it. It was like nothing was going on in so many social circles even though we all knew it was happening “out there somewhere.” And then it just got worse and worse and worse and as Weissman says NORMAL.

  • ewe

    If anyone is to blame for so much loss let us never forget it is Ronald Reagan. That’s how i feel about it. I remember sweetly a protest where some quick thinking leaders had the crowd circle around in such a way that the police all of a sudden were penned in by people. IT WAS POWERFUL to see the police surrounded by gay men looking out at us instead of in. OWS should take note of that tactic.

  • jason

    Well, my experience with gay men is that most of them are cowards who play the victim card. They claim they are persecuted by society – which they undoubtedly are – but then behave in ways which validate that persecution – eg by hiding away in ghettos, trawling through dark sex clubs at night, and having secret sex with married men at beats and parks.

    You can’t possibly defend the contradiction here. Gay men are living contradictions. It stems from cowardice. If you were truly courageous, you’d walk down the street holding your partner’s hand. And I’m talking about Main Street, not the street that runs through Greenwich Village.

  • ewe

    @jason: You mean minorities are searching for love too Jason?

  • jason

    Reagan? Oh, please, give me a break. Stop blaming Reagan for your woes. Reagan did nothing to hurt you. In fact, Reagan stood up for gay rights when they tried to ban gay teachers in California in the 1970’s.

    You’re playing the perpetual victim card here. Oh, it was Reagan. Reagan is to blame for anything. Forget about my sleazy, promiscuous behavior with total strangers. Forget about my avid amyl sniffing. Forget about my use of drugs that lower the immune system. It’s all Reagan’s fault.

    Sheesh, you gay guys really need to have your minds re-aligned. They’re out of whack.

  • jason

    Everyone is entitled to love but the way many gay men go about it is cowardly. You confine yourselves to small enclaves because you’re too cowardly to go out in the mainstream and stand up to the bigots.

  • jason

    Message to gays who play the perpetual victim card on the AIDS issue: don’t come here and say you lost your partner due to Reagan. Reagan didn’t cause your partner to inject drugs. Reagan didn’t cause your partner to have promiscous sex with total strangers. Reagan didn’t cause you to sniff amyl nitrate. It was you who did it, not Reagan.

  • ewe

    @jason: I don’t have woes anymore Bitch. You selfish fucking tart. You don’t fucking know that your words have nothing to do with your own personal experience. You sit in judgement of people and promote generalization and stereotypes. No one is doing to you so you have no defense to do that to anyone else. Yes Reagan honey. Ask any gay man over 46. Reagan was not president when he was governor. You are the one with gutter mind telling every gay man they are sleazy cock sucking anonymous sex fiends. You are a disgrace.

  • jason


    No I’m not. I’m simply telling you what I see on the gay social scene. I’ve been to saunas, sex clubs etc where I take notes. I’ve even stood by closed doors of cubicles to hear what’s going on. More often than not, not a word is spoken.

    Stop blaming Reagan for acts of personal irresponsibility.

  • ewe

    @jason: Following your logic a United President has no power at all. Fool. Stop distorting the way right wing fundamentalists do. Gay people are also a constituency and have the right to expect representation from the person holding the highest elected office. You are a fucking idiot.

  • ewe

    @jason: No you stop. Stop blaming people for being ill. Stop persecuting the dead. You piece of shit.

  • ewe

    @jason: you take notes in bath houses? what do you have on? A pair of eyeglasses and a pocketful of pencils? Is that a uniform to turn people on or something? Sort of creepy in a …. oh i don’t know how to or what to say to that. You put your ear up to hear strangers having sex and hear nothing? then you persecute gay men for having anonymous sex? OK. Whatever. lmao.

  • ewe

    @jason: what do you mean you are taking notes? Are you applying for a position with the CIA?

  • ewe

    @jason: wierd kinky twisted. You need to concentrate on yourself. ok? Enough said.

  • geoff

    Jason: you go to saunas, sex clubs etc. and stand by closed doors and take notes? you must be some sort of walking creep-fest.

  • jason

    Again, stop blaming Reagan for your woes.

    Reagan didn’t stick the bottle of amyl up your nose. Reagan didn’t force you to have sex with 5 strangers in one night. Reagan didn’t insist that you dance at a smoky nightclub until 7 in the morning. Regan didn’t push you into taking those pills that keep you awake at night, a time when your body is normally craving for the type of rest that keeps your immune system in a state of healthy balance.

    It’s always Reagan, Reagan, Reagan. How about looking in the mirror for a change?

  • ewe

    @jason: i never said a thing about Rush or amyl nitrate or whatever the hell you talkin about. You don’t even know who i have had sex with fool much less how many times. I don’t even know. OH AND I’M STILL HERE!!!! So much for your theory. What pills are you talking about? I am HIV negative so what are you talking about???? My mirror is fine girl. May i suggest you visit a local therapist? I think that would be a healthy avenue for YOU to take.

  • ewe

    I blame the Bummer for not evolving on marriage equality too. Will that promote you to accuse gay men of being promiscuous. Take it back fool. You are digging a hole.

  • Michael


    Ewe may be an asshole but hes correct in you not knowing anything about him in that specific area.

    Not to mention ive had friends with AIDS myself still do people make mistakes you have no right to condemn them vilify them or treat them as outcasts though just because some people in this world have contracted AIDS who happen to be gay.

  • jason


    You’re right, I don’t anything about Ewe. But I’m not referring to Ewe specifically. I’m simply using “you” in the general sense, not the “ewe” sense. The only time I’m responding to Ewe personally is when I criticize his comments on Reagan.

    Nothing grates on me more than gay men who play the victim card when it is they themselves who contributed to their own destruction with some incredibly horrible behavior. I’m sorry but I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Eyes don’t lie.

  • ewe

    @jason: Well then see with your eyes that i am typing on this keyboard and realize that that has nothing to do with ones own destruction. Reagan vicimized people. I don’t give a shit whether you accept that or not. Talking about that fact is not playing the victim card.

  • jason

    As for “AIDS crisis”, there was no AIDS crisis. It was more a crisis of behavior. It was the product of shocking promiscuity and hedonism. If anything, it should be called a behavior crisis.

    If you want to keep claiming that you were all poor little souls blighted by this uncontrollable plague, you are sadly misguided. There was no plague of the biological kind. Of the behavioral kind, yes.

  • Michael


    Look I agree that some people just fuck and fuck and fuck without any social conscience or understanding of how dangerous that can be and what can happen because of it.My point is though that not every gay man is like that in the first place and as far as Reagan is concerned he was a horrible man and he was extremely anti gay in more ways then one sadly.

  • jason

    Reagan was right. He refused to bow to the political correctness of the AIDS misery industry. Good on him is what I say.

    Reagan helped to block a law that was going to ban gay teachers. He knew that such a law was going to harm the cause of freedom. Reagan was a great freedom fighter.

    What have you lot ever done for freedom? Sit at home and whine? Go to your local gay coffee shop and have a gay capuccino sprinkled with gay sugar? Walk down to the gay bar and have a gay beer served by a gay guy with awful tattoos wearing a blue singlet?

    I can think of a million better things to do than spend my time complying with the gay pity industry and its segregation-loving cultist mentality. I’m going to be out in the mainstream being myself and defending myself if necessary. I’ll learn the martial arts and won’t hesitate to bash back against homophobes.

    Oh, and I’ll have Reagan on my side because it was Reagan who believed in fearless freedom fighters. You lot generally don’t believe in anything other than having a good time.

  • Dallas David

    Wow . . . What kind of nut goes around taking notes of what other people say and do when they have sex?

    Nevertheless . . . I’m glad to see this story being told. I’m sure it will be under-appreciated by younger folks, and forgotten in a few decades, and I suppose it’s just as well it is.
    Anytime that people are able to forget their tragedies, it’s a good thing. Of course, it’s better to keep a record of the events so later generations can benefit from the lessons we learned. And this is what this documentary does.

    We did what anyone ever does — the best we can with what we have to work with. All in all, I think we did pretty good. And it’s a good story to tell.

  • Michael


    You must be self loathing for any gay man to DEFEND Reagan is absolutely fucking ridiculous he was not YOUR friend my friend none of ours.He HATED us and vilified us and attempted to slander what we stand for.You apparently have no shame.

  • ewe

    @jason: there was no AIDS crisis you say? I am done talking to someone like you. You’re damn lucky you are not saying that to my face. I would wring your fucking neck. Fuck off. You are not worth any more of my time.

  • jason

    Dallas David,

    Cheap shot. It’s healthy to take mental notes of people’s behavior. It’s an educational experience. It schools you in the way of life.

    I would take Reagan over Obama anyday.

  • matt

    @jason: Dude poppers and drugs have NOTHING to do with AIDS, even if those things did weaken the immune system as you are suggesting it wouldn’t matter because AIDS destroys the immune system, it doesn’t matter if you have the strongest immune system in the world, you will still die unless you get on ARVs.

    As many as 250,000 people in the US had HIV before anyone started dieing of AIDS, accurate information about how to protect yourself from the disease wasn’t out until thousands had already died. Are you suggesting that these men are supposed to have known beforehand that a deadly disease was going to come kill them all? The concept of “safe sex” for gay men DID NOT EXIST prior to the epidemic. No, they should have been good little conservatives like you and known beforehand that promiscuity is icky and immoral.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones


    I’ve been to saunas, sex clubs etc where I take notes. I’ve even stood by closed doors of cubicles to hear what’s going on.

    That’s seriously fucked up, Jason. The idea of some perv crawling around bathhouses listening in on sex acts is bizarre.

  • jason

    Mr Enemabag Jones,

    You mean as opposed to the pervs inside the cubicle who will lie on a cum-stained (from previous occupants) bench while they perform sexual acts on each other without saying a word and without knowing the remotest about the other person’s sexual health and history?

    Yeah, life’s so ironic, ain’t it?

  • jason

    Oh, by the way, I’m a very compassionate person. I believe that sick people should be cared for. I have sympathy for anybody who has an illness. I would care for them myself if they were nearest and dearest to me.

    What I DON’T like is people who contribute to their own illness and then play the victim card, blaming all and sundry for the predicament that they got into. I have no time for this attitude. It’s hypocritical and dishonest.

  • Ogre Magi

    Why were so many gay men wearing mustaches back then?

  • matt

    @jason: I’m not surprised that you still haven’t responded after I called you out on your complete and total ignorance on AIDS, allow me to reiterate.

    1. It is estimated that 250,000 people had HIV before ANYONE knew what was going on. Those people all died and no amount of “personal responsibility” could have stopped it because NO ONE KNEW what was happening. Even after people started dieing it took years before the gay community clearly got the message that the disease was transmitted almost exclusively through sex. A test for HIV wasn’t even widely available until 5 years after the epidemic started.

    2. You mentioned drugs, lack of sleep, and amyl nitrate several times. Those things have NOTHING to do with AIDS and the very fact that you kept mentioning them proves that you’re a moron. Some doctors believed that amyl nitrate was the cause of AIDS in 1981-1982 but it was quickly abandoned as a theory after people other than gay men started getting AIDS.

  • Samuelvick

    It’s there fault for getting HIV and die from AIDS than being in monogamy relationship and had some moral and good value.

  • jason


    Oh, please, get a life. There are tons of people out there with diminished immune systems who do not have HIV. Their immune deficiency therefore does not co-exist with the virus. They are deficient because of poor lifestyle choices, such as drug use.

    The discovery of HIV was simply the result of technological wizardry that detected a virus that has been there for millions of years. Viruses are discovered all the time due to enhanced technology. It does NOT mean they are new viruses, it simply means that they are newly discovered.

    HIV has been around for millions of years and has not caused pandemics or AIDS. The reason AIDS assumed the proportion it did was because it was a useful marketing term for the drugs firms and their greedy ways, not to mention gay men who wanted to blame everybody else – including a virus – for their illnesses.

    Do yourself a favor and wake up to it.

  • ewe

    @matt: I distinctly remember, after the first major wave of deaths, people discussing how those who acquired HIV who knew the incubation period would be treated by society. The answer is that some people only afford humanity to themselves.

  • ewe

    @Ogre Magi: We always referred to that look as the “Castro Clone.” I personally was never turned on by it but many people were. oh yes indeed i can still see it. Tight Blue Levis with your package hanging off to one side and that thick mustache. Everywhere. It looks so innocent now but i thought it was like a uniform. Everyone looked the same except for their size of course. lol.

  • ewe

    @Samuelvick: oh it must be very nice to be such a judgemental prude who with a wave of your magic wand of a hand dismisses anyone you damn well please. Aren’t the ignorant the lucky ones.

  • Samuelvick

    @ewe: Oh please don’t raise your magic wand on me, ask the promiscuous faggot or crackhead at the corner. You know what…. I’m a hard working father, 2 loving kids and been with my husband almost 20 years. I don’t regret being monogamy because I’m happy and bliss being with my partner. What about your life?

  • ewe

    @Samuelvick: You really are that stupid to think the two of us are here commenting to compare our own lives? You must be very blessed to be so damn ignorant. This thread is about all those that have passed away. keep your puritan value system next to your hearth with your freagin hot chocolate curled up with your homemade bread. you are in a fantasy and i am not interested. I am not interested in sharing with you anything about my life as it is today other than to say i am well over 20. You are no better than anyone Samuelvick. Get over yourself.

  • Shannon1981

    *sigh* I don’t understand how a thread about something so worthwhile, especially to the LGBT community, and gay men in particular, turned into this. Color me disappointed.

  • jason


    It’s great that you are monogamous and happy in your relationship. I recommend it to all gay men.

    The sad thing is that many gay men don’t want to be monogamous. They relish promiscuity. They want to be out every Saturday night having sex with total strangers. It’s a joy for them. Freddie Mercury, who died of AIDS, was once reported to have called the stairs at his local sex club the “stairway to heaven”.

    I think that what we need to do is to discourage promiscuity. If I had the power, I’d close all the sex clubs and saunas.

  • Mike in Asheville

    There’s a wonderful old saying that is so appropriate when posting-counterposting with Jason:

    Only idiots argue with morons. — Jason is a moron, there is no reason in his delusional self-hating sexless life that has him becoming one giant prude blaming his self-depreciating internalized stigma-of-being “one of those gays” gay pointing fingers at those of us, men and women, who embrace and enjoy their own personal forms of sexuality.

    Instead of attempting an argument of logic, simply respond, “WARNING, moron trolling!”

  • Tackle

    @Samuelvick: Great to hear that there are thoes like you out there and that gay men do not have to live this wild party life to be happy.

  • Franco

    What I find most discouraging reading these comments is how quick tempered everyone is. There is no reason to start calling each other names or to resort to cursing, it only deters from your argument. Civility, not hostility should be practiced. No matter what, if you disagree with whomever you’re arguing with, remember to respect each other. I know that we’re all protected by the anonymity of the Internet, but that’s no excuse to allow your negative feelings to dictate your life and relationships. Rise above and learn to let it go.

  • Steve


    Young men in every society, throughout history, have been as promiscuous as possible. That is part of being “human”. Your comments show clearly that you blame the victim.

    To change ones behavior to avoid disease, requires information. Public health is, mostly, about communicating information that can help people to avoid disease. Reagan absolutely did decide, explicitly, to suppress public-health communication that would have helped millions of people to avoid getting AIDS. He specifically stopped the public-health work to prevent AIDS. That decision killed hundreds of thousands of people.

    It is wrong to blame the victim. When the victim did not have the knowledge that could have allowed him/her to avoid the problem, it is right to blame the person who chose not to provide that information.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones


    You mean as opposed to the pervs inside the cubicle who will lie on a cum-stained (from previous occupants) bench

    If they’re pervs for doing what’s quoted above, what does that make you for listening in while they do what’s quoted above?

    I’m sorry that you can’t see the grotesqueness in hiding behind doors listening in on sex acts, but that says more about you, than the people you’re spying on.

  • WillBFair

    I think we’re missing a couple of points.
    First, to me the movie would be sentimental junk. It’ll no doubt focus on non-issues, like beepers in the opera house. The real issue was that we should have adopted same sex practices much sooner than we did. Those of us who fought incompetent gay leadership over this should be totally bummed by this trivialization of the crisis.
    Second, we still have not set standards in this community to stop the spread of hiv. That needs to be done NOW. Until it is done, watching movies and arguing over non-issues is all self indulgent bull—t.

  • Samuelvick

    @ewe: I am not ashamed to confess I am ignorant of what I do not know about your life. However, If ignorance is bliss or bless, why aren’t more people jumping up and down for joy. And I’m glad I’m living fantasy world…

  • ewe

    @Samuelvick: You should be ashamed for blaming those with a disease for being ill. And you do seem to be jumping up and down living in your fantasy world. Just read your previous comments. They are vicious and you can fuck off.

  • ewe

    @Franco: wrong. You are not hearing these idiots putting down straight people for having sex. You are reading comments from gay men putting down only gay men for having sex. So your call for civility is an insult to anyone who has integrity.

  • Ogre Magi

    @ewe: Oh, Barf how dull and conformist! I hope that look never comes back!

  • jason

    Mike in Asheville,

    You appear to be the quintessential liberal who attacks the person instead of the argument.

    The difference between people like you and I is that you call people names, I call people out. Nuff said.

  • Polyboy

    “Quintessential Liberal”

    Jason you are an HIV denying, racist, misogynist, who spreads his unsupported BS over multiple gay websites over and over. The only reason some of these people make the mistake of engaging in your drama is because they haven’t seen you cut and past the some old B.S. over and over.

    Why don’t you get your own website and then you can preach to your choir and spread misinformation to your heat’s content.

  • ewe

    @Ogre Magi: well i agree but that is a look unlike the filth on this thread condemning gay men both alive and dead simply for being HIV positive. Disgraceful. I suggest you put your energy into that instead of harping about fashion statements. You fucking asked a god damn question and when you got a fucking answer you turned around like Linda Blair on the exorcist and shit out your venom. You should know better than to not know i can do the same thing. Asshole. I didn’t politely respond to you so you could shit on dead people. Excuse me. Throw up aka Barf on the gay male look in this film that you brought to the attention of the commenters.

  • ewe

    @Polyboy: Apparently there are millions and millions of people unaware of the fact that being a liberal thinking individual is the same as being an honorable and informed human being. Don’t even waste your time with that thing called Jason who wants to make herself feel better than everyone else by persecuting the dead who are not here to defend themselves and the journeys they were on throughout their short lives.

  • ewe

    @Mike in Asheville: You are definitely right on target describing those that judge the dead so negatively and who live their entire life in a state of fear. There is nothing to learn from such people. You are obviously so well ahead of them spiritually, emotionally, and physically. We can wish them well and also tell them to fuck off for being downright evil.

  • ewe

    @Ogre Magi: I am going to go out on a limb and make sure you were making a nasty comment. Were you? After rereading what you said i realized that maybe you were just expressing a personal opinion. I might have misread your intention. It seemed like you were attacking the men of the Castro district and i am willing to admit that i might be wrong about you. If so i apologize.

  • jason


    More name-calling from victim card-besotted liberals with a yen for identity politics. No wonder liberalism is falling into disrepair. Liberals have lost the plot as they writhe around defending themselves with personal abuse and not one substantive argument.

    Everything I’ve said I stand by. It might not suit Gay Inc and its PC notions but, hey, shit happens.

  • HM


    You scholars need to remember one thing…..none of this was known in 1981. In 1981 there may as well have been zombies walking around for all that medicine and culture knew about this ‘cancer’ (even the original name and cause was a total strikeout). TV preachers were screaming it was God’s retribution, and some of us would actually wonder. Why were gays getting it and no one else? Was it touch? Airborne? Drugs? Was it really sex? Or was there a homicidal brand of kitty litter out there?

    No. One. Knew.

    And when we did, what happened? The bath houses closed. The permanent condom caused rings in our wallet leather. We became artists in the genre of the money shot. ok here. ok here. NOT there. And more to the point that part of us that had ALWAYS existed….friendship, comradierie, respect….evolved to new levels.

    It was never about sex. It was about a retrovirus. And when that virus started plucking away grandma hemophiliac, grandpa blood transfusion and sweet young Ryan White, it was about all of us. And here we are…some of us…. all these years later, together.

  • David Ehrenstein

    “Jason” is a GOProud troll who has taken up far too much space and time in this thread. He knows nothing about the AIDS epidemic, and is obviously too young to have lost anyone to the disease.

    I’m 64 and 3/4 of my dearest friends are dead. I’m sure their deaths make “Jason” happy.

    We Wwere Here is an incredibly great and important film. It captures ike no other documentary I knwo just how it was in the early days of the epidemic. For a very long time no one knew what was going on or why. People were getting sick — othen with what were thought of as treatable diseases — only to drop dead days after going to their doctors or even being released form hospitals. It was YEARS before AZT — a horrible piece of crap drug so toxic it had only been used to treat animals — was offered as a “treatmentZ” — which of course it wasn’t.

    The smug indifference of Ronald Reagan and his entire regime to this health disaster is his legacy.

    Go Google “Legionnaire’s Disase.” That was a freak incident that killed small handful of people yet it was afforded TONS of attention — far in excess of its danger. AIDS didn’t get a tenth of what “Leionnaire’s Disease” got — and we all know why.

    In any event do see this film. It’s final effect isn’t depressing because of the four perfectly ordinary, but brave and resolute peop,e it spotlights. They rose to the occasion. They’re heores you’ve never heard of.

    They’a nathema to the “Jasons” of this world.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @David Ehrenstein: Hello David — check my post @53 regarding that idiot Jason.

    Its always so hard for me to watch films where I am/was in the living as it happened. I was somewhat terrified to watch “Milk” because of the pain I knew it would invoke, remembering the thrill that he gave me as I watched him campaign from a highschooler’s closet, then blossoming out myself at Berkeley only to witness the assassination, and then being one of the many White night protesters. The same was true all those years ago when “And the Band Played On” was released, I had had such a crush on Kico (made up so many reasons to be at Gumps just to smile with him). But, watch those movies I have, and cried the pain and the fun memories.

    This one “We Were Here” has me unnerved too. I remember all too well how in 1982, the first small group of patients and their few supporters, marched at pride, the anger of the crowd having “that” forced on them, the hushed silence that said “you only have yourself to blame” “don’t bring this on us”. Though that group grew, so dramatically, each year, it wasn’t for 4 or 5 years that the community truly started looking after our own. I haven’t seen the portrayal yet of how we failed eachother before rising above; a guilty secret not dealt with with proper respect for those who died alone, kicked to the street, homeless and unfed. My cousin, the first of my generation, 12 years older, whom I had had a boy crush forever, died the same week I tested HIV+ (1986). I will watch “We Were Here” out of respect for him, my many other lost friends, and my new friends who pitched in for us all.

    (I hope someone out there is thinking about the story of how our lesbian sisters truly came to the rescue; they are too little counted for their efforts.)

  • David Ehrenstein

    @Mike in Asheville: Judging from your post you’re going to like We Were There, Mike. It’s all about the pople who bucked “don’t bring this on us” and got down and worked to help people.

    Among our lesbian sisters — Rachel maddow. She got her start in AIDS activism.

    Stay healty, Mike. We need you — now more than ever.

  • Ogre Magi

    @ewe: It was just a personal opinion but don’t worry about it we need more people with some zip on this site! BTW,What film did I brought to the attention of the commenter? I honestly don’t remember

  • Robin

    Flamin ‘heck, it gets heated in here, doesn’t it? I’m new to this site and thought I’d sneak into this thread, as no one commented on my other post about Milk, but that’s just about me being a total narcissist. Speaking of which, is it the same Jason from Friday the Thirteenth, I wonder. Reagan as a freedom fighter? Yes, definitely the same Jason, then.

  • jason

    David Ehrenstein,

    You come across as the typical loser liberal. You have zero merit in your argument.

    Nobody is happy that anybody has died. However, you have to admit that people do mistreat their own bodies. It’s beyond doubt that there are men on the gay scene who are extremely promiscuous and have little regard for their immune systems. They don’t give a rat’s about maintaining their health.

    Sad but true.

  • matt

    @jason: The gay liberation movement started in the late 60s, and people were fucking like rabbits and doing insane amounts of drugs for the entire 70s but NOT ONE person died from any of the opportunistic infections that are characteristic of AIDS. What exactly happened in 1981 from your AIDS denialist point of view? Many people treated their bodies like shit for all of human history before 1981 but all of a sudden mysterious deadly diseases started killing people then, why? Many of these diseases were known before 1981 by doctors, they just had never been deadly before because people’s immune systems were almost never so weak as to be unable to fight them off, what on earth happened?

  • Little Kiwi

    @jason: keep hating “Liberals”, Jason. Won’t change the fact that your father resents having to call you “Son” – you can distance yourself from the “gay scene” all that you want – it won’t make him accept you. You are, in fact, pissing all over yourself as a sign of subservience to him – you’re a dootmat, he knows it, and bitching about liberals won’t change the fact that you’re an embarrassment to him.

    we liberal folks actually have the respect and acceptance of our peers. you cut off your balls in a plea for mere tolerance. you have my pity.

  • Michael


    Yes Jason and some people in the gay community make mistakes.EVERY HUMAN BEING IS CAPABLE OF THAT but for you to sit there and wag your sanctimonious and judgemental finger VILIFYING them for those mistakes is unconscionable and WRONG period.

    Some gay men in this community do not think about the consequences of their actions and put themselves and others in dangers only concerned about SEX sex sex and the next lay.

    BUT even though some of them act like they do not care and may make some stupid and ultimately dangerous and life threatening decisions for themselves and others they are but human.Which means they are capable of mistakes just like anyone else as well as regrets.

    I am not gonna sit here and treat them as if they are shit or unworthy of love or care or compassion though just because of those mistakes.

    I’d rather hold someones hand and give them words of comfort then sit there and treat them like THEY are a disease .Can you really sit there so judgemental and act like YOU have never made any mistakes in this world? Can you sit there and act as if you have never done anything in your life that YOU regret? You’re not perfect no one in this world is you are just as faulty and imperfect as everyone else in this world is.So the ultimate question you should ask yourself is this: who are YOU to judge anyone unless you are judging YOURSELF? That is the question what is the answer? I think I already know what it is.

  • Drew

    It’s a myth that Reagan was somehow responsible for bisexual and gay men getting infected with HIV, spreading HIV, and dying of AIDS or that if he did mention HIV or AIDS that gay and bisexual men everywhere would have all embraced safe sex and done it.

    I was around in the early 80s and active then and I did not get infected because I am mainly into oral sex and I only had sex while in a relationship. I was into safe/safer sex before it was called that.

    I knew so many gay and bisexual men who did not practice safe sex, and did not even up until the very early 90s. These men refused to have what was then called safe sex, and use condoms and it was their own choice, it was not because of the President who I didn’t like but he had nothing to do with the spread of HIV, people dying from AIDS, and did not cause people to get infected with HIV because they refused to have safe/safer sex and actually use condoms, or use clean needles/rigs/IVs and not share them if they injected drugs.

  • matt

    @Drew: Typically when thousands of people start dieing of strange diseases in first world countries the government responds. This has happened for every other disease in modern American history but not for AIDS. Why? Because Ronald Reagan didn’t care that gay men were dieing, and no one else cared enough that had enough clout to compel him to do so. He sat back and ignored it while they all died, that’s the facts.

    As I stated before hundreds of thousands of people got the disease before the “safe sex” message even existed. These people had no warning and no help, they all died and no one outside of the gay community and a few dedicated and underfunded doctors cared at all. Yes many people did ignore the messages, and yes they did bring about their own downfall in that sense. Do you believe that the proper response is to just let them die and not help? That’s beyond immoral and just makes me sick to my stomach.

  • Drew

    Matt where did I say that if a person has HIV or AIDS we should just let them die and not help them at all?

  • Matt

    That was the attitude of the Reagan administration, and you seemed to be a-ok with that. To be fair, many more were at fault for refusing to respond to the epidemic, and some IMO were even worse than Reagan (such as Ed Koch). The point is though, the response to the epidemic by the media and the government was basically non-existent for years. That is the origin of the phrase “silence = death” that was used by early AIDS activists. The response from the gay community was actually incredible and almost all of the early AIDS education campaigns, fundraising, and activism came from within the gay community. You seem to be laying all of the blame for the epidemic on gay men for having sex when in reality they were the only ones who did a thing to stop it in the early days.

  • Matt

    @Drew: Also MANY gays in monogamous relationships died from AIDS, the disease has an incubation period of years and there was no HIV test until 1985. Before then you had NO WAY of knowing whether or not your partner was infected. The only difference between you and those who died is luck.

  • ewe

    @David Ehrenstein: People like that scumbag Jason do not even deserve someone like you telling them what it was like. I put him in the same category as holocaust deniers. The absolute ignorance astounds me. You explained the reality of yesteryear brilliantly and still the childish and immature response you got from that brat proves it is pointless. He will learn his own pain however that pans out. His fear creates a catatonic state of paranoia within him. THAT is the opposite of what we did. Selfishness posing as good health of body and mind has brought many young gay men of today into isolation. They have no reference points.

  • Andy

    @jason: Wow, I’m sure glad I don’t know you Jason. Blech.

  • phallus

    I lived through this period which some refer to as the “aids crisis”. I never lived in a city with such a large gay population as SF but I did meet someone from there in “86. He was full blown and would get angry if anyone refused unprotected sex with him. Before he passed he told me he had supposibly infected a lot of people. Friends bragged about unprotected sex and we made fun of a friend who wore a condom when people were giving him bjs. Before HIV besides HPV and Genital Herpies most STDs were curable. So who cared about condoms? So maybe yes it was about personal responsibility especially when people knew how HIV was tranmitted.
    What did the trick for me was when a friend confided he had contracted both gonnorreah and HPV at the same time. I was spending my summer weekends in a Detroit bath where people would refuse sex if you wore a condom. It was known at that time that HIV was spread through semen and blood… remember the tainted blood plasma from France? HIV was being spread through needles so yes in addition, losing inhabitions with drugs did help contribute to the spread of HIV.
    Maybe this movie is a good thing if it educates the younger generation of the dangers of unprotected sex. Movies like “longtime companion and its’ my party” were education for my generation.
    And to Matt, my partner and I started dating in 91. For the first few years we used condoms as testing for HIV was a death sentence for your job if anyone found out. Even anonomous testing wasn’t foolproof. After we both were tested later on, we started with unprotected sex. When it comes to HIV back then it was a death sentence.

  • DBB

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones: Don’t use the word ‘queer’. It is highly offensive. Also, in most of the country we are taught more about gay history than black history.

  • ewe

    @Drew: Tell me, was it a myth when my fragile friend and i were watching Reagan on tv and he looked over at me and rolled his eyes in sadness. We had to laugh and dance in order to cope with life. Listen up once again punk. If you were not there then you don’t fucking know because if you take one goddamn moment to read the fucking comments from the people who lived through this since the beginning you will fucking notice we all hate Fucking Reagan. Is that clear enough Asshole?

  • matt

    @DBB: Wow that must be a great country you live in, which is it? I have honestly never met a single person gay or straight who had any appreciable knowledge of gay history, I bet if I polled my gay friends and acquaintances asking what “stonewall” is I wouldn’t get a single correct answer.

  • ewe

    It is extremely disturbing to me that so many young people are stomping on the memories of countless great wonderful human beings who passed away. It seems like people are persecuting PWAs without ever knowing them. There is a great difference between those type of comments and other comments that are telling you Reagan was our enemy and we are not disappointed that one person is finally gone. Ask anyone and they will also tell you what a horrid monster Nancy Reagan was as well. Her most infamous ignorant move was when she came onto the national stage with her “just say no” campaign. The both of them were completely out of touch with what was going on. Totally out of touch and they were there. So if you did not live through that and you are somehow incapable of hearing what people are telling you then STFU. You are not changing reality with your ugly judgemental comments about those times. You are contributing to the distortion of history.

  • DBB

    @WillBFair: Don’t you think watching a film such as this is a great way to remind people NOW of the importance of using condoms? For those of us who have never known anyone personally who has been sick or died from AIDS, this movie can help to remind us of how many people died and are still dying in this pandemic. Studying history is absolutely critical for learning anything.

  • Drew

    ewe did you even read my post? Clearly reading comprehension is not something you are good at.

    I wrote about how I was alive during the Reagan years, out as a gay man, and sexually active. Even if Reagan had said something when safer sex was known about it wouldn’t have made bisexual and gay men use condoms since back then HIV/AIDS was new and I even remember people thinking that it would be cured soon, or that it was not something they needed to worry about at all because they lived in a certain state, area of the country, were an anal sex top, or all the other excuses people made up to avoid actually having safer sex and using condoms for anal sex.

  • SG

    >When it comes to HIV back then it was a death sentence.<

    Phallus, HIV is STILL a death sentence.

  • jason

    HIV does not cause AIDS and, therefore, it is ludicrous to say that HIV is a death sentence. Even if you believe that HIV causes AIDS, there’s no denying that there are plenty of people who have had HIV for over 20 years and are still healthy. Look at Magic Johnson, for instance. An acquaintance of mine was diagnosed as having HIV 25 years ago and he is as fit as a fiddle.

    I wish the HIV industry would just go away. I’m fed up with the HIV victim card and the HIV-inspired drug industry with its outrageous profiteering from drugs that are more likely to kill you than save you.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @Drew: Well, there you go again, writing the history you want it to be.

    The two very pro gay things Ronald Reagan did: endorsed the NO ON BRIGGS (Briggs Initiative would have required California schools to fire all gays/lesbians) and endorsed anti-discrimination bans “I do not believe in discrimination against anyone.”

    NONETHELESS, as president, Reagan failed to devote any of his very significant and powerful voice and political might to address what was becoming an epidemic right under his eyes. Over 200,000 AIDS deaths occurred during Reagan’s years. Not once did Reagan take to the public and show any leadership to address the disease nor, as a father and fellow American, as he did about other social issues, simply say, “Please be a part of the solution, help those in need, and educate yourselves about how to protect yourself.” It would have made a significant impact; never happened. But that is what a leader is supposed to do, do the right thing; instead Reagan continued his pandering of the so-called Moral Majority, and the rest of the religious right.

  • Matt

    @Drew: You’re honestly claiming that having a government response to the most serious epidemic of modern times wouldn’t have helped? We might as well just dismantle the CDC then by your logic because if it wouldn’t have helped with the AIDS I don’t see how it could help with anything. Widespread education campaigns were part of what finally got the epidemic somewhat under control in the 90s along with new drug treatments. Both of those things (treatment and education) were a direct result of government funding. If the government would have responded earlier, like it would have for any other disease, thousands of lives would have been saved. I have no idea why you’re so adamant about defending Reagan and blaming gays when the gay community were the only people who did anything about the epidemic in the early days. You’re blaming the people who did the most to stop the epidemic while trying to absolve of any blame an administration that did nothing at all to prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths.

  • mike

    @jason: Clearly, as a nation, we need to continue supporting mental health, cause damn, poor morons like you are suffering the worst affects of an unstable mind that cannot understand simple logic of cause and effect. And, of course, the hatred you have for everyone who enjoys living their sexuality in our own ways and not by your prudish limited self-hating ways. Yep, you’re still so fucked up. Please, for our sake and your own, seek better professional care.

  • jason

    Mike in Asheville,

    It wasn’t Reagan’s role – and nor was it within his power – to solve AIDS. Reagan knew that AIDS was largely self-inflicted and that the best way to avoid it was within the power of the individual concerned.

    And, please, don’t come back to me with this sanctimonious bullshit about how gay men were helpless victims in all this. I have been to a number of gay men’s saunas and sex clubs over the years and, frankly, the promiscuous behavior leaves me reeling. Absolutely reeling.

    It is very easy to understand how disease transmission can take hold of men who socialize sexually with one another within a relatively small enclave – for instance, where each man within, say, a group of 40 may have had sex with everybody else within that group over the course of a year or so. Such promiscuity cascades are recipes for disasters.

  • jason


    You’re confusing sexuality with promiscuity. This is the product of lousy thinking.

    My view is that sexuality is a great thing. It’s to be celebrated. But, like any decent celebration, it needs to be moderate and appropriate.

    When gay male sex was legalized, it gave carte blanche to those who confuse sexuality rights with promiscuity. The result was AIDS.

  • Lefty

    My view is that if something is great you should experience as much of it as possible. As ker-razy as that sounds.
    It’s always funny when right-wing nutjobs confuse promiscuity with unsafe sex – the latter is the cause of a spread of STDs not the former, of course. The conflation is either a result of lousy thinking or a right-wing agenda.
    Thank Bog, there are no such people being so stupid on this gay blog here! :)

  • Matt

    @Lefty: That’s because for them sex is shameful and not something to be celebrated or enjoyed, especially not with more than one person at a time. That’s why they love to blame promiscuity or homosexuality itself for the spread of HIV when in reality the continued spread of HIV among gay men is almost entirely from unprotected sex and failure to get tested. If everyone used condoms and every poz guy was being treated the epidemic would disappear without anyone altering the amount of sex they have.

  • Will

    Matt that’s not true that if everyone used condoms or that if every HIV+ man was being treated that HIV/AIDS would some how “disappear”. HIV also effects heterosexuals and they spread it among each other since they don’t use condoms, don’t get tested, and think that HIV is only something that bisexual and gay men, IV drug users, and maybe prostitutes have to worry about.

    Condoms do break, people don’t use them correctly or at all, and if people can make up excuses or just not use them they are not going to use them.

    As for HIV+ men there are A LOT of HIV+ men out there who know they are HIV+ and don’t care which strains of HIV they get or give to someone, and while there are HIV+ men who are out about being poz most do lie about it or even tell their sexual partners after they’ve had unprotected sex without a condom, or swallowed their cum.

    You’re also forgetting IV drug use. I’ve never IV’d anything but lots of my friends have and yes almost all of them shared needles but thankfully most of them didn’t get HIV or anything else from doing that for decades and they told me how the idea that most IV drug users always use clean or new needles when IVing drugs is a myth. Put it this way, if they were with someone and wanted to get high but there was only one needle/rig that needle would get shared between both people, and they’re not going to rush out and buy a new needle or exchange their used needle at some needle exchange when they want to get high right then and there and don’t want to waste time doing anything like that since there’s a needle right there they can use.

  • ewe

    @Drew: I am not talking about condom use. Who in their right mind would have expected the President of the United States to lecture about safe sex? You completely missed the point. And yes i do comprehend every word you write. If you care to take notice in comment 91 i wrote “if you were not there…” Of course comment 93 was not addressed to you specifically so i don’t know what the fuck you talkin about in comment 95.

  • ewe

    I consider half the crap being said on this thread nothing short of gay bashing.

  • wtf

    @Jason You know what Jason? It only takes ONE TIME to get HIV and if it was back in the 80’s, you were FUCKED. How do I know? I was THERE and many of my friends aren’t. And they weren’t all whores and drug addicts. And you know what else? Reagan made things MUCH WORSE. He contributed to the epidemic by not doing ANYTHING. So GO FUCK YOURSELF you ignorant turd. Quit blaming the actual victims here. Reagan was an all-around douchebag president. He not only ignored the AIDS epidemic but he created a huge homeless problem and de-regulated so much shit that has created much of what we have today: a big fucking mess. So take your nasty attitude, lies and bullshit and FUCK OFF…

  • Michael

    I have seen this wonderful documentary twice…it is that good! It is our history, and shows how loving and wonderful our community truly is! Bravo to the film makers!

  • David

    Matt re: 104 Let’s not forget how there are A LOT of gay men who are completely fucked in the head and think that getting infected with HIV is not a big deal since they can just go on meds that they think have either no or minimal side effects, and they think that being HIV+ is exactly like being diabetic which is bullshit and they don’t practice safer sex and think that “Getting HIV is something that’s eventually going to happen so I might as well slut around and have fun getting it!”.

  • ewe

    @David: yeah right. you got any specific examples or is it just more of “them those” out there somewhere just because you know? I want names. Your innuendo is dispicable and i have a feeling you don’t even know it.

  • ewe

    @wtf: Jason is not ever going to get it. Don’t waste your breath. She is another example of how hating is easier.

  • David

    Ewe, go on ANY male2male hook up or dating/relationship site from and you’ll find men who are the way I described who are self destructive, and who do not practice safer sex and don’t care which strains of HIV they get or which strains of HIV they pass on or if they infect someone with HIV for the first time.

    There are even bareback hook up sites, and not just a few but a fair amount of them.

    Have you been living under a rock for the past 10 years? Have you not noticed the huge increase in bareback porn that celebrates this sort of stuff that gets made by Treasure Island media and other studios? Go on Xtube and look up raw, bare, or BB and see how many amateur videos come up that people have made of themselves barebacking.

    Even if you live in the middle of nowhere you’ll find men like this, and it’s very common in cities and urban areas.

    When I lived in a rural area I knew a guy who got infected with HIV and claimed ignorance that, “I thought HIV/AIDS only effected people in Africa” but in reality he was a cumdump and he did start up an HIV educational group and told people to practice safer sex but he’d still bareback and wrote Craiglist ads saying how he wanted to get gang fucked and be a cum dump and take as many guy’s loads as he could in a weekend up his ass.

    I know a younger gay man who admitted to me that he’s now a raw top, he thinks he won’t or can’t get HIV this way, and he’s been with so many men that he can’t even remember all of them, the total number, and he’s been with more men in the past 5 years than I’ve been with after being sexually active for decades. He’s not even 30.

    I was on a well known dating site and one guy in my area contacted me and said he wanted to go on a date with me. I saw how he had pics of himself doing raw/bareback sex in his profile and I said something about those and no thanks to the date. He pulled the whole “It’s different we were in a relationship!” bullshit. I got nosy and googled his username and I found a bareback hook up site and he was on it and had pics of himself getting gang fucked raw in hotel rooms.

    No I’m not going to name names since doing this would not matter, and your post just shows how out of touch you are with reality and how you’re not realizing that barebacking is way more common than people want to admit, and that there are people out there who don’t care who they infect with HIV or tell about their HIV+ status since they are fucked up.

    I can’t tell you the number of men I am friends with who have came to me stressed out or crying because they were told after they had unsafe sex that their boyfriend of the moment or the guy they were hooking up with and did it raw with is HIV+ since he finally told them after either lying or avoiding the subject, or he told them after they’d had bareback sex.

    I practice safer sex and while I’m not promiscuous I’ve never barebacked.

  • ewe

    @David: That is your deduction of Male2male. That is a helluva lot to conclude i might add. FYI: HIV negative barebacking will not create AIDS. I am talking about reality not XXX videos. OY. OY FREAGIN VEY. Your example does not explain what you previously said regarding “gay men who are completely fucked in the head and think that getting infected with HIV is not a big deal since they can just go on meds…” Your example is of a young gay man with low self esteem. That’s not a crime. It does not mean anyone like that is “completely fucked in the head.” I gave an example of my own friend in 1984 regarding his opinion. He died in 1987. I would not make a statement that he thought AIDS was like diabetes. It is called YOUTH. Invincibility!!! Not a fucking cum dump as you rule. You are insulting and i really think you have no idea that you are. Where is the evidence that your “raw top” is spreading anything? All i hear is your morality about promiscuity. HIV is a virus and Barebacking does not create that if you are HIV negative so again you are just making judgement calls. I understand your fear but you have crossed boundary lines. Now you speak for others besides yourself. Lastly i would like to tell you to fuck off. Babycakes i heard your bullshit since the beginning. I got news for you and it’s been around for decades. You are responsible for yourself so stop demonizing gay people for going around knowingly spreading HIV. The world according to David. Practice safe sex for yourself and STFU. No one but you is responble for your good health. You just like to sit around pointing fingers and blaming who you deem the enemy. Get out of my face. I don’t like uppity faggots. Agays died with AIDS as far as i am concerned. There is nothing worse that a gay man professing to fucking care as he tears people down because people do not behave the way he sees fit. Grow up.

  • ewe

    @David: Do you really think you are being helpful to those people that you say came to you in such a state only to have you think and feel inside yourself that they are “completely fucked in the head?” I don’t.

  • ewe

    @David: I am sorry for telling you to fuck off. That is how i cross the line. I should not say that.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @jason: What a truly worthless piece of shit you are. Of course it is the duty of the President of the United States to provide for the general welfare of ALL citizens. By withholding the authority of his office from the efforts of education and research into the most significant epidemic since polio, Reagan allowed years to go by before government began its role to bring informed public awareness and necessary research. We all pay taxes that have provided research and assistance to all sorts of diseases long before HIV/AIDS; the failure to address HIV/AIDS was due to animus toward the gay community.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @jason: Oh, and Jason, thanks for so easily and readily showing yourself to be the vile hypocrite that your are:

    In your own words, quoted verbatim from Post @101: “And, please, don’t come back to me with this sanctimonious bullshit about how gay men were helpless victims in all this. I have been to a number of gay men’s saunas and sex clubs over the years and, frankly, the promiscuous behavior leaves me reeling. Absolutely reeling.”

    Leaves you so reeling that you go again and again and again to those saunas and sex clubs. You truly are a moron on a level that just baffles me. Just what kind of tea do you teabaggers drink? Kool-aide?

  • Little Kiwi

    @jason: and if you were genuinely courageous you’d stop sucking up to your anti-gay father by hating those “leftist liberal stereotypical gays and trans people”

    being a testicle-deprived wuss to your dad’s GOP leanings makes you among the scummiest cowards in this country.

  • Jeff

    Ewe you sound totally jaded, bitter, and reading your posts you’re the one that’s fucked in the head.

    Nowadays if you’re barebacking and not in a completely monogamous relationship you probably are HIV+ or have other STDs and you’re spreading them.

    I don’t care how young or old you are there’s no excuse for it.

    These people have a death wish and don’t care when they get infected with HIV or when they give it to other people.

  • ewe

    @Jeff: oh please. Nothing like making blanket statements about everyone. You are judgemental in a very evil way.

  • Max

    As someone who actually has relatives who did live through the Holocaust, and as a gay man who has lived through the HIV/AIDS pandemic you simply cannot compare the Holocaust or other acts of genocide throughout history with the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

  • Madoc

    The very thought that some would deliberately seek out such risks as barebacking was something I found revolting. I was not just appalled that some people would put themselves at such risk, but truly disgusted that through their behavior they were helping to infect others and keep HIV/AIDS among us.

    Barebacking instead refers to the practice of having anonymous unprotected sex. Of hooking up with other guys and doing it like people did in the 70s and very early 80s before HIV/AIDS. That is to say, without a condom. There are several assumptions at work here. One is that one or both of the guys doing this assume that the other partner, because they have not been explicit about their immune status, must therefore mean that they are negative as well. Why else then would they want to fuck without the condom? Another assumption is that, because they have not been explicit about their immune status, must therefore mean that they are positive as well. Why else then would they want to fuck without the condom? The third thing that could be going here is the assumption that both parties involved will eventually wind up infected anyway, so why not have some fun in the meantime?

    Such thinking is a pathological rationalization. It is entirely self-serving and completely negative. To say that it is negligent is to profoundly understate such actions. To deliberate put another person’s health at risk for the temporary pleasure of a good fuck is not just stupid, it is evil.

    In today’s society we blanche at such characterizations. We do not want to think of anyone around us as either being capable of committing and evil act nor of being evil themselves. Yet, that is exactly what such behavior is. There is no justification for doing that to another person. No way I can accept rendering that sort of damage and hurt to someone else. And all of this in the name of getting your rocks off.

    Some guys will try and justify their behavior by saying it shows how adventurous they are. How “close to the edge” they live life. That by playing on that edge they are more alive than anyone else. That by taking those risks they therefore give more meaning to their lives and the lives of those around them. It is all just an excuse by pathetic men to justify getting their rocks off. Pathetic and evil.

    Even barebacking between positive men is wrong. Yet here too they try and justify it. After all, since both men are already infected with HIV what is the point of still using a rubber? What difference could it now make? Why not allow such poor souls a little fun in their lives? That can’t hurt now can it? After all, they have so little left…

    Yet this view ignores what HIV is all about. HIV is not just one standard virus. If it were, then we would have conquered it long ago. Instead, HIV comes in many strains. It also mutates. Frequently. That is one of the reasons the human immune system has such a difficult time fighting it. That is also one of the reasons it is so difficult coming up with effective treatments for it. It changes so frequently and there are so many different strains of it out there. The guys who argue that it is safe for two poz men to bareback are kidding themselves.

    Even if a person is already infected with HIV, that doesn’t mean they can not get re-infected by a different strain of it. In fact, this is already happening and being very well documented in medical journals. So too are instances of new, drug resistant strains of HIV developing. In these particular cases, these strains of HIV are a result of cross-infections. Both men involved were on their own particular mix of protease inhibitors and their own particular strains of HIV had begun to adapt to their regimens. When these guys fucked without rubbers, they infected each other with each other’s strains of HIV.

    The cocktail mixes that worked in one guy for his strain of HIV didn’t necessarily work for the new strain he was also infected with. What resulted was yet another mutation of HIV and one that is even more resistant to treatment.

    There is also the resources consumed. By barebacking, these individuals are exposing themselves and their partners to all manner of lesser sexually transmitted diseases. Diseases which still need to be treated and diseases, for those with already compromised immune systems, can be just as lethal as the AIDS they already have. That such infections are entirely avoidable means that the resources expended to treat them could have been better used elsewhere. The medical resources consumed to treat barebackers from all the new infections and medical conditions that arise from their barebacking are medical resources that are lost. Resources that are gone. Resources that cannot be used by anyone else. Given that most folks who bareback are very well connected economically and medically their negligence and disproportionate consumption of medical resources is a murderous thing when viewed by the number of people in this country with no health insurance. It is also a truly evil thing for such people to be fucking themselves silly because they know their health plans will cover them while medical resources to treat HIV/ AIDS are so scarce in Africa that it is killing millions. Another thing to consider is that resources expended treat barebackers are resources that can not be expended finding a cure for the plague. That means it will take longer to find that cure. That means that more people will become infected and more people will die before that cure comes into being.

    Barebacking is a behavior that is helping to keep HIV at pandemic levels. It is keeping the core group viable. That, in epidemiological terms, means that it is keeping the number of infected people sufficiently high such that they keep on infecting new people faster than they are dying off. That is what makes an epidemic and epidemic and anyone who barebacks is helping keep the plague among us. They are helping keep HIV a threat to all of us. They are killing people. They are threatening me. They are killing my friends. They are evil.

    I think that about covers it. It is one thing to have unprotected sex with your primary partner when you both know that you are negative and are in a mutually exclusive relationship. It is quite another thing to trick with other guys and not wear a rubber while fucking them. Barebacking is pathological. It is self-destructive. It is destructive of others. It can not be justified on any grounds. It is killing us. It is evil. I don’t have sex with anyone who barebacks period.

    There is no cure for HIV/AIDS. Barebacking is keeping HIV/AIDS among us. Barebacking is infecting more of us with HIV. Barebacking is killing our family. Barebacking is killing us. Barebacking is evil. Barebacking must stop.

  • ewe

    @Max: Max, there were gay people in those camps.

  • ewe

    @Max: Max, there were gay people in those [email protected]Max: Max, you don’t get to hijack that word anymore than fundamentalists can have gODD.

  • Max

    That’s nice Ewe did you actually say something? Yes LGBT people did die in the Holocaust, but that doesn’t mean that living through the HIV/AIDS pandemic was anything like an actual genocide or like the actual holocaust at all.

    LGBT people died in other acts of genocide throughout history including more recent ones but I’ve noticed that nobody tries to claim that those are somehow like living through the HIV/AIDS pandemic or tries to reclaim those acts of genocide the way some people do with the holocaust and GLBT people.

  • Damon

    Ewe is nothing but a professional victim.

    The only people who are evil are people like ewe who think that people who have lived through the HIV/AIDS pandemic yet condone randomly bareback with strangers and think they’re fine and going to stay HIV neg or are HIV neg.

  • ewe

    @Damon: FOOL. You would say something like that about someone you do not even know. I will have you know that indeed i did live through HIV/AIDS pandemic since the start AND i am HIV negative so take your ugly fucking judgement that is used agains HIV positive gay men for years and grind a broken glass bottle up your asshole. Such a sad thing for you that your hateful couch rhetoric is not going work on me. In other words. Fuck off.

  • ewe

    @Max: yes max i did say something and i can report that you would be delusional talking to me if you didn’t think i responded to you but since you are responding back that means that you think i did say something. Does that make sense to you. Now come down off your self appointed pedestal. You don’t get to dictate what words other people choose to use. I can tell you are quite used to owning this all to yourself but that is only because others let you get away with telling them what to do. Stick around those types of people. I am not one of them. If it makes you any happier Max, i will be more than willing to compare the deaths of many in Rhwanda to the deaths of many of AIDS. Happy now? Mind your own god damn business.

  • ewe

    @Max: Holocaust was a catastrophe. AIDS is a catastrophe. Holocaust was destruction. AIDS is destruction. Holo = whole. Kaustos = burnt. AIDS burnt many of the whole as well. It’s a word Max and it is used frequently by many in the gay community to express the magnitude of loss which is exactly what you are defending. So STFU. Did you hear me? Go bother someone else. You just think you’re fucking better is all.

  • ewe

    That’s nice Max did you actually say something too? ladeedadeeda.

  • ewe

    No one knows the origin of HIV? No one can prove whether or not it was about the extermination of certain people? Oh my it came from a monkey you ate out of the forest you say. Please. Even the British created artificial virus to exterminate the rabbit population in Austrailia. People ate those rabbits. Haven’t heard a word about what white people were munching on and how that causes terminal illness leading to misery and death. Do your T4 cells consider it a holocaust? Let’s ask Max and see if she approves.

  • truth

    I have observed this entire thread and all of you are right to a certain extent.

    1. Gay men set themselves up to be at risk with the promiscuity of the 1970’s. Even gay doctors said so. Randy Shilts wrote about this in “And the Band Played On”. Now, saying that they put themselves at risk is different from saying they caused themselves to get this disease and then somehow deserve it. None of the people who died deserved it. Even the sluttiest ones.

    2. Reagan did not take glee in the deaths of gay men, but he certainly didn’t pull out all the stops to launch initiatives and release funding to combat the disease. He wanted to be loved as an economic austerity leader, not as a spend thrift supporter of robust scientific research and discovery. His handling of the epidemic placed profits, taxes, and the wealthy over those whom he and his ideological bloc saw as “fringe”. Every leader does things like that.

    3. HIV was not engineered to kill gay people. It has existed for possibly hundreds of years as a virus affecting certain primates in Africa. People of that region who hunted for bushmeat were exposed to the virus millions of times by way of touching infected primate blood or ingesting infected primate flesh. Evolution happens. Swine flu infected pigs before it got to us. Imperialism, colonialism, and the mobilization through technology allowed the HIV virus to spread to Haiti as early as 1959. The first US case was a 15 year old Haitian prostitute in the late 1960’s. If 1980 was the decade of AIDS, the 1970’s was the decade of HIV, meaning that the permissive culture of gay sex that was a hallmark of the liberation movement in the 1970’s actually sewed the seeds (no pun intended) of gay suffering in the 1980’s when the latency period of HIV gave way to full-blown AIDS for all whom were infected.

    4. There seems to be a lot of “bareback rights” activists on this thread and this blog in general. Treasure Island Media is to gay men what crack is to black people. I, myself prefer to have unprotected sex when in a committed relationship. Nothing wrong with that; but there seems to be a bevy of men on here and other sites who have some Ayn Rand-style view of sex, that they should be able to do whatever they want, no matter the consequences. They continue to bareback, topping and bottoming, even though they are HIV positive and conclude that if the partner is willing to bareback, he is somehow asking for it. Not if you tell him your status, he’s not.


  • Jack

    Well said 133/Truth. LOL I’m sure ewe the troll and professional victim will flame you even though you did write the truth since he’s a troll who loves to talk out of his ass and condones and has as you put it “an Ayn Rand-style view of sex”.

    People like ewe give all of us GLBT people a bad name.

  • David1950

    Ogre Magi is correct all of the clones are total fags who can’t think for themselves and loved to conform, copy whatever is popular, fall into pretty bad stereotypes, and this describes most gay men even to this day.

    I was around back then and I’m glad the clone look is dead and gone.

    I’m also glad that GLBT or gay ghettos are a thing of the past, 70s Isolationism didn’t work both politically and socially.

    I just make friends with people I get along with regardless of gender/sexuality/race. Catch up, most educated urban youths are the same way. Gays and everyone else that’s LBT don’t all have to isolate ourselves from the rest of society anymore.

  • Frank

    This documentary sucks it’s way too SF and white gay male Centric when it should have focused on HIV/AIDS in other cities besides just SF or the west coast, and it should have included more people than just urban dwelling lame ass conformist clones who revolved their entire lives around nothing but sex, and self destruction and then died off like flies because of it.

    It also perpetuates the negative stereotype that HIV and AIDS are somehow “diseases of gay and bisexual men” even though the documentary didn’t show bisexual men, or else practiced typical bisexual erasure and said they were gay, no mention of IV drug users, and it didn’t mention anyone that’s Trans getting HIV even though that happened, and what about all of the heteros who died of AIDS and who are infected with HIV?

  • Mike in Asheville

    @Frank: Produce your own documentary then, the one that tells the story you want people to know. Unlike New York, Chicago, and LA, San Francisco, while thought of as a large city, is in fact very small in comparison. The whole peninsula is hardly 10 x 10 miles, with over a third reserved for Golden Gate Park and the Persideo; the total population then was less than 750,000. In the 1980s decade, 1 in 100 San Franciscans DIED of AIDS compared to 1 in 400 for NYC.

    There are, alas, too many stories of villains and heros, from coast-to-coast, in every demographic. Tell yours; but hold the criticism of those who have told theirs.

  • Dustin

    Mr. Enemabag Jones your friend is correct.

    This documentary is about a generation or two that’s long gone, and about a time when people were ignorant about HIV/AIDS and STDs.

    Unfortunately these men and other GLBT people who died of AIDS, did not get a chance to fight for GLBT rights like we do today, back then it was pretty much all about sex, drugs, and partying.

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