Category: neverforget

“RARE CANCER SEEN IN 41 HOMOSEXUALS – OUTBREAK OCCURS…

“RARE CANCER SEEN IN 41 HOMOSEXUALS – OUTBREAK OCCURS AMONG MEN IN NEW YORK AND CALIFORNIA—8 DIED INSIDE 2 YEARS,” by Lawrence K. Altman, The New York Times (@nytimes), July 3, 1981.
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Just a month after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first published a report announcing that five gay men in Los Angeles had died of a rare form of pneumonia, a second CDC report confirmed that the disease—identified as the typically malignant Kaposi’s Sarcoma—was spreading among young gay men beyond California.
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On July 3, 1981, thirty-six years ago today, in what is considered to be the first mainstream coverage of what ultimately became known as HIV/AIDS, the New York Times included a piece on this second CDC report.
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“It said that all the guys had the same history of having had all these sexual diseases: amoebas, hepatitis A and B, mononucleosis, syphilis, and gonorrhea,” Larry Kramer later told Eric Marcus (@makinggayhistorypodcast). “The late 1970s were the years of the amoebas—we forget that. Just as everybody talks about AIDS now, you couldn’t go to a party in the late 1970s without everybody telling an amoeba story. When I saw that article in the Times I was scared because I had had all of those diseases.
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“A few weeks later I had a conversation with Dr. Friedman-Kien from @nyuniversity, who told me in essence, ‘This is what’s happening. You’ve got to stop fucking.’ … As a result of that conversation, Dr. Larry Mass, who had been writing about this new health problem in a local gay paper even before the Times wrote about it, and two other guys—now both dead—and I, invited everyone we knew to come to a meeting here at my apartment.” That meeting resulted in the establishment of @gmhc, the world’s first AIDS service organization.
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Significant mainstream media coverage of the AIDS epidemic did not begin for at least five—and, some would argue, ten—years after the July 1981 article. #lgbthistory #HavePrideInHistory #Resist #NeverForget #NeverAgain

“RARE CANCER SEEN IN 41 HOMOSEXUALS – OU…

“RARE CANCER SEEN IN 41 HOMOSEXUALS – OUTBREAK OCCURS AMONG MEN IN NEW YORK AND CALIFORNIA—8 DIED INSIDE 2 YEARS,” by Lawrence K. Altman, The New York Times (@nytimes), July 3, 1981.
.
Just a month after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first published a report announcing that five gay men in Los Angeles had died of a rare form of pneumonia, a second CDC report confirmed that the disease—identified as the typically malignant Kaposi’s Sarcoma—was spreading among young gay men beyond California.
.
On July 3, 1981, thirty-six years ago today, in what is considered to be the first mainstream coverage of what ultimately became known as HIV/AIDS, the New York Times included a piece on this second CDC report.
.
“It said that all the guys had the same history of having had all these sexual diseases: amoebas, hepatitis A and B, mononucleosis, syphilis, and gonorrhea,” Larry Kramer later told Eric Marcus (@makinggayhistorypodcast). “The late 1970s were the years of the amoebas—we forget that. Just as everybody talks about AIDS now, you couldn’t go to a party in the late 1970s without everybody telling an amoeba story. When I saw that article in the Times I was scared because I had had all of those diseases.
.
“A few weeks later I had a conversation with Dr. Friedman-Kien from @nyuniversity, who told me in essence, ‘This is what’s happening. You’ve got to stop fucking.’ … As a result of that conversation, Dr. Larry Mass, who had been writing about this new health problem in a local gay paper even before the Times wrote about it, and two other guys—now both dead—and I, invited everyone we knew to come to a meeting here at my apartment.” That meeting resulted in the establishment of @gmhc, the world’s first AIDS service organization.
.
Significant mainstream media coverage of the AIDS epidemic did not begin for at least five—and, some would argue, ten—years after the July 1981 article. #lgbthistory #HavePrideInHistory #Resist #NeverForget #NeverAgain

“THOMAS GERARD DELDEO, FEBRUARY 4, 1963 – APRIL 18, 1994,”…

“THOMAS GERARD DELDEO, FEBRUARY 4, 1963 – APRIL 18, 1994,” Barbara and Sal Deldeo carry a picture of their son during one of the Stonewall 25 parades, New York City, June 26, 1994. Photo © Constantine Manos.
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On June 26, 1994, twenty-three years ago today, an estimated 1.1 million people participated in the massive Stonewall 25 celebration in New York City, marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
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As the New York Times explained, “they marched in not one but two parades – an officially sanctioned one on the East Side of Manhattan demanding that the United Nations protect the rights of homosexuals worldwide, and a smaller, unofficial one up Fifth Avenue from Greenwich Village, organized by several dissenting groups that broke ranks with the others to make the point that the most urgent problem facing gay people is AIDS.”
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Among those marching in the official parade were Barbara and Sal Deldeo of Wilmington, Delaware (pictured), who marched for their son, Thomas Gerald, who died months earlier at age thirty-one after a 10-month battle with AIDS. “Neither had ever marched before,” the Times said of the Deldeos, “not against the Vietnam War, nor in marches against nuclear weapons, not even on Memorial Day. They carried [the] picture of [Thomas Gerald] – a San Francisco actor and yoga instructor – on a placard, like so many others carrying photographs of the dead.
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“‘You just feel like you are sharing him with so many, like his death wasn’t in vain,’ Mrs. Deldeo said as they turned with the march onto 57th Street and deafening cheers rose from the predominantly gay crowd of onlookers. ‘You don’t get this kind of support in Wilmington.’
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“She grew teary telling of how her son came home to die, how he finally reached an understanding with his father, how he went peacefully one day, his clothes no longer fitting his gaunt frame. ‘He was my only one,’ she said. ‘Explain that karma.’” #lgbthistory #HavePrideInHistory #Resist #NeverAgain #NeverForget #Pride2017 (at New York, New York)

“THOMAS GERARD DELDEO, FEBRUARY 4, 1963 – APRI…

“THOMAS GERARD DELDEO, FEBRUARY 4, 1963 – APRIL 18, 1994,” Barbara and Sal Deldeo carry a picture of their son during one of the Stonewall 25 parades, New York City, June 26, 1994. Photo © Constantine Manos.
.
On June 26, 1994, twenty-three years ago today, an estimated 1.1 million people participated in the massive Stonewall 25 celebration in New York City, marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
.
As the New York Times explained, “they marched in not one but two parades – an officially sanctioned one on the East Side of Manhattan demanding that the United Nations protect the rights of homosexuals worldwide, and a smaller, unofficial one up Fifth Avenue from Greenwich Village, organized by several dissenting groups that broke ranks with the others to make the point that the most urgent problem facing gay people is AIDS.”
.
Among those marching in the official parade were Barbara and Sal Deldeo of Wilmington, Delaware (pictured), who marched for their son, Thomas Gerald, who died months earlier at age thirty-one after a 10-month battle with AIDS. “Neither had ever marched before,” the Times said of the Deldeos, “not against the Vietnam War, nor in marches against nuclear weapons, not even on Memorial Day. They carried [the] picture of [Thomas Gerald] – a San Francisco actor and yoga instructor – on a placard, like so many others carrying photographs of the dead.
.
“‘You just feel like you are sharing him with so many, like his death wasn’t in vain,’ Mrs. Deldeo said as they turned with the march onto 57th Street and deafening cheers rose from the predominantly gay crowd of onlookers. ‘You don’t get this kind of support in Wilmington.’
.
“She grew teary telling of how her son came home to die, how he finally reached an understanding with his father, how he went peacefully one day, his clothes no longer fitting his gaunt frame. ‘He was my only one,’ she said. ‘Explain that karma.’” #lgbthistory #HavePrideInHistory #Resist #NeverAgain #NeverForget #Pride2017 (at New York, New York)

“NEVER AGAIN – NEVER FORGET – 6 JULY 1943-22 JUNE 1988 – A…

“NEVER AGAIN – NEVER FORGET – 6 JULY 1943-22 JUNE 1988 – A GAY VIETNAM VETERAN – WHEN I WAS IN THE MILITARY THEY GAVE ME A MEDAL FOR KILLING TWO MEN AND A DISCHARGE FOR LOVING ONE,” Leonard Matlovich’s headstone, Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C. Photo by L. Brown, © @lgbt_history.
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On March 6, 1975, after meeting with Frank Kameny and @aclu_nationwide attorney David Addlestone, who explained they hoped to find a gay service member with an impeccable record to challenge the military’s ban on homosexuals, Technical Sergeant Leonard Matlovich—Vietnam veteran, Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient, and lecturer on race relations in the Air Force—delivered to his commanding officers a letter explaining that he was homosexual, that his “sexual preferences will in no way interfer[e] with my Air Force duties,” and “therefore request[ing] that those [regulations] relating to the discharge of homosexuals be waived in my case.”
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When one officer asked what the letter meant, Matlovich responded, “it means Brown v. Board of Education.”
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From there, Matlovich became the face of the fight against the military’s ban, and his appearance on the September 8, 1975, issue of Time magazine made him the first named openly gay person on the cover of a U.S. newsmagazine. Describing to Time his experience speaking at Christopher Street Liberation Day, Matlovich said, “I found myself, little nobody me, standing up in front of tens of thousands of gay people. And just two years ago I thought I was the only gay in the world. It was a mixture of joy and sadness. It was just great pride to be an American, to know I’m oppressed but able to stand up there and say so.“
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Unlike many others in his place, Matlovich received an honorable discharge, and a court ultimately ordered his reinstatement; Matlovich, however, took a financial settlement.
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In 1987, Matlovich announced he had contracted HIV; that June, he was among those arrested at the White House while protesting the Reagan administration’s response to AIDS.
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Leonard Matlovich died on June 22, 1988, twenty-nine years ago today; he was forty-four. #NeverAgain #NeverForget #Resist #LeonardMatlovich (at Congressional Cemetery)

“NEVER AGAIN – NEVER FORGET – 6 JULY 194…

“NEVER AGAIN – NEVER FORGET – 6 JULY 1943-22 JUNE 1988 – A GAY VIETNAM VETERAN – WHEN I WAS IN THE MILITARY THEY GAVE ME A MEDAL FOR KILLING TWO MEN AND A DISCHARGE FOR LOVING ONE,” Leonard Matlovich’s headstone, Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C. Photo by L. Brown, © @lgbt_history.
.
On March 6, 1975, after meeting with Frank Kameny and @aclu_nationwide attorney David Addlestone, who explained they hoped to find a gay service member with an impeccable record to challenge the military’s ban on homosexuals, Technical Sergeant Leonard Matlovich—Vietnam veteran, Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient, and lecturer on race relations in the Air Force—delivered to his commanding officers a letter explaining that he was homosexual, that his "sexual preferences will in no way interfer[e] with my Air Force duties,” and “therefore request[ing] that those [regulations] relating to the discharge of homosexuals be waived in my case.”
.
When one officer asked what the letter meant, Matlovich responded, “it means Brown v. Board of Education.”
.
From there, Matlovich became the face of the fight against the military’s ban, and his appearance on the September 8, 1975, issue of Time magazine made him the first named openly gay person on the cover of a U.S. newsmagazine. Describing to Time his experience speaking at Christopher Street Liberation Day, Matlovich said, “I found myself, little nobody me, standing up in front of tens of thousands of gay people. And just two years ago I thought I was the only gay in the world. It was a mixture of joy and sadness. It was just great pride to be an American, to know I’m oppressed but able to stand up there and say so.“
.
Unlike many others in his place, Matlovich received an honorable discharge, and a court ultimately ordered his reinstatement; Matlovich, however, took a financial settlement.
.
In 1987, Matlovich announced he had contracted HIV; that June, he was among those arrested at the White House while protesting the Reagan administration’s response to AIDS.
.
Leonard Matlovich died on June 22, 1988, twenty-nine years ago today; he was forty-four. #NeverAgain #NeverForget #Resist #LeonardMatlovich (at Congressional Cemetery)

Ken Ramsauer memorial (participants holding signs reflecting the…

Ken Ramsauer memorial (participants holding signs reflecting the growing number of AIDS victims), Central Park, New York City, June 13, 1983. Photo © Alon Reininger.
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On June 13, 1983, thirty-four years ago today, more than fifteen hundred people gathered in New York City’s Central Park to honor Ken Ramsauer, a New York City hardware store manager and activist who died of AIDS-related illness on May 23, 1983.
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Days before his death, Ramsauer gave a nationally televised interview to Geraldo Rivera on the growing AIDS crisis, bringing much-needed visibility to those living with the disease, and making Ramsauer, as the New York Times described him, “a national symbol of the discrimination and pain suffered by victims of a condition that ravages the body’s immune system.”
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Mourners at the memorial raised candles and held numbered signs to reflect the growing number of New Yorkers lost to AIDS. In a speech, Rivera said that Ramsauer “wanted society to know the discrimination and negative publicity that has allowed this disease a mortal head start.”
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The Ramsauer memorial was one of the first highly-visible events honoring victims of the epidemic. #lgbthistory #HavePrideInHistory #NeverForget #NeverAgain #KenRamsauer #Resist (at Central Park)

Ken Ramsauer memorial (participants holding si…

Ken Ramsauer memorial (participants holding signs reflecting the growing number of AIDS victims), Central Park, New York City, June 13, 1983. Photo © Alon Reininger.
.
On June 13, 1983, thirty-four years ago today, more than fifteen hundred people gathered in New York City’s Central Park to honor Ken Ramsauer, a New York City hardware store manager and activist who died of AIDS-related illness on May 23, 1983.
.
Days before his death, Ramsauer gave a nationally televised interview to Geraldo Rivera on the growing AIDS crisis, bringing much-needed visibility to those living with the disease, and making Ramsauer, as the New York Times described him, “a national symbol of the discrimination and pain suffered by victims of a condition that ravages the body’s immune system.”
.
Mourners at the memorial raised candles and held numbered signs to reflect the growing number of New Yorkers lost to AIDS. In a speech, Rivera said that Ramsauer “wanted society to know the discrimination and negative publicity that has allowed this disease a mortal head start.”
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The Ramsauer memorial was one of the first highly-visible events honoring victims of the epidemic. #lgbthistory #HavePrideInHistory #NeverForget #NeverAgain #KenRamsauer #Resist (at Central Park)

“One night I heard two, I believe, nurse’s aides—not the actual…

“One night I heard two, I believe, nurse’s aides—not the actual nurses—standing outside my door sort of laughing…[They said] ‘I wonder how long the faggot in 208 is going to last.’” – Ken Ramsauer to Geraldo Rivera, May 1983 (via “How to Survive a Plague,” by @bydavidfrance)
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[Please note, the second picture in this post is of Ramsauer near the end of his battle with AIDS; he appears, as David France describes, “in grotesque medical distress.”]
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Pictures: (1) Ken Ramsauer Memorial & Candlelight Vigil, Central Park, New York City, June 13, 1983, photo by Robert Maass; (2) Ramsauer, left, after the Rivera interview, c/o Contact Press Images, via @nymag.
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On May 23, 1983, thirty-four years ago today, less than a year after his diagnosis, and four days after he gave a nationally televised interview to Geraldo Rivera on the growing AIDS crisis , New York City hardware store manager, freelance lighting designer, and activist Ken Ramsauer died of AIDS-related illness. He was twenty-seven.
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Weeks later, on June 13, more than fifteen hundred people gathered in Central Park to honor Ramsauer, who the New York Times described as “a national symbol of the discrimination and pain suffered by victims of a condition that ravages the body’s immune system.”
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Mourners at the memorial raised candles and held numbered signs to reflect the growing number of New Yorkers lost to AIDS. In a speech, Rivera said that Ramsauer “wanted society to know the discrimination and negative publicity that has allowed this disease a mortal head start.”
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“In New York,” David France explains, “there were just 722 cases reported, half the nation’s total. It seemed they were all at [Central Park] that sweltering evening. My friend’s mouth hung open…I was speechless. We had found the plague…From there, it was an avalanche.” #lgbthistory #HavePrideInHistory #NeverForget #NeverAgain #KenRamsauer #Resist