Make History: Support the African American AIDS Activism Oral History Project

AAOHPMy friend, Dan Royles, is raising money via Kickstarter to support his work on the African American AIDS Activism Oral History Project.

Speaking as an HIV+ gay man who is white and solidly middle-class, I think the work Dan is doing is incredibly important, valuable and necessary. African Americans are disproportionately represented in new HIV infections, yet few of us have much understanding of what is being done to change this. Dan is preserving the voices and stories of those who are educating their communities about AIDS and HIV and working to keep this epidemic from being further marginalized – and giving historians the opportunity to learn from those whose work is not only unsung, but often unknown.

I hope you’ll join me in making a pledge to Dan’s project. And, perhaps even more importantly, I’d be extraordinarily grateful if you could share the link to his Kickstarter page among your various networks. I suspect most of my tens of readers have much larger social networks than I do. As I post this, there’re nine days left to raise nearly $3000, so the more people who see Dan’s project, the more likely he’ll reach his goal. Please share his link or this post far and wide. Thank you.

R.I.P. Elizabeth Taylor

Despite a lifelong history of various health problems and medical issues, there was something seemingly indestructible about Miss Taylor. The news of her death this morning was really shocking.

Her beauty, which was almost other-worldly in its perfection, along with a personal life that can modestly be described as tempestuous, often overshadowed the fact that she was a supremely talented actress.

But in this really excellent obituary in the NYTimes, there is one short sentence that reminds us of one her greatest legacies:

She helped raise more than $100 million to fight AIDS.

In the early 1980s, when little was known about the disease and few outside of the gay community were willing to even discuss it, she became the public face of the search for a cure and a co-founder of AMFAR.

Elizabeth Taylor – a true star, whose like we shan’t see again. The loss is ours.