lgbt_history 4 months ago @lgbt_history


"GAY AMERICA: SEX, POLITICS, AND THE IMPACT OF AIDS,” Bobbi Campbell and Bobby Hilliard, @newsweek, August 8, 1983. . While @newsweek set a high standard for early AIDS reporting with its first cover story on the subject (“EPIDEMIC,” April 18, 1983), by August 8, 1983, thirty-six years ago today, and the appearance of the magazine’s second feature on AIDS, journalistic care had been replaced with an eye toward selling magazines. As opposed to the evenhandedness of the earlier piece, moralism was on full display in August: “A turning point has been reached, and AIDS may mean the party is over….As some leaders of the gay community tacitly recognize, moreover, the long escape into hedonism has most of all been a reckless diversion of Gay America’s energies—energies that must now be directed into winning political gains, and winning hearts and minds of men and women who, in many communities, live right next door.” . The Newsweek cover, however, was notable for featuring early AIDS activist Bobbi Campbell (a.k.a. Sister Florence Nightmare, RN) and his partner Bobby Hilliard, the first openly gay men on the cover of a mass-market magazine since Leonard Matlovich in 1975. The magazine identified Campbell and Hilliard as “friends.” . “I brought the issue back to my un-air-conditioned apartment and read through it obsessively,” David France wrote in “How To Survive A Plague,” “less hungry for the information inside—which quoted Reverend Jerry Falwell saying, ‘A man reaps what he sows’—than I was for the affirmation the pictures of ‘avowed homosexuals’ inadvertently provided. We were beginning to see our lives represented in mainstream media; our faces and names and human narratives were finally meriting national attention.” . Bobbi Campbell died of AIDS-related illness the following August; he was thirty-two. . For more on Bobbi Campbell and the profound contributions he made to the fight against HIV/AIDS, please see our book, “We Are Everywhere,” available via link in bio. #lgbthistory #HavePrideInHistory

Comments list

madelyn.currier avatar
4 months ago
That’s sad they said they were only friends
pride_universe avatar
4 months ago
Your book and all of the content you share on here is simply wonderful. You're contributing so much to the community. Thank you!
jezebelsfascination avatar
4 months ago
femmebot1111 avatar
4 months ago
cvmaa avatar
4 months ago
I still have the cover
alantrowe avatar
4 months ago
translove1969 avatar
4 months ago
sylvietunion avatar
4 months ago
i have this exact same magazine that my mom saved from when it was published. she kept it for so many years because that was the first time she ever saw a gay couple on the front page of a magazine and she thought it was cool asf.
slowdissolve avatar
4 months ago
i knew the man of Newsweek who was editor of this issue. (He passed away in 2011.) It was one of his proudest achievements.
dhtrack avatar
4 months ago
nandog1997 avatar
4 months ago
I'm glad Reagan dead!
vrcooper22183 avatar
4 months ago
I remember this. I was not out yet but gay as a fruitcake! I was having an affair with a married man. I read this and I was confused about this AIDS thing. I never heard of such a thing. I brought the magazine to my friend and asked about this new “gay disease.” He said we did not have to worry. Granted he was the first guy I was sleeping with. I joined the Air Force and was soon off to my first assignment in Germany. I went to gay bars for the first time and every bar had posters up about HIV/AIDS and free consumes. I was shocked/amazed how different the message was in Europe verses the United States. Europe was all in and beating you over the head with it to protect yourself. This is also when the military first started conducting mandatory testing. Yes, I had a few fellow servicemen test positive. They were not kicked out but closely monitored-medically. We have come a long way baby. Some of the young people today don’t know their gay history and how lucky they are. You try living in a time when you have the Office of Special Intelligence (OSI) following you around, trying to be cool about, while your trying to serve your country. Fun times!
bryanharris1486 avatar
4 months ago
I think I still have this issue.
estrella_dedavid avatar
4 months ago
I only had 4 years in the 80s but I've paid more and more attention for the LGBT history at the time and their/our struggle was extremely heart-wrenching! There is a new series I love set in the 80s. I think I felt every #poc #trans and/or #gay heart breaking sorrow, pain, and fears. Every tear worth it!

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