lgbt_history 2 weeks 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


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