“I feel like people started enacting these borders around it and categorizing it, and that felt so bad and wrong, and the antithesis of everything that it should be. Then, some people also really conflated it with the idea of being genderless or agender, and I’m like, “No…” I feel a lot of gender feelings! I don’t know what they are, or what they mean, but they’re there.”
“Lessons learned and trauma experienced early in HIV helped urban gay areas respond quickly and effectively in the face of early federal govt paralysis.”
A study and possible forthcoming book strongly suggest that those who worked and agitated in their communities absent recognition, let alone support, for the Americans fighting the last pandemic, emerged with some skills to go with that trauma. And indications are that the lessons, insights and agitation likely mitigated some amount of pain during quarantines and contributed to greater resilience. — Editor
How gay neighborhoods used the traumas of HIV to help American cities fight coronavirus
Throughout the pandemic, local neighborhoods have played a critical and well-documented role providing the health and social services necessary for American communities and businesses to survive and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Gayborhoods” grew during the sexual liberation movements of the 1960s and 1970s, offering LGTBQ people and their allies an escape from pervasive discrimination and prejudice. In these areas, sexual minorities could rent apartments, socialize in bars and express themselves freely in a like-minded, compassionate community.
When that mysterious new disease began ravaging the LGBTQ community in the 1980s, the U.S. government turned away from, not toward, those communities. Support critical for fighting HIV – including health care subsidies for uninsured people and funding for research on treatments and cures – was initially not provided. Information given by governments about disease transmission and treatment was inconsistent and sometimes inaccurate.
Government neglect ended up stigmatizing people with HIV and leading to many avoidable deaths. So, as we uncovered in our most recent book, gay neighborhoods filled the void where government and mainstream organizations failed. They became the battlefields where the AIDS pandemic was fought and eventually won.
People in gay neighborhoods developed community organizations and systems to deliver health care and mental health services, provide social support for LGBTQ+ people and support LGBTQ-friendly businesses.
Public health organizations like New York City’s Gay Men’s Health Crisis also stepped in to do what many doctors would not. They shared information about slowing and stopping the spread of HIV and also distributed condoms, conducted free HIV testing and connected people who tested positive to help.
For example, in New York, the Erie County Department of Health requested that Evergreen Health – an LGBTQ community group originally established in the 1980s as a volunteer effort to fight HIV – assume responsibility for HIV testing during the COVID-19 pandemic so that the county government could focus on COVID-19 testing. Evergreen also opened a drive-though COVID-19 testing center in the spring of 2020 – four decades after it had introduced HIV testing to the Buffalo region.
For instance, New York state used a network of small laboratories to process its COVID-19 tests and administer vaccines – a model pioneered during the emergence of the HIV/AIDS pandemic when large, centralized laboratories were initially nervous about working with HIV-positive blood samples. Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, this allowed New York to react effectively and process COVID-19 tests relatively quickly.
I thought about what it meant to be part of Black sex working community and our long history of organizing, mutual aid, protests and movements. I thought about what it meant to stand beside one another screaming at the top of our lungs.
When you picture yourself in Miami, a few images likely come to mind: Dancing the night away among hot, sweaty bodies; enjoying the eye candy on a beautiful beach; mingling with the fashionable Art Basel crowd; or savoring Cuban flavors on your plate and on the dance floor. And that’s still just a fraction of the adventures awaiting.
A single trip to Miami can have you cruising the Everglades in an airboat and cruising the guys at a world-famous gay nightclubs, all in the same day. The wealth of experiences available for gay travelers visiting the famously LGBTQ+-friendly city means it can be hard to cram it all in on one trip.
To make sure you get at least a taste of Miami’s many flavors, we’ve put together four totally unique must-visit Miami spots for your next trip. Add one of these areas to your next itinerary for an unforgettable first-time experience or a new flavor to a return trip.
Marvel fans celebrating the big bisexual Loki reveal can thank director Kate Herron, who says the game-changing character development was her goal from the start. Episode three of the new Disney Plus series gave us the LGBT+ deity representation we needed by confirming, once and for all, that the God of Mischief is…