The Advocate marked the fourth decade of the AIDS crisis by revisiting some of the people who have been there since day one:
“I wanted to do something about AIDS through the eyes of the gay community. There was nothing else out there, and people kept saying, ‘Why is this still a taboo subject?'”
Lindsay Law, executive producer of the film Longtime Companion. May 8, 1990.
“Remember that someday the AIDS crisis will be over. And when that day has come and gone, there will be people alive–gay and straight people, black and white people, men and women–who will hear that once there was a terrible disease and that a brave group of people stood up and fought and in some cases died so others might live and be free. I’m proud to be with the people I love–those who are fighting this war–and to be a part of that fight. And after we kick the shit out of this disease, I intend to be alive to kick the shit out of this system so that it will never happen again.”
Film critic, author, and GLAAD cofounder Vito Russo at the October 1988 ACT UP FDA protest. December 18, 1990.
“I hear people say, ‘Oh, gee, wasn’t that horrible then?’ but it’s just as horrible now. It’s just on a grander scale. Instead of spending $20 million, we spend $2 billion, but instead of having 10,000 cases we have 200,000 cases.”
Randy Shilts, former Advocate staffer and author of And The Band Played On. June 15, 1993.
“I tell people when I go out to speak that no matter how people got this virus, we’ve got to open our arms up to everybody–not just to me because I’m heterosexual. Until you’re able to educate society–not just about AIDS and HIV, but about gays and stuff–they’re always going to do and say stupid things.”
Retired basketball player and philanthropist Magic Johnson. April 21, 1992.
“For those with HIV, never despair, never give up, because things are happening all the time, because we will get there someday, and it could be sooner than some of us dare to expect.”
Mathilde Krim, founding chairman of amfAR. November 16, 1993.
“I’ve lost incredible numbers of people. I’m to the point where I don’t even remember who’s alive anymore… Some days I just assume everybody’s dead. I went through a one-year period where I’d say that i just don’t have anyone I love anymore. I had one friend whose ashes are buried in my backyard. I’ve done four quilts, and that’s just for people no one else had done it for.”
Actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein. October 8, 1991.