Originally Posted by foodguy
yeah, i lost a lot of friends. it was a really horrible time. and a lot of bad behavior ... on all sides. i remember randy shilts was a pariah in the gay community because he recommended closing down the bathhouses. we helped a guy who was our closest family friend through the end and it was just horrible. brain cancers, kaposis, thrush, the whole thing. oddest thing: his partner tested positive but never developed symptoms. there really was a sense of a plague that struck like lightning.
Yeah, the bath house issue was hard. I think there was a sense that closing them would give back the hard fought gains to legitimize their sexuality over the previous decade, but the decision to keep them open for any extra time was absolutely a disaster. For the record, I'm not saying that there wasn't fear, hatred and bigotry, but the GRID name wasn't really part of that, it was just a rational description of the early cases. It isn't like doctors were calling it GRFKS, or God's Righteous Fag Killing Sword. In some ways I think that despite all the missteps, it was handled rather well, if not by the leaders in politics and the various groups, then by society as a whole, at least eventually. Maybe I am too pollyanna, though.