"The idea—and not just the idea, the actual life of homosexuals—changed immeasurably because of the acceptance of homosexuality. And that was because of AIDS. No one ever says that. Or how AIDS caused gay marriage. I mean, it would never have existed. You could pretend to your family that you were straight, but you couldn't pretend you weren't dying. And also, people became scared, not just of AIDS, which was a sufficient reason to be terrified, but also because—and this is the other thing no one ever says—the way that AIDS spread, by which I mean the rapidity, which was caused by a level of promiscuity that never existed before or since. And I really believe that people made these kinds of bargains with themselves. You know, I'm not saying I have this on the record but from what I could see from the people I know who survived that era, it was like, 'don't kill me and I won't do this anymore.'
"Also, most straight people never thought about gay people before AIDS, which is why I could publish this stuff, go on a national television show and never be asked about it, in the way you are asking me about it. They would focus on other things. And after AIDS, I think that [homosexual] people were afraid of a kind of official response to AIDS, like they would be arrested, or put in jail, all these kind of things, which are not unlikely things, by the way, and so they made up a lie. 'We're just like you. We are just like you, we're exactly like you.' But of course, they were not exactly like straight people. They were nothing like straight people." - Fran Lebowitz
, in a lengthy interview with The Awl
that touches on gay heteronormativity, AIDS, and New York City in the 1970s. Highly recommended. (Tipped by JMG reader Eric)
Labels: AIDS, disco, gay writers, HomoQuotable, LGBT History, NYC, The 70's