Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Week #4 Post
In the third section of Gay LA the historical topic of the introduction of AIDs in the mainstream medical world came about, showing the plight to find a cure and the effects it had on the queer community. I recently watched a film How to Survive a Plague that also documented the epidemic from a LGBTQ community perspective and what struck me in both the film and this book was the unification effect that AIDs had on the community. With politicians trying to place blame and the slow proceedings of the FDA to approve drugs to help slow effects of AIDs it was the queer community that unified and placed pressure on both the government and FDA. Even when AZT was released there were many that could not take it due to side effects or could not afford the lofty price tag that went along with it.
The protests and confrontations made by the community to push for more action along with the considerable amounts of fundraising were the major reasons, if not the most prominent, that progress was made. Organizations like ACT UP truly did make a difference, which I believe speaks volumes about the power of activism not only historically but as well for the implications it can have for this day and age. There is a significant amount of power in the unification of the people to garner the attention and progression from politicians and the government to incite real change.
The final chapter of the book really focused on the triumphs and positive headway made for the queer community both socially and legislatively. Faderman especially focuses on the vast improvements made in LA, which tends to be more progressive. Being from northern California, I can see a distinct difference in acceptance and inclusion of the LGBTQ community between there and here in Los Angeles. Despite being in the same state there are still very closed-minded pocket communities throughout, with few places comparing to the progressive nature of LA. Which raises the question, how long until other places follow in suit to LA’s lead?