Everyone seems to be ignoring his sexuality in the mainstram obits. And screw that, the creep is dead, he has no control over the narrative anymore. So, foul closet case Ed Koch has died. His total fear of being an out gay man really stopped NYC from having any kind of response to the AIDS crisis until he left office. Salon puts it well. imagine a decent Mayor, unafraid of himself, Imagine if THAT man had been in charge in the 80′s.
Koch did, in fact, introduce anti-discrimination bills and appoint openly gay staffers, and he was the first New York mayor to march in the Pride parade. In 1983, he created the city’s Office of Gay and Lesbian Health Concerns. But its “first comprehensive AIDS plan” did not come until five years later. “[Larry] Kramer’s thrust was that I was afraid that if I showed concern, people would think I was gay,” he said. “He wasn’t the only one who said that, of course. Listen, there’s no question that some New Yorkers think I’m gay, and voted for me nevertheless. The vast majority don’t care … My answer to questions on this subject is simply,’ Fuck off.’”
Thirty years after the heyday of Edward Koch, New York City is today run by another doesn’t-give-a-damn bigmouthed bachelor. But the heterosexual-to-a-fault Mike Bloomberg, for all his administrative shortcomings, has been a persistent and vocal advocate for LGBT rights. He’s dug into his own deep pockets to support same-sex unions in other states, and as soon as it became legal in New York, he eagerly volunteered to preside over a gay staffer’s nuptials. Imagine what a guy like that could have achieved if the AIDS crisis were blowing up now instead of then.
If you lived through the worst ravages of the AIDS crisis years, you recall the battle cry of those years, the fury over indifference that it evoked. Even if you were too young, you should know the devastating toll that AIDS continues to take, the way it just keeps on robbing us of our best and brightest, even now, and why that phrase still matters. Silence equals death. And on the one matter that could have changed so much for so many – including, most likely, himself — Edward Irving Koch, the brash, outspoken former mayor who was never at a loss for words, went through his life as he ultimately went to his death. Silent.
He never gets to have this experience. Closet cases deserve nothing but contempt, in life and in death.
A few years after he left Gracie Mansion, Ed Koch ran into gay-rights activist and playwright Larry Kramer in the lobby of their apartment building on Washington Square. Mr. Kramer had famously been a harsh critic of what he believed was Mr. Koch’s slow response to the AIDS crisis, satirizing him as closeted and craven in his 1985 play The Normal Heart, about the syndrome then baffling doctors, and confronting the indifference of public health officials like those in Mr. Koch’s administration. Hundreds of New Yorkers dead or dying from a terrifying new disease and the mayor couldn’t give less than a damn, according to Mr. Kramer. For Mr. Koch, though, it was bygones. “He was trying to pet my dog Molly and he started to tell me how beautiful it was,” Mr. Kramer once told The New Yorker of the incident, recounted in N.Y.U. Polytechnic historian Jonathan Soffer’s Ed Koch and the Rebuilding of New York City. “I yanked her away so hard she yelped, and I said, ‘Molly, you can’t talk to him. That is the man who killed all of Daddy’s friends.’”
Timmy Gunn on the ABC talk show The Revolution.
“I haven’t had sex in 29 years,” Gunn confessed, before continuing, “Do I feel like less of a person because of it? No.”
Gunn explained that an experience with an ex-partner that ultimately caused his monastic lifestyle, before adding: ““I’m happy to be healthy and alive, frankly.”
“Do I feel like less of a person for it? No! Not even remotely.” But when it came time to talk about why it was so, he became emotional, citing a former partner’s impatience with his “sexual performance.” It was a bit disconcerting to see the normally stoic Gunn looking so vulnerable, seemingly shaking a bit, as he talked about this time that he describes as “the cusp of AIDS.” He went on to say that “a lot of people retreated, concerned about their health. I know I certainly was. I’m happy to be healthy and alive, quite frankly.”
SINCE 1982. METHINKS SOMEONE HAS A STRANGE FEAR OF HIV/AIDS. TIMMY, DARLING, JUST USE CONDOMS. THIS STORY IS TOO SAD AND STRAIGHT AND DUMB.
Filmmaker David France’s new documentary How to Survive a Plague is set to screen at this year’s Sundance Festival. A six-minute clip from the film features some of the hero activists who fought government officials demanding drugs and research in order to save themselves and those they loved. The brief clip contains some very powerful footage and interviews with ACT-UP members, including Peter Staley, above, who as you can see, is being handled with gloves.