When I was a kid, there was a highway overpass near my house that was a hub of political graffiti in our town. One tag read "Silence = Death" inside a rough outline of a TV set; so I innocently assumed it was some sort of general comment on the passivity of broadcast media culture and its impact on our collective consciousness as active citizens. Oh, and I also thought homophobia was fear of leaving your home (i.e., agoraphobia), because of a neighborhood bumper sticker that read, "Homophobia is a social disease." Can you tell I grew up in a college town?
Though I am of course far more educated now about the history of queer liberation and the origins of the AIDS crisis, the fact remains that those of us who weren't around when shit first got real owe it to ourselves, our elders and our future to never forget (yes, Grandma, I am invoking my Holocaust card). The further away we get from the Regan Administration, the easier it will be for the public consciousness to lapse away from remembering how close this country came to segregating or tattooing AIDS patients like lepers; and I wonder how many kids under 21 now even know that AIDS was originally called GRID-- gay related immune deficiency.
In that vein, Velvetpark invites our readers to check out the trailer for the forthcoming documentary, United in Anger. It's the first feature-length documentary about ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), brought to you by filmmaker/producer Jim Hubbard, with co-producer Sarah Schulman, both of queer activist/filmmaking/author legend. This new documentary of ACT UP's history comes out of the long-time ACT UP oral history project, with hundreds of interviews shot over several years. Take a gander at the trailer, then head on over to the Kickstarter page and make your pledge to back this important piece of queer history. They're already more than halfway to their incredibly modest goal of $15,000, and any pledge over $1 is accepted! Be a part of history, bois & grrlz.