This Irish Times article came up on my facebook feed this morning. It is 30 years since the death of Irish VJ Vincent Hanley. Below is what I posted on my facebook page today.
I was a bit young for MT USA originally but I remember it well - maybe from reruns?? I always loved Vincent Hanley.
It's sad though that the story of his death, and the conversation about the cause of his death/how it was reported at the time overrides how just bloody good he was.
It actually isn't just an Irish story though - it's redolent of the (1987) book "And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic". The world was simply afraid to say the real reason people were dying. People were scared and fearful that they too could be infected. And with that fear came shunning and abandonment...
"In 1988 Key West had one of the highest AID'S rates per capita in the US. Part of the reason for this was that it became a refuge for hundreds of people who were diagnosed elsewhere but felt they could not remain at home in what many considered to be hostile environments". (Source keywestaids.org/history/)
If you'd like to see some photos of this sombre but beautiful memorial I had blogged about it previously here.
I'm glad I live in a different world now.
Enid commented on my facebook post which is a very good add on to the above
"So sad, to be dying and then to be cut off from your family and society by the stigma of the disease that will ultimately kill you. I remember the Benetton ad - it put a face on the people and their families. I think it was ground breaking"