Gays and AIDS: An Identity Forged in Flames

The wildfire of the AIDS epidemic has made gays a community even as it has consumed their lives

Michael McDade, who earned a Bronze Star fighting in Vietnam, came to believe the war was an unwinnable folly. But opposition to the conflict never got him marching in protest. Nor did Watergate prompt him to activism, even though he grew so disgusted he "no longer felt allegiance to the government." What did radicalize him, he says, was "having to bundle up and transport my increasingly ill lover to a welfare office every few months so bureaucrats could go through the pointless charade of recertifying a dying man's disability to work." So he began to join group after group and march...

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