Saturday, June 27, 2015

Raining on the parade: Randy Shilts on "gay" denial

I am afraid there is a lot more public denial than our friends in the "gay" community would like to admit -- palpably so amidst the current jubilation over the Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex so-called "marriage" in this land.

Joseph Sciambra has an interesting post, entitled "Dead Gay Journalist Randy Shilts on Homosexual Denial and the Future of AIDS" (June 25, 2015). He points out that Randy Shilts, who died of AIDS in 1994 at the age of 42, remains a controversial figure in the gay community. While he was a proponent of "gay rights," he was not a blind or dogmatic ideologue. Most controversially, says Sciambra, in his celebrated book And the Band Played On,a detailed retelling of the early struggle to uncover the mysterious AIDS virus, Shilts laid some of the blame for the AIDS epidemic on the rampant sexual hedonism practiced by gay men. Sciambra writes:
During a 1987 interview with famed journalist and author Randy Shilts, a reporter asked for his opinion concerning the AIDS crisis, Shilts said: “I hate to be the one to say it, but I don't think our gay leaders are going to tell us. The fact is that we're not in the middle of the epidemic, we're at the beginning.” He continued: “I don't think that civil liberties are the most important thing. The gay political leadership is misguiding us by always talking about civil liberties. The most important thing for most gay going to be just keeping sane in the face of all this suffering, because what I do know is going to happen is that we are going to be facing an incredible amount of untimely death...We need to begin gearing ourselves for it psychologically as human beings."

... Now, over 20 years since his death, much of what he said has proven true: the needless suffering and excruciating deaths endured by thousands of gay men during the 1990s; the continuing obsession among gay leaders with one civil liberties battle after another: from gays in the military to same-sex marriage; and the collective homosexual inability to cope with the psychological effects of AIDS. Today, although much fewer die of the disease, HIV infections are rampant within the gay male population: Overall, gay men — account for more than half of the 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States (59%, or an estimated 712,500 persons) and approximately two-thirds of all new HIV infections each year (66%, or an estimated 31,400 infections). Only, gay men continue to construct successively larger and more elaborate worlds of fantasy and make-believe: so far, the biggest of them all – the myth of male homosexual monogamy; hence the current push for the universal acceptance of same-sex marriage; a day-dream that seems only held together by the promise of Truvada (the wonder drug touted by the gay press, which can be used as a pre-exposure prophylactic). In every case, the rhetoric of victory over discrimination proves more appealing than that of depression and disease. But, this goes part and parcel with a psychology of avoidance – to imagine things as they are not: a disease free gay world of middle-class domesticity; and oftentimes for the younger set: a complete immersion in sexual freedom and perversity – as if the 1970s never ended, and, the party didn’t get interrupted by AIDS; in both cases, this way of thinking is delusional and ultimately deadly. (emphasis added)
Rated G (General Audiences):