I'm thinking this morning of Randy Shilts, author of And the Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic, who died of AIDS himself twenty years ago. Today would have been his 63rd birthday. Although he only lived to be 42, Randy was someone who made a difference. I've mentioned his name here on a number of occasions.
Years ago when I moved to San Francisco, Randy Shilts was the very first person I met here. Either he or I had been the first openly gay television reporter. He was certainly the first to chronicle many things within the lgbt community. His book that I mentioned above gave us a very good look at the first days of AIDS and his other two books gave us a look at gays in the military and the life of Harvey Milk. There is also his many years worth of reports on television and in the newspaper where he covered events of the day (although not always lgbt-related).
Randy was just one of hundreds, maybe even thousands, that I knew who died from AIDS, and sadly there will probably be more. There are those who had issues with him too, but what human is perfect after all? The positive place he has in history will never disappear. Thank you for your courage to go where nobody had before in several instances Randy Shilts and thank you for making a difference!