I watched the “AIDS in the Media, The Early Years” video from the “links” page above. Prior to our class discussion about the Bordowitz and Saalfield readings, I didn’t know much about how the gay community was portrayed by the media and treated by the government during the AIDS crisis. The video showed different clips of news coverage about AIDS. I was astonished that the government dismissed AIDS and did nothing to help the gay community. I also didn’t realize there was so much violence against gay people at the time. One news clip talked about a gay man in Maine drowning after being attacked and pushed over a bridge. Another news clip showed a homophobic woman being interviewed. She said, “All this media attention and sympathy for these AIDS victims really bothers me…[AIDS’s] vast majority of victims are a group of abnormal people who have a strange and unusual life style.” It baffles me that this woman wasn’t concerned for AIDS victims. Even if she doesn’t understand homosexuality, they are humans just like her, and she should still care about their health. This video and our class discussions about the AIDS crisis made me realize how my high school only taught me one perspective of history. In high school, we learned the “surface” information about historical events: the what, when, where and why something happened. We didn’t examine events in greater detail through other perspectives (e.g. looking at the AIDS crisis through someone’s experience with AIDS). I wish my history classes had given me a more holistic view of past events.


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