Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-04-16
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Villa Loretta adds a touch of Hollywood to weddings Villa Loretta adds a touch of Hollywood to weddings
Need a touch of Hollywood elegance for your wedding? For couples willing ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

Erica Demarest, Windy City Times AIDS: 'Patient Zero' discussed at history association panel
by Erica Demarest, Windy City Times
2012-01-18

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Richard McKay and Chet DeFonso (right, far right) chat with audience members. Photos by Erica Demarest


A panel of historians set to work deconstructing the "Patient Zero" myth Jan. 7, as the American Historical Association ( AHA ) 's Committee on LGBT History convened at the Chicago Marriott Downtown, 540 N. Michigan Ave.

"In 2011, we marked the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the HIV/AIDS pandemic," said Ian Lekus of Harvard University. "To be precise, it was the anniversary of the June '81 epidemiological reports. The origins of HIV are far murkier. Where did the virus originate? How long did it manifest in gay men and other people infected in the United States before it became clear there was a crisis?"

In his 1987 book And the Band Played On, journalist Randy Shilts identified gay Canadian flight attendant Gaétan Dugas as "Patient Zero," or the man who may have brought AIDS to North America. While myriad medical officials have since debunked Shilts' hypothesis, it nonetheless managed to captivate the American public.

In his paper "'Patient Zero' and the 'Recalcitrant' Queer," Philadelphia University's Phil Tiemeyer outlined how Dugas was used as a catalyst for anti-gay legislation and quarantine efforts in the 1980s and 1990s.

"Randy Shilts's narrative may not have led directly to [ anti-gay ] laws," Tiemeyer said, "but it did tighten the perceived link between AIDS and queer sexual depravity, thereby allowing such legal changes to occur more easily."

Tiemeyer argued that the origin myth's arrival some six years after AIDS was 'discovered' was uniquely suited to aid conservative agendas.

"Gaëtan seemingly proved that men who engage in anal sex and cavort in bathhouses invite plague-like diseases on themselves and the rest of society," Tiemeyer said. "For the world to make this sensational myth about the origin of AIDS in America… demonstrates more than anything else society's revulsion with gays post-Stonewall sexual freedom."

Richard McKay from King's College London used his paper "Communicative Contacts: Randy Shilts, Gaétan Dugas, and the Construction of the 'Patient Zero' Myth" to examine Shilts's reporting tactics.

McKay argued that Shilts circumvented patient confidentiality laws and misused personal stories to construct a largely biased characterization of Dugas.

"Shilts' dark characterization of Dugas drew its intensity from — and indeed combined with — the journalist's intention to cast the disease itself as a character in his history," McKay wrote.

David Palmer from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill also presented a paper titled "AIDS, the Religious Right, and Gay Sex in Late 1980s North Carolina." He illustrated how gay press and local conservative figures helped shape a nuanced region-specific response to the pandemic, challenging the popular notion that the Religious Right had presented one unified, monolithic reaction.

"AIDS is a national, indeed global, issue, but…. it is also an epidemic rooted in local concerns and political considerations," Palmer said. "Responses to AIDS took shape in concert to a host of locally drawn political concerns."

Chet DeFonso of Northern Michigan University emceed the panel, and Lekus closed with a call for more AIDS-related investigations.

"Scholarship on the pandemic is one of the most exciting emerging fields in U.S. history," Lekus said. "This growing body of work is overturning all the ways that we thought we knew the historical narrative in the 1980s and first half of the 1990s."


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.

Lesbianography: Lesbians and Sex, Out at CHM May 8 2014-04-17
Community forum to include first person cured of HIV 2014-04-10
Company pride groups join for The Legacy Project 2014-04-09
Photographic fundraiser to support Ride For AIDS Chicago 2014-04-02
The AIDS Generation: Stories of Survival and Resilience 2014-04-01
VIEWS How media criminalizes HIV and how to change it 2014-04-01
President Obama names director, Office of Nat'l AIDS Policy 2014-03-24
AFC offers guide to HIV meds in Marketplace Plans 2014-03-20
AIDS Legal Council names new executive director 2014-03-18
Registration opens for Iowa HIV is Not a Crime June 2-5 2014-03-17
TPAN has new interim CEO 2014-03-17
Strub reflects on past and present AIDS activism 2014-03-13
Out at CHM: Dangerously Explicit, Painting Gay Male Experience 2014-03-12
DIFFA holds winter ball at Center on Halsted 2014-03-12
Sean Strub to make two Chicago appearances 2014-03-12
Arizona lawmaker comes out; mag gets HIV/AIDS patient lists 2014-03-12
NMAC, women of color fight to end HIV/AIDS epidemic 2014-03-10
Iowa court hears Lambda Legal case on HIV-based conviction 2014-03-10
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day March 10 2014-03-07
Report: Treat HIV infection without Drugs? 2014-03-07
Genetically modified cells may be effective in treating HIV 2014-03-05
Fundraiser held for Mychal Judge Legacy Walk plaque 2014-03-04
Torres speaks on Latina lesbian history 2014-03-02
HIV/AIDS activist Sean Strub visiting March 12 2014-02-26
Driehaus Museum observes Women's History Month 2014-02-25
1970 Chicago Gay Liberation Front rally pics released 2014-02-19
Legacy, Dignity to hold event for Mychal Judge 2014-02-17
"Death of the American Trial" to mark Darrow death anniversary 2014-02-17
"Death of the American Trial" marks Darrow death anniversary 2014-02-17
Gray and Ewert make history, first IL same-sex marriage 2014-02-05
Chicago House unveiling 'The Tease' 2014-02-05
Lavender Univ. forum examines race, gender and the prison nation 2014-02-04
'Fireside Chat' takes a look at leather history 2014-02-04
'Out at CHM' forum grooves to house music 2014-02-04
Stoli, L.A. Center partner; Mississippi city makes history 2014-01-28
Wrapture' attendees enjoy cocktails, sneak preview 2014-01-28
TPAN refocuses, takes break from 'Chicago Takes Off' 2014-01-24
GMHC: Analysis shows budget cuts to critical AIDS programs 2014-01-22
Legacy Project receives honorable mention 2014-01-21
BOOKS HIV/AIDS activist Sean Strub talks 'Body Counts' 2014-01-15





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
the online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

Gay-owned B&B offers warmth in Rogers Park
 
'This Is What It Feels Like' to be Armin van Buuren
 
BENT NIGHTS Sharon Corr; Dum Dum Girls; Landmarks
 
Pam Grier talks 'Dining Out For Life,' comic conventions
 
Boy George on St. Patrick's Day, Easter Lady Bunny
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now








  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.