Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-09-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

BOOKS 'In Bed' with activist Anne-christine d'Adesky
by Angelique Smith
2017-06-21

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


It's hard to describe The Pox Lover: An Activist's Decade in New York and Paris, the newest book by award-winning journalist Anne-christine d'Adesky—one of the founders of the Lesbian Avengers, a direct-action group that created the Dyke March.

The book contains sharp critiques of political figures, historical facts, investigations into her own family history, and a look at how those in the AIDS movement became a different kind of family, forever bonded by loss, exhaustion and heartbreak. While on her "In Bed with the Pox Lover" tour, d'Adesky addressed a variety of topics.

Windy City Times: What inspired you to write this memoir?

d'Adesky: This is a book based on my actual, intimate diaries. Without really meaning to, I'd captured my own journey but also a particular history that I felt was very poignant to me still, including the struggles, victories and deaths of close friends and colleagues to AIDS.

This parallel history made the '90s such a rich and instructive decade. I wouldn't presume to speak for my generation, but I think how my cultural, social and sexual life has shaped itself is going to be representative of a current of gay people and activists who were in big cities in the United States at that time and were engaging themselves in the AIDS epidemic. And for me, it goes back to that mantra I put out—"the political is personal"—which really held true.

WCT: In reading the book, I was struck by how little seems to have changed. Some of the characters, issues and organizations that show up—from Le Pen to Giuliani to Focus on the Family to healthcare for profit affecting care—made me feel like we're still fighting the same fight with the same villains.

d'Adesky: I understand that point and it's interesting to me because I feel like even though there were a lot of victories that took place, people often will look back at that moment to now and say, "Well, what really changed?" But it is very, very different. To give you an example, when the Zika virus first emerged, the speed with which we were able to mobilize a response … within days we were able to make statements, within moments we were able to reach out to a lot of different people and institutions, because those institutions actually existed. They didn't exist in the '90s.

So many of the frontline organizations, the networks, the people who are now in these positions of power, whether it's the State Department or the CDC—we have allies in so many places. LGBTQ issues have really become much more embraced as a part of any American's progressive civil-rights agenda.

WCT: Let's talk about radical lesbian activism in the '90s. Even then, you understood that the work was often overshadowed by gay men during that time…

d'Adesky: Definitely, in terms of visibility.

WCT: Yes. Can you educate us on the fire-eating Lesbian Avengers?

d'Adesky: With pleasure. Every woman should learn to eat fire. It's an exciting thing to do, it'll singe your brows if you're not careful, and it's an incredible thing in terms of getting people's attention, scaring cops and impressing girls.

But on a more serious note, one of the reasons we wanted to start the Avengers was not because we were tired of doing AIDS work, and not because AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power ( ACT UP ) and groups like that weren't beginning to start paying attention to lesbian health issues … that always should have been done at a much greater degree. But it was because the urgency of HIV really meant for legitimate reasons that everyone needed to respond. Issues of women's health that were equally urgent, like breast cancer or MS, didn't have the same quality of a stigmatized epidemic. They weren't going to get the same kind of urgency because, they weren't sexual diseases, which really makes STDs, in some ways, always have its own special category of public response.

From being in ACT UP, we saw how much we were able to bring to intersectional organizing and we all had a history in reproductive health work. A lot of [the work of] the Avengers was about both directing to the greater public, but a lot of it was directed towards our own LGBT community.

WCT: What are your thoughts on certain groups experiencing an increase in HIV diagnoses amidst the overall decline in the United States?

d'Adesky: What was true in 1980 and 1990 is true now: any disease is going to take advantage of the underlying social and economic fabric. Right now, we're certainly seeing poverty, class and economic issues being factors that are fueling the epidemic. You add institutionalized racism to that … you look at this and it's not by any kind of accident that African-American women who are poor, underserved and economically in the margins are going to continue to be the most impacted. If there was any criticism that I would challenge that still remains true, it's that we always should look at the hurdles that put people in the path of the virus and stop focusing on this concept of an individual's behavior or choice.

WCT: How do you think your parents, being more apolitical, shaped your political views, if at all?

d'Adesky: One of the currents of this book is really about that. When I was very young—in Haiti, in particular—I was in a place where there was such radical, extreme inequity and I was profoundly uncomfortable and aware of it. In some ways, my own personal issues have been a response to not wanting any part of that. I was aware that I had privilege. The one piece that my parents did give me, sharing that with privilege comes responsibility. And while that in itself may be seen as a class entitlement, what it meant for me was that I did try to see how I could be of use. I think that when you see things around you that are not right, if you don't speak out, then you're complicit.

WCT: Tell us about your current book tour.

d'Adesky: I'm very excited! It's called, "In Bed with the Pox Lover," which is meant in all senses because I definitely want people to get in bed with me politically and people are making fun of me because, obviously, I had a lot of relationships that happened and also failed in the '90s. I will probably run into a lot of old friends and exes when I am on this tour and that's just going to be fun, too.

For this book, I want to create a reader's blog on my website where not only can people share how they intersect with the story, but I want them to share with me their adventures, too, so I can go and continue my adventure through them. I feel like, we're all in bed together, even across this big American landscape, and there were remarkable connections made that continue to be made.

To pre-order The Pox Lover or to learn more about d'Adesky's tour, visit ThePoxLover.com .


facebook twitter pin it 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.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Banned Books Week, Sept. 24 - 30, celebrates power of words 2017-09-22 - HICAGO — Libraries, bookstores and schools will celebrate Banned Books Week, Sept. 24 — 30, 2017, an opportunity to celebrate the power of ...


Gay News

Speakers announced For Chicago Ideas Week Oct. 16-22 2017-09-08 - CHICAGO, Aug. 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The lineup for the largest affordable ideas festival in the world — Chicago Ideas Week ( CIW ...


Gay News

Downers Grove council ousts library trustee after alleged anti-LGBT remarks 2017-09-06 - The Downers Grove Village Council unanimously voted Sept. 5 to remove Arthur Jaros, a member of the Downers Grove Public Library's Board of ...


Gay News

Downers Grove pol moves to oust Library Board member after anti-gay remarks 2017-09-02 - Downers Grove Village Commissioner Greg Hosé announced Aug. 29 that he had submitted a new business item at the village council's next meeting—scheduled ...


Gay News

West Chicago library votes to keep LGBT book 2017-08-29 - The West Chicago Public Library Board of Trustees voted 6-1 Aug. 28 to retain the children's book This Day in June—both in the ...


Gay News

Women & Children First Books hosts authors, book groups in September 2017-08-28 - Women & Children First is an independant bookstore with focus on the interests of feminists and children and offering regular author appearances and ...


Gay News

Civil Liberties writing, performance workshop to planned by Goodman, Alphawood 2017-08-25 - ( Chicago, IL ) Goodman Theatre is proud to continue its collaboration with Chicago's Alphawood Gallery with the new writing workshop series, "I ...


Gay News

BOOKS Author explores truth about friend's death 2017-08-23 - In this nonfiction mystery, author Kevin Troxall revisits his hometown is Glasgow, Kentucky, to uncover the truth about the death of his childhood ...


Gay News

'Own voices' panel on LGBTQIA mystery writing Sept. 28 2017-08-23 - Center on Halsted/Mystery Writers of America host a panel of Mystery Writers of America, Midwest Chapter authors who write LGBTQIA-focused novels to raise ...


Gay News

Margaret Atwood, Dave Eggers to be honored with Carl Sandburg awards Oct. 11 2017-08-18 - CHICAGO — The Chicago Public Library Foundation and Chicago Public Library will present the annualCarl Sandburg Literary Awards to best-selling authors Margaret Atwood ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our 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.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


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     
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.