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 2017-05-24
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

AIDS @ 30: Activist Bob Hattoy
2012-04-04

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Robert Keith Hattoy was born on Nov. 1, 1950 in Providence, R.I., and was open about his homosexuality for as long as he could remember. He was the son of a mechanical engineer and a school registrar. Hattoy became politically active protesting the Vietnam War; he said he considered politics a form of lifesaving.

Hattoy bounced around different colleges in seven years but never earned a degree. After working at Disneyland he landed his first political job in the mid 1970s with the California Democratic Party, spending three years as an aide to Zev Yaroslavsky, a Los Angeles City Council member.

In 1981 Mr. Hattoy found a calling at the Sierra Club where he worked for a decade on environmental justice and as a regional director for the club for the states of California and Nevada. When President Ronald Reagan proposed opening the California shoreline to oil drilling, Hattoy worked on forming a coalition of people and organizations across the social and political spectrum to oppose the plan.

After working for the Sierra Club for a decade, he joined Bill Clinton's campaign for president and became his leading environmental advisor in 1992. He came to Washington with the Clinton team as a 41-year-old openly gay man with AIDS. His very presence connected the new President to a population that had never been represented in the White House before.

Clinton asked Hattoy to deliver an AIDS speech at the 1992 Democratic National Convention. The speech was nationally televised and made him a forceful advocate for gays and lesbians in the Clinton White House. The speech at the convention came 11 years into the epidemic, though the White House under the Reagan and first Bush administrations had waited years to publicly acknowledge AIDS and mount a public health response.

At the Democratic National Convention of 1992 Hattoy said, "We are part of the American family ( addressing then President George H.W. Bush ) and Mr. President, your family has AIDS and we are dying and you are doing nothing about it." He went on to say, "I don't want to die, but I don't want to live in an America where the President sees me as the enemy. I can face dying because of a disease, but not because of politics."

According to a New York Times article from March 6, 2007 by Tim Weiner, Hattoy's words riveted a nationwide audience. In the article Michael Petrelis, a writer and activist, said "Bob Hattoy gave people with AIDS and gays in America hope with that speech."

In a San Francisco Chronicle article about Hattoy from March 6, 2007 by Wyatt Buchanan, a founding member of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power ( ACT UP ) , Eric Sawyer, called the speech "revolutionary" and said it reflected the independent streak that guided his work. Sawyer said, "Bob was one of the few insiders who was consistently vocal on behalf of people with AIDS, on the true situation of people with AIDS, what the real needs were and he wasn't afraid to criticize." In the New York Times article by Weiner, Richard Socarides, who was special assistant to Clinton in charge of gay and lesbian policies, said "He was an agitator in the best sense of the word. Bob often meant trouble because Bob was never satisfied.

In a New York Times article from June 6, 1993 by Richard Berke, Hattoy said, "Yuppies, young kids, come up to me at the White House and say: 'It's so great what's happened to you, Bob. All that fame from your AIDS speech.' And I'll say, 'Well, thank you, but there's a down side.' And they'll say, 'What's that?' And I'll say, 'I have AIDS'. And believe me, I would trade with them. I would rather work in a bakery and not have AIDS than work in the White House with it."

In an article from The Los Angeles Times from Sept. 11, 1995, Faye Fiore said that Hattoy, as Associate Director of White House personnel, had the Administration's ear. He was in the loop and AIDS was his cause. From 1994 to 1999 Hattoy was White House liaison to the Interior Department. Clinton also named him to the Presidential Commission on HIV/AIDS. In 2002, he was appointed to the California Fish and Game Commission and in April 2007 he was appointed president.

According to his longtime friend and former partner Bob Pelham, Hattoy died March 4, 2007 from cardiac arrest brought on by a bone marrow infection while he was recovering from an AIDS-related illness. "We have lost a pioneer, a leader, and a friend," said former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York in a joint statement released to the press.

The Clintons went on to say, "Bob Hattoy devoted his life to the fight for civil rights and social justice for the gay community and people living with AIDS. We will always be grateful for his courageous and moving speech at the 1992 Democratic National Convention and afterward for his years of dedicated service in the administration. He gave hope to a community that feared their voice would never be heard at the highest levels of government."

This story is part of the Local Reporting Initiative, supported in part by The Chicago Community Trust.


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

Former bodybuilder is advocate for LGBTQ Asian/Pacific Islander youth 2017-05-24 - May is Asian American and Pacific Islander ( AAPI ) Heritage Month, and one AAPI activist the LGBTQ community might want to look ...


Gay News

Registration open for AIDS Run & Walk 2017-05-24 - Registration has opened for the 16th annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago on Sunday, Oct. 1. The event will start and finish ...


Gay News

Chuck Hyde remembered 2017-05-23 - A memorial for former Sidetrack manager Chuck Hyde was held May 21 at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. Hyde, inducted into ...


Gay News

TPAN Moving to New Office, Partnering with Howard Brown Health 2017-05-19 - Chicago, IL. ( May 18, 2017 )—This month, Test Positive Aware Network ( TPAN ) will move its offices to the Edgewater neighborhood, ...


Gay News

City expands HIV services, 400% increase people served 2017-05-19 - Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Public Health ( CDPH ) announced more than 3,600 people living with HIV in the city ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Chuck Hyde memorial May 21 2017-05-17 - A memorial for former Sidetrack manager Chuck Hyde will be held Sunday, May 21, 1-5 p.m., at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted ...


Gay News

Chicago House event shows 'Unity on the Runway' 2017-05-08 - Chicago House celebrated is 31st Annual Spring Brunch and Fashion Show at the Harold Washington Library's Winter Garden Ballroom. This year's theme ...


Gay News

AIDS Run & Walk Chicago Sunday,Oct. 1 2017-05-03 - Chicago-area residents will band together for equity and justice for individuals living with and vulnerable to HIV at the 16th annual AIDS Run ...


Gay News

Lambda sues Mississippi funeral home for refusing to transport, cremate gay man's body 2017-05-02 - ( Picayune, MS, May 2, 2017 ) — Lambda Legal today announced it has joined a lawsuit against a Picayune, MS, funeral home ...


Gay News

Center hosts Red Dress Party 2017-04-26 - Presented by the Equality Project, Inc., the Chicago Red Dress Party is an event dedicated to raising funds and awareness for the HIV/AIDS ...


 



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
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.