July 25, 1985, was AIDS Night In America. Here is a first-hand account of that night, as told by Count Randolpho de St. Mark Boyd in the blog story: AIDS Monster Movie Marathon:
It was a sobering day of epic proportions in American and world history.
In a time when the number of celebrities and access to them was a great deal less than that of today, Rock Hudson’s announcement that he was being treated for AIDS shocked the world on July 25, 1985.
The images of the famous actor struggling to and from airports in the US and France, his beloved female co-star Doris Day by his side.
The visions of a frail, fading, emaciated Rock, a man who represented masculinity, virility, and acceptable heterosexual behavior (as seen on TV and in movies).
It was as shocking as finding out a huge celebrity of today has some mysterious, fatal disease from having sex with the wrong kind of people, as determined by the Bible and Bible-thumping Americans.
Told you so. AIDS = Evil. Ooops. I know what you did last summer for the last 20 years, which means you could be the next Rock to crumble to death by AIDS. Very publicly, by the way.
How many Americans were scared shitless on AIDS Night in America, 1985? Kids, go ask your parents! Really! Go talk about it with them. Ask them what it was like hearing on the news that there’s a chance they could have AIDS like Rock Hudson.
Parents, maybe you could share it with your horny teenagers, and the younger siblings who look up to them, maybe you could share with them how it felt hearing scientists on the news telling the world, “not much we can do about this strange new fatal disease right now, but we think it’s sexually transmitted.”
Ask them how it felt getting a wake-up call that said, “all that sex and experimenting you’ve been enjoying, you’ve been having that sex with all the people those people have been having sex with, too.”
America was shared shitless for a very long time. Can anyone say Ryan White? Remember him?
Remember the babies with AIDS who were shunned form the world?
Remember the constant news footage of weak, sick, frail skeletons of gay men dying in hospital death beds, aliens on public display, abandoned by their loved ones, their neighbors, their landlords, their jobs, their co-workers, their medical staff, their very right to live and die in America?
It all began on AIDS Night in America.