featured gallery for June 2018

SIDA

Born and raised in LA, I have lived and worked in Los Angeles my entire life. I have traveled all over the world, and even lived in NYC for a short time during the mid-80s, on 14th Street and 10th Avenue, directly across from the infamous VAULT and J's. What was once a bastion of male sex is now a designer label fashion ghetto.

Those were the days ... Life was exciting, sex was fun & kinky, the nightlife was incredible, and anything seemed possible ... I remember when the bomb hit.

Originally and cruelly called, "GAY CANCER" (GRID), the plague swept like wildfire, engulfing everyone in its path and leaving behind devastation and wailing loved ones. AIDS changed everything. I lost so many friends and lovers in a very short time span. I remember being in my early 20s, but going to more funerals than my 60-something parents. One day I expressed to my mother that I didn't know how to deal with all my friends dying. She didn't know how to respond. What was there to say? What could anyone say? It was so overwhelming. Those years seemed hopeless with nothing to look forward to. Eulogy after eulogy. For a while sex did equal death. I was forced into becoming a "goth."

Eventually my generation refused to accept the situation. We fought back. We stood up for ourselves and turned our grief into activism. Perhaps we were the second wave of the gay rights movement, with Stonewall and the Black Cat, (Silver Lake, CA, 1967 -- two years before Stonewall) being the first.

This photographic selection illustrates these feelings. From the carefree days of Studio 54, The Anvil, The NYC Bondage Club, S&M, lust and underground sex encounters, to the impact of illness, sadness, fear, death, melancholy, acceptance, some enlightenment...

I am a 52 year old gay man in America. I am HIV negative. I'm not stating this to impose superiority, but to state for the record that I'm a survivor of an era when anything was possible, but many did not make it. I am a witness to my long gone lovers and friends. I pay tribute to them by surviving as their memory and voice. During the 70s and 80s, I witnessed heaven, hell and redemption. In the 90s anger and inspiration. The 21st century will bring me peace, warm friends and a nice cuppa tea.