25 years later

As Christy at Firedoglake has noted, it has been 25 years since the discovery of AIDS.

She chose to honor the occasion with a loving remembrance of an old friend who was killed by the disease.

The President chose to honor the occasion by beating the drum for more exclusion of gay men and women from full American citizenship.

I would like to create a small memorial here, if anyone else is inclined to join me, by mentioning the names of a friends who have passed. If you have lost a friend to AIDS related illness, mention his or her name in the comments, and please pass it on.

Phillip Joseph Pamlieri, died of AIDS-related illness in 1985.


  1. Mrs. Dog

    Michael Class, died 1996

    Brilliant young actor passed away at age of 36. Devoted his life to the performing arts and entertained in Indianapolis his entire life.
    Peaceful rest, Michael.

  2. Reba

    Danny – the one person who would come rescue you when your car failed, even if you were 300 miles away. Rode his motorcycle cross country with Max the wonder dog on the seat in front of him.

    Chris – who performed Shakespeare in the mud….well.

    Carl – stopped us from being fashion victims not infrequently. When asked to walk a line late at night, he danced it, including pirouettes and jetes. The story, he said, was worth the bruises from the cop.

  3. Doug – Stories from here ’til Sunday and chock full of useful advice of what NOT to do with your life. He is missed.

    James – The first kid I knew my age to come out also died quick after contracting a particularly virulent strain of AIDS while in college. He was also the first person I saw take a sucker punch, stand back up and comment on the homophobe’s fashion (or lack thereof) before returning the favor.

  4. Fran Edwards

    Tony Bader – Not a friend, but an aquaintance. We went to high school together. He died in 93 a year after graduating. He wanted to be a dancer.

  5. Suzanne Sablan, my 11th grade English teacher who used any means necessary to inspire my lazy ass. It worked, I graduated and she died a year later.

  6. stephen benson

    enrico mordente (sax player, most excellent friend)
    jun 24, 1988
    since you’ve been gone, there has been that much less good music. when ever i played with you it made me better, as a musician and as a human being

  7. john riley dixon, 1994.

    the uncle who took you to the mall and bought you pizza, new sneakers, and a goldfish. and then laughed when your mom got upset about the goldfish.

  8. georgine

    George Debruin, 1991
    Your friendship and laughter is deeply missed. And the steps you built for me are still strong and solid.

  9. Artaud

    My cousin, John Cheney – 1991. He was about 15 years older than me. I really wish I had a chance to know him as an adult.

  10. Uhhhh… nobody I know personally, actually, but a hell of a lot of forerunners who made it possible, and safer, for me to come out of the closet. An entire generation, gone.

  11. Poet and sweetheart Jim Jordan, c.1986

    College roommate Pat Haney, c.1988

    Waspish wit and raconteur Howard Faye.

    Linguist and bird-watcher Marc Eisdorfer.

    My barber, former Marlboro Man Charley Bob Stevens, and his last boyfriend, the talented and mischievous Ricky Lee Gilliland, a country boy with a heart of gold.

    many, many others, guys who should have been my cronies in retirement, the old friends you exchange birthday cards with every year. Once when I was looking at a display of panels from the Quilt, I found a panel for a former co-worker that I didn’t even know was dead. After awhile, men my age, when you run into an old friend, we stopped asked after mutual acquaintances. We didn’t want to hear it, it became a litany of the lost too young. It was like living in a war zone that was invisible to most people if they didn’t have gay friends.

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