Elizabeth Taylor, AIDS Crusader
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
It was a time when landlords evicted sick tenants, when funeral homes refused to handle the bodies of those who had died of AIDS, and when hospitalized AIDS patients had their meal trays left on the floor outside their rooms. Each year brought frustratingly few answers and rising numbers of deaths.
In this atmosphere Elizabeth Taylor spoke out. She was brave, she was relentless. She raised money, she raised awareness. She appeared in public with AIDS patients, touching people who had been pronounced untouchable.
At the time I lived in New York and was a volunteer for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. It was a remarkable time. Among all the hateful things that happened, I also saw astounding courage. I knew people whose willingness to respond was nearly unimaginable. There were others I did not know personally whose humanity shone like a beacon in those dark times. I will never forget them. Elizabeth Taylor was one.