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My Desire for HistoryEssays in Gay, Community, and Labor History$
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Allan Berube, John D'Emilio, and Estelle B. Freedman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834794

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877982_berube

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Don't Save Us from Our Sexuality

Don't Save Us from Our Sexuality

(p.62) Chapter 3 Don't Save Us from Our Sexuality
My Desire for History

Allan Bérubé

University of North Carolina Press

This essay discusses the “Gay Plague,” the AIDS epidemic that continues to take its deadly toll in the gay community. The mysterious disease exhausts doctors, baffles researchers, challenges public health officials, divides the gay community, panics the public, and tantalizes the Moral Majority. It triggers everyone's anxieties about the nitty-gritty of gay sex. By 1984, AIDS was coming to dominate gay male life in the United States. The situation was particularly acute in San Francisco, which had the heaviest concentration of diagnosed cases of any city in the nation. AIDS exacerbated the tendency to demonize gay male sexuality, a situation complicated by the fact that the epidemic provoked some within the gay community to call for government regulation of sexual expression.

Keywords:   Gay Plague, AIDS, gay community, Moral Majority, gay sex

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