Thursday, January 11, 2018

"Longtime Companion", an obituary euphemism, recalls the earliest days of the AIDS epidemic in New York


I do recall seeing “Longtime Companion” (Samuel Goldwyn Films), directed by Norman Rene and written by Craig Lucas, in the early 1990s, after I had returned from Dallas (where I was living when the epidemic struck) to DC.

The film gets its title from the early refusal of the New York Times to acknowledge gay lovers as partners, but rather called them “longtime companions”.


The film covers the growing awareness of the epidemic in the earliest days, starting in 1981 with the earliest rumors about Kaposi’s sarcoma.  I didn’t actually see the rumors until I picked up a “This Week in Texas” magazine at a screening of “Making Love” at Northpark in Dallas in February 1982, and saw mention of the unusual “cancer”.  By late 1982, there were only four cases in Dallas, but it would explode in late 1983.

The film is set mainly in Manhattan and Fire Island (the Pine and Cherry Grove) which I had visited often in the 1970s when I lived in the Cast Iron Building myself.
  
Full film link is here
  
Attribution link for “The Judy Garland Memorial Parkway” between the Pines and the Grove. 
By Dinker022089 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

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