November 14th, 2020

being gay in the uk in 1982 (early days of the aides crisis.)

i’m currently writing a story about a 22 year old bisexual man in early 1982 london. he's very involved in gay liberation and women's rights movements and street activism (participates in marches and volunteer work etc) and in the lgbt scene at the time. he's a member of a small time classic rock band that plays in college parties and bars and such.

the story im writing doesn't have a lot of plot per se, it's mostly a meandering day to day life story about a bisexual young man in 1982 london. i have a number of questions that i couldn't find the answer to: when did the disease start to affect the day to day life of a gay man in london? when did it become a topic of conversation, when did people start dying at a noticeable rate for the average gay man, and what were the effects that it had in how the community moved during that time? did people stop going to gay clubs and bars or did the flow dip and rise over time? when did people begin spreading information about safe sex and protected sex, and what were the ways people spread that information? Pamphlets, papers, magazines? was it distributed by gay rights activists or organizations before the government started educating people on aides in ‘86? i read it was officially named ‘the gay plague’ for a period of six months in ‘82, but not when it was first called that and when it was officially renamed aides, and whether the newspapers reported on it during that time at all.

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Resource: an essay on experiencing hurricanes.

This comes courtesy of Florida resident mylordshesacactus on Tumblr; here are some excerpts:

Do not think for a moment that just because you’re “only” experiencing Cat 1 winds that this storm can’t kill your ass dead. Do not underestimate what the death throes of a dying god can do.

In hurricane-prone areas, the threat is felt year-round.

All the major intersections? Our stoplights aren’t hung on wires from wooden poles–those blow down too easily. They’re bolted to thick metal pipes, “hurricane-proof”. Major roadways that are above floodlines are labelled as evacuation routes.

Things like that.

(Remember–by the time a storm “makes landfall,” everything for miles around has been experiencing the storm for hours already. “Landfall” is when the EYE of the storm first hits land, not when the storm “arrives”.)

But hurricanes are…vast. Look up satellite footage of hurricanes. Really look at it. Look at how much sheer area they cover.

Most places do not experience landfall-level disaster. That’s why, when people evacuate–well, when residents evacuate, the tourists and recent transplants tend to panic harder–you’re basically always evacuating to someplace that will still have vanished under that mass of swirling clouds. Evacuation sites are still inside the hurricane, but wind speed, storm surge, etc–everything drops dramatically even a few miles from the eye.