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Uh Oh! Stephanie Is Going to Talk About the AIDS Crisis Now


Photo by Russell Harrison Photography / CC BY-SA 2.0

Stephanie sat in her queer literature seminar, worrying about her lack of participation and the weekly readings that she never completed. So, thinking quickly, Stephanie started talking about the AIDS crisis.  

Her classmate was speaking, but that didn’t stop her because she didn’t care what he was talking about. So she just started talking: “Oh yeah, I don’t think I told you guys this yet, but my boyfriend and I were lying in bed last night, and out of nowhere, I was like, ‘Babe, isn’t the AIDS crisis so crazy?’ And he was like, ‘Steph, if you think it’s crazy, I think it’s crazy.’ Like so many innocent people died you guys, and Reagan and Bush could have easily prevented a lot of those deaths. Did you know that? Do you have any idea how much of a blood bath the AIDS crisis was?”

The class was used to these sorts of things from Stephanie, so they all mumbled their usual responses.

“Oh my god.” 

“I had no idea.” 

“Tell us more.”

Stephanie continued, “Well, at first they didn’t even call it AIDS. It was actually just known as ‘gay cancer.’  And dying from AIDS is like, insanely unpleasant. I just think it’s so important to recognize these things, you know? Like, RuPaul probably wouldn’t be alive right now if this was the 80s.” 

“Yeah, for sure.”

“Oh my god.”

“Wow, Stephanie. Thank you.”

“Yeah. My boyfriend gets it too. That’s why I love him. He’s such a sweetheart.”

For 15 minutes, Stephanie continued to express her disbelief that the AIDS crisis was even a thing, referencing her boyfriend, Lady Gaga, and the ‘miracle of PrEP’ multiple times.