The buzz ON Fire Island one Friday in early April 1986 was that the two young male stars of Dynasty had bought Calvin Klein’s house.
Hoping to meet them, I bundled up Maxie, my Lhasa Apso, and headed for the walk that Calvin had made famous.
As we approached the house, a jubilant female voice shouted from the window, “Who are you? Get in here.” Thus began a wonderful new life for me. Instead of Dynasty hunks, I met Mama and Daddy Gate, their son, Jeff Applegate, and Bryn Evensen.
Alas, with little warning, we have lost our beloved friend Bryn, Bryn who did not know the meaning of moderation.
When he decided he liked dogs, he got four.
When he wanted a leather jacket, he got one—one Versace, one Armani, one Trussardi, one Prada and one Kenzo.
When he discovered he had talent, he painted, he played the piano, the violin. He skied, he windsurfed, he swam, he designed, he built, he expounded.
When told he had the body of a god, he built a gym to honor it.
When he gave, he gave all.
When he amused, he amused all.
He lived life to the fullest. There was little he didn’t know or do. And did he love to dish.
He was damn near perfect.
What could be wrong with anyone who thought Sunset Boulevard was the greatest movie ever?
At April’s Vice Versa Awards—the annual bash to honor gay media—POZ won 10 awards, including best publication. Contributing editor michael scarce won the Randy Shilts Award for his barebacking investigation (“A Ride on the Wild Side,” February 1999).
POZ contributing writer Mark Schoofs won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in international reporting for “AIDS: TheAgony of Africa,” his eight-part series that ran in the New York City alternative weekly The Village Voice (available at www.villagevoice.com/specials/africa). The Voice gave Schoofs almost a year to complete the package, including a six-month stint on the scene. The result is at our de force that skips the exploitation of orphans and holier-than-thou Western attitudes about traditional medicine in favor of gripping investigation. Schoofs said he was inspired by the good news at the ’98 Geneva conference. “I was so afraid that AIDS would fall off the radar for areas where the drugs are unavailable. I’m not just interested in coverage—I want to change the world,” he told POZ. “My writing alone is not going to do that, but winning the Pulitzer gives the ultimate Good Housekeeping seal of approval to the story.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) announced their new team project, the HIV Vaccine Initiative, which will focus on ethical standards of trials in developing countries. WHO had begun a vaccine project in Brazil, Thailand and Uganda in 1991 and passed the baton to UNAIDS upon that group’s 1996 launch, but it took four more years for the two mega-organizations to run the race hand in hand. No official word on reasons for the delay, but there shouldn’t be much in the way of fumbling transitions—the collaborative effort will be headed by Harvard School of Public Health’s dean, Barry Bloom, PhD, who had led UNAIDS’ vaccine advisory committee before the alliance.
Two decade-old AIDS organizations were forced to shut their doors in April for very different reasons—the Kansas City AIDS Research Consortium, founded in 1989, and Project AIDS Care of Lake County, Florida, founded in 1990. The Kansas City group said the success of HAART had reduced the pool of trial participants to a point where studies were unfeasible; 150 displaced clients will be transferred to research doctors for continued treatment. Lake County, on the other hand, suffered from a stagnant budget fund and explosive population growth in the area; local HIVers will now have to travel at least 30 miles to Orlando for services.
Just days after his 23rd birthday in April, Bill Barnes gave notice that he was leaving his post after two years as adviser on HIV policy—a.k.a. AIDS Czar—to San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. The wunderkind jumped to a gig as program manager at Neighborhood Parks Council, a Bay Area nonprofit working to increase community participation on the greener side. “It’s comforting to know that the skills learned in AIDS can be transferred to other jobs,” Barnes said. “When we find a cure, lots of people are going to need new employment.” The former editor of Reality, a zine by and for teens with HIV, Barnes continues to serve as a member of the city’s HIV Prevention Planning Council.
Business whiz and publisher of gay magazines Robert Fenton Craig Jr. died April 28 of AIDS. A born-and-bred Los Angeleno, Craig, 65, was a powerful organizing force in everything from owning a gay bar to chairing the West Hollywood Incorporation Committee, but he was most well-known as publisher of Frontiers Newsmagazine. A 16-page tabloid when he co-founded it in 1982, Frontiers is now the most widely circulated gay publication in Southern California; a San Francisco spin-off was launched in 1993. In the LA-based mag’s first year, Craig drew fire for reprinting Larry Kramer’s “1,112 and Counting” on the cover, making it one of the first gay publications to tackle AIDS.
J. Russell King, The New York Times deputy editor whose charge was often its front page, died March 18 of AIDS. King, 45, graduated from Haverford College and briefly worked for The Wichita Eagle and The Miami Herald before starting at the Times in 1982 as a copy editor. The newsman—memorialized by the Times as “a lanky, wry, restless Oklahoma redhead called Rusty”—helped to begin a tradition of wearing black-tie attire when working the late shift on New Year’s Eve.