Shinjuku Story Vol. 2
by Kaz Senju
The Shinjuku Ni-chome neighborhood in Tokyo boasts nearly 350 gay and lesbian bars packed into a few city blocks—but most are “the size of a walk-in closet and seat only four to 10 people. All of them have bar owners called ‘Momma’ who are the center of the bar,” writes Visual AIDS artist Kaz Senju about his latest photography book documenting this thriving scene. Images will be displayed at Akta, an LGBT and HIV center in Tokyo. See them and read related interviews on Instagram @kazviju. For more details, visit KazSenju.com.
Before They Left Us
by Rosemary Ann Davis
This elegant memoir offers succinct vignettes and impressions, often less than a page each, that add up to a portrait of Davis’s life in pre-AIDS San Francisco, where she befriended many gay men. Only one survived the coming plague. She left for Minneapolis in 1982 but found the virus, and activism, there too. “In the first few years of the epidemic,” she writes, “this is what I learn: the importance of touch. Of laughter. Of time.”
Fag Hags, Divas and Moms: The Legacy of Straight Women in the AIDS Community
by Victoria Noe
“The story of the AIDS epidemic has largely been told by and about white gay men,” Noe writes, adding that she penned this book “to honor the courageous work of straight women who helped battle this epidemic.” The result is a collection of inspiring bios and tributes, ranging from superstars to unsung heroes, such as volunteers and caregivers.
Out of the Shadows: Reimagining Gay Men’s Lives
by Walt Odets
It’s still not easy to be gay and find true self-acceptance, but clinical psychologist Odets offers clear insight on gay men’s relationships and the effects of stigma, shame and HIV—notably, how the epidemic has influenced different age groups, including today’s youth who don’t even associate gay with HIV/AIDS. Nearly 25 stories of gay men, including long-term survivors, flesh out this engrossing and enlightening work.
Illuminations on Market Street
by Benjamin Heim Shepard
LGBT folk aren’t the only ones who flee to San Francisco for adventure, sex and self-discovery. In this fictionalized take on the activist author’s life, straight guy Cab Calloway Hardy pens stories and musings while working the night shift at an AIDS residence and hanging with queer and straight friends. Dense with minutiae, the tales recount growing up in the ’80s and navigating the sexual politics of the ’90s.