Edward I. Koch, former mayor of New York City, died of congestive heart failure February 1, Gay City News reports. He was 88. Koch was mayor from 1978 to 1989. He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1969 to 1977. Following his death, numerous media outlets have portrayed Koch as a popular figure credited with many successes during and after his time in public office. However, activists assert that Koch didn’t do enough during the early years of the AIDS pandemic in part because he was in the closet about being gay. Koch consistently denied being gay, but did so most famously in a 1989 New York Newsday interview with the words “I’m Heterosexual” on the cover.

To read the Gay City News article, click here.

To read commentary by David France, click here.