Watch amazing clips of HIV and LGBT history, and meet the guy who compiles them.
It wasn’t always so. For a contrast, go to YouTube and watch the hour-long “1982--1992 News Clips on HIV/AIDS (the First Ten Years).” It’s one of many compilations by SuchIsLifeVideos, a.k.a. Dave Evans, who is always searching the Internet for relevant clips and then posting his findings so we can all enjoy them.
His SuchIsLifeVideos channel on YouTube includes much more than HIV/AIDS. You’ll discover fascinating clips about bullying, activism, hate groups and gay history, to name a few topics.
In fact, we’ve spent many a lunch hour engrossed in SuchisLifeVideos. They’re entertaining, inspiring and educational. In the process, we started to wonder what compels Evans to do this time-consuming work. So we contacted him and asked a few questions:
What inspires you to find, compile and post these videos?
Growing up in the ’70s and ’80s in a conservative town, I didn’t know or want to know what was going on in the gay community. I was painfully in the closet, and AIDS kept me there until 1992. I’m embarrassed to say it wasn’t until I saw President George W. Bush preempt a TV program [in 2004] with his speech against same-sex marriage that I really started to pay attention. California’s Prop 8 [when voters in 2008 repealed marriage equality] was when I really became almost obsessed with politics and started my YouTube channel.
For three years I uploaded every hateful thing that someone said on TV about the gay community. The blogs ate them up, but it took a toll on me and I stopped for about a year. My true interest became the history of gay rights. I wanted to know what life was like for other generations. I watched countless movies and documentaries, and I thought, “I’m going to do what little I can to keep the stories alive.” I guess I’ve developed a talent for finding clips that weren’t already on YouTube.
How do you find the content?
As I learn about our history, I search for certain people or events on news sites or I purchase shows from many collectors. Filmmaker David Weissman [We Were Here] sent me a message saying I have amazing footage and asked how I got it. I’m always scouring the Internet basically.
What have you learned by compiling these clips?
I learned the names and faces of many activists who paved the way for the rest of us. I learned of the sacrifices. Without knowing them personally, I still have a great affection and appreciation for them.
Here’s the hourlong compilation of HIV/AIDS news clips from 1982-1992.
And in honor of Gay Pride--this June marked the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots--here is a compilation of LGBT news clips from the 1970s.