If one word sums up the history of the LGBT community, it’s resilience. In the new book Stonewall Strong: Gay Men’s Heroic Fight For Resilience, Good Health, And A Strong Community, author John-Manuel Andriote recounts the stories of many brave gay men fighting for survival and showing incredible strength throughout the early gay rights movement, the AIDS crisis, and personal struggles with depression, abuse, and addiction.
On Monday, October 30, from 6 PM to 8 PM, Fenway Health will host a book release event for Stonewall Strong in the conference center of our 1340 Boylston St. offices. The Fenway Institute’s Dr. Kenneth Mayer, who also reviewed the book, will kick off the evening with an introduction to the book, its author, and its subject matter. Andriote will then read excerpts from Stonewall Strong, field audience questions, and sign copies of the book, which will be available for purchase.
The activism that arose from the AIDS epidemic in particular, fueled by the revolution at Stonewall, had lasting influence on the modern gay rights movement and was a factor in the founding of Fenway Health. The idea that marginalized communities deserve access to comprehensive, respectful healthcare is something that we at Fenway still hold dear.
Andriote’s journey to learn more about his community started with a life-altering event. As the book jacket explains:
Longtime Washington, D.C. health journalist John-Manuel Andriote didn’t expect to mark the twenty-fifth year of the HIV-AIDS epidemic in 2006 by coming out in the Washington Post about his own recent HIV diagnosis. For twenty years he had reported on the epidemic as an HIV-negative gay man, as AIDS killed many of his friends and roused gay Americans to action against a government that preferred to ignore their existence. Eight little words from his doctor, “I have bad news on the HIV test,” turned Andriote’s world upside down.
Over time Andriote came to understand that his choice, each and every day, to take the powerful medication he needs to stay healthy, to stay alive, came from his own resilience. When and how had he become resilient? He searched his journals for answers in his own life story. The reporter then set out to learn more about resilience. Stonewall Strong is the result.
We hope you’ll join us for this evening of reflection on our history, community, and resilience. If you are interested in attending the event on October 30, please email Mary Childs at Fenway Health firstname.lastname@example.org.