When Adam's Nest launched the summer of 2016, Provincetown's Carnival theme was "Back to the 80s", it seemed the only thing to do were the Silence Equals Death Design Collective iconic graphic and some Gran Fury t-shirts that were omnipresent during the early days of Act Up and the AIDS crisis. Act Up is now 30+ years old and the message resonates as strongly now as when the organization was founded. It is especially fulfilling to be explaining the history of these graphics and images to younger LGBTQ people who are not fully aware of the past struggles and what transpired during the early days of the AIDS crisis.
I am grateful for 2016's theme as it dovetailed with something I feel passionately about. Coming out in 1985, two years before the formation of Act Up, it was a very scary time and one that impacted much of my early adulthood. Through fortuitous circumstances I became involved peripherally with PrEP and HIV prevention advocacy and one of the most rewarding things about opening shop in Provincetown is meeting its visitors from around the globe and helping ensure the message re PrEP gets out there as well as telling my version of the history of SILENCE=DEATH to a younger generation that is not fully aware of those early years of the epidemic.
It is easy to forget the battle for equality when living in one of the coastal metropolises in the United States, but spend a summer in Provincetown talking to people from less liberal states and it is quickly apparent how difficult simply living an authentic life is for so many of our fellow Americans. Reading the news it is evident how quickly circumstances can change for the LGBTQ community and it is imperative we do not get complacent.
Films like David France's How to Survive a Plague and the release in 2017 of the film from Robin Campillo titled BPM (Beats Per Minute) bring to the screen the history of the creation of ACT-UP (Aids Coalition to Unleash Power) and the fight for a cure against AIDS. As a community we owe these activists a debt of gratitude for a fight we have yet to finish.
In fall 2018, in anticipation of our pop-up shop at Miami Beach's Hôtel Gaythering during their Art Gaysel event during Art Basel we added SILENCIO=MUERTE for the Spanish speakers out there. As the USA continues to become more diverse it is important to acknowledge the Spanish speakers among us.
Adam's Nest is proud to support the Ali Forney Center in its efforts to protect LGBTQ youth with 10% of the proceeds from these items.
#silenceequalsdeath #actup #endaids #hivdivide #PrEP #prepwarrior #silencioequalsmuerte #bethegeneration #resist #riseandresist #actup30 #hivequal #uequalsu
A little more about SILENCE = DEATH from ACT UP New York's web site can be found here.