. An Oral History of Fashion’s Response to the AIDS Epidemic « JO LEE MAGAZINE

Vogue – At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the author Arundhati Roy wrote, “Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.”

Roy’s words offered hope for so many of us who count the coronavirus as the first pandemic of our lifetimes. But there is a generation of people—not so far in age from us—who count this one as their second. In the 1980s, when HIV/AIDS swept the nation, there was no Operation Warp Speed, no news coverage, and no acknowledgment from the president about the disease at all. Unlike the coronavirus pandemic, AIDS didn’t impact everyone—not at first, at least. Instead, it affected members of society already marginalized: queer people, trans people, IV drug users, and so forth.

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