everyone my name is Tyler Oakley and the queer community has always been resilient whether it's our acceptance or our rights we have always fought for what we deserve last year in chosen family we learned all about the Stonewall riots but queer activism did not end there so in today's episode of chosen family we're looking at another story about how the queer community fought back and how you can get involved today after the Stonewall Riots in 1969 the 70s brought a decade of sexual liberation in queer pride but in the early eighties the community faced a deadly crisis nobody could explain or comprehend as the AIDS epidemic hit the world the queer community was stigmatized and ostracized and with almost no support had to demand action by any means necessary act-up had to exist primarily because gay men were dying like flies and nobody cared nobody was doing anything about it the gay community was so afraid of engaging nationally in an outward fashion that it took that many deaths and that much built-up anger and frustration of what was going on before Larry Kramer popped the bubble of anger and it burst out with act up New York nobody knew what this disease was there was no cure everybody died really ugly deaths within a matter of 12 to 18 months and there was no treatments whatsoever and so there was immediately all of these moral judgments because it first hit gay men and later drug users in and sex workers so it's junkies queers and whores the people that everyone hates the bottom of the totem pole and people are being fired from their jobs evicted from apartments denied health care st. Vincent's Hospital was one of the very few hospitals that would actually admit someone living with AIDS in the beginning of the epidemic many of the nurses and doctors were afraid to touch aids patients a lot of the orderlies would leave the trays of food outside the door they were afraid to even walk in the room with trays of food so they wanted to get people who were willing to provide adequate care to be the people who staffed those floors so that people living with and dying ultimately of ADEs got adequate care it took massive numbers of deaths like in the tens of thousands before people realize no one's gonna help us except ourselves no one was caring for us about ourselves and so we had to you know turn the anger and the grief that we had from you know losing all of our friends into action to try to wake the the public up and make the government and the public do something we shattered the American myth of the homosexual which was weak and timid cowering in the corner they thought we were just quietly gonna die and we were saying no way no how this has got to stop and it became a family a communal family under amazing emotional stress just gelled found its voice and became this beautiful community reaction I want to talk about like what an act up meeting wasn't like well there on the first floor of the LGBT Center here on West 13th Street New York this is where act on that easily there was a stage in in the front of the room risers where you know the accident happened where presentations were given these pillars are the original we would lean against these things in a scream and scream and raise your hand to be at our peak eight hundred people would pack in there we'd ignore the fire codes they read out you know this is the AIDS coalition to unleash power they gave our mission statement and there would be a hefty debate people would get up and sway the room with rallying speeches or cries or anger so this room is where ACT UP meets every Monday and it's at 7:00 o'clock everyone is welcome it's a inclusive space that we try to facilitate and we talk about different issues like HIV criminalisation different access of prep campaigns it's definitely always special because we we still feel it in the air what would you say is the most impactful demonstration that happened with act up we put a call out to have people bring ashes of people who had died of AIDS for us to dump on the White House along and it coincided with the display of the quilt the huge you know it the quilt was laid out on the Washington Mall and it went from the Washington Monument all the way to the other end and there were you know tens of thousands of people there and so we marched along the edge of that in a funeral procession with the funeral drums chanting out of the quilt and into the streets join us join us people started just kind of flooding out of the quilt and so it quickly went from a few hundred of us that had traveled from all of the country to thousands of people joining us to go to the White House lawn and dump the ashes of people that had died on the White House lawn so that you know the government had to you know see smell taste the result of their genocide through inaction yeah so when they tore down the hospital which used to be over there and put up condos instead Eric and a bunch of other activists convinced the developer to get a corner of this Park for an AIDS Memorial Hermann so the the idea of the park is actually that that's the entrance to the park and that's kind of the way the architects envisioned it that you you enter the park through the memorial this is like a quiet reflective place where people can come and remember and share memories of their loved ones that they lost to AIDS we were creating this to pay tribute to you know more than a hundred thousand of our friends who died of AIDS in this city and to you know memorialize and pay tribute to the community response and know that it took you know a fight again to get the governmental officials and funders to allow it to happen but to see it actually be you know realized and open was you know was very emotional it felt really great to finally know that those hundred thousand people who died of AIDS wouldn't be forgotten it's simply hard to get people energized to get people motivated to say that we're not just memorializing AIDS we're still living with HIV we need to tell people that there are still issues and we still need to fight and now I mean here every Monday and we try to do the best we can especially for the people in act-up that didn't make it like this is the work that we needed to be continued but for 31 years in but there's still work to do today act up in GMHC fight for prevention care and advocacy and the spirit of Eric and Peter's grassroots activism has inspired new queer activist groups to take on other urgent causes what organizations do you see nowadays that inspire you that feel reminiscent of what you were doing at the start of act up there's a new organization New York voices for which started initially with a single issue responding to what happened in Chechnya a year ago they decided to respond here in New York started doing meetings at the same Center where act up met and you go into their meetings and it's very reminiscent it's it's young queers passionate full of ideas planning the next action I met up with Adam Eli the founder of voices Moore who told me more about what moved him to act versus board began because news broke in April about what was happening in Chechnya and I her up in a house that was very Jewish Lee informed and we've all always talk about the Holocaust and never again and when I heard that people were being put into concentration camps for who they were I knew that never again was now what's happening in Chechnya is stain station violence against queer people which means that police are in traffic meeting raping and murdering queer people and they are also calling upon families of queer people to commit honor killings and commit and kill them on their behalf is the honor of the family so today voices for is gathering in Columbus Circle we have a visual plan and we are demanding increase action around the situation in Chechnya and we are also demanding a formal investigation into what's happening so we just got to Columbus Circle here in New York City we are here for the protest to raise awareness and to demand action for our brothers and sisters our queer siblings across the globe that are being oppressed specifically in Chechnya I've been looking forward to being here and to stand with people that I am inspired by and to learn from them and to hopefully amplify voices that are being disenfranchised really fabulous shiburin and scared to death while they perpetrated a pleasing themself they even tortured to delay them and there are fifteen or sixteen plus we were not allowed to eat walk or sleep he was brutally beaten and tortured while detained linked the wires with plants the wire permeated under my nail I will never forget the reality of why Eric and Peter were forced to demand action and I will always carry with me the mantra of voices for queer people everywhere are responsible for queer people anywhere each of us has the ability to make a difference we just have to realize our power and harness it and change the world thank you so much for watching this video and for getting involved in whatever way you can whether it's locally nationally globally using your voice is so important whether you have one follower or a million you can still make an impact so if you want to find out more about act-up about voices for or about any other organization that we talked about in this video the links will be in the description please get involved even by following them that does help also if you want to get this video's pin the link to that is below it is so cute and it does a lot of good that's all I have for this episode of chosen family I will see you in the next episode my friends

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Queers are abomination to God and man They made their bed, let them lie in it They shall get what they deserve

  2. I'm hurting and so sorry, it has happened in my country. But it shows we must keep fighting. I believe true and love win. We are a family and i love everyone. Remember about it ❤️

  3. This video taught me about so many things I didn't know about before and it is amazing to see how the world is changing so much so fast!

  4. Recently the small town library in the town in which I live was received a letter asking that two books be removed from a banned book display. The letter from three local pastors focused on the book Two Boys Kissing and a book of lesbian theme with an illustration of two naked women in a bedroom. The request was offensive, but the letter is what fueled the fire. It was posted on Facebook and received an almost immediate response.

    In a small community of about 12,000 people, we had never addressed queer issues in public. If it had been an issue in the schools, the public never received word of it. Most queer people just kept to themselves. However, this letter brought on a response from many community members online. A heated discussion ensued as the pastors were friends with many on Facebook. Despite the heated exchanges, peace was kept and nobody's head exploded.

    The letter had asked that the library's Board of Trustees address the request at their meeting. When the meeting was held about 70 people filled the tiny room. The pastors began by stating that they apologized for the tone of the letter, as they didn't expect it to be made public. They stated they would have worded it differently had they known the letter would be posted. Once they had their say, it was our turn to speak. of the 60+ people there to support keeping the books in the display, about 10 people spoke. Some of them shared stories about their lives and the need to not squelch queer voices, others gave impassioned speeches opposing censorship. The pastors and their few supporters spoke a few more times, mostly back-peddling about their intent. In the end, the books remained.

    The reason I tell this story is that it is important for even the smallest voices in the smallest towns to realize that despite perhaps feeling like the only one for a hundred miles, there are others out there. I am a very public person who knows many people in our small town. The people who showed up that day were all from the area, but I only knew half of them. Some I knew but did not know they were queer/allies. However, when it was necessary for people to stand up and be supportive, they were there. The other point of this post is to show that activism is important on every level.

    That being said, it is also important that vulnerable people act cautiously and don't put themselves in harm's way. If you are a petite 13-year-old, you may not want to initiate a queer response on your own if your community is openly anti-queer. Find others to support your effort. Unfortunately, violence against queer people is still rampant in many communities.

    Hugs to all

  5. I have done an exam at my school and the topic I decided to bring was the LGBTQ + community because I think it is one of the best arguments, movements or anything in the world. Thank you, thank you, thank you Tyler for creating these videos that besides letting everyone know that nobody knows about the LGBTQ + family, they also give a lot of self-esteem to everyone. really proud of you! Still love u

  6. hugs This video made me cry. It's a matter of getting the message out there, and the fact that such atrocities towards the queer community (and any minorities for the matter) are not widely covered in the media… it means there is more cause to demonstrate and raise awareness for causes like the Czechnya demonstration you participated in.

  7. I was taught the word aids at the same time that I was taught the word gay. As a young queer child that plants a deep fear inside of you, almost like gay = death. When I watched "120 beats per minute" a movie about ACT UP PARIS, I basically broke down. I feel so incredibly privileged to say that I have not lost any friends or loved ones to aids, because I know many of the older lgbt people in our community can not say the same.

  8. That is so sad that gays at the time had no one to help them , no one should ever have to feel helpless. I m glad that today there is some education on this topic and we we support everyone's rights.

  9. I was in a city (I am not saying which) and I saw people that were getting bullied for being gay, lesbian, etc. and one was rushed to the hospital. I bursted into tears running and one saw me and stopped and told the others to run once he held the bullies back. He later chased me down and hugged me. That is a day I’ll never forget.

  10. And thank you a lot Tyler for making this real and making it happen .And talk about the truth that the people are avoiding. ❤

  11. I was crying all throw out the video I don't get how can a human hurt another human . You bleed red, we bleed red there is not a deference.

  12. This video has really made me want to be more active in the queer community and the fact that we have come so far is amazing but there is still so much left and I hope I can help make a difference I’m so happy to be queer and be a part of such an amazing community🏳️‍🌈❤️🏳️‍🌈

  13. I loved this and I love you so much Tyler! As an ally who works at an HIV clinic in northern Arizona I love seeing you use your platform to make people more aware of HIV/AIDS and the difficult history it holds. I also wanted to mention that there is now incredible treatment for HIV+ people today, and what was a death sentence has become more of a chronic illness. But only if it is diagnosed and treated!!! The CDC suggests that every person in America should be tested at least once in their life for HIV, and more if necessary. You can usually find free and confidential testing in most places in the United States, just contact your local health department and ask! Lastly, there are new prevention methods that can help reduce the number of new cases. Not a lot of people know about PrEP or PEP (prevention medication options) and how effective they are at preventing people from contracting HIV. Thank you for all that you do, and never stop using your platform to educate! And happy #nationalhivtestingday <3 <3 <3

  14. Tyler looks so different….I mean more grown up, more like an adult….Am I alone with this?
    Dear Tyler, please take this as a sheer complimen, you look great 👍🏻 🤩😘😘😘☺️😉

    Interesting video and strong message
    You are one of the most inspirational YouTubers ever, you have a heart ❤️ of gold
    Love you 💋💋💋
    Take care, honey 🍯
    Lots of love 💕best of luck 🍀 and support you and the people you care about

  15. LGBTQ+ people in Ukraine #ukraine are watching You and getting inspired by your vidios!
    Thank you so much for what You have done and what You have say!
    Queer people everywhere are responsible for queer people anywhere!

  16. why here is not so many views???????? what's SO IMPORTANT!!! It's our life! Thank u for thos video, Tyler!

  17. This series is so important. Thank you so much for this Tyler💓makes me so greatful about where we are today and I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn more about how we got here. So proud to be queer :)💓🏳️‍🌈

  18. I'm tearing up cause I'm thinking about how lucky I am and have been to grow up in a country were I can be out and fully myself without even thinking and worrying about getting murdered or harrased for my sexuality

  19. I am a italian gay and i was born in 1982 and i think who also thanks to them if we can express our being and our affection / love towards our boyfriends.

  20. This year I joined an HIV/AIDS peer education group at my high school, and it's blown me away how much I've been impacted by this topic and this community. It truly is something we need to keep talking about. This didn't end in the last millennium, and we need to push the global community to keep the conversation going. Thank you for being part of that ❤️

  21. This video touched me so much even though I’m straight I know a lot of gay people and support and love them #rememberforever
    I also heard superfruit in the background Love the vid keep them coming Tyler❤️❤️

  22. When cisgays say "the gay community" I just want to slap them, take a step back and include trans people for f*ck sake

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