Communicating Across the Queer Generations

I am occasionally asked to speak to classes at the local college as a gay activist and long-term AIDS survivor. Last week I was asked to hold a 90-minute Q&A with Tyler Bradway’s AIDS Literature class. Today I received the email below from one of the students in that class.

Hi, I just wanted to thank you for coming into my AIDS Literature class last week.
I appreciated the honesty and transparency you had while talking to us. One thing
I thought a lot about afterwards was this idea of a physical queer space. As a queer college student, I can’t help but notice the lack of physical spaces for people like myself to meet. Yes, there are many places online, but I don’t think it is quite the same. This is something I think about quite a lot because as I learn more about gay history and AIDS it seems like there were many physical places to meet, some of which that were extremely niche. I always liked the idea of a gay bookstore or coffee shop as a place to meet people rather than a bar. I feel like now I only hear about “gay bars” rather than other places. However, when I came to college, I became best friends with two girls who were also gay which was such a funny coincidence. There is something quite provocative about the idea that many LGBTQ+ teens and young people happen to become friends with each other before even knowing that they’re LGBTQ+.
I appreciate that you were able to come and speak with my class. Thank you, have a great rest of your day and a happy Thanksgiving.

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