Abstract

In 1994, I was a member of ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power)/Chicago’ and a doctoral student in sociology. I also fell in love. In this article, I apply a queer sociological lens2 to examine the interplay among my activism, scholarship, queer family, and desire. In particular, I explore dynamics of AIDSphobia—and resistance to it—within this constellation of experiences. I draw from several sources. These include my lecture notes from an undergraduate sociology course; I wrote the first version of this lecture in 1996 and have updated it almost every year since. Other narrative elements derive from an unpublished narrative manuscript I wrote in 1998 and an unpublished spoken-word piece I wrote in 2000. I reviewed my own journal entries and personal correspondence from the years 1994 to 2000 to gain a better understanding of what I was experiencing, thinking, and feeling. I’ve presented parts of this article at academic conferences, each of which has provided feedback enhancing my queer sociological framing. Finally, I have integrated other scholarship on HIV/AIDS, intersectional inequalities, and collective action. I have drawn particular inspiration from the testifying/testimonio writings of black and Latina feminists.3

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