Author and gay activist Eric Rofes died of unknown causes in Provincetown yesterday. Rofes was perhaps best known for his controversial declaration that “AIDS is over”, in his 1998 book Dry Bones Breathe. Rofes pioneered many gay activist groups, including founding the Boston Area Gay & Lesbian Schoolworkers and the Boston Gay & Lesbian Political Alliance. In the 80’s he was the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Community Center and in the early 90’s he was the Executive Director of San Francisco’s Shanti Project, which provided housing to people with AIDS. Rofes’ 13th book, A Radical Rethinking Of Sexuality And Schooling, was published late last year. I used to see Eric around San Francisco, usually in the leather bars. Memorably, he once spotted me on the MUNI reading his Reviving The Tribe, which I adored. Eric Rofes was a controversial figure, to be sure, comparable perhaps to Larry Kramer in the way in which he constantly challenged gay men’s preconceptions of our lives. Rofes was 52.
UPDATE: PageOneQ is reporting that Rofes had a heart attack.