AIDS In NYC: The First Five Years has been running all summer at the New York Historical Society. Yesterday the New York Times issued a scathing review.
After seeing this show, a newcomer to this history would be hard pressed to understand the rise of the street-activist group Act Up, the takeover of the Food and Drug Administration headquarters by protesters or the legacy of mistrust between the medical-industrial complex and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
That’s not the only time the exhibition boosts the city at the expense of its queer residents. Here is how it explains the glacial pace of the government’s response to the crisis: “The number of New York voters committed to fight for gay causes was insufficient to form a political bloc strong enough to successfully demand public funds for research, housing, and social services. This was in part because so many gay citizens feared that embracing advocacy would reveal their sexual identities.”
Here, grammar is put through the ringer to avoid blaming homophobic, apathetic New Yorkers for their inaction. But the queer community’s own supposed failings are easy to read.
The show runs throught September 15th. Learn more here.