Hatred is the Laziest Form of Cowardice


In 1983-4, I was an office manager at a gym in San Francisco.

“ShapeUp” was located at the corner of Noe and Market, just one block east of the intersection of Castro and Market and, thus, very near the heart of the Castro District.

The years of the mid- to late-80’s were those of the greatest losses to the gay community of San Francisco: our business’s membership roll diminished severely during that dark period. I was acutely aware of this because, while in that job, I maintained the membership database; then, for a few years thereafter, I did computer-support for the gym, and the loss of members was clearly evident, both in the decreasing membership numbers and in the members who would suddenly no longer return to the gym.

The first of my friends that I lost to AIDS was Jewish; the second, Armenian. It was as if the 20th Century had walked up and punched me in the gut.

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This experience made the loss of so many people in those earlier European holocausts supremely personal. I promised myself then that I would try to do something to convey that sense of personal loss to others.

This promise is fulfilled in David, My David.