Michael Stipe on coming out during AIDS crisis
Michael Stipe is interviewed in the May issue of Interview magazine and was asked what he is afraid of.
Here’s his answer which I could relate to:
“I’m not a naturally courageous person, but AIDS really brought it home. I mean, it was right when I was 21 years old and came to New York and saw the first billboard about AIDS. It was like, “Holy shit. This is for real.” It was scary. It was right at the time when I was in a band. Suddenly there were all these people who were available to me—men and women—and I was really having fun. But then there came responsibility and feeling afraid and being afraid to get tested, because you couldn’t get tested anonymously. It was so fucked up…Our generation was supposed to be about trying to deal with nuclear concerns and environmental disasters. Suddenly, Reagan is in office, I’m 21 years old, and you can die from fucking. It was like, “I just started. I’m just hitting my stride. Are you kidding me? I don’t want to die.”