By Jorge Aldaco
Dr. Jose M. Aguilar-Hernandez spoke about the mistreatment of Dr. Jose M. Aguilar-Hernandez epidemic in “Silence Equals Death” at the E3 Ingalls Hall on Thursday.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Coalition to Unleash Power, an organization established in March 1987, dealt with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus crisis and its political opponents for treatment of ill patients and for research and education on the epidemic. “…the government took about five years before they took action.
Even then, small bits of money went into the actual treatment and research of HIV/AIDS,” said Aguilar-Hernandez.
Aguilar – Hernandez said that under the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush Sr. administrations, very little funding went into HIV/AIDS research and prevention.
Alongside the little political support, many of the religious scrutinized the LGBT community.
“I was livid to hear that Clinton’s remark during the 2016 election about the Reagan administration and how ‘swiftly’ they reacted to the AIDS epidemic,”said AguilarHernandez. “(Queer People of Color) leave a positive impact on history and in social movements. QPOC fight injustices and even save lives” Aguilar-Hernandez said.
Two individuals, Ray Navarro and James Cortez, had gone to great lengths to show their dislike of policies.
Navarro showed his distaste by walking around as Jesus Christ and filmed as Mass was being held.
James Cortez went to the District of Columbia monument and with the help of the families of the victims, laid out hundreds of blankets to represent those who had died due to AIDS.
The first push for reform came from two major movements started up during the ‘60s- the Black Panthers and a Puerto Rican group from Chicago, the Young Lords, helped with later movements. However within these communities, sexism and homophobia existed within the groups. “Had I been in their groups, I would have been marginalized” said Aguilar-Hernandez.
He pointed out, however, that within these groups that a mixing of LGBT and racial movement can still exist and work together for a common goal.
He said how homophobia was being dealt with in different areas.
Even to some extent, the Black Panther movement involved a branch of the progression of gay rights. Within the movement, Jean Genet and Angela Davis became the main advocates of the Black Panther movement for LGBT rights.
Aguilar-Hernandez continues with a major point in the rights of LGBT people of color, the Stonewall riot on June 28, 1969.
The riots were spearheaded by members of the LGBT community, Sylvia Rivera and Marsha Johnson.
The riot was also featured in a movie called “Stonewall,” though it received a massive backlash for its whitewashing.
Many stories are being retold were unfortunately, replacing people of color with white people, said by Aguilar Hernandez.
The QPOC social movements has done the most they can with a historical recovery project, hoping to revive stories and experiences, says Aguilar-Hernandez.
Joe Maga Jr., student ambassador of Adelante, sat in the front of the room, asked about whether trans people are the next chapter.
“Trans rights started off in the ‘60s. However a state of ‘transerasing’ was occurring around that time. It is concerning, but recovery of the history is happening. The chapter of today is not finished. If anything, it is halfway done” said Aguilar-Hernandez.
Aguilar-Hernandez opened up about an old friend of his, Dr. Horacio Roque Ramirez.
Ramirez came from El Salvador to Los Angeles and became an undergrad at Cal State University, Los Angeles. He extensively interviewed people in regards to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
He also wrote their stories of the affected. Aguilar-Hernandez said he aspires to be like Ramirez for his contribution to the history of LGBT people of color.
“From an FYE perspective, we promote awareness, acceptance and being open-minded. The students should have knowledge and understand other communities.” says Dr. Vanessa Ochoa.
“Our goal is to take it somewhere else so that the conversation continues ‘outside the ivory tower’ and we take what we learned to our communities.”
Aguilar-Hernandez previously spoken at ELAC on February 28. The Adelante FYE organization on campus is a safe spot for LGBT undocumented students says Ochoa.