#QueerHeroes Day 2 – Bob Rafsky

#QueerHeroes day two
Bob Rafsky.

Rafsky was a PR executive and activist for ACTUP and later, the Treatment Action Group. His activism during the AIDS movement included confronting Bill Clinton (then a presidential candidate) at a fundraising dinner until Clinton ended up bellowing at him. He and other ACT UP members stormed the headquarters of Daichi Pharmaceuticals and chained themselves outsidethe CEO’s office because the company had slowed release of lifesaving and innovative AIDS drugs. The most striking act of his, to me, was when he and other ACT UP members brought their friend, Mark Fisher’s body in an open casket to hold a political funeral outside of George HW Bush’s re-election headquarters.

Rafsky said on a megaphone at the event: “George Bush…Here and now, standing by Mark’s body, we put this curse on you: Mark’s spirit will haunt you until the end of your days, so that in the moment of your defeat, you will remember our defeats. And in the moment of your death, you will remember our deaths…In anger, in grief, this fight is not over until all of us are safe. Act up. Fight back. Fight AIDS.” Rafsky died of AIDS at 47.

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