I think the AIDS protests were essential because they were attention-getters. The ultimate goal was obviously to change people’s minds, but I think in the moment, the protestors really wanted to call attention to the fact that they were there and didn’t agree with how they were being defined as a disease. (So by extension, I do think the protests were successful.) I think Mrs. Beiber’s condemnation was missing the point. Beiber’s work wasn’t just “not accepted” – it was wrong, and current discourse didn’t allow for a standard, polite way of announcing that. Also, she’s missing the point in that she shouldn’t have been concerned so much about and talking about her husband being called that when people’s identities were being challenged and oppressed and protestors were trying to do something to change that.
In this unit, I learned so much about the AIDs epidemic. I really didn’t know anything about it before, so having my first introduction to it be this personal look into the lives of those who had AIDS was very impactful. Also, reading some of the religious doctrines in writing and dissecting how they talked about sex was really interesting! I’ve grown up going to church my entire life, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a direct conversation about sex and how the church writes about it before this unit. It’s definitely something I want to pay more attention to now.