New Brad Chapter: Losing Luke

After Brad’s mom kicked him out at 17 for being gay, he fell in love with Luke and a new life in NYC. When Luke was diagnosed with AIDS, Brad joined Act Up … to help.

But with his friends dying or turning HIV positive one by one, Brad’s life feels out of control. A plan takes shape in his mind.

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Author’s Notes —

St. Vincent’s Hospital, the third oldest hospital in New York City, went bankrupt in 2010 and closed. St. Vincent’s opened the east coast’s first dedicated AIDS ward in 1985, and by the early 90s, something like two thirds of inpatients were dealing with some sort of HIV-related illness.

The staff were exceptionally highly skilled and experienced with HIV, and sensitive to LGBTQ people and our needs. They were often hampered, though, by a serious lack of resources. Sometimes the hospital was so full that people died in beds in corridors, waiting for a room.

St. Vincent’s is gone now, replaced by luxury condominiums. The loss feels like a desecration to me. What do you do when your ghosts no longer have a place to call home?

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St. Vincent’s, 13th St and Seventh Ave. One block from the LGBTQ Community Center.

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— Jim

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Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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