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Tomorrow is World AIDS Day.

World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.
This is a day that Brian and I have set aside to remember our friends and remember hope.

For at least two of the most anti-LGBT profiteers in the business, it means something else entirely. It is an opportunity to stick it to the gays.

Yes, Mr. LaBarbera. There is a World Diabetes Day. It falls on November 14th every year. There are actually 30 World Alzheimer's Days. They all fall in September. The better question to ask, Mr. Labarbera, is if there is a World Bigoted Prick Day. If not, I say we proclaim November 30th in honor of your hateful and ignorant tweet.

His link takes you to photograph from Life's website. It is a picture of a man named David Kirby, surrounded by his grieving family at the moment of his death. It is a difficult image to look at, so I have opted to let you decide for yourself whether to link or not.

Now let's get to you, Mr. Barber. Peter LaBarbera may be a run of the mill ignoramus, but you are just evil. I don't think words will be able to express just how abhorrent an individual I think you are, but I will try. It is one thing to make your living off your hatred of gay people, which tells me just how little you have to offer the world. There are quite a few of you grifters out there. What has set you apart is the use of this iconic photograph of David Kirby's deathbed. This image is a touchstone to those of us who witnessed the plague that swept our community. The fact you have chosen this picture, this story, to exploit on the eve of World AIDS Day is the best measure of your cruelty and inhumanity. The way you have distorted the purpose of this photograph earns you a special place in what you call hell.

In November 1990 LIFE magazine published a photograph of a young man named David Kirby — his body wasted by AIDS, his gaze locked on something beyond this world — surrounded by anguished family members as he took his last breaths. The haunting image of Kirby on his death bed, taken by a journalism student named Therese Frare, quickly became the one photograph most powerfully identified with the HIV/AIDS epidemic that, by then, had seen millions of people infected (many of them unknowingly) around the globe.

More than two decades later, on World AIDS Day, shares the deeply moving story behind that picture, along with Frare’s own memories of those harrowing, transformative years.

Read more:

Tomorrow is World AIDS Day. People across the globe will focus on research, funding, education, and most importantly, remembering the people they lost to this cruel disease. I will remember you too, Matt Barber, and not kindly.

Originally posted to Steven Payne on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 09:16 PM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets , HIV AIDS Action, and LGBT Kos Community.

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