Gays Recall a Silent Great Communicator
Speakes: What's AIDS?
Q: Over a third of them have died. It's known as "gay plague." (Laughter.) No, it is. I mean it's a pretty serious thing that one in every three people that get this have died. And I wondered if the President is aware of it?
Speakes: I don't have it. Do you? (Laughter.)
Q: No, I don't.
Speakes: You didn't answer my question.
Q: Well, I just wondered, does the President --
Speakes: How do you know? (Laughter.)
Q: In other words, the White House looks on this as a great joke?
Speakes: No, I don't know anything about it, Lester.
Q: Does the President, does anybody in the White House know about this epidemic, Larry?
Speakes: I don't think so. I don't think there's been any --
Q: Nobody knows?
After Reagan died, Jay Brennan, 53, a registered nurse from Cheverly, wondered how others in the gay community remembered him. Did anyone talk to the homeless? To blacks?
"The oversimplification and glorification of this man," says Brennan, shaking his head. He grips a rainbow flag bought from Lambda Rising bookstore in Dupont Circle -- "a comfort zone," he says of the neighborhood, a place where gays can kiss, hold hands. Not worry about the looks, the stares, the judgments.
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