Bil Browning

Retro Bilerico Flashback

Filed By Bil Browning | October 05, 2011 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: ACT UP, bad reporting, Bil Browning, Evansville, HIV/AIDS, Indiana, LGBT rights

Last month during my 31 Days series, one of my posts ("The Boyfriend Who Came Back from the Dead") touched ACT-UP-Evansville-Bil.jpgon my time as a teenager in Evansville. I founded an ACT UP chapter in the sleepy little Indiana town and as soon as we put out our first press release, the media went nuts.

I'm sure they were expecting mass riots and Catholic Church firebombings, but, c'mon, this was small town Indiana. We were about as radical as dry toast, but just by speaking out about HIV/AIDS we caused waves.

When we announced we were going to have a condom pass-out to area bars, every television station and both newspapers sent reporters to cover the daring escapade. When we protested K-Mart's decision not to carry Magic Johnson's book about HIV, the media was at our press conference and the actual protest. It was the easiest earned media evah.

Watch the quality of the reporting on display here. My favorite line is when one reporter describes a local gay bar as "a place where they say homosexuals gather." I also love the footage of burning flags and mounted police crashing into protestors with the insinuation that's what would happen in Evansville or the footage of the police chief saying he'd be keeping an eye on us.

I'm 19 in these clips. It wasn't my first TV appearance - it was my second (and third, fourth, fifth, etc - all at once!) - and I'm hysterically funny with my pent up excitement and obvious nervous demeanor.

Check it out after the jump.


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Love the quote by some hetero-normative woman, "It doesn't matter if your homosexual, heterosexual, asexual; safe sex should be practiced." The quote means good, but of course someone who is asexual is probably not having sex. Funny stuff.

Wow Bill i remember those days. It was a scary times and we were so young.

Sorry I meant Bil. Auto correct.

Jimmy - let's get together when we go back to Indiana in December. Do you get up to Indianapolis ever?

I wonder how many lives you saved. I bet, quite a few. You are well spoken and poised in all the clips. Great work!

This is about the time I was being sent to reparative therapy. Somehow it makes me feel comforted, and inspired, to think about you doing this, while I was elsewhere, drowning.

Thank you for posting that. I really enjoyed watching it.

You look really cute in that still.

I didn't know you're from Evansville. I knew some folks from there who went to Murray State.

You're a man after my own heart, Bill!