HRC Blog

HRC Remembers Supporters and Loved Ones Lost to AIDS at Quilt Reception

Post submitted by Eric Cameron, HRC Digital Media Specialist

Throughout the month of July, panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt have been on display at HRC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Some panels honor widely-recognized advocates from the early days of the epidemic – such as Ryan White – and many were requested for loved ones of HRC staff and supporters. Another recently unveiled panel pays tribute to the beloved HRC staff and board members we’ve lost to HIV/AIDS over the last 30 years.

All of these moving panels were honored in a special reception last night. HRC members, staff and community allies all gathered to commemorate those taken by HIV/AIDS, including many who played a key role in HRC’s founding.

Vic Basile, the first executive director of the Human Rights Campaign and current Counselor to the Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, offered a moving remembrance of some of the “true champions” lost, many of whom have received “all too little recognition for their roles and accomplishments” in fighting AIDS and launching the modern LGBT movement.

Basile spoke at length about the legacy of two LGBT rights pioneers who helped shape HRC into what it is today: Steve Endean and Randy Klose.

Julie Rhoad, executive director of the Names Project, also spoke about the ways the 48,000 panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt remind us all of a shared history, and a shared future in fighting the epidemic. “With each panel, we transform stigma and we transform statistics into souls.”

HRC Managing Director Susanne Salkind and former Executive Director Vic Basile with a panel honoring members of the HRC family lost to HIV/AIDS.

The panels remain on display at HRC's DC headquarters for the rest of July. Visit hrc.org/aids2012 for more information.

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