June 17, 2011, 9:52 a.m.
On the 30thanniversary of AIDS, June 5, Marc Smolowitz and a few friends organized a commemoration on San Francisco’s Castro Street. They called out names of people who’d died before adding their signatures to a window front. The event, in one of the areas hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic, didn’t exactly match a Pride Parade or a weekend at Gay Disney World.
People stopped by, curious, including a 20-something woman who asked a volunteer if she’d lost anyone to AIDS. When the volunteer told her that, yes, at one point she was losing about 20 friends a month, the girl was shocked. It was incomprehensible to a young San Francisco resident that, not too long ago, her City by the Bay was steeped in death.