They Were Warriors | Chicago Magazine

Posted in Essays, Media, News on April 7 2020

Click here to read “They Were Warriors”

I’m so thrilled to share this, finally. I compiled an oral history for Chicago Magazine of the 1990 ACT UP demonstration that’s a pivotal scene in The Great Believers. This month marks its 30th anniversary, and I had no idea as I worked on it how much more relevant these stories of health care battles would be by the time the article appeared.

This was the major project of my winter, and I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of anything I’ve published. That’s largely because very few of these words are my own; I’m deeply indebted to Owen Keehnen, Lori F. Cannon, William McMillan, Steve Migalski, Roberto Sanabria, Justin Hayford, Mary Patten, Jeff Edwards, Jeanne Kracher, and Saundra Johnson for their words and time and memories, as well of course as their ongoing activism. Writing this was an education in so many ways.

I hope you’ll read this (it’s empowering, I do promise) and share their words widely. Today is World Health Day; let’s keep fighting, in honor of the past and the future.


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