“Back Online Again!” Those three words greeted visitors to the Instagram account @the_aids_memorial on Wednesday afternoon. The message arrived after much confusion, hurt and anger: During the past three weeks, hundreds of tributes on the beloved social media account had been mysteriously deleted.
Confounding the problem, the account’s founder, who goes by Stuart from Scotland, had told PinkNews earlier this week that he had been blocked from accessing it—and that Instagram was not helping to resolve the issue.
When POZ reached out to him for an update, Stuart confirmed that he was back online and able to post tributes on the photo-sharing platform. However, it’s unclear whether the underlying problem has been resolved because Instagram hasn’t provided Stuart with an explanation for why he was blocked from his own account or why hundreds of posts were deleted to begin with—only to be reinstated and deleted again.
“These setbacks don’t help,” Stuart told POZ, “but I need to push forward. I feel there has been a total disregard by Instagram to address these issues,” he said, noting that the interruptions are “upsetting many followers of the page needlessly by wiping away their tributes to loved ones and the legacy of the AIDS epidemic. It also totally undermines the memorial mission as a place to find solace and comfort. I just want people to feel comfortable sending submissions.” Read more via POZ
#MartinWong (Jul 11, 1946 – Aug 12, 1999) was an artist and part of #NewYork's #EastVillage #artscene. . Wong died of #AIDS under the care of his parents in their home in #SanFrancisco, aged 53. . @mr.williamrand recalls - "I ᴍᴇᴛ Mᴀʀᴛɪɴ Wᴏɴɢ ɪɴ ᴛʜᴇ 80's ɪɴ ᴛʜᴇ Eᴀsᴛ Vɪʟʟᴀɢᴇ. Hᴇ ᴡᴀs ғʀɪᴇɴᴅʟʏ ᴛᴏ ᴍᴇ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴡᴇ ᴡᴏᴜʟᴅ sᴛᴏᴘ ᴀɴᴅ ᴛᴀʟᴋ ᴏɴ ᴛʜᴇ sᴛʀᴇᴇᴛ ᴡʜᴇɴ ᴡᴇ sᴀᴡ ᴇᴀᴄʜ ᴏᴛʜᴇʀ. Mᴀʀᴛɪɴ ᴡᴀs ɢᴇɴᴜɪɴᴇ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴍᴀɢɴᴇᴛɪᴄ. Hᴇ ᴏғᴛᴇɴ ʟᴏᴏᴋᴇᴅ ʟɪᴋᴇ ʜᴇ ᴡᴀs ᴊᴜɢɢʟɪɴɢ sᴏ ᴍᴀɴʏ ʙᴀʟʟs ᴀᴛ ᴏɴᴄᴇ: ʀᴇᴍᴇᴍʙᴇʀ ᴀʟʟ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ᴅᴇᴛᴀɪʟ ᴡᴏʀᴋ ɪɴ ʜɪs ᴘᴀɪɴᴛɪɴɢs ... ᴀ ʀᴇᴀʟ ᴄʀᴀғᴛsᴍᴀɴ ɪɴ ʜɪs ᴡᴏʀᴋ. I ʀᴇᴍᴇᴍʙᴇʀ ʜɪs ᴋɪɴᴅ ᴇʏᴇs." . @timmydeanlee remembers - " I ᴋɴᴇᴡ Mᴀʀᴛɪɴ ᴀs ʙᴏᴛʜ ᴀɴ ᴀʀᴛɪsᴛ ᴀɴᴅ ʙᴇᴄᴀᴜsᴇ ᴏғ ʜɪs ʀᴇʟᴀᴛɪᴏɴsʜɪᴘ ᴡɪᴛʜ Mɪɢᴜᴇʟ Pɪɴᴇʀᴏ. Mɪɢᴜᴇʟ ᴀʟsᴏ ᴡᴀs ᴛᴀᴋᴇɴ ʙʏ AIDS. Hᴇ ʜᴀᴅ ᴀ ʟᴏɴɢ ʜɪsᴛᴏʀʏ ᴏғ ɴᴇᴇᴅʟᴇ ᴜsᴇ ᴀɴᴅ I ᴡᴀs ᴏɴᴇ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ᴀʀᴛɪsᴛs/ᴘᴏᴇᴛs ᴛʜᴀᴛ sᴘᴏᴋᴇ ᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ᴍᴇᴍᴏʀɪᴀʟ #JᴏᴇPᴀᴘᴘ ʜᴇʟᴅ ғᴏʀ ʜɪᴍ ᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ Pᴜʙʟɪᴄ. I ʜᴀᴅ ᴋɴᴏᴡɴ Mᴀʀᴛɪɴ ғɪʀsᴛ ᴛʜʀᴏᴜɢʜ ᴀʟʟ ᴛʜᴇ ɢʀᴏᴜᴘ ᴀʀᴛ sʜᴏᴡs ᴡᴇ ᴡᴏᴜʟᴅ ᴘᴀʀᴛɪᴄɪᴘᴀᴛᴇ ɪɴ ᴀɴᴅ ᴀᴄᴛᴜᴀʟʟʏ ᴅɪᴅɴ'ᴛ ᴇᴠᴇɴ ᴋɴᴏᴡ ʜᴇ ᴡᴀs ᴄᴏɴɴᴇᴄᴛᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ Mɪɢᴜᴇʟ ᴜɴᴛɪʟ #MɪᴄʜᴀᴇʟCᴀʀᴍɪɴᴇ ᴀɴᴅ I ʜᴀᴅ ᴀ ᴍᴇᴇᴛɪɴɢ ᴡɪᴛʜ Pɪɴᴇʀᴏ ᴏɴᴇ ᴍᴏʀɴɪɴɢ ᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ Oᴅᴇssᴀ ᴄᴀғᴇ." . Wong born in #Portland #Oregon in 1946 grew up in #SanFrancisco. On graduating from @humboldtstate, he made a living by drawing sketches for passersby on the streets of #EurekaCalifornia. He joined the #AngelsofLight, a gay street performance troupe in San Francisco. . At 30 Wong decided to become a artist arriving in New York in 1978. He lived on the #LowerEastSide and worked in the bookstore of the @metmuseum. . Wong first exhibited his work in 1981 @abcnoriopunkhc #RivingtonStreet #LowerEastSide in an exhibition organized by #Colab, an artists' group known for its impromptu ''first come, first hung'' shows. . At the opening he met his partner #MiguelPinero, a poet and playwright. . Wong showed at #SemaphoreGallery #SoHo and the #EastVillage in 1984, 85 and 86 and the @ppowgallery, where he had his last exhibition in 1998 coinciding with a retrospective organized by @newmuseum and the @illinoisstateu Galleri. . After Wong learned he had #HIV in 1994, he moved back to #SanFrancisco but continued to paint and made frequent return trips to New York. . #MiguelPiñero died in 1988 of AIDS.
. . Remembering #AlexisArquette . (July 28, 1969 – September 11, 2016) . . "The Alexis Arquette Family Foundation have partnered with Dr. Astrid Heger and The Violence Intervention program at the USC Medical Center in Los Angeles, to provide a clinic called The Alexis Project. . It's to help lgbtq 🏳️🌈 youth and people with everything from mental health to education to medical help. . It's very exciting and we are so proud to announce on September 11, 2017. Peace & love to you." - by Rosanna Arquette @rosannaarquette .
"Wendy was the first person I'd ever know with #AIDS. When she visited, we would make ice cream soda floats, frozen pizza and all kinds of junk food, and that's all she needed to do to win my 10 year old heart. . Wendy was like family and when I learned she had #AIDS, I was too young to feel anything about it, but because I wasn't educated, I would tense up when she hugged me, and I stopped accepting her handmade soda floats. . I hurt her, and she knew why. She pulled me aside and just like a mother scolding her children, she gave me #HIVAIDS 101 and I would never again deny any hugs, kisses, or sips from her soda floats. . Wendy won a lawsuit against a Dental practice, who had covered their whole office with paper towels when they learned about her positive status. . Wendy was an activist, advocate and educator in her last days, and I'm proud of her accomplishments and proud to have known such a strong kindhearted resilient woman. RIP 💌 #wendymodeste" - by @mellsworld . #whatisrememberedlives #theaidsmemorial #aidsmemorial #neverforget #endaids 📩 ᴛʜᴇᴀɪᴅsᴍᴇᴍᴏʀɪᴀʟ@ʏᴀʜᴏᴏ.ᴄᴏᴍ
. Please don’t let AIDS make me a monster or a burden is my prayer. Too soon, Chris has to leave. I walk him to the elevator bank, then totter back so Raquel can open my I.V. again. It’s not even mid-evening, but I’m nodding off. My life’s so full, even (especially?) when I’m here on G-9. When it’s time to move on to the next step, that will be a great adventure, too. . Helena Hughes, Tibetan Buddhist, tells me that there are three stages in death. The first is white, like passing through a thick but porous wall. The second stage is red; the third is black; and then you’re finished, ready for the next event. I’m glad she has a road map, but I don’t feel the need for one myself. I’ve trust enough in all that’s happened in my life, the unexpected love and gentleness that rushes in to fill the arid spaces in my heart, the way the city glow fills up the sky above the river, making it seem less than night. . When Joe O’Hare flew in last week, he asked what were the best times of my New York years; I said “Today,” and meant it. I hope that death will lift me by the hair like an angel in a Hebrew myth, snatch me with the strength of sleep’s embrace, and gently set me down where I’m supposed to be, in just the right place. . An excerpt from a poem by #TimDlugos (Aug 5, 1950 – Dec 3, 1996), "G-9" which he wrote while hospitalized in G-9, the #AIDSward at #RooseveltHospital #Manhattan.
. . #MichaelJeter (August 26, 1952 – March 30, 2003) , was a Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor. . His TV roles include #HermanStiles on #EveningShade from 1990 until 1994 and #MrNoodle's brother, Mr. Noodle on #ElmosWorld (#SesameStreet) from 2000 until 2003. . Jeter's film roles include #Zelig, #TheFisherKing, #Waterworld, #AirBud, #PatchAdams, #TheGreenMile, #JurassicParkIII, #SisterAct2, and #ThePolarExpress. . Jeter was openly gay and met his partner, #SeanBlue, in 1995; they were together from 1995 until 2003 when Jeter was found dead in his #Hollywood home at age 50. . Although he was #HIVpositive, he had been in good health for many years. His partner, #SeanBlue, stated publicly that Jeter died after suffering an epileptic seizure. . In 1996, Jeter learned that he was HIV positive and a year later he publicly revealed his condition. . "Every time an actor does a job, he has to have a physical to assure that he's healthy enough to complete a film. The forms you fill out ask if you're being treated for anything. It would be easy to say no. Well, I didn't want to commit insurance fraud or a felony. I have HIV, but I'm perfectly healthy. Why not say that?" . #whatisrememberedlives #theaidsmemorial #aidsmemorial #neverforget #endaids #lgbthistory 📩 ᴛʜᴇᴀɪᴅsᴍᴇᴍᴏʀɪᴀʟ@ʏᴀʜᴏᴏ.ᴄᴏᴍ . .
"#NormanHill was a pioneer in the #Boston Police department. He lobbied for the #LGBT community to serve openly, and was always there to work to make a difference. This is my favorite of him and I. We'd just started dating. It's in #Provincetown. . Norman passed away, while in hospice care, on Feb 4, 2017, in #BrowardCounty, FL, after a short but heroic battle with cancer. He was 57 years old. . The 2nd and 3rd photo are from the protest (die-in) in #Kennebunkport, ME outside of the Bush Compound. . 2nd photo is Clem Pepe, Norman Hill, face of David Greenup, myself and Tom Keane. . The 3rd photo is of Norman and I, but that's Tom Keane over my right shoulder. . Photos 4 and 5 are from the #AIDSwalk Boston in June 1994 - Stephen St Laurent, Kevin O'Conner, myself and Norman. . Photo 5 is Stephen, Norman, Kevin, and myself." - by Mike Grant @mikegrant123 . ACT UP! Fight Back! Fight AIDS! . #whatisrememberedlives #theaidsmemorial #aidsmemorial #endaids #neverforget #lgbthistory 📩 ᴛʜᴇᴀɪᴅsᴍᴇᴍᴏʀɪᴀʟ@ʏᴀʜᴏᴏ.ᴄᴏᴍ @rdodders