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The Journalist of Castro StreetThe Life of Randy Shilts$
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Andrew E. Stoner

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042485

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042485.001.0001

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Bathhouse Daze

Bathhouse Daze

(p.111) Chapter 7 Bathhouse Daze
The Journalist of Castro Street

Andrew E. Stoner

University of Illinois Press

Shilts settles on concept that gay bathhouses in San Francisco are breeding ground for the emerging AIDS crisis and should be closed. Shilts’s reporting draws fire from gay community leaders who view bathhouses as key component to sexual freedom of homosexuals. Shilts admits to coordinated effort to time his AIDS-related stories for highest impact, including forthcoming 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco. Shilts breaks Chronicle story that Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro will be first woman nominated for Vice President. Troubled relationship develops between Shilts and Dr. Mervin Silverman, the county health officer and Harry Britt, openly gay supervisor who succeeded Milk. Letters to the gay press cast Shilts as “uncle Tom” and sell-out. Bathhouse owners accuse Shilts of “advocacy reporting.”

Keywords:   gay bathhouses, gay identity, anonymous sex, journalistic integrity, advocacy reporting, sexual license, gay liberation, sexually-transmitted diseases, Gay Pride, Democratic National Convention, Walter Mondale, Geraldine Ferraro, AIDS Ward, San Francisco General Hospital, Dr. Mervyn Silverman, International AIDS Conference, reporter engagement, gay leaders, public health advocates, blood bank policies, journalistic objectivity, Sutro Baths, New York Native, Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, Stonewall Democrats, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, Chaps, gay leather bars, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Northern California Bathhouse Owners Association, Bay Area Reporter

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