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Plane Queer"Labor, Sexuality, and AIDS in the History of Male Flight Attendants"$
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Phil Tiemeyer

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520274761

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520274761.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Flight Attendants and the Origins of an Epidemic

Flight Attendants and the Origins of an Epidemic

(p.136) Chapter Six Flight Attendants and the Origins of an Epidemic
Plane Queer

Phil Tiemeyer

University of California Press

Chapter 6 examines the early AIDS crisis. Flight attendants experienced how AIDS was both a medical and a political crisis. The demonization of steward Gäetan Dugas, known as “Patient Zero,” illustrates the ways that flight attendants became embroiled in pitched social battles over AIDS. This chapter details the facts of Dugas’s life and the state of the “Patient Zero” myth circa 1984, before journalist Randy Shilts circulated the myth more widely. I also chronicle the plight of another flight attendant with AIDS, Gär Traynor, whose response to his diagnosis ultimately offered a legal basis for overcoming AIDS-phobia. In a key 1984 legal victory, Traynor became one of the first people with AIDS to win the right to return to work.

Keywords:   HIV/AIDS, HIV, AIDS, Patient Zero, Gäetan Dugas, Gär Traynor, United Airlines, Centers for Disease Control, William Darrow, Air Canada

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