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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

The Traynor Legacy versus the “Patient Zero” Myth

The Traynor Legacy versus the “Patient Zero” Myth

(p.168) Chapter Seven The Traynor Legacy versus the “Patient Zero” Myth
Plane Queer

Phil Tiemeyer

University of California Press

Chapter 7 traces the AIDS crisis into the 1990s. It begins with the 1987 release of Randy Shilts’s And the Band Played On and his portrayal of Dugas as the origin of the epidemic in America. My analysis confirms long-standing assertions that Gäetan Dugas was not the first American with AIDS. Shilts’s editor has confirmed that Shilts manipulated the “Patient Zero” narrative to garner media publicity. Via this publicity, flight attendants were now implicated in the larger social and political battles over AIDS, gay sexual practices, and workplace rights. Over time, the airlines ultimately helped to defuse this hysteria. In 1988 United Airlines stopped grounding flight attendants with AIDS, and, by 1993, American Airlines had become the United States’ first self-proclaimed “gay-friendly” airline.

Keywords:   HIV/AIDS, Patient Zero, Randy Shilts, And the Band Played On, School Board of Nassau County v. Arline, United Airlines, American Airlines, Jesse Helms, William Dannemayer

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