In a Salon essay, Adler University President Raymond E. Crossman, Ph.D., shared a personal and political story to help fight against rhetoric and policies that target and marginalize people.
“Since November’s presidential election, I have had an uneasy feeling of déjà vu. It took me a while to put my finger on exactly what I was remembering. Until I realized, it’s 1985. Now, just as then, we are living in a time when the president’s actions are leading to harm for marginalized people around the world.
My vantage point on 1985 is that I grew up in the 1980s in New York City in the midst of the AIDS epidemic. It was likely during the latter part of the decade that I acquired HIV.
I have lived with HIV for about 30 years, and yet this disclosure is a new one for me to offer in my professional life. I am a university president who has been out as a gay man across my career, but up until now, disclosure about my HIV status has been on a need-to-know basis.
Why am I making it public now? Because of the parallels between then and now. In 1985, the president not speaking one particular word caused us injury and death. In 2017, the president speaking many incendiary words is causing injury and death.”
Read more about his story in “It’s 1985 All Over Again” at Salon.