Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

AIDS @ 30: Activist Bob Hattoy
2012-04-04

This article shared 5203 times since Wed Apr 4, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Robert Keith Hattoy was born on Nov. 1, 1950 in Providence, R.I., and was open about his homosexuality for as long as he could remember. He was the son of a mechanical engineer and a school registrar. Hattoy became politically active protesting the Vietnam War; he said he considered politics a form of lifesaving.

Hattoy bounced around different colleges in seven years but never earned a degree. After working at Disneyland he landed his first political job in the mid 1970s with the California Democratic Party, spending three years as an aide to Zev Yaroslavsky, a Los Angeles City Council member.

In 1981 Mr. Hattoy found a calling at the Sierra Club where he worked for a decade on environmental justice and as a regional director for the club for the states of California and Nevada. When President Ronald Reagan proposed opening the California shoreline to oil drilling, Hattoy worked on forming a coalition of people and organizations across the social and political spectrum to oppose the plan.

After working for the Sierra Club for a decade, he joined Bill Clinton's campaign for president and became his leading environmental advisor in 1992. He came to Washington with the Clinton team as a 41-year-old openly gay man with AIDS. His very presence connected the new President to a population that had never been represented in the White House before.

Clinton asked Hattoy to deliver an AIDS speech at the 1992 Democratic National Convention. The speech was nationally televised and made him a forceful advocate for gays and lesbians in the Clinton White House. The speech at the convention came 11 years into the epidemic, though the White House under the Reagan and first Bush administrations had waited years to publicly acknowledge AIDS and mount a public health response.

At the Democratic National Convention of 1992 Hattoy said, "We are part of the American family ( addressing then President George H.W. Bush ) and Mr. President, your family has AIDS and we are dying and you are doing nothing about it." He went on to say, "I don't want to die, but I don't want to live in an America where the President sees me as the enemy. I can face dying because of a disease, but not because of politics."

According to a New York Times article from March 6, 2007 by Tim Weiner, Hattoy's words riveted a nationwide audience. In the article Michael Petrelis, a writer and activist, said "Bob Hattoy gave people with AIDS and gays in America hope with that speech."

In a San Francisco Chronicle article about Hattoy from March 6, 2007 by Wyatt Buchanan, a founding member of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power ( ACT UP ) , Eric Sawyer, called the speech "revolutionary" and said it reflected the independent streak that guided his work. Sawyer said, "Bob was one of the few insiders who was consistently vocal on behalf of people with AIDS, on the true situation of people with AIDS, what the real needs were and he wasn't afraid to criticize." In the New York Times article by Weiner, Richard Socarides, who was special assistant to Clinton in charge of gay and lesbian policies, said "He was an agitator in the best sense of the word. Bob often meant trouble because Bob was never satisfied.

In a New York Times article from June 6, 1993 by Richard Berke, Hattoy said, "Yuppies, young kids, come up to me at the White House and say: 'It's so great what's happened to you, Bob. All that fame from your AIDS speech.' And I'll say, 'Well, thank you, but there's a down side.' And they'll say, 'What's that?' And I'll say, 'I have AIDS'. And believe me, I would trade with them. I would rather work in a bakery and not have AIDS than work in the White House with it."

In an article from The Los Angeles Times from Sept. 11, 1995, Faye Fiore said that Hattoy, as Associate Director of White House personnel, had the Administration's ear. He was in the loop and AIDS was his cause. From 1994 to 1999 Hattoy was White House liaison to the Interior Department. Clinton also named him to the Presidential Commission on HIV/AIDS. In 2002, he was appointed to the California Fish and Game Commission and in April 2007 he was appointed president.

According to his longtime friend and former partner Bob Pelham, Hattoy died March 4, 2007 from cardiac arrest brought on by a bone marrow infection while he was recovering from an AIDS-related illness. "We have lost a pioneer, a leader, and a friend," said former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York in a joint statement released to the press.

The Clintons went on to say, "Bob Hattoy devoted his life to the fight for civil rights and social justice for the gay community and people living with AIDS. We will always be grateful for his courageous and moving speech at the 1992 Democratic National Convention and afterward for his years of dedicated service in the administration. He gave hope to a community that feared their voice would never be heard at the highest levels of government."

This story is part of the Local Reporting Initiative, supported in part by The Chicago Community Trust.


This article shared 5203 times since Wed Apr 4, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

PRCC-VIDA/SIDA event marks World AIDS Day with Vigil and Baton show
2022-12-05
On Dec. 1, the Puerto Rican Community Center (PRCC) and Vida/SIDA celebrated World AIDS Day with a candlelight vigil in the afternoon and a commemorative show at The Baton Show Lounge in the evening. The earlier ...


Gay News

Chicago's sweetest party and fundraiser, World of Chocolate returns In-person Feb. 17 at Union Station
2022-12-05
-- From a press release - CHICAGO — Glitz, glamour and chocolate…after a nearly three-year hiatus, AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC) proudly announces the return of its famed World of Chocolate fundraiser on Friday, February 17 at ...


Gay News

Cleve Jones, founder of AIDS Memorial Quilt, honored with Lifetime of Commitment Award on World AIDS Day
2022-12-03
-- From a press release - SAN FRANCISCO, CA (Nov. 30 & Dec. 1, 2022) — The National AIDS Memorial marked World AIDS Day with a national observance at the 10-acre National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco, honoring AIDS activist and ...


Gay News

Pritzker administration announces highly effective HIV treatment coming to Illinois in 2023
2022-12-02
-- From a press release - CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced today on World AIDS Day that a new, long-acting HIV treatment called Cabenuva will become available to thousands of ...


Gay News

World AIDS Day: GLAAD releases 2022 State of HIV Stigma Study
2022-12-01
-- From a press release - (New York, NY - December 1, 2022) GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is releasing its third annual State of HIV Stigma ...


Gay News

Peppermint barks while Broadway bangs, and all the other dish to start the week
2022-11-28
"I love Broadway. I love what they do—Broadway Cares, but I also want to say the show is extraordinary!" —Nicole Kidman's impromptu speech after bidding $100K to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS for Hugh Jackman's hat after ...


Gay News

PASSAGES: LGBTQ+ ally, activist and artist Charlotte Newfeld passes away
2022-11-23
LGBTQ+ ally, activist and artist Charlotte Newfeld died Nov. 17 due to natural causes. She was 91. At the time of her death, Newfeld was living at the Dobson Memory Care facility in Evanston. Newfeld was ...


Gay News

Passages: Sexologist and activist Dr. Thomas Gertz passes away
2022-11-19
Sexologist and activist Dr. Thomas Gertz died Oct. 28 due to natural causes. He was 77. At the time of his death, Gertz was in an assisted living facility. He had previously lived at Heartland ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal challenges anti-HIV military policy
2022-11-13
Lambda Legal filed a legal challenge to the U.S. military policy that prevents people living with HIV from enlisting in the U.S. Armed Forces, according to a press release. The current policy requires that applicants for ...


Gay News

National AIDS Memorial names 2022-2023 Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship recipients
2022-11-09
-- From a press release - SAN FRANCISCO, California, Nov. 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The National AIDS Memorial has announced its 2022/2023 Pedro Zamora Young Leaders scholars, its largest and most diverse class ever, providing ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Singer Aaron Carter dies at 34
2022-11-05
Singer Aaron Carter—the brother of Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter—has died after apparently drowning at his L.A. home at age 34, according to media reports. TMZ originally reported the news. The outlet said that he was ...


Gay News

Memorial for Urvashi Vaid to be livestreamed Nov. 3
2022-10-29
A memorial celebration of the life of Urvashi Vaid will be held on Thursday, Nov. 3, at 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT at B'Nai Jesherun, 258 W. 88th St., New York City. In-person RSVPs are at capacity. However, the event will ...


Gay News

Sheryl Lee Ralph producing HIV/AIDS documentary
2022-10-29
Recent Emmy winner Sheryl Lee Ralph has signed on to produce Unexpected, a documentary short about women of color living with HIV in the South, Variety reported. Directed by Zeberiah Newman, the film will chronicle Masonia ...


Gay News

'Will & Grace' actor Leslie Jordan dies in car accident
2022-10-24
Leslie Jordan—the openly gay actor who rose to fame on Will & Grace as the frenemy of Megan Mullally's Karen Walker and was immediately recognizable by his Southern accent—died in a single-car crash in Hollywood on ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'P-Valley,' Dan Levy, trans/non-binary panel, Christina Aguilera, Spirit Day
2022-10-23
Video below - Starz has renewed the show P-Valley (the network's most-watched series) for a third season, The Hollywood Reporter noted. The renewal for the series from creator/showrunner Katori Hall arrives more than two months after the sophomore season ...


 




Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.