"The result is less an explanatory guide to the gay early ’90s than an experiential re-visitation. The nonlinear structure ambushes the reader with visceral recollections, replicating the uncertainty and confusion that swirled around those years when death was everywhere (and especially in our heads), when “the sick” were often indistinguishable from “the healthy,” and when our own status could be unknown and unknowable for weeks at a time."
Here’s the truth: If you’re a gay person driving across America, your right to dignity is like a radio station fading in and out. In many areas, there is just a vast silence, or a blaring wall of static. At best, your basic humanity is somewhat written into law and is accepted by most people. At worst—well, I’m sure some Hoosiers could tell us horror stories.
I quickly discovered two things. First, that Flawless was alive and kicking it on 72nd Street, right off Central Park, where she'd been since the late sixties. And second, that she wended through the last fifty years of American history like a queer Forrest Gump, touching Edie Sedgwick and William Burroughs, Bobby Kennedy and Jackie O., L.A. in the 70s, Paris in the 80s, and New York always and forever. It wasn't she who needed the archive, I realized, but rather, we who needed an archive devoted to her: the poor Jewish kid from "coal dust South Philly" whose legacy was as important as it was invisible.