My Dead Friends

A Panegyric, by Stephen Arod Shirreffs

These pages are dedicated to the memory of the many, many men whom I have personally lost in the epidemic. It is my intention only to remember them, and to represent my memories. No-one should think that what I write, or what I reproduce here -- be it graphic, literary or sound -- is meant as a total statement on anyone or anything. Each of my dead friends was a whole person; were any of them alive, I daresay they would have created web pages bearing no resemblance to what I present here. But they are not alive, except in memories and artifacts. That will have to do, for that is all we have.

If these sites seem, by turns, lugubrious or corny at times, or if it seems that I am engaging in navel-gazing, then so be it. I have placed upon myself only the discipline of being true to my memories and my passions for these men. What is here is what I have mounted, and that will have to be good enough.

Memories and Artifacts: There are three types of pages attached here. Firstly, there is a list of all the men (and a few women) who touched my life and have died of AIDS. Secondly, there is an occasional diary wherein I record my thoughts and speculations as I create this site. Thirdly, and most importantly, there is a series of pages dedicated to particular individuals. A list of those pages follows below. I will add more pages as I find the time, the memories and the artifacts.

I have "big" thoughts about the epidemic, and perhaps some of those thoughts will seep into view in the pages attached here. But that is not the purpose of these pages. Perhaps you have "big" thoughts about the epidemic. If you have something you want to share with me, please do so by sending mail to me (see bottom of this or any of these pages). More importantly, perhaps, if you know any of the men listed here, write me if the impulse strikes you.

November, 1997: I've been away from these pages for a year and a half, buried in work on my now completed dissertation. Rereading my writing here has shown me how far I have traveled in coming to grips with the aftermath of "the Deaths," as I call them. In the last few years, I have lost few friends, and most of my positive friends are doing amazingly well on the new drug combos.

But now I have more time than I've had, so I'll be adding pix and writing more regularly. I don't intend to delete or radically alter anything that is already here, but I may well add later thoughts, less mired in the gloom of the immediacy of death and more reflective of the joys that are the real memories, that most solid of matters we can retain from those who have left before we do.

A List of My Dead Friends

My Dead Friends: Occasional Writings

Pages for My Friends:

These are the sites that I have mounted so far, presented in alphabetical order. Make no assumptions about the relative importance of the men I have chosen to mount first. It just turns out that these are those for whom I have artifacts at ready hand. There will be many more men here in short order.

Gary Gaetano Bandiera

Gary was my first lover, from 1976 until 1985. This site is a sequence of photos of him and of us.

Tom Buhr

I discovered Tom's death by accident, about which I wrote in my diary. This site has some reflections on death that Tom wrote in a letter to me in 1981.

Maurice Flood

Maurice was a pioneer gay liberationist in Vancouver in the 1970s. We were estranged for the last ten years of his life. This site has a position paper he jointly wrote for the establishment of the Gay Alliance Toward Equality in 1973. Many more documents to come here.

Jamie Hart

Jamie, my first boyfriend in Vancouver, was an independent theatrical costume designer in Toronto. (added on May 21, 1996)

Rick Jacobi

Rick was a poet, and a very troubled young man when he died in 1985. This site is a reflection on his death, and his poetry, which I wrote in 1988.

Michael Merrill

Michael was my first "best friend" to die of AIDS. No man in my experience has had the incisiveness of political analysis which Michael displayed. I plan to mount many of Michael's writings on gay politics, Buddhism, and other topics here.

Robin Simpson

I have written about Robin's death in my essay "Three Deaths in Vancouver." Robin was a uniform collector, bon vivant, and conversationalist, my friend for over 20 years.


This site is now part of the HIV Awareness Ring which has a great collection of links. See the bottom of this page for their links

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Copyright (c) 2007 by Stephen Arod Shirreffs, all rights reserved.
These texts may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of U.S. copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of these texts on any terms, in any medium, requires the consent and notification of the author at stephen at this domain name .
| Created: March 16, 1996 | Updated: May 17, 2007 |