Instagram Has Been Taking Down Posts Remembering Those Lost in the AIDS Epidemic

Instagram Has Been Taking Down Posts Remembering Those Lost in the AIDS Epidemic

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One of the many gems on Instagram is @the_aids_memorial. The account has posted a gallery featuring over 2,700 memories of those lost in the AIDS crisis.

. . "Clark Taylor (1950-1993) was from Oregon. He came to NYC in the mid '70's, changed his first name from Myron, got an apartment in the East Village, and was an actor in a theater company. . For security he got “a zombie job” in the Defense Department and stopped acting. . I took this photo of him in the 1980s, when we were in Paris. It’s the only one I have of him. . Books, independent &lms, avant-garde theater, museums, art galleries and restaurants favorably reviewed in The New York Times were among his cultural pursuits. .
Frequent visits to Dollar Bill's, Century 21 and The Barney's warehouse sale kept him stylishly dressed for everyday and for nightclubbing. .
We met at The Bar on E. 4th Street. The romance soon faltered but a deep friendship evolved. We often got together at Boy Bar and Uncle Charlie's. . A year before he died of AIDS, he took me to the Four Seasons. During dinner he announced his intention of jumping off the Queensboro Bridge afterward. . "You're the person I wanted to spend my last hours on earth with." . Instead, as he was quite drunk from a bottle of champagne and drinks later at The Townhouse, we took a cab to his place and he passed out. .
He was impoverished when he died, but in his will left me a small antique table that has moved with me several times. . "My two big regrets are that I didn't try to get a job in the fashion industry and that I didn't hold onto you when we met. You're going to be a star one day and I won't be around to see it." – by Darryl Reilly @nyc_subway_art_tour . #whatisrememberedlives #theaidsmemorial #aidsmemorial #neverforget #endaids #lgbthistory ? ᴛʜᴇᴀɪᴅsᴍᴇᴍᴏʀɪᴀʟ@ʏᴀʜᴏᴏ.ᴄᴏᴍ .

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Unfortunately, however, @the_aids_memorial hasn’t had any new posts for the past four days. This isn’t a scheduled break. Instead, Stuart, the mononymic curator, is locked out of his account.

This isn’t the first issue he has had with the account. Stuart says Instagram first deleted hundreds of posts. He initially discovered their deletion when a number of submitters e-mailed him, upset that he’d taken down their images. Stuart hadn’t taken them down, however. When he and his followers complained to Instagram, the posts were re-instated.

Sadly, that wasn’t the end of it. Though Instagram restored the posts, a few days later, they were pulled once again. After another wave of complaints, the posts were again restored — but now Stuart’s locked out of the account.

Though he can’t access his main account, Stuart set up a secondary account to call attention to his treatment by Instagram. But all isn’t well there, either — while writing this article, his first post explaining the situation was deleted. Luckily, there are still others that are (as of right now) still live:

Instagram has responded — but their responses have been less than helpful. In one e-mail Stuart shared, Instagram couldn’t help because they say he didn’t include the signup e-mail in his help request — though Stuart says he did.

In another e-mail, they said Stuart turned off two-factor authentication, an extra layer of security that prevents unauthorized users from accessing the account. This may be an indication Stuart is one of the victims of the recent mass-hacking of Instagram accounts.

However, Stuart’s not so sure, commenting, “If someone has disconnected my telephone number and e-mail address as part of a hack, I wouldn’t expect a response like this from Instagram.”

Stuart encourages all of his followers to keep following the original account and to continue complaining to Instagram until they restore his access. At least — for the time being — we still have access to the many great memorials that have already been posted.

. . #WilliNinja (April 12, 1961 – September 2, 2006), known as the #GrandfatherofVogue, died of #AIDS at New York Hospital Medical Center surrounded by the children of his house. He was only 45 years old. . In 2003, Ninja was diagnosed with HIV. He continued working to support his elderly mother who had Parkinson's disease while not being able to afford healthcare for himself. He continued to mentor upcoming dancers and models until he lost his sight and became paralysed due to the virus. . #Vogueing and the characters who populated Ninja’s world were prominently featured in #ParisIsBurning (1990) a documentary by Jennie Livingston. . Ninja also performed in works by choreographers including #DougElkins, #DavidNeuman and #KaroleArmitage. . Born William R. Leake in Queens, Ninja grew up in #Flushing. A self-taught dancer, by the early '80’s he was vogueing in #WashingtonSquarePark #GreenwichVillage and at #dragballs in #Harlem. . Ninja, mother of the #HouseofNinja provided vocals and starred in #MalcolmMcLaren's #DeepinVogue music video. He is also featured in Sally Sommer’s documentary, “Check Your Body at the Door" and the documentary 'How Do I Look' (2006) by #WolfgangBusch. . Ninja also danced in two of Janet Jackson's videos from her album #RhythmNation1814, "Alright" and "Escapade". . Ninja taught vogueing in Europe and Japan, modeled in runway shows for #Gaultier and #Mugler. He also coached Supermodels how to walk including @karenalexanderofficial and @iamnaomicampbell early in their careers. . #whatisrememberedlives #theaidsmemorial #aidsmemorial #neverforget #endaids #lgbthistory ?

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. . #DanielSotomayor (Aug 30, 1958 – Feb 5, 1992) was a gay political cartoonist who died of #AIDS in #Chicago at the age of 33. . Sotomayor was featured in publications such as #TheWindyCityTimes #TheBayAreaReporter #AuCourant and #OutWeek. He was also a prominent AIDS activist in Chicago. . Sotomayor, a graduate of #ColumbiaCollege and the #AmericanAcademyofArt, grew up in #HumboldtPark #Chicago. In 1988, he was diagnosed #HIVpositive and later that year with Paul Adams, #LoriCannon and others, helped form #ACTUP Chicago. . Sotomayor is remembered for challenging Mayor Daley on AIDS rights which resulted in an increase in #AIDS funding at the beginning of the '90s. . Sotomayor protested at the time, "This isn't a popularity contest, you know. I really don't care whether people like me, or whether they approve of my style or my methods. The question is whether I'm right and whether we're making progress. Because if we are, then fuck 'em." . Photo Photo © Lisa Howe-Ebright . #whatisrememberedlives #theaidsmemorial #aidsmemorial #neverforget #endaids #lgbthistory ? ᴛʜᴇᴀɪᴅsᴍᴇᴍᴏʀɪᴀʟ@ʏᴀʜᴏᴏ.ᴄᴏᴍ .

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. . #JohnSteptoe (Sept 14, 1950 – Aug 28, 1989) was a writer and illustrator of books about African-American children, "allowing them to identify with characters and environments that previous children's stories ignored." . #Steptoe died of #AIDS at #StLukesHospital #Manhattan at the age of 38. . Two months later, @visual_aids declared an #AIDSawareness day in which museums closed to protest the large number of AIDS deaths in the arts. On that day, the Museum of American Illustration exhibited some of Steptoe's original illustrations. . Steptoe, raised in the #BedfordStuyvesant section of #Brooklyn #NewYork, only formal training was at the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan. While a student he worked in Haryou-Act, an antiproverty program in #Harlem, and studied with the painter #NormanLewis. . In 1969, Steptoe came to prominence when his first work, 'Stevie' about a young boy living in a ghetto was published by #Lifemagazine. Later published, it was named by the The American Library Association as a notable children's book. . Steptoe illustrated 15 more volumes, 9 of which he also wrote. #TheStoryofJumpingMouse'' (1985) and #MufarosBeautifulDaughters'' (1988), were named #Caldecott honor books by the library association, recognizing the quality of their illustrations. . Steptoe also received the #CorettaScottKingAward for Illustration for #MotherCrocodile'' (1982), and for #MufarosBeautifulDaughters. . Following his death, the American Library Association established the #JohnSteptoeAward for New Talent, which is given for excellence in writing and/or illustration. . #whatisrememberedlives #theaidsmemorial #aidsmemorial #neverforget #endaids ? ᴛʜᴇᴀɪᴅsᴍᴇᴍᴏʀɪᴀʟ@ʏᴀʜᴏᴏ.ᴄᴏᴍ

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. . #RaymondStJacques (March 1, 1930 – August 27, 1990) was an #actor, #director and #producer. He was the first #AfricanAmerican actor to appear in a regular role on a western series, in #Rawhide. . St. Jacques died of #AIDS at #CedarsSinai's #LosAngeles. He was 60 years old. . St. Jacques often spoke of the prejudices he and other #AfricanAmerican actors faced in being cast in non-stereotypical roles. He also worked to help African Americans find work behind the camera. . St. Jacques was also an activist for African American #civilrights. In 1985, he and other protestors were arrested during an #antiapartheid demonstration outside of the #SouthAfrican embassy in #WashingtonDC. . St. Jacques never married. In August 1969, he granted an interview to columnist #EarlWilson and told of his plans to adopt two African American boys. The adoption never that took place but, by the early 1970s, St. Jacques claimed to have two older sons, called Raymond Jr. and Sterling. In a 1973 interview, St. Jacques said that Raymond, Jr. lived in #Boston. . In May 1972, Sterling, then reported to be 22 years old, made news after four men attempted to rob St. Jacques' Bel Air home. Sterling was the only person home at the time and fled after calling police. . In the 1970s, Sterling St. Jacques became known as a fashion model (he was engaged to #PatCleveland), and a fixture on the #NewYork nightclub scene. . In his will, St. Jacques claimed that he had no children and named only Sterling, who he identified as his nephew, in his will. . Although widely reported that Sterling died of #AIDS in 1984, he stipulated that his "nephew" receive "the sum of $1.00" from his $750,000 estate. . #whatisrememberedlives #theaidsmemorial #aidsmemorial #neverforget #endaids #lgbthistory ? ᴛʜᴇᴀɪᴅsᴍᴇᴍᴏʀɪᴀʟ@ʏᴀʜᴏᴏ.ᴄᴏᴍ 2734

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"This is my favorite picture of Darryl Brantley from 2009.  He lived a big life. Bigger than most. He lead a trail of friends into adventures most of us could never have found on our own. Laughing, singing, dancing and taking care that all of us felt like the most important person in his orbit. Singing ‘happy birthday’ at the top of his lungs in a restaurant on your birthday. Modeling a hat AND a dress from the fashion closet. Saying he was sorry because he was. He was a sun in a distant galaxy; I took a rocket ship to see him as often as I could. . We met in '82 as teenagers. In a far away place called CalARTS. He moved to NYC and worked at Lord & Taylor, Ralph Lauren, Vanity Fair and GQ.  Every year he’d be in LA working the VF Oscar party or the GQ party – stories on top of stories, he was at his best. He made me stretch myself. I watched him expand. . We’d have late night friend-calls across the time zones all through the 80’s and 90’s, as AIDS ate up our friends and body slammed the world around us. Stories about that guy on the train, your auntie in Brooklyn, the roommates and the apartments, AZT, ACT-UP, Michael, Patrick, Doug, and Greg, the drag, drugs, parties, the city and the celebrities and the way that Darryl never really settled down. . Time and distance created gaps and holes that we couldn’t explain and didn’t need to, mended with an email or phone call. The 90’s and the dive into our careers and the 00’s when we realized we were growing old.  For nearly 30 years we tended our friendship with kindling and kindness. . After an unfathomable sicknesses and with towering grace he died in 2011 in a backroom in his father’s house. With his final text – I called – we spoke a 1000 goodbyes – I thanked him for everything. We talked about what we had done together and apart. His voice soft, dreamy and plain.  He was still here, still part of our world. We said goodbye. Then he was gone. . I miss Darryl, he knew how to … so many things.  He knew how to love. He knew how to feel love … and he died anyway. The world is worse off without him. It is as plain as that. You can tell by looking at him." – John D’Amico @ourweho #whatisrememberedlives

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We can’t forget our history.

UPDATE 9/6/17: Stuart has access again. He just posted this:


Photo via @the_aids_memorial