The Human Component Behind The Disease
An important aspect of advocacy regarding AIDS/HIV and the Queer community was overcoming the immense social stigma regarding the illness and same-sex relationships. Misinformation was rampant and created intense social stigmas, where the fear of AIDS/HIV presented as cis-straight people were afraid to even be in the same room as someone who contracted AIDS.
This is what made Tammy Faye Bakker's 1985 interview with Steve Pieters, an HIV-positive Pastor, so significant in advocacy for the queer community. This clip was aired on the Lord network during Ms.Bakker's segment "Tammy's House Party" which averaged 20 million viewers across dozens of countries. In this clip, she criticizes the rhetoric and actions people, especially Christians, held toward those who contracted AIDS. In near tears, Ms.Bakker called for the humanization of AIDS patients and openly stated her desire to share a hug with Mr. Pieters knowing he has AIDS, a very taboo action for the general public. Tammy Faye Baker's interview is a mile-stone for LGBTQ and AIDS/HIV history as the first time a televangelist conducted an in-depth fair open interview with a person living with AIDS.