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Dying in the Closet

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To the editors:

In Mad as Hell's letter [October 25], he voiced a number of concerns that many HIV-impacted persons share. I commend you for printing the letter.

At the letter's end, I was dismayed and saddened, however, to find that the author had withheld his name. Mad concludes by saying, "I intend to investigate what I can do," seeming not to realize that the first thing he can do is to come out. To me, anonymity undermines the letter's validity, just as it does any complaint.

I firmly believe that the tragedy of the AIDs epidemic could never have developed without so many millions remaining safely in the closet, withholding their names. Mad's desire to complain without risking anything of himself illustrates the problem all too well. When will gays realize that by hiding we have helped to kill ourselves?

Frank J. Chesek

E. Chicago

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