Madonna is on the cover of People this week. In the magazine, she talks about her kids, her philanthropy, and recalls being in the middle of the AIDS crisis during the 1980s at a time when even the president of the United States wouldn’t even help.
“When the AIDS epidemic first came to New York and I was living on the Lower East Side, my best friend was HIV-positive,” Madonna says, adding that she went to St. Vincent’s Hospital to see her HIV-positive friend and could smell death all over the AIDS ward.
Madonna says she felt a sense of responsibility and compassion since everybody else was casting HIV-positive men aside. This helped Madonna become known as one of the pioneers of the gay rights movement. She used the experience and the death of her friend Martin Burgoyne to speak out about AIDS and gay rights during the 1980s — a time when doing so could have killed a career.
Billboard recently praised Madonna’s AIDS activism.
“Back in the ’80s, we were hard up for celebrities who spoke out against AIDS. But in 1989 Madonna and her Detroit-era dance instructor Christopher Flynn, who was then diagnosed with AIDS, fired up New York with a major benefit dance marathon.”
The article didn’t mention that two years prior, Madonna was the first to hold an AIDS benefit concert, which attracted more than 13,000 people and raised several million dollars.
The same article also talks about Madonna mainstreaming gay culture with her anthem “Vogue” at a time the LGBT community was at its weakest.
“Either way, Madonna accomplished something astounding with ‘Vogue’ — she ushered an audacious, unapologetically queer art form into mainstream America, and that means gays everywhere got to witness (and recognize) a rare kind of performative ebullience,” writes columnist Louis Virtel.
The interview comes just as Madonna announced that she had moved to Portugal. The Queen of Pop claims that she is not only working on a new film that deals with LGBT discrimination, but a new album as well.
Fans are more excited about Madonna’s new musical direction than her new movie. But that should be expected since Madonna has experienced only minimal success in films. Musically speaking, Madonna is the biggest-selling international female artist with more than 300 million albums and singles sold since 1983. Still, Trump supporters aren’t impressed with the singer and only cheer at the fact she has moved from the United States. In addition, they have made several misogynistic comments.
Trump supporters are also asking Madonna to take her friend Rosie O’Donnell with her. But it’s quite possible that while Madonna may live in Portugal most of the time, she will still be back in New York City as she still hasn’t sold her house there, and many of her business associates live in New York as well. Her fans don’t really seem to care where she lives; they just want a new album as soon as possible.
[Featured Image by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]