This is the tale of a devastating pandemic, of lives cut painfully short; it's also a love letter.
About this Event
Author Derek Frost and 'J', his husband for more than 40 years, lived at the epicenter of two important events in recent world history. One was the liberation of millions, but sadly not all, from extreme homophobia and their status as criminals. The second, tragically intertwined with the first, was once called “The Gay Plague” and now AIDS.
As their young friends died, 'J' became infected.
'J' fought for six long years to stay alive and every detail of that harrowing time is recorded in the diaries Derek kept then.
Incredibly, these years were filled with equal measures of isolation, fear, engagement and joy. These diaries eventually amounted to Derek's incredibly moving and inspirational memoir: Living and Loving in the Age of AIDS.
Join Watkins's Laura Whitaker-Jones in conversation with Derek Frost as he shares his experiences of the AIDS epidemic and this remarkable tale of love, travel and triumph over death. ABOUT THE BOOK
This is the tale of a devastating pandemic, of lives cut painfully short; it's also a love letter. Derek, a distinguished designer and J, his husband, a pioneering entrepreneur and creator of both The Embassy Club, London’s answer to Studio 54, and iconic Heaven, Europe’s largest gay discotheque, met and fell in love more than 40 years ago. Their lives were high-octane, full of adventure, fun and fearless creativity.
Suddenly their friends began to get sick and die – AIDS had arrived in their lives. When they got tested, J received what was then a death sentence: he was HIV Positive. While the onset of AIDS strengthened stigma and fear globally, they confronted their personal crisis with courage, humour and an indomitable resolve to survive.
J’s battle lasted six long years. Turning to spiritual reflection, yoga, nature – and always to love – Derek describes a transformation of the spirit, how compassion and empathy rose phoenix-like from the flames of sickness and death. Out of this transformation also came Aids Ark, the charity they founded, which helped to save, amongst the world’s most marginalised people, more than 1,000 HIV Positive lives.
This is a story of joy and triumph; about facing universal challenges; about the great rewards that come from giving back. Derek speaks for a generation who lived through a global health crisis that many in society refused even to acknowledge. His is a powerful story chronicling this extraordinary time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Derek Frost, born 1952, met and fell in love with Jeremy Norman in 1977. He's a skilled designer, photographer, artist, yoga practitioner and gardener. Together with Jeremy, he started numerous businesses including iconic Heaven nightclub and Soho Gyms. They live a nomadic life on both land and water. Derek has other loves – for stones, clouds, dance and street art.
One of the two charities they started, Aids Ark, has to date saved over 1,000 lives.