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Gay Areas Telephone Directory is an artifact from another age. It is an exact facsimile of an American telephone directory published in December 1983 by Gay International Inc. and targeted at the queer population. The phonebook is a now-obsolete format, but before mobile phones and the internet every household had one by the landline. This queer directory featured listings and advertisements for businesses friendly towards or catering to lesbians and gay men at a time when such visibility was a rare and possibly dangerous thing. 1983 was a watershed year for LGBTQ people. The first HIV/AIDS cases were reported barely two years before, marking the beginning of a health crisis that would go on to kill more than half a million (primarily LGBTQ) people within the next ten years. In addition to serving as a portrait of a community and its culture at a crucial stage of development, Gay Areas Telephone Directory stands as a time capsule of lost generation(s) felled by AIDS. - Pre-Echo
Originally published in 1983 by Gay International Inc.