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When Alysia Abbott was 22, her dad died of AIDS. It was San Francisco, 1992. Even though her dad was out as a gay man at the time, she wasn’t out about his illness.
There was so much shame and stigma, and she didn’t know anyone else who shared her experience. Not until many years later, when she met Whitney Joiner, who had also lost her father to AIDS the very same year, in rural Kentucky.
After getting to know one another, the two decided that they wanted to create a space for other children who had lost parents to AIDS to share their experiences, find support and honor their parents’ memories.
This fall, after a successful Kickstarter campaign, they launched “The Recollectors,” a website and oral history project telling the stories of children who lost parents to AIDS.