Rodger McFarlane was a founding member and the first paid executive director of Gay Men's Health Crisis
(GMHC), then the first AIDS hotline. The call center was an answering machine in McFarlane's home. GMHC grew into a nationwide organization advocating for and servicing those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
Rodger McFarlane committed suicide
on May 15, 2009 at the age of 54. A statement from family and friends describes McFarlane's struggle with heart and back conditions. A note from McFarlane stated that he was unwilling to go on in ill health.
Rodger McFarlane is remembered as one of the most significant figures in LGBT history.