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HIV/AIDS And Gay Rights Activist Rodger McFarlane


Gay rights activist Rodger McFarlane attends a panel discussion during the 09 Tribeca Film Festival.

Gay rights activist Rodger McFarlane attending a screening and panel discussion of 'Outrage' during the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.

© Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images
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.
McFarlane also help found Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDSand served on the board of the Gill Foundation, a funding and policy organization for LGBT organizations, from 2004 to 2008. McFarlane also co-authored The Complete Bedside Companion: No-Nonsense Advice on Caring for the Seriously Ill.

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.
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