Elizabeth Taylor was many things in her life — including a phenomenal, award-winning actress — but for the gay community she’ll always be remembered as a powerful advocate and fundraiser for HIV/AIDS causes. It’s estimated that Taylor’s fundraising and campaigning, at a time when it was rare for celebrities to even acknowledge the disease, totaled $270 million.
When Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen, died in 1991 from complications related to AIDS, Taylor took to the stage at London’s Wembley Stadium to deliver a powerful, passionate speech about the HIV/AIDS crisis and what must be done to solve it. It’s no wonder that GLAAD chose excerpts from Taylor’s speech in their latest campaign, dubbed “Let’s Finish What We Started,” which seeks to reinvigorate public interest in a crisis that, far from being solved, is instead being treated with immense apathy.
With contributions from Whoopi Goldberg, Jonathan Groff, Bebe Neuwirth and others, GLAAD’s campaign — in conjunction with The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation — is designed to “inspire, inform, and reignite the passion and action needed to beat the HIV and AIDS epidemic once and for all.”
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