Why a Gay Swimmer's World Record Mattered During the AIDS Crisis

Watch A Gay Swimmer Break A World Record

The clip below from Logo TV's new documentary Light in the Water shows an emotional moment at the 1990 Gay Games in Vancouver, when Michael Mealiffe broke a world record in the 100-meter butterfly. Representing the West Hollywood Aquatics Team, WH2O, he proved that gay men are just as athletic and capable as straight competitors — and in this case, more so.

Founded in 1982, the Gay Games were held in a time when AIDS was becoming the leading cause of death for all Americans ages 25 to 44. During these dark days, the event was a rare chance to celebrate life and combat stigma. In between competitions, athletes put on a fabulous show called the Pink Flamingo. The show included an aquatic scene that created a red ribbon in the water to honor people with AIDS within the LGBT community. 

Light in the Water premieres Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on Logo. Watch the trailer below.

Latest videos on Advocate

From our Sponsors

READER COMMENTS ()