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AIDS quilt draws thousands to SF's Golden Gate Park

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Waiting their turn to read names of some of those lost to AIDS, filmmaker Dante Alencastre and his co-producer, John Johnston, appreciated the somber atmosphere.

A few feet away on the grass were some of the nearly 3,000 panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt that were on display last weekend in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park."I've never done this before," Alencastre told the Bay Area Reporter. "I was 21 when I heard about GRID in New York City."He was referring to gay-related immune deficiency, the name AIDS was first known by, at the height of homophobia that permeated the disease.

Now 61, Alencastre and Johnston, 69, both gay men, were up from Los Angeles for a screening of their documentary, "AIDS Diva: The Legacy of Connie Norman," as part of the National Queer Arts Festival.Alencastre said that Norman had worked at the old Trocadero Transfer in San Francisco before moving to Southern California in the late 1980s where she became a fierce member of ACT UP/LA.

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