Watch Michael Stipe Explain His Struggle As a Gay Youth
Back in 2001, Michael Stipe finally came out after nearly a lifetime of struggling as a gay man. He had believed that secrecy was his only choice. On tonight's Logo TV presentation of 'Trailblazers,' which honors pioneers in LGBTQ equality, Stipe talks about growing up gay.
The R.E.M. frontman talks about his experience being young and queer; he also introduces Ugandan civil rights activist John Abadallah Wambere, the co-founder of Spectrum Uganda Intiatives, an organization that provides medical aid to gay Ugandans living with HIV and AIDS. You can watch a clip from the show above.
During the show, Stipe explains that "in the early '80s, as a 22-year-old queer man living during the Reagan-Bush administration, I was afraid to get tested for HIV for fear of quarantine, the threat of internment camps and having my basic civil rights stripped away.
"I waited five years to get my first anonymous test," he continues. "I am happy that attitudes have matured and changed, and I feel lucky that I live in a country where acceptance, tolerance and policy toward HIV-AIDS and LGBTQ issues have advanced as far as they have."
The show -- which will also honor 'Orange Is the New Black,' Jason Collins, Edie Windsor and Roberta Kaplan -- airs at 9PM EST. Sia and a Great Big World will perform. Many other stars make appearances too. Look for Daniel Radcliffe, Adam Levine, Jared Leto, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Ed Sheeran and Iggy Azaela, among others.