The Queer Issue
Nothing happened in 1980—unless you count the election of Ronald Reagan to the presidency in November of 1980, an election that would bring disastrous consequences for gay men.
Reagan was elected with the support of newly politicized evangelical Christians despite his divorce and remarriage, his spotty church attendance, and a son, Ron Jr., who was widely presumed to be gay because he was a ballet dancer who wore ballet tights and jumped around in ballet slippers at the ballet. Reagan's wife, Nancy, brought glamour and fine china back to the White House in her role as first lady. She also ably filled the role of first fag hag, cavorting at state dinners with gay fashion designers, hairdressers, and closeted celebrities.
Despite knowing numerous homosexuals, Reagan was criminally slow to react when the AIDS epidemic struck the gay community early in his first term. Terrified of pissing off the hateful evangelical Christians who were credited with putting him in office, Reagan refused to make any public comments about AIDS as the epidemic took root and then exploded. It wasn't until May 31, 1987, practically at the end of his second term, that Reagan—the president of the United Fucking States of America—finally said something in public about AIDS. At that point 20,849 Americans had died and another 36,058 Americans were living with the disease, many of them ballet dancers.
Ron Jr., who now resides in Seattle, isn't gay and no longer dances the ballet. He's an outspoken atheist, liberal activist, journalist, and talk-radio host.