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The show wasn’t trying to depict daily reality necessarily – I mean, it was about vampires after all – it was showing us what the world could be. Jacobs: "Always eloquent and bold, Nelsan Ellis's acting managed to personify the components of true bravery.When I see young gays, lesbians and trans people these days I am reminded that as we grow, and as art reflects our desires for a better world it empowers people to take the kind of action it models. The now classic 'AIDS Burger' scene exemplifies what it means to be strong, vulnerable, and when necessary, to act up and fight back.
"After it's first season — which was a total work of art—starts going downhill fast. "He won a 2008 Satellite Award for his portrayal of the character. [Lafayette removes earrings, removes apron, and grabs plate of food] Arlene: Lafayette! [Lafayette walks to the table.] Lafayette: 'Scuse me. I'm an American, and I got a say in who makes my food! F*gg*ts been breeding your cows, raising your chickens, even brewing your beer long before I walked my sexy ass up in this mother f***er. Royce: You still ain't making me eat no AIDS burger. [jams in Royce's face] [Lafayette proceeds to kick everyone's ass at the table.] Lafayette: B*tch, you come in my house, you gon' eat my food the way I fuckin' make it! [Lafayette throws the plate at Royce.] Lafayette: Tip your waitress.The long-running vampire drama, [Ellis] — a flamboyant employee of the restaurant Merlotte's — was unafraid to stand up to oppression from either human or supernatural foes. Who ordered the hamburger, [puts plate on table] with AIDS? Lafayette: In this restaurant a hamburger deluxe come with french fries, lettuce, tomato, mayo, AND AIDS! Lafayette: Well all you gotta do is say hold the AIDS. [Lafayette sashays away giving Jason Stackhouse, who is sitting at another table, a high-five before returning to the kitchen.A clip of his character confronting homophobic patrons is now being widely shared on social media." Robert Jones, Jr. Jason snaps his fingers in gay formation.] Watch the scene below and afterwards read what eight prominent HIV Activists say the impact it had and how it affected them. Adams: "I've only experienced this kind of stigma one time in my life.aka Son of Baldwin posted on Facebook: "I'm in a state of utter shock, fam. One time, a store clerk who was aware of my status refused to touch the five dollar bill that I used to pay for my order.But then Lafayette walks out into the restaurant, walks up to the guy, asks, 'Who ordered the hamburger with AIDS' and I could feel the panic rising in my throat.
"Then, through a seamless blend of wit, brute strength, and fabulosity he schools these assholes and I begin to sob.Even watching it now I want to leap into the air, fists a-pumping, because this is the sort of role model young queers need to see reflected back at them — strong, brave, unselfconscious, unapologetically themselves — that are in painfully short supply on television today."Nelsan Ellis literally helped to shape what it means to be gay for a whole generation of faggots. He will be missed." Kenny Neal Shults: "I remember watching the beginning of that scene and thinking, does that even happen anymore?Growing up in the 80’s and doing HIV prevention work since the 90s, I sometimes get the sense that we are past this type of sharing silverware ignorance. You may be replaying the situation over and over in your mind, asking yourself what you could or should have done differently. If you are a survivor of sexual assault, stalking, relationship violence (domestic or dating) or sexual harassment, many area resources are available.But remember, sexual violence is an act of power, and you are not responsible for another person's choices and actions! These resources can provide support, information and details about your medical and reporting options.Some people might not understand why representation in TV and movies matters but it does.