Young City at War: Stories from West Hollywood during the AIDS Epidemic features the dramatic and poignant story of a community’s response to the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In-depth interviews explore an important chapter of LGBTQ+ and Ally history and available online for LGBTQ+ youth, educators, and the general public.

During the outbreak of AIDS in the 1980s, diagnosis was a likely death sentence with the average life expectancy nine months. The general public viewed AIDS as a gay-related disease.  As a result, the turmoil of loss and survival became integral to the identity of West Hollywood, a city created to be an oasis for the gay community. Those who survived this catastrophic epidemic hold a fragile cultural memory. Team Lavender produced several high quality interviews with individuals who played a key role in West Hollywood’s battle against HIV/AIDS from 1984 to the present.

This project not only serves to illuminate the horrors of the AIDS epidemic, it provides inspiration and strength for those who are facing hardships today. By acknowledging this history, we hope it will not be repeated. These stories showcase the strength and empathy historically found in West Hollywood. Full interviews can be rented and streamed at


This project is made possible with support from Cal Humanities (, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the City of West Hollywood (, and the generous individuals / businesses below.

$10,000 FUNDERS:



LASC_LOGO WITH fcbk and WEBSITE     Sewing Arts CenterTyr Jung-Hall    

Martin McCombs, Ph.D.



Michael Bertolucci Ph.D.     James Keller

Glen Moore & Bill Kaiser     Phillip Musikanth M.D.

Harris Shepard