Rowling has faced criticism for her remarks on trans women. (Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Rock Hudson’s legacy remembered by ‘The Boys in the Band’ cast [Video]

The actor had been diagnosed with the then-new disease in the summer of 1984, but kept the news out of the headlines for a full year while he sought treatment at home and abroad. By July 1985, though, Hudson’s representatives confirmed that he had AIDS as his health continued to deteriorate. That news inspired another bombshell revelation that he had kept private: Even as he romanced actresses like Elizabeth Taylor and Doris Day onscreen, in real life Hudson was gay, and had been forced to remain closeted throughout his career.

Regular co-stars Doris Day and Rock Hudson in the 1964 film Send Me No Flowers. (Photo: Everett Collection)

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Rock Hudson in the 1976 film Embryo. (Photo: Courtesy Everett Collection)

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Jim Parsons, Robin de Jesús, Michael Benjamin Washington and Andrew Rannells in The Boys in the Band. (Photo: Scott Everett White/Netflix)

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For Robin de Jesús, Hudson’s choice to stay in the closet is at once both entirely understandable and also impossible to fathom. “I don’t ever want to live in a world where the stakes are so high that my survival depends on me compromising myself,” the actor says. “I won’t judge Rock for what he lived and went through because I don’t know what it’s like to exist in that time period, and I also don’t want to disrespect my ancestors who paved the way for me.” Charlie Carver is similarly reluctant to pass judgement on Hudson for the way he led his life. “I don’t think it’s my place to ever judge that aspect of someone’s identity. I’m grateful for the truth he lived, and I view myself as part of his lineage.”

Rock Hudson with Nancy Reagan and President Ronald Reagan at a state dinner in 1984, one year before the actor died of AIDS. (Photo: Everett Collection)

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BuzzFeed revealed that Nancy Reagan personally turned down a request by Hudson’s publicist to have the desperately ill actor transferred to a French military hospital for an experimental treatment. (President Reagan didn’t publicly acknowledge the AIDS epidemic until 1987.)” data-reactid=”85″>Hudson’s final years are complicated by the fact that he remained silent as AIDS devastated the LGBTQ community in the early 1980s, which in turn intensified homophobia across the country. In fact, three months before he was diagnosed with the disease, the star was photographed with his longtime friends President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan — who largely turned their back on the AIDS crisis — at a White House function. The Reagan administration’s neglect would impact Hudson as well: Unable to find effective AIDS treatments in the U.S., he traveled to France for help. In 2015, BuzzFeed revealed that Nancy Reagan personally turned down a request by Hudson’s publicist to have the desperately ill actor transferred to a French military hospital for an experimental treatment. (President Reagan didn’t publicly acknowledge the AIDS epidemic until 1987.)

AmfAR, the American Foundation for AIDS Research. (His Giant co-star, Taylor, served as a Founding National Chairman.) Thirty-five years later, that organization is continuing to explore new ways to treat AIDS and HIV in the hope of one day finding a cure. “His contributions to the industry and to film are indelible and inspiring,” says Quinto. “The sacrifices he had to make that were thrust upon him were a tragedy of that time. At a different time, he would have a had a different impact, and it’s on all of us and those who come after us to embody that in any way we can.”” data-reactid=”87″>Hudson’s legacy lives on in another crucial way as well. Just prior to his death on Oct. 2, Hudson donated $250,000 to help launch AmfAR, the American Foundation for AIDS Research. (His Giant co-star, Taylor, served as a Founding National Chairman.) Thirty-five years later, that organization is continuing to explore new ways to treat AIDS and HIV in the hope of one day finding a cure. “His contributions to the industry and to film are indelible and inspiring,” says Quinto. “The sacrifices he had to make that were thrust upon him were a tragedy of that time. At a different time, he would have a had a different impact, and it’s on all of us and those who come after us to embody that in any way we can.”