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To save itself, it reached outside its network of advocates and activists for someone who could untangle its finances and then some. “There was a lot of fear, given who Don is, that, ‘Oh, this is not going to be an LGBT clinic anymore.’ ” But Blanchon understood them more than they knew. As the virus exploded, the clinic that began as the Gay Men’s VD Clinic in 1973 and became Whitman-Walker a handful of years later embraced the unenviable job of caring for patients who invariably would die.Fear swept the District before it swept America, before Ryan White and Magic Johnson, before the nation grasped how wildly indiscriminate the virus would be. Whitman-Walker became “the organization of last resort,” says Filbin..action_button.action_button:active.action_button:hover.action_button:focus,.action_button:hover.action_button:focus .count,.action_button:hover .count.action_button:focus .count:before,.action_button:hover .count:bullet. Error Banner.fade_out.modal_overlay.modal_overlay .modal_wrapper.modal_overlay [email protected](max-width:630px)@media(max-width:630px).modal_overlay .modal_fixed_close.modal_overlay .modal_fixed_close:before.modal_overlay .modal_fixed_close:before.modal_overlay .modal_fixed_close:before.modal_overlay .modal_fixed_close:hover:before. Shortly before I married my husband, I finally left Christianity behind, for many reasons. I was finally able to think about who I really am and what I really believe without some old white guy telling me the 'right' answers and condemning me for any deviance. Part of this was learning that I'm not straight.I realized that I was falling in love with one of my female friends (who is also bisexual).

The screen would blink into a checkerboard of guys' pictures—whole armies of men who were within a mile of me, many right next door, and I could those distances, for I was the Lord. Someone would message "Sup." Without even missing a beat, I'd come back with "How are you?

Whitman-Walker became a shining example of how HIV-AIDS care could be humane and holistic. Staff and operating costs ballooned, and by the mid-2000s, the financial picture was dire.

Though Blanchon had been working in managed care in Baltimore, he already knew of the clinic’s problems when a recruiter put a bug in his ear in 2005: Whitman-Walker was looking for a new leader.

When Don Blanchon lingers too long in the lobby of this sleek, bright clinic with the bubblegum-pink-and-white cross in the window, patients will collar him. Here in the entryway to one of the nation’s leading HIV-AIDS treatment clinics, discretion is a virtue. The kind of guy who would tell patients that they’ll have to find a way to pay.

“Mmhmm, mmhm,” Blanchon says, leaning in so their voices don’t carry.

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