Derek Frost, born 1952, met and fell in love with Jeremy Norman in 1977. He's a skilled designer, photographer, artist, yoga practitioner and gardener. Together with Jeremy he started numerous businesses including iconic Heaven nightclub and Soho Gyms. They live a nomadic life on both land and water. Derek has other loves – for stones, clouds, dance and street art. One of the two charities they started, Aids Ark, has to date saved over 1,000 lives.
Written with compassion and honesty, and suffused in a spirit of generosity and reaching out in the face of the devastating AIDS pandemic, Derek Frost’s Living and Loving in the Age of AIDS is ablaze with love and hope. With all proceeds being donated to the globally transformative Aids Ark charity the author co-founded with his husband, this memoir will change lives in multiple ways. “We do not choose to fall in love. There is no choice. Love finds us. Through love we find home in each other. That’s love. Love gifts you with unbelievable certainty. There can be few greater gifts than to find oneself truly loved”. So states Frost near the beginning of his powerful memoir, and love underpins everything that follows. After sharing his experience of growing up gay in the sixties, and coming out to his supportive parents, Frost recounts how he and his lifelong partner, here referred to as J, met and founded the legendary Heaven dance club. The couple travel together, fall in love, and fall in love with Key West where, in 1981, they “experience what must be one of the fullest expressions of gay liberation”. However, it’s here in this “perfect paradise” that a “hellish demon insidiously invades our lives”. A demon in the form of rumours around a “gay cancer” that turns out to be AIDS, and kills many of their friends. When J is diagnosed as HIV Positive in 1991, he’s essentially handed a death sentence: “What we feel is disbelief; a deep heavy sadness; a sense that all colour will drain away; that light will be extinguished and all will become dark”. But the couple tackle this shattering news with courage, fight and love, and they found Aids Ark, a charity dedicated to providing people in developing countries with life-saving anti-retroviral treatments. Charting a global health crisis through a stirringly personal account, Living and Loving in the Age of AIDS is consummately compelling.
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