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Encyclopedia > Slogan 'AIDS Kills Fags Dead'

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Slogan 'AIDS Kills Fags Dead'

The slogan "AIDS Kills Fags Dead" has been used in the United States to express both opposition to homosexuality and hatred towards homosexual persons. Using the pejorative term fag for male homosexual, it is generally cited as a prime example of homophobic hate speech (see anti-gay slogan).

The slogan, a parody of the advertising tagline "Raid: Kills Bugs Dead", for the SC Johnson[?] insecticide Raid, appeared during the early years of AIDS in the United States, when it was mainly diagnosed among male homosexuals and was almost invariably fatal (see "gay disease").

The slogan apparently appeared for the first time in public in the early 1990s, when Sebastian Bach[?], lead singer of the heavy metal band Skid Row, wore it on a t-shirt. Some sources say this happened during a concert; others claim it was in a magazine photo shoot. At first, Mr. Bach joked about it on MTV, but he later apologized, claiming that he had many gay friends. For years afterward he wore an "AIDS Kills Everyone" t-shirt, after being confronted by his friend, the designer Michael Schmidt[?]. Bach's website does not mention the episode.

The phrase has been used by religious opponents of homosexuality. It was seen in 1998 at the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a victim of anti-gay violence, when a group led by the Rev. Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church[?] staged a protest.

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