Words: Steve Brown
Filmmaker Joel Schumacher said the Aids crisis made the gay community want to start their own families.
The openly gay film director is best known for helming Batman and Robin, Batman Forever and The Lost Boys and is one of the most celebrated filmmakers working in Hollywood.
And while speaking to Vulture, the filmmaker – who boasted he has slept with 20,000 to 30,000 men – opened up about living through the Aids crisis and said the epidemic changed the gay community’s desire to start their own families.
He said: “Now, a lot of gay people are getting married, they’re adopting, or they’re having children.
“There wasn’t any of that when I was young. If you went into a gay bar and there were 200 men in there, and you said, ‘Okay, who wants to have a little house with a white picket fence, and a dog, and a child, raise your hands’, or ‘Who wants to get laid tonight?’
“The concept of a lovely suburban life or raising children was not a high concept.”
When asked whether seeing gay people get married and start a family was strange to him, Schumacher said: “No, because I think Aids changed a lot.
“We all had to look at sex, not only as it could kill you, but how reckless we had become as a culture.”
During the interview, the filmmaker also admitted he was ‘planning his death’ during the crisis in case he had the virus.
He continued: “A friend who was not promiscuous was the first person I knew that had it.
“I think he was diagnosed in 1983. And I was extremely promiscuous, so I thought, ‘If he has it, I must have it quadrupled’.
“I went to get tested. I was sure I had it, I was planning my death. In those days, the test hd to be done by the Centers for Disease Control.
“So, it was sent away, and it took three weeks or more until you go the answer.
“When the doctor called me and said, ‘No, everything’s fine, it’s clean, Joel.’ I went and got tested again.”