Michael Callen (April 11, 1955 - December 27, 1993)
Michael Callen was a singer, songwriter, composer, author, and AIDS activist. First diagnosed with "Gay related immune deficiency" (GRID) in 1982, Callen quickly became a leader in the response to the epidemic. He was a founding member of the People with AIDS Self-Empowerment Movement, and he testified before the President's Commission on AIDS and both houses of the United States Congress. His lover was a drummer from Chicago named Richard Dworkin. The two men first met in 1982, when Callen decided to form a gay band. He put an advertisement in a local paper, and Dworkin was one of those who answered. One night, Dworkin stayed late at Callen's apartment. Callen remembered, "He made this pass at me. I was so shocked. I said, 'Wait, stop, you don't know. I have AIDS.'” Dworkin decided that he was willing to take the risk, and the two men grew devoted to each other. After the bowling alleys, the toilet stalls, and the baths, Michael Callen lived whatever days he had left much like a good Methodist from Ohio. "Love's a funny thing," Richard Dworkin said. In partnership with Oscar winner Peter Allen and Marsha Melamet, Callen wrote his most famous song, Love Don't Need a Reason, which he sang frequently at gay pride and AIDS-related events around the country.
Timeline & Places:
• April 11, 1955: born.
• December 27, 1993: died. Buried at Millville Cemetery, Hamilton, OH 45013, Stati Uniti