Fag Hags, Divas and Moms

The Legacy of Straight Women in the AIDS Community

Non-Fiction - Womens
231 Pages
Reviewed on 06/07/2020
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Author Biography

Victoria Noe is on her fourth career. She started in Chicago’s vibrant off-Loop theatre community, then switched to fundraising for AIDS and arts organizations. But when a concussion ended her educational sales career, it was time to keep a promise to a dying friend. That promise became the award-winning Friend Grief series, which brought her back to the HIV/AIDS community. Her latest book, Fag Hags, Divas and Moms: The Legacy of Straight Women in the AIDS Community, is the first to focus on women and their contributions. Kirkus noted that “Noe’s book celebrates one sector of a compassionate network of caregivers with empathy, appreciation, solidarity and immense pride.” It has been honored with a B.R.A.G. Medallion for excellence in indie publishing, and was a finalist for A&U Magazine’s 2019 Literature of the Year Award. Noe has spoken at writing conferences, nonprofits and public libraries around the country. Her articles have appeared on blogs as well as Broadway World, Windy City Times, Chicago Tribune and Huffington Post. She is a member of Alliance of Independent Authors, Authors Guild, Chicago AIDS Garden committee, and ACT UP/NY.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

Fag Hags, Divas and Moms: The Legacy of Straight Women in the AIDS Community by Victoria Noe throws light on the straight women who have had HIV/AIDS and their stories, struggles, and challenges which have often been pushed aside by focusing more on stories from the viewpoint of gay men. Many readers are unaware of the involvement of women during the early years of the epidemic though it had already killed many women. The book shares stories of women, including that of the author, whose voices and achievements informed many about the frightening virus. The author also speaks about the initial years of AIDS when paranoia, fear, and misinformation caused a lot of erroneous notions and misunderstandings among people. Four decades into the disease, it is always white gay men seen as the face of HIV/AIDS in magazines, memoirs, and documentaries. This book breaks that tradition and routine by telling the stories of straight women who have battled this virus, their silent struggles, challenges, and the advantages taken because of their gender.

Fag Hags, Divas and Moms by Victoria Noe is insightful and gives good information about the straight women in the AIDS community, some unknown and some known faces. It also makes them realize how important it is to form a support group to help this community, discussing issues related to their HIV status. All the stories point towards a system that has failed them and also helps to remove the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS. The stories are heartbreaking and teach valuable lessons to the world. The content is not only educational but also informative. Every story leaves a mark and will encourage more and more women to come out with their stories and help others deal with the shame associated with the AIDS epidemic better.