45

Will Warner

Hughes

There was an article in the BAPHRON by Will Warner, who seems to have been very active in the bathhouse episode.


Andrews

He was on the other side. He was a leather person, and he was apparently into the S&M [sadism & masochism] scene. He was strongly opposed early on to the antibody testing. He was just totally focused on civil rights. His position was, "We can't prove anything, and we've got to protect our hard-won freedoms."


Hughes

Yes, that's the gist of the articles that I saw in BAPHRON.


Hughes

Warner's article appeared in the November '84 BAPHRON, so just the month after Silverman had finally closed the baths. Warner wrote, "Open war has now been declared between BAPHR and Dr. Silverman, our presumed 'friend' for many months." Is that his perception, or indeed was there now a war between BAPHR and Silverman? How general was that feeling in BAPHR?


Andrews

I don't think that Warner had even the majority. The majority of BAPHR didn't like the whole issue. How could you like anything that disruptive and antagonistic. It was unpopular. But Will clearly represented the polar opposite of where I was. So I wrote that letter we talked about last week.


Hughes

It appeared in that same issue.


Andrews

It was because I knew Will's letter would be published, and I wanted to counter with something that wasn't so radical.


Hughes

Ah, that's interesting. So that was a deliberate move on your part to counter his argument?


Andrews

Yes.


Hughes

What kind of reaction did you get?


Andrews

Well, I think some people thought Will was a total idiot, and some people thought I was a total idiot. So I got mixed reactions. I think a lot of people thought he was too extreme, and probably people thought I was too extreme.