Cambridge Writer Unites Children Of AIDS Victims On 'Recollectors' Website

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Cambridge-based writer Alysia Abbott lost her father to AIDS in the early 1990s. Back then, he was living in San Francisco when the virus was claiming lives of thousands of mostly young gay men across the country. Alysia's father was the poet Stephen Abbott, and she's written and talked about him at readings.

But it wasn't until just a few years ago that Alysia met someone else who lost a parent to AIDS. That meeting, and the conversation that followed, inspired "The Recollectors." It's a website where people who lost a parent to AIDS can tell their stories — many of them for the first time. About 80 people make up the recollectors community. They're from Boston, Missouri, Ohio, Alabama — even Canada and Switzerland.


Alysia Abbott, Cambridge-based writer, co-founder of She's author of "Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father." She tweets @AlysiaAbbott.


WBUR: 'Fairyland': A Girl Grows Up In San Francisco's Gay Community

  • "While these days it's not uncommon to meet children with gay parents, in the 1970s it was. Alysia Abbott was one of those kids. When her parents met, her father — Steve Abbott — told her mother he was bisexual. But when Alysia was a toddler, her mother died in a car accident and Steve came out as gay. He moved with his daughter to San Francisco, just as the gay liberation movement was gaining strength."

This segment aired on January 15, 2015.


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