AIDS sometimes had the unintended consequence of outing closeted celebrities, clergy or homophobic politicians. A case in point was Terry Dolan. Dolan was co-founder and chairman of the National Conservative Political Action Committee and an early proponent of dirty politics to advance the Republican party's agenda. (He was born the same year as Karl Rove who, in 1973, beat Dolan to become chairman of the College Republicans organization.)
Although an outspoken critic of gay rights Dolan frequented DC's gay bars. (I thought he looked a bit like gay porn star Sky Dawson, pictured right.) According to a Wikipedia entry author/activist Larry Kramer once threw a drink in Dolan's face at a party and berated him for having sex with men despite using homosexuality to motivate conservatives to contribute to Republican campaigns. Dolan died from AIDS complications in the early years of the plague on Dec. 28, 1986 at the age of 36. His obituary in the Washington Post alluded to his homosexuality but the New York Times avoided the subject.
Six years later an even more loathsome, deeply closeted and homophobic gay man, attorney Roy Cohn, also succumbed to AIDS. Cohn's infamy made him famous when playwright Tony Kushner portrayed him in his Pulitzer Prize winning play Angels in America on Broadway.