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Veteran gay journalists critical of late New York Mayor Ed Koch's 'lifetime in the closet'

New York's late former mayor, Ed Koch, is being buried Monday and several leading gay journalists have given him quite a send-off:

Andy Humm, Gay City News:

Ed Koch: 12 Years as Mayor, A Lifetime in the Closet

Ed Koch, New York’s mayor from 1978 through 1989, a period of enormous change for the LGBT movement, including the beginning and some of the worst years of the AIDS crisis, died on February 1 of congestive heart failure.

He was 88 years old and died without ever publicly acknowledging his homosexuality. And his inaction during the crucial early years of the AIDS pandemic –– which emerged in 1981 on his watch –– has never been forgiven by large numbers of gay men and others who lost so many loved ones and friends to the virus.

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Michelangelo Signorile, editor-at-large, HuffPost Gay Voices:

Ed Koch and the Corruption of the Gay Closet

To those who claim we suffer no ramifications from closeted public figures, I offer Exhibit A of how the combination of the closet and power corrupts: Edward I. Koch, mayor of New York City from 1978 until 1989 and widely assumed homosexual, who died on Friday at the age of 88. At this very moment, there are closeted gay politicians in Washington and across the country voting against gay rights in part to cover for themselves, driven by personal ambition. They are dangerous individuals, wielding power while harboring a secret they're pathologically afraid will out itself, abusing and terrorizing those close to them as well as many others. Ed Koch is a possible example of the extremes to which they will go.

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Rod McCullom in Ebony:

The True Legacy of Ed Koch

Former New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch died Friday of congestive heart failure. The 88-year-old often greeted constituents with the phrase "How'm I doin'?"—and in the two days since his death, a significant amount of kilobytes, ink and virtual chatter has been devoted to Koch’s legacy. The combative former three-term mayor has been generally credited with reversing the city’s  “fiscal and infrastructure challenges” that dominated the 1970s. The former congressman served three terms until David Dinkins defeated him in the 1989 Democratic primary and became the city first—and so far, only—Black mayor.

But by the 1980s, Koch left a disturbing legacy on two key issues that have defined America: Race relations and HIV/AIDS.

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