Queen guitarist Brian May discussed how Freddie Mercury told him he had AIDS in an STV interview.
“I suppose there was an incredible fear of the unknown. Suddenly there’s this thing walking the Earth and nobody knows where it’s come from and who it’s going to strike next. In the gay community, it was absolutely horrific, of course – and you had this terrible stigma. There were people saying, ‘this is what the gay community deserves’.
Horrific things were being said – almost like a ‘scourge being sent to punish people’. This is the sort of ignorance that was the climate at the time. It was quite a big thing to even start the Mercury Phoenix Trust at that point.
And quite brave of Freddie, realizing he was slipping away – it had been difficult for him to announce what he was suffering from. But at that point he did, and he said, ‘I don’t want people to think I died of something else, I died of AIDS‘.
This is what it is, it’s time to gather together what it is we’re facing and the whole of humanity is facing.’”
Freddie Mercury tragically died from AIDS in November 1991. The Queen biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was released last year, winning multiple Oscars and Golden Globes.