Ryan White: The story of a brave young hero, and the question of what you would have done.

Ryan White should have turned 49 today.


Ryan White should have turned 48 today. He did not. Unfortunately he died in 1990. Even worse, during his short life, he had to live the horrific meanness, lack of compassion, and ignorance of “The Good Old Days.”

He was a hemophiliac who had contracted H.I.V. through a blood transfusion. Doctors said he posed no risk to other students, but when school opened a few days earlier, over 150 parents had lined up in front of the school to keep Ryan White from entering. Some teachers at the school also joined the parents in their protest.


Ultimately, Ryan won his legal battle to attend school with his peers. Some parents withdrew their kids to go to private schools. Others waited outside the school daily to taunt him, saying things like “We know you are queer.”

Shots were fired through the White’s family window. He was forced to use different

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