Former San Francisco resident Dan Hutchins was the focus of attention for a standing-room-only crowd of more than a hundred who packed Maui’s Seascape Maalaea Restaurant earlier this month. The Maui AIDS Foundation organized the event for World AIDS Day, and Hutchins was the featured speaker. For the first time publicly, he told the compelling story of his struggle living with HIV since the early days of the epidemic in the 1980s, when at one point, doctors told him he had only months to live.
Hutchins successfully fought through stigma and later, HIV drug resistance. His health is good now and he works for the Maui Sunseeker LGBT Resort.
The warm reception Hutchins received that night and the supportive work of the Maui AIDS Foundation are very much reflective of the tight-knit LGBT community on Maui. Undoubtedly the warmth of the island’s people, mirrored by Hawaii’s pleasant climate, are a big part of the reason Hutchins and others call Maui real estate home and thousands more from the Bay Area visit Hawaii’s second-biggest island every year.
With a population of 163,000, Maui has no full time gay bar but it has Hawaii’s largest gay resort, Maui Sunseeker, and a popular unofficially gay clothing-optional beach, Little Beach. Maui’s LGBT Pride is held in October but the organization runs regular get-togethers, parties, and special events year round.
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