Brett Leslie Lansdale was born on July 5, 1962 in Kileen, Texas. After graduating as valedictorian of his high school, he began attending Yale, where he was a member of the Jonathan Edwards Class of 1984. Lansdale majored in English and served as the pitch for the Whiffenpoofs ’85 graduation, he became the administrative director of Waterloo Counseling Center, a safe space for gay men and women in Austin, Texas. Shortly after, he moved to San Francisco, where he entered Hastings College of Law’s Class of 1990.
While at Hastings, Lansdale served on the staff of the Constitutional Law Quarterly and led civil procedure discussion groups. In 1988 he was diagnosed with AIDS, after which he lost total vision in one eye. Even still, he remained committed to AIDS activism, specifically rallying around issues of medical malpractice; before obtaining medicaid, Bret had spent more than $25,000 on medications alone.
He lost his battle with AIDS on October 21, 1990. He was 28 years old.
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