Tim Clement (or "Timmy Girl" as his friends would affectionately call him) had a magnetic personality that drew in everyone. He was a beauty with classic good looks, and in the late 1980s was a very successful model with the Zoli Agency.
Best known for his @speedoswimsuit ad with HOM, Clement went on to attend design school and began working at Angelo Donghia. After several years, he left and started his own design company until he became ill in 1994.
What I personally remember most about my friend Tim was his bravery in speaking out, acting up, and not being ashamed of being HIV-positive. I still see him vividly at the 1994 Pride parade on the "HIV-positive float" with his speedo and sneakers.
After telling him how courageous I thought he was, he told me, "I'm just doing what I can to take away the stigma of this disease and peoples perception of what it means to be HIV-positive.”
The last time I saw him, I went with his friend Geo to visit him at the Cabrini Medical Center in New York City. His sister was with him. We sat, talked, and tried to make the best of what we knew was not a good situation. Tim was so ill — losing his eyesight, coming on with early dementia, and was incredibly weak.
Fighting until the end, he wanted to get up and walk around. That's what we did until he grew tired, eventually walking us to the elevator. I knew it would be the last time I ever saw him.
As the elevator doors began to close, I looked in his eyes and said, "I love you.” I can still see him standing in his hospital gown and socks with his beautiful sister holding him up on one side and him steadying himself with his IV drip stand on the other, smiling at me and saying, "I love you." I said nothing on the elevator ride down.
Tim lost his fight on October 5, 1995. He was only 38 years old.
He asked Geo to spread his ashes off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he grew up. Being the dedicated and loyal friend that Geo is, that's exactly what he did.
As Tim said to Geo, "That way, I'll always be playing with the dolphins."
Tim & Bonnie Berman – 1984 @Versace Ad
© #RichardAvedon (1923 – 2004)
Thanks to the AIDS Memorial Project for the hat tip.