Latest Update News About Mike Sisco, Martha’s Vineyard District Court Report: Have attitudes changed? That is the question Talk Show Queen Oprah Winfrey had when she returned to Williamson in Mingo County last month to tape an episode of her show that aired Wednesday.
Back in 1987, she first visited the Williamson Field House for a show focused on Mike Sisco, an openly gay man with AIDS who was kicked out of the Williamson City Pool. The pool was closed after his visit.
“No matter what you think of Mike, you have to admit that it really was so courageous of him to go on national television in 1987….He was willing to share his story and knew that, in sharing his story about AIDS, he would be ostracized,” Oprah said during the show.
Sisco died 16 years ago, but one of his sisters, Tina, says he never regretted his television appearance.
“He always, always said that he was glad that he did that show, that he just wanted to educate people. It was never anything other than, get some education out there.”
Tina says she and her siblings went to the Williamson City Pool not looking to make a statement of any kind.
“We couldn’t afford an air conditioner and we were burning up so we just went to the pool,” she said. She says it was evident they were not welcome there immediately.
Sisco’s story quickly became a national one and, when Oprah decided to visit Williamson to focus on it, then Charleston Firefighter Jerry Waters made the trip to Mingo County.
He ended up getting into a shouting match with a doctor who was also part of the show. That exchange was shown again Wednesday.
Waters, who has had a couple of radio talk shows since then, says he wishes he would have done things differently.
“I was a little more passionate, caught up in the mob mentality and that was never my intention,” he said on Wednesday’s show.
Oprah is revisiting some of her more controversial shows as part of her final season.