1990s - Amsterdam

After his immigration in April 1994 as Wolfgang's partner, Reggie gets a residence permit in the Netherlands and health insurance through Wolfgang's health plan.
In December 1994 Reggie writes his first "Letter from Amsterdam", which is published in the new gay magazine "Wilde" in March 1995:
Dear Friends,
I live my life as a Dutch housewife with a German lover.
Who would have thought two years ago, while I was attending the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, that I would someday soon be living here? (...) Read the letter

In Spring 1995, after he has survived Pneumocistis pneumonia (PCP), Reggie writes 'The Second Letter', which was never published.
Dear Readers:
I want to apologize for missing you in the last issue. Since my first article appeared in the premier issue of Wilde, I have been hospitalized two times. One of those times, I was in the hospital for about four weeks  - much of which I don’t remember. I only know of that time what Wolfgang, a few close friends who visited from San Francisco and Los Angeles and two of my sisters have told me.
This situation all began after Wolfgang returned to Amsterdam from a short trip to Germany. He says that when he walked through the door I was sitting on the sofa, holding my chest. The first thing I said was, “I need to go to the hospital.” Four days later, I was in intensive care in the Amsterdam Medical Center (AMC). Read the letter

Third Letter from Amsterdam, written by Reggie in May 1995

On May 4th the Netherlands celebrated the end of World War II and the Day of Remembrance for those who were killed during the war. (...)
For me as a newcomer, and an outsider standing there listening to all the bells in the city ringing at the same time, it was a very moving experience. (...) Read the letter

In Amsterdam Reggie gets involved in AIDS prevention work, too. 
'Strange Fruit The Real', a 'group for gays and lesbians of color and friends' organizes Safer Sex & Culture workshops from 1995 on. 'Brotha' Reggie is hosting the events at the COC.

November, 4, 1995 - Essex Hemphill dies. Please read Reggie's remarks at a Rememberance Service in Amsterdam:

(...) I am not here tonite to mourn Essex, but to celebrate his life. To celebrate the richness he gave us all, especially Black Gay Men.
Essex was one of my heroes, my idols, but more than anything, my friend.
x's works inspired, motivated, and helped us look inside ourselves to be able to empower ourselves to rise above homophobia, racism, sexism, and classism. To stand tall and proud as Black Gay men.(...) Read more


1996 - July - Reggie is diagnosed with colon cancer. Many hospital stays will follow.


The photobook 'At Home in Amsterdam - Portraits of Gay Men from All over the World', by Lutz van Dijk, features Reggie! The photos were taken in 1996, the book was published in 1998 (Text in English) at the occasion of the Gay Games V in Amsterdam. 

L. van Dijk's photo session with Reggie


1997 - Thanks to new AIDS medication his health is quite stable - Reggie and Wolfgang travel a lot: France, Germany, Britain, Canada, USA.

While living in Europe, Reggie would still take part at conferences in the US (as far as his health allows) and critically watch the developments at the NTFAP.

Reggie at the Gay and Lesbian Leadership Conference, Long Beach, CA, 1997. Photo by W. Schreiber

In September 1997 he writes an address to the Gay Men of Color Institute, because he cannot attend it: (...) The other thing is that for some AIDS has become a “business”. More


1998 - Reggie's Last Year
In January '98 Reggie presents the new photobook "Black Inspiration" by Jürgen Jansen.
The poem is written by Lutz van Dijk.
Due to his declining health it is his last public appearance.

Black Inspiration Filmed by W. Schreiber. Time: 2:54

Watch more videos of Reggie's last year > Amsterdam Videos

Gay Games V in Amsterdam: For one week the city was paradise! It was the highlight of the year, the police said afterwards they'd like to have Gay Games all year round: Much less crime during those days. 
Since then tolerance for homosexuals has been declining in Amsterdam. Today the city can not be called the "Gay capital of the World" anymore.
Reggie and Simon Nkoli  meet again during the Gay Games.

Photo by W. Schreiber

1998 Gay Games Canal Parade, Reggie on a boat, with friends

September, 12 - Tim Isbell, Reggie's partner for many years, dies in San Francisco.
October 20, 1998, Amsterdam - Registered Partnership of Reggie and Wolfgang. In the Netherlands same-sex partners can register legally since January 1st, 1998. Same-sex marriage is allowed since April 1st, 2001.
Photo by J. Potratz
November 30, Simon Nkoli dies on the eve of World AIDS Day 1998.
December 1998 / January 1999 - Last trip to California
At San Francisco AIDS Office - Project Reggie

The San Francisco AIDS Office started Project Reggie, a computerized Client Registration and Information/Referral System.


Click on the photo to enlarge.

 (...) Named after Reggie Williams, a past co-chair of the HIV Health Services Planning Council and a leader in the fight against AIDS in the Bay Area, Project Reggie brings state-of-the-art technology to the service of those with HIV and AIDS by integrating San Francisco’s community-based services into a cohesive system of care. (...)


February, 7, 1999  - Reggie Williams dies at the Academisch Medisch Centrum (AMC) Hospital, Amsterdam.
The funeral took place at Westerveld crematorium, Driehuis. Reggie's ashes were buried at his mother's grave in Cincinnati, Ohio. Memorial services were held in Amsterdam, San Francisco, Cincinnati.

Please read In Memoriam

A collage of flyers. Reggie Williams hosted
many events for Strange Fruit at the COC

Kwanzaa Celebration December 1997


Daily Routine


Gay Games 1998 - Amsterdam Arena - Sailor Act - The Weather Girls 'It's Raining Men'



"The Wedding" Partnership Registration October 1998