It seems strange now given the enormity of the situation, but at the time it wasn’t easy for artists to directly address the [AIDS] crisis in their music, and even in the ‘80s coming out as gay could rightly be considered career suicide. Neil Tennant has been open with his sexuality for over two decades now, but in the ‘80s he was understandably a bit coy. Chris Gerard for Popmatters
Behaviour was created at a time when the world was besieged by turmoil over the burgeoning HIV/AIDS crisis. By 1990 millions had been impacted by the disease, and the gay community was roiled by fear, loss, outrage, and the fierce determination of growing activism. In April of that year the death of Ryan White, a young boy with hemophilia who acquired the disease through a blood transfusion, brought a wider awareness and sensitivity to the crisis. As the death toll mounted, the group ACT UP staged highly publicized protests at the National Institutes of Health demanding expansion of HIV/AIDS treatments and clinical trials. By the end of the year, AIDS had become the second leading cause of death among American men aged 25 to 44 years.