The Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce honored humanitarian and entertainer, Paul Reed Yinger, known to many as Steve Hurley and TITPIG to Treasure Island Media fans, with the 463rd star on the Palm Springs Walk of the Stars. The star was unveiled in a public ceremony on Friday, October 27th.
Yinger’s healthcare journey began as a Respiratory Therapist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he later become a Registered Nurse. While living in Chicago, he actively participated in the Hepatitis Vaccination Trials and the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), which focused on studying the natural history of untreated and treated HIV infection. In 1995, Yinger relocated to Palm Springs, California, where he continued his involvement in the Southern California version of MACS, the Los Angeles Men’s Study (LAMS), for over 25 years.
Although his career was cut short due to his own personal health, Yinger remained steadfastly devoted to community service. He volunteered at the Desert AIDS Project for over two and a half decades, dedicating nearly 10,000 hours to counseling, educating, and advocating for HIV testing. He also taught Blood-Borne Pathogen classes at various healthcare organizations in the Coachella Valley. Notably, he contributed to the Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine, an organization serving the homeless in the valley’s neighborhood parks.
In the late 1990s, Yinger transitioned into the entertainment industry as “Steve Hurley,” challenging conventions in the adult entertainment sector. His work was instrumental in broadening inclusivity and promoting body positivity for gay men, particularly those who didn’t conform to traditional industry standards. As “Steve Hurley,” Yinger became a global figure, promoting authenticity and acceptance. He participated in numerous LGBTQ+ events, carrying the flag for the place he called home, Palm Springs, with pride. Here at Treasure Island Media, he was lovingly known as “TITPIG,” and was a pivotal force in Paul Morris’ early fuck films ANIMALS, PLOWED, and KNOCKED UP.
Despite the health challenges Yinger faced – including two separate cancer diagnoses – he demonstrated immense courage and determination, emerging as a two-time survivor, offering hope and inspiration to others facing similar trials. His impact extended far and wide, leaving an indelible mark on countless friends, admirers, and fans worldwide. Today, we celebrate the life and legacy of a man whose story embodies strength, resilience, and the power of authenticity.