“The History Of AIDS In America
Has Been One Of Denial & Suppression…”
Wallace Shawn reads from Vito Russo’s Celluloid Closet
Memorial Day has always been a bittersweet holiday for me. I don’t know many veterans since many of my friends are gay or lesbian and cannot openly serve in the military. The only legitimate and significant war I have personally experienced been the War Against AIDS. From this day forward, Memorial Day will be a day I will remember those I’ve lost in this war and I invite everyone else to join me.
Sitting and trying to think of the countless people I have encountered in my life who have died from this still stigmatizing disease is a daunting task. Above are some of the names of friends and acquaintances who have touched our lives (Vincenzo and myself) in some way. [I’ve gotten up out of bed and updated the list twice already. I don’t think this is a realistic task for one day.]
This April I have been HIV+ for 24 years – half of my life. Through the years I have begun to have days when I think of the disease only perhaps once or twice a day, but not a single day goes by that I’m not reminded of my mortality at least once – probably due to my adherence to my meds. Then I remember those I’ve lost. I encourage people to share names of their loved ones who have died of AIDS- reminding America of the indignities and indifference they had experienced.
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