Thursday, December 01, 2005

World Aids Day

I was going to post about my hopeless love life, how I yearn to be with someone, though not sure if he wants me or even thinks of me in a romantic way, how I wake up in the morning thinking about him and spend all my free time day dreaming about him, but than I heard today is World Aids day. My woes seem so insignificant in comparison.

I've only known one person who has passed away from an AIDs induced illness (menigitis), the partner of a good friend of mine. When AIDS was being "discovered" I was a small child. I don't have any memories of the fear that it created in people, nurses not coming to work, being called the gay cancer, how Ronald Reagan wouldn't even mention it, how it was such a taboo. I only learned about this from watching the movie And the Band Played On, in college. AIDS became a reality to me, when my mother tsked tsked over some narrow-minded parents in some Midwestern state who wouldn't send their kids to school because one of the classmates had been diagnosed with AIDS.
"Poor child, he is suffering already. Why punish the child more?" she said. Little did she know then, how many children now suffer. It is sad indeed.

We pray, O God of hope, for all families whose lives are torn and disrupted by AIDS. Bless them with the power of your love. Grant that as they walk this tortured road,they may journey together and bound close in the bond of love. Amen.
- Vienna Cobb Anderson

6 Comments:

Blogger Molly Malone said...

Amen.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Maidink said...

I remember when AIDS first hit the news. They referred to it as some kind of disease or cancer and it affected gay men. The news made it sound like it would only stay in the gay population. Looking back, I can't believe how myopic our country and the world was.

11:04 AM  
Blogger PaxRomano said...

I recall AIDS in the early days, when it was being called GRID (Gay Related Immune Deficiency); there were all kinds of rumors about the spread of this mysterious disease. But for the most part it was just happening to gay men, and even so, only in the large cities (L.A. San Francisco, New York and Chicago). Even a lot of gay men during that time felt that as long as they were away from the "hot spots" they'd be fine.

Later on, when more and more people became ill, I recall Life magazine coming out with an issue showing a corn-fed Midwestern family on the cover and the headline read, "AIDS, NOW NO ONE IS SAFE" -- you see because before this, it was just a gay disease, no big deal, right?

When Liberace died, I remember being in a restaurant at lunch, and hearing a group of people laughing, LAUGHING, over his death!!!

Reagan (worst president ever until Bush Jr.) never EVER acknowledged this disease publicly until he was out of office and he did a public service announcement! Bastard was supposed to be the president of all Americans!

It took things like that little boy Ryan White and the basketball player Magic Johnson coming forth to wake people up (but I still seethe with anger when I recall Johnson appearing on Arsino Hall's show proclaiming that while he had AIDS, he was "100% Straight!" and the audience cheered! What were they cheering about: that the athlete never dabbled in gay sex or that anyone could catch it!?).

It was not until the late 80’s and early 90’s that things were shook up because of groups like ACT-UP who took the war to the streets, and shook folks out of their sleep.

The only glimmer of hope in this dark period, was Elizabeth Taylor, who, if memory serves, was the first celebrity to make this cause a pet concern of hers (I believe one of her daughter in laws had it). Liz was trumpeting this when NO ONE else would touch it!

Sorry, did not mean to go off on a rant, but it just blows my mind that 500 million new cases have happened this year alone in the US and everyone is so cavalier about it. And this time it’s not just the politicians, it’s the people engaging in un-safe sex, they call it bare backing (isn’t that charming?) A lot of gay men under the age of 30 seem to think that they are immune, they have no idea what kind of risk they are engaging in, or they live with the thought that because of all the new meds, even if they catch “the bug” (as it is referred to in certain circles), it might be as much of a problem as having high cholesterol.

Sorry, I just had to get this out… I promise I’ll never climb on a soap box at your blog again!

2:02 PM  
Blogger Belinda said...

Pia also has a touching post over at Courting Destiny today, a repeat from last year.

And part of me is thinking, "a DAY?!? We have whole months dedicated to other causes, but just a National AIDS DAY?!?

4:08 PM  
Blogger o0ohso0ocrazy said...

aww u have a crush!tats soo cute!i have one too, but i think he's seen me in the halls somewhere--hopefully!;)!
yup it was national aids day.i wore a pink ribbon for hope!
naema-

7:17 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Molly - thanks for stopping by - let me know how goes the blog roll thing on the side!
Maidink - yes it is weird how small we can try to make things, I wonder if it is a psychological thing to help us combat our fear?
Pax - I am honored that my post allowed you to speak freely and open up. You are welcome to use my blog for a soap box anyday! I couldn't agree with you more about Reagan, worse president after GW. And I didn't know that thing about Magic Johnson, that is awful that they were cheering because he wasn't gay - sigh, people, sometimes you just can't understand how they can be so cruel? My friend (whose partner died) was telling me about how young gay men are not protecting themselves and I wonder if these same men are suffering from depression, cause to me thoughts of sucicide could be the only reason for doing what they do.
Belinda - you are right, a day seems so insignficant - but we are the generation that has grown up on tv, short attention spans.
Naema - yes, I have a crush, but I wonder if it is more. Would you please include me in your duas, that this boy falls in love and I finally get to live happily ever after?

8:16 AM  

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