THIS IS WHY I WALK
I just finished watching "When We Rise". While people have debated the veracity of the details it highlighted the challenges we faced and fought. As I watched the beginning of the AIDS crisis I remembered the hateful phrases like "The Gay Plague" and "GRID". I remembered the deafening silence of our President and the vile proclamations from people of “faith” that it was God's punishment for our decadent lifestyle.
Through the unrelenting tears I remembered the hopeless frustration. I saw the faces of my friends long gone and I mourned their passing anew...and I remembered the anger. It was that anger that motivated and united our community. What our government refused to do WE DID OURSELVES.
In 1982 Nathan Fain, Larry Kramer, Larry Mass, Paul Popham, Paul Rapoport, and Edmund White officially established GMHC. In 1986 I walked in the first AIDS walk. During the horrible Reagan years it was an urgent need. The meager funding the government provided was nothing more than a token gesture. In time progress was made and AIDS was no longer the automatic death sentence, but people are still getting infected and people are still dying.
In my lifetime I want to see a time when this disease stops killing my friends...I want to stop crying.