Life After Death
December 2, 2011 5:48 PM Subscribe
"The best way I can describe our predicament to someone outside our culture
posted by jquinby (14 comments total)
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is to call up the sensation of orgasm. You lose control of your destiny, and you are grateful for the loss. Time dissolves. Nothing that came before matters. You lose all sense of consequences and would sacrifice anything to safeguard the moment.
Then, just seconds later, the blighted past and an uncertain future rush back in to drown you."
writes in Walrus Magazine
about coming of age in the long shadow of the AIDS epidemic. via utne
“You have to understand,” he said. “AIDS was
gay culture. All the big events were AIDS fundraisers. All the plays, all the movies were AIDS plays and AIDS movies. It was a complete and total obsession, driven by a barely managed hysterical fear on everybody’s part.” The rallying call was simple: “Silence equals death.” The woefully inadequate response to AIDS in the early years was due largely to the invisibility of gay culture. AIDS forced its prey to fight for their lives and dignity, which in turn spurred a rapid acceleration of gay rights.
I nodded quietly as Bryan told me about friends he had buried, as one must when hearing other people’s war stories, attention being the only appropriate contribution. One of his greatest friends had died just weeks before the drugs became available. “What happened in 1996, then? ” I asked. “How did things change when the drugs came out? ”
Bryan sputtered, the way he does when three books are trying to exit his mouth at once. “Everything changed! The whole body of assumptions everyone carried around was gone. The death sentence was gone, virtually overnight, and the disease immediately went underground. Within a breathtakingly short period, it went from being a thing everybody talked about to a thing nobody talked about.”