December 2013 Archives
For Some, H.I.V. Is Embraced, Not Avoided
By TIM DEAN, Posted on nytimes.com, NOVEMBER 28, 2013
Not everyone is terrified of H.I.V. During the 1980s, we came to believe that getting infected with H.I.V. was the worst thing that could happen to you -- worse even than cancer. People with AIDS appeared to die rapidly and horribly; not only that, they were regarded as socially dead from the moment they received an H.I.V.-positive diagnosis. The association with sex, particularly gay sex, loaded H.I.V./AIDS with more stigma than almost any contemporary illness.
But now North American gay men have been living with the virus in our communities -- and in many of our bodies -- for decades. Even before effective antiretroviral medications became available, we learned that HIV is not the most dreadful thing to befall a person. As one gay man put it, "I've had many worse things happen to me than being infected with H.I.V.; most of them resulted from long-term relationships, which our society regards with benevolence." Scott O'Hara, who wrote these words, was one of the first to advocate unprotected anal sex between men, otherwise known as barebacking. Here he suggests that a long-term relationship with H.I.V. might be less toxic or debilitating than a long-term relationship with certain other people.
********Dr. Dicks new article: Advice for a naughty elf********
FORGET THEM NOT
Written by Bobby Miller, 1995
So much time has passed since the first one left, since the first sign of pain
and still no gaining on this disease.
So many stars have fallen and lost their places, their faces forgotten for now
and yet somehow there must be a way
to restore them to minds memory. Everybody has a friend
that has come to the same end as the rest, it seems that the best have been taken. Where have they all gone?
So many have left this world
where we've danced and partied and twirled
and still here we go on
thinking only briefly now and then of their absence. but I can hear so many familiar voices
calling out to me " Forget me not,
please don't forget me , forget me not"
And when I try I can remember.
I can remember Cookie and her sly knowing laugh with burbered fingers typing out tomorrow.
And I can remember Antonio and his girls
drawn in ink as glamorous as they could ever be. And I can remember Costas with his lazy crazy dolls doing a dance in my mind.
And I can remember Andy giggling like a school girl over the pretty boys standing in line to meet him.
And I can remember sweet happy Divine
doing a disco march in time,
and Generro Palermo doing a Vivianne Westwood tango, and little Scott Fritz throwing some fierce fits, and I can remember Candy Darling dashing down Broadway to Dr. Starlings for her shots,
and I can remember Jackie shouting at the taxi
that she was a woman not a man, yes I can.
And I remember Chrysis giving the real girls
some realness with a pout while she whipped it out. I can remember John Sex entering a scene
when he was long and lean and just a little bit mean and I can remember Klaus with face so white
and clothes so tight that people actually stopped and stared in fright.
I can remember Howie at many a door cold shouldering many more than than he'd let in.
And I can remember Halston and Victor
and Eric and Eddie
and Steve and Huck
and oh so many more.
I can remember them all one by one if I try.
And no matter the pain or pride or fear that's inside we must help to keep their memories alive
because they were here
and they were all wonderful and unique.
So before you go to bed tonight say hi up there and promise to forget them not.
Bobby Miller ©1995