Thursday, December 01, 2016

World AIDS Day 2016

Today is World AIDS Day, one of the few things I've marked every year since I began blogging. My early adulthood was in the first years of the epidemic, and I saw all the fear, loathing, and hysteria that abounded at that time. Far too many of the men I fought alongside in those years never lived long enough to see the advances in science and medicine that could have saved them, nor the increasing acceptance of gay people. I think of them often, of course, but never more so than on this day.

This year has a new spectre hanging over us all, a regime soon to occupy the White House that threatens to undo much—or all—of the progress of the past 30 years. The man who I’m certain will inevitably be president at some point—Mike Pence—is stridently, even rabidly anti-gay, once trying to divert money intended to fight HIV/AIDS to use for “conversion therapy”, the religion-based torture of gay people to “persuade” them to pretend to be straight. And that’s only part of his extreme anti-gay animus.

Last year, I said:
One of the things I’ve often said about remembering this day is that it’s partly about defiance of all the people who wanted us all dead, and also those who even today use HIV/AIDS as a political weapon to advocate for discrimination against gay people. I honestly don’t think that will ever change.
Defiance will again be important over the next two to four years as we resist the forces of darkness taking control in Washington, DC. There are now powerful and very anti-gay people taking power in the US government, and they have an agenda. We must stop them where we can, and try to limit the damage as much as possible until sanity once again prevails.

I also said last year that it’s “the duty of those of us who survived” to remember all those we’ve lost, and that’s still true, but we also need to prepare for battle again. To do otherwise would insult the memory of all those we’ve lost.

Remembering isn’t enough; we must honour them by fighting on in their place.

Previous years’ blog posts:

World AIDS Day 2015
World AIDS Day 2014
World AIDS Day 2013
World AIDS Day 2012
World AIDS Day 2011
World AIDS Day 2010
World AIDS Day 2009
World AIDS Day 2008
World AIDS Day 2007
World AIDS Day 2006

No comments: