I just want to be there.
1989 was the year the film Longtime Companion was released. 1989 was the height of the AIDS crisis. My friends, and lovers, were being diagnosed left and right. My friends, and lovers, were dying left and right.
Needless to say this movie was a timely written timeline of the short decade that proceeded it. The short decade that was my coming of age as a gay man. I came out while in high school in 1980. Almost, not all, of my early friends and lovers in the gay community at the least became infected, or died. At the time this movie was released I was but one of very few I knew who remained HIV negative.
It wasn’t if I would succumb, it was when. Somehow I remain, thankfully, uninfected.
When this final scene came up on the big screen in front of me and my friends with which I sat, we began to cry. Sobbing with ugly tears. Tears of grief, loss and yet hope. Hope that one day our nightmare would end. Hope that one day we might once again see, hold, love and kiss those we once knew. Hope that at the least we wouldn’t loose any more loved ones to this horrible disease.
Time passed, infection rates dropped. We learned and eventually treatments improved.
Today there isn’t yet a cure but there is prevention. With science and research, particularly STEM CELL RESEARCH, a cure may one day become reality. Remember that your vote counts, your future vote may be needed to not only ensure the necessary research we now have but to restore it.
It’s pride month. Be proud of who you are. Respect others for being who they are. Understand those who are different. Love your sister and your brother. Vote for progress. Strive to be better.
(This Post is dedicated to Jerry Smoot who was my first friend, and occasional lover, I lost to AIDS. At a young 38 years, he was just coming into his prime. Jerry, when the scene came on the screen I envisioned you running onto that beach to hug me, kiss me and hold me.)