Today is a day of self-reflection. I find myself wondering how I ever made it this far in life. The older you get the more dead people you know, the more times your heart has been broken, the more pets you have lost. I supposed the only thing that doesn’t increase with age is the hair on your head. Today is AIDS day.
As I ponder this horrible disease, I wonder how it came to be. Some have said that we deserve these things, because we are wicked. It is a punishment. It is hard to image such shallow minds exist. Certainly, if “we” deserved it, I would be dead now. But I am not. In the beginning of this crisis, we knew very little. We were afraid of something that was killing our friends, co-workers, and family. We promoted “Safe Sex”. This seemed to slow the disease down. As treatments improved, people stopped dying. People who have access to the treatment. And I defy you to find a wealthier group of individuals on the planet. We had no children. Our money was spent on ourselves. We are a selfish group. But our spending keeps the economy going. We are a generous group too, because we can afford to be.
Things changed. It was no longer just us. Drug users get AIDs, women get AIDs, children are born with AIDs and heterosexuals get AIDs. Still the sigma of it being a “Gay” disease remains.
Why hasn’t this disease been eradicated? Why are the numbers going up again, instead of down? boredom. People get bored with something. The newness wears off. The excitement, the “avant-garde-ness” of it all declines into acceptance. If only that same boredom would spread into our acceptance as equals.
So, on this day I remember my roots. I remember that I can make a difference. I remember the people I loved and the difference they made in my life. Being different is not so bad!