July 03, 2024

AIDS quilt

by your guest blogger.


The AIDS memorial quilt is displayed this month on the Ellipse behind the White House. Or part of it is: 1000 blocks, which is 8000 panels or less than a fifth of the whole. I was there the last time it was all laid out at once, 1996. I remember hearing Liza Minnelli reading some of the names, including the name of her husband (or one of them), Peter Allen.

Seeing the quilt is still an emotional experience, especially for those of us who've lived through the whole AIDS era. Still, it surprises me how much AIDS has receded from the collective consciousness of gay men. National AIDS Testing Day (June 27) went by without much notice. It's now a survivable disease, at least for those with adequate health care. We keep hearing about barebacking and facials and the whole repertoire of unsafe behavior (which is also creeping back into gay porn). There have been blips in the statistics, which ought to be worrisome. But gay men have a sense that their bad times are over. The disease is rampaging elsewhere--horribly, but not-our-kind-dear. We're living our lives. And that's a good thing--take it from the generation that spent a half-decade or more assuming we wouldn't be around for our next birthday.

Posted by Glenda at July 3, 2024 01:42 AM
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