A small story for World AIDS Day: The Man in the Car in Street Clothes

Photo above, San Francisco Gay Men’s Choir, from Paul Davis. His comment is perfect:

“This is what ‘We survived Reagan, you’ll survive Trump’ looks like. No, we didn’t.” 

On World AIDS Day, this small memory of mine, in honor of the HIV + people whose path cross mine –  especially in America and Zimbabwe. – Rosi 


The Man in the Car in Street Clothes

I’m straight; many of my best people are gay. One year, at Carnival in Provincetown, Massachusetts – the gayest event of the year in the gayest city (sorry, Asbury Park) – one float was simply a decorated car with a frail man inside, in regular street clothes. The sign over the car said:

HAS BEEN WORKING WITH AIDS PATIENTS FOR 35 YEARS.

Well. So many people rushed off the sidewalk to thank him, touch him, shake his hand that the entire Carnival came to a stop – several times. And it didn’t stop there. So many of the older men were crying so hard, that all the people around them took them in – hugging, holding hands, offering water, and looking them in the eyes as they cried.

One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever witnessed, particularly since I lived in the West Village, NYC, in 1981 – Ground Zero for AIDS. Before it was even called AIDS, when it was gay cancer, and everybody cried. I wish I had a photo of the man in the car. But my hands were on the shoulders of the man in front of me for a little while after that.

Some things:

 

 

 

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