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:


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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