*I believe the spirit of ACT UP has revived in recent years because the lessons that AIDS taught our rainbow community are being forgotten, and the deeper meanings and lessons of those years have yet to be fully realised* Shokti
What lessons did the AIDS years teach us?
I was diagnosed HIV+ in 1990. I refused AZT. Friends who took it died. My CD4 count went down to 3 in 1997. I was a PWA and then a Lazarus Syndrome survivor. almost 2 decades later I am taking the tablets, viral load undetectable and thriving.
To put it in a nutshell I suggest the AIDS years taught us…
That community matters, we need to care about each other
That governments cannot be trusted to do the right thing
That drug companies need watching and pushing
That doctors don’t have all the answers
THAT THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS IN LIFE THAN SERVING THE CAPITALIST MACHINE
THERE IS MORE TO WHO WE ARE AS HUMAN BEINGS THAN MEETS THE (SCIENTIFIC) EYE (only some of us got to learn this one, particularly those of us who were sick or lost loved ones)
ALSO, IT TAUGHT THE MODERN WORLD THAT YOUNG MEN DYING HORRIBLY IS UTTERLY TRAGIC. AND YET WE SEND YOUNG MEN TO DIE IN WAR ALL THE TIME.
It’s Gay Pride in London and CONTROVERSY is in the air as usual. This time the planned flypast by the Red Arrows has heated the atmosphere in more ways than one, and got many queers questioning – why is Pride so deep with the military, politicians, big business and bankers? Is the status quo, of conflict, corruption, exploitation and greed, the future lgbt people wish for the world? Or could we be marching in the name of something better?
SOME ARE WONDERING WHY OTHERS ALWAYS HAVE TO SPOIL THE PARTY WITH THEIR PROTESTS – WELL IT’S BECAUSE THE WORK ISN’T DONE YET. RATHER THAN COSYING UP WITH POLITICIANS, BANKERS AND ARMS DEALERS, THE LGBTQI COMMUNITY COULD BE CAMPAIGNING FOR PEACE IN THE WORLD AND FREEDOM FOR ALL – THAT IS THE ONLY WAY OUR KIN IN MANY LANDS WILL EVER BE SAFE.
WAR IS TRAGEDY. THERE IS NO PRIDE IN WAR. The emergence of queer visibility is of a global people seeking peace, love and the freedom to be ourselves. We are healers for humanity, but we have yet to learn the lessons thrown at us thick and fast during the few decades of our liberation story. WE HAVE YET TO BECOME WHO WE ARE.
ACT UP FOR LIFE, LOVE AND LIBERTY!
ACT UP TO WAKE UP!
SILENCE = ASSIMILATION