Tuesday, December 01, 2015

After Dark: A World AIDS Day Post

(Photo description: Thousands of candles making up the red ribbon that is used to memorialize people lost to AIDS)

Right now...

It's six o'clock.

In the evening.

The world has gone dark.

What I remember from the early years of the AIDS crises, is the silence. The long hours and days and weeks and months of silence from people in positions of power. Where was the response? Where was the concern? We expressed our outrage. We expressed our sorrow. Mourning filled the community.

And there was silence.

From anyone with the power to do something.

Really take action.

Demonstrate concerned leadership.

We got condemnation. We got blame. We got righteous hatred wrapped in brightly coloured rhetoric of love. We got used as tools to further an agenda of discrimination and dehumanization. The papers counted our deaths as if our deaths didn't count.

But mostly.

We got silence.

And we waited. 

As the world got dark.

I decided to write my blog this year, after dark had fallen. After many of you would have come to find silence here on my blog.

Because darkness and silence is what I remember.

I learned from watching my friends die.

I learned from watching my friends die in silence and darkness.

I learned that I had a voice and I had a responsibility to use it.

I learned that a voice could bring light to darkness.

I learned that with that kind of power - the power of voice and the power of light - each of the billions and billions of us on this planet has a responsibility.

And in the fight for justice and fair play and equality.

There is no excuse for darkness.

Or silence.

Ever again.


Robin said...

Thank you for this. These stories, from those of you who lived and grieved through the worst of the epidemic, are more important than ever. HIV treatment has come a long way (though prevention is still not where most of us would like it to be) but (no, and) we can never forget. Kudos also on the dual symbolism in this post. :)

Princeton Posse said...

Bravo! Damm the darkness...

clairesmum said...

news from San Bernardino CA makes me think of you....the shooting was a center for services for developmentally disabled clients...horrible news...and if they were targeted due to their identity so much more horrific.....