AIDS and HIV: 7 Stories of Love

4 12 2009

I’ve written an epic series of 7 posts for Eden Cafe in honor of World AIDS Day. They are deeply personal stories about how AIDS and HIV have touched my life through the lives of the 5 friends I’ve lost and the 2 living with HIV. I will re-post the intro to the stories below and link to each of them as they are posted.

Thanks for taking the time to read them.

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AIDS and HIV: 7 Stories of Love

As an underage party girl hitting the nightclubs in the early eighties, my friends were a curious mix of gay men, punks and those on the fringe of society. Viewed as social outcasts and misfits by mainstream culture, we formed tight bonds to protect ourselves from the abuse regularly hurled our way. Between the ages of 23 and 26 I lost four friends to AIDS. Another passed a few years back. And there are two newer friends who are survivors, living with HIV in very different ways.

These are their stories. It’s a reminder about the lack of knowledge and prevailing attitudes at the end of the eighties. It also shows how far we’ve come, and it’s not all good. But mainly, this is a celebration of my love for them.

Part 1: WR – Young Love

My first boyfriend was affectionate and sweet. We made out, held hands, hugged and went everywhere together. We shared the same warped sense of humor and taste in music. After a few months, I wondered why things weren’t moving along for us physically. That is when he confessed that he was having sex with boys he’d pick up on the subway.  Read more…

Part 2: JP – A Smile and a Spark

I knew JP through work. He was cool, older than me, quite Out, sported amazing ink before it was mainstream and wore leather. I liked him instantly. He was kind to me, and a sweet and gentle soul who was unafraid of living his dreams. Read more…

Part 3: MD – Enigmatic

MD and I sometimes had a strained friendship. Perhaps a part of him may have felt jealous of my close friendship with DV. Then again, it’s also possible that he was just trying on an abrasive personality from time to time as part of teenage development. In other words, maybe he was just a prick on occasion. Read more…

Part 4: CD – True to Her Love

CD was very artistic and extremely knowledgeable of a wide range of music. She was a staple at all the parties and in the alternative scene at the time. She loved her tribe of foundlings. CD was quirky, intelligent, fun and was known to not hold her liquor too well. But she was always polite, apologetic and slightly embarrassed about it, even when inebriated. Read more…

Part 5: GB – Most Likely To Succeed

Dear GB was one chic man. He aimed high and was an overachiever. He started his own business when he was 16 and by the time he was 18 had several employees. Consequently, he was always the one with money and a car and a great designer apartment in a cool neighborhood. Read more…

Part 6: KL – Damages

KL has two sides to his very strong personality. On one hand, he’s the sweetest, most sensitive man who cares deeply about art, the creative process and also for my family. He’s the type of guy who would give you everything he owned if you needed it. On the other hand, he can be a total bitch. Read more…

Part 7: KT – Fighting the Best Fight

Now, 25 years after contracting HIV, KT is looking fit and healthy. He and SC are still in love and together. They married and have been together more than 20 years. Who knows how long KT will be with us, as he brings us more incredible art and a brilliantly positive light into the lives of all who know him? But, I can say, that KT shows us all how to fight the best fight. Read more…

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One response

4 12 2009
Fantasia Lillith

I want to take the time to read this … thank you.

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