Monday, June 23, 2014

The Living End

When I first came out, I got a chance to spend two weeks up in Canada with my boyfriend.

We went out to see the premiere of a new movie, "The Living End".

We saw it in a regular theater with over a hundred mostly GLBT people. There were many couples and it was my first public display of holding hands and acting like a regular couple. I was giddy. I felt as if everyone were my friend and since no one knew me, I had no fear of some ackward encounter.

The movie itself was interesting in that I was just coming out. I had only been out a little over a year in 1992, age 29. I didn't have many friends in the community and had few encounters with HIV+ people, having lost only one to AIDS that I knew at the time.

Everyone else had many stories and many losses. You could feel it and see it and I felt like an outsider or someone that hadn't paid their dues yet but I was grateful I hadn't gone through it. I could tell there was so much pain and anger and loss and suffering and frustration.

I think that's why even this low-grade movie had an impact. I felt some of the outrageious things they did were things we all thought of doing but didn't want to dare. Seeing them on the screen was a sort of release.

I've lost dear friends since then but I am thankful so many more remain healthy. I've been surprised by the predators that are out to infect others. Saddened by the boys infected early and dying. Angry at the families that hide it like something to be shamed of. And proud of the ones that lead the fight openly as HIV+ educators and fund raisers and those that simply make it part of their life, nothing more or less.

We need to remember this battle still continues and remain hopeful. It was nice to revisit this show on Netflix and remember a very special time in my coming out process. I'm very thankful to still be here and healthy. I hope we all remain so.

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