Typically, my multiple personalities veer toward corporate sellout vs. gogo dancer, or leatherman vs. drag queen, but a recent charity event I was so excited to attend had me of two minds in an entirely different way.
All glittered up at Project Inform’s Evening of Hope, I could barely appreciate the condom-coated fashion show that is the party’s signature. I just couldn’t stop thinking about the crisis behind the couture.
The champagne flowed freely, but the sobering message that kicked off the cabaret of Coco Peru made me feel more flat than fizzy. Decades later, we’re still talking about how prevention is the cure when it comes to HIV, and how, until there’s a cure, there’s catastrophe.
The number of new infections is beyond alarming, all these years of education and activism later. Despite our advances in medical science and social policy, the urgency remains. But then there’s the flip side.
AIDS is still rock bottom for bottoms, but when it comes to the fight for gay civil rights, we’re dominating tops, and there is no doubt in my mind that we are winning the war.
I can’t help but think there’s a connection. I suppose hope is born from the darkest places, and if it weren’t for the ferocious and flawless way our community has been forced to rally around our causes, the public dialogue wouldn’t even include phrases like “domestic partnership,” “marriage equality” or “civil union.” The closets would still be overflowing, along with the shame and self-loathing.
So as hopeless I feel sometimes about not even remembering a time before HIV anymore, there are still double rainbows of hope on the horizon.
In all the struggle for salvation from this plague that torments our beloved community, I can see clearly over the double rainbow. among my San Framily and all the righteous organizations that have risen up in arms to fight the good gay fight, what hasn’t yet killed us is making us “bigga, betta, harda, stronga.”
Our ballot initiatives here in San Francisco may earn us the “fruits and nuts” stereotype in the eyes of the rest of our ass-backward country. Yet our San Framilial intimacy with this fight has brought us together in a way that makes us a model to the haters that try to take us down. We’re definitely making progress and change. And quickly.
But just as I get impatient about how damn long I’ve been a sistah in this struggle, I find religion. Dan Savage, you are my savior. I’m holy rolling on your realness. Your keen gay wit and wisdom make you my hero of Alpha Gayness.
“It Gets Better” is the best thing we ever could have asked for. It’s the best possible representation of everything that’s good and right about the gayer and better life we have here in Oz. The message is simple and powerful. It’s one genius idea that delivers perfectly on Harvey Milk’s promise and plea, “You gotta give ‘em hope.” Thank you, Dan Savage, for giving hope to me and millions. Just like that.
I’m just so thankful to be living in the gayest city on earth. Even if enjoying and appreciating all that our beautiful little bubble gives me in return for loving my gays. It’s wearing me out before the holigay season even begins, but we just gotta keep on bringing it as best we can.