I cried last night. Almost sobbing at times.
I wasn’t just crying for the days we were in.
As a release from the anxiety I was feeling
For what we had lost and the lives lost too
But also for the days of my past.
I was 15 in 1982, when the term Gay Related Immune Deficiency (GRID) was coined to name a mystery illness that Gay men in San Francisco were dying from.
This, of course, we know now to be HIV/AIDS.
This mystery virus travelled quickly to our disco balled bars and our fun filled beds
Men were getting sick and dying all around me.
And I waited in fear for my time to come.
A vaccine never came to our rescue
But in the mid-nineties, after 15 years, effective treatment did.
And now, nearly 20 years later, I mourn.
It wasn’t that I hadn’t grieved each friend I had lost at the time
At funeral after funeral
Wake after wake
But it isn’t until now, during these virus days that remind me so much of then
That have created many moments for reflection of that time
That I cry for that whole story and that time of mine and my people
For our generation lost.
For the fun and innocence that was stolen from us.
And as I let out this cry, I let it go
And as I reflect, I draw on what I’ve learnt from my past
I see my resilience – clear as day
I breathe deeply and I smile.