It is with a heavy heart that I announce my friend died today. After almost a month in ICU battling HIV related pneumonia, he succombed to the illness. I’m sure his family can rest easy now knowing their “faggot” of a son is dead. And I hope whatever god they believe in visits the pain of their ignorance on theme twicefold in shame.
I am saddened but I am also happy. Happy that he is free of the pain and anguish. Happy, he’ll never know how his family tried to unplug him and take his belongings before having seen him in the hospital. His parents were family by chance, I was his family by choice. I think I got the better end of the deal. He was a beautiful person inside and out and he will be missed. More importantly, he will be remembered. I do not believe death is the end. Maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll encounter his soul again someday.
And to anyone who thinks AIDS is just another disease, I am here to tell you how wrong you are. With all our knowledge and all our drugs, HIV is still killing us one by one. It doesn’t care what race, sex, creed or orientation we are. It kills indiscriminately. And as long as we continue to hide behind petty prejudices many more will die. It killed my friend out of ignorance. You see, he didn’t know he was poz. He’d never been tested out of fear and shame. He was taught all his life being gay was shameful and evil. He finally had the courage to come out and live his life openly only to die 6 years later.
I am often ashamed of humanity, today is one of those days.