This was my first time participating in an AIDS walk. Why did I wait so long? I can’t really say – apprehension? Worried I’d be branded? Lazy? Likely “yes” to all those but I do apologize for waiting so long. It was a great day for a walk and our meager contribution might have been small, I do feel like I belonged to something larger.
Well… “larger” is a relative term. In Joan River’s biopic A Piece of Work, she tells an AIDS joke (I’m paraphrasing): Joan mentions that she delivers meals to AIDS suffers and complains that so many are surviving that when she went to one house the guy opened the door, sees her, and says “You again?! Look, just leave it over there, I’m going to the gym.” She says, “The GYM?! Look, either the virus or my fists, someone is going to die today.”
Testament that the drugs that are out there are working in controlling the disease. If you call liver cancer or diabetes “control”. Regardless, you rarely hear of anyone wasting away like they use to. Just …complications.
We walked down Yonge Street, and as we neared Ryerson University, a young girl huffing a 7-11 slushie yelled into the crowd “YEAH! FUCK AIDS!!!” Most of the route-side volunteers were teenage girls, screaming their support and egging us on. Women were certainly represented on this day.
As we left the Corporate sponsored, post-walk drag show we passed the coffee shop at Church and Alexander, lovingly called The Bear Store, and we saw a few friends just sitting there. A lot of gay men who were not in the walk.
You can see where I’m going with this. The disease, and it’s funding, seems to be in decline.
But not gone.
Okay enough soap box yammerin’. Here’s some pictures![smooth=id:23;]