HBO’s The Normal Heart (x)
I have severely mixed feelings about this as an AIDS activist. It’s wonderful this is on HBO, with such high-level talent. It’s wonderful Larry Kramer, who has been grappling with severe health issues over the last year, will have a platform to speak out, perhaps his last on a mainstream level. But I am *so angry* that it took our culture *thirty years* to get here. I am *so angry* that so many people died under horrific circumstances because the culture couldn’t deal with homosexuality, IV drug use and the issues of healthcare and poverty that added up to a plague taking so many people, every one beautiful, every one deserving a chance at life. I am *so angry* that America is only ready to learn about the AIDS crisis of the 80s now that it is historical drama and so many young men and women are just ashes on the beach, in the sea, in urns, in the air, blown off the White House lawn. And AIDS isn’t over. There are promising drug treatments like PReP to prevent infection and ART to reduce infectiousness to zero; but, here in the U.S., the incidence of HIV is rising in young gay men and in segments of the African-American population at alarming rates. New Yorker Lamont Valentin died this past December because he was born with HIV and was refused a needed lung transplant in New York City for no reason other than his status — in the wake of his death the guidelines are being changed. Our friends with HIV and AIDS are still dying — of illness, of despair, of suicide. How are you going to help them now? How are you going to help someone else in another stigmatized population who is suffering right now? Will you step up, or you will wait another thirty years for a pretty actor to play them in a tv movie? ACT. THE FUCK. UP.