Friday, March 3, 2017

Watching When We Rise on ABC

I've been watching When We Rise, the four part miniseries on ABC about the birth and development of the LGBT movement in America and the parts played in the movement by Cleve Jones, Roma Guy and Ken Jones in San Francisco over the years.  I'm sure there is some criticism of it from various places but it's been entertaining and educational.  Last night was poignant and heartbreaking in it's portrayal of the AIDS epidemic and how much it was ignored by the government at first simply because it was considered a gay disease. 

Last night, they showed the AIDS quilt spread out on the Mall in Washington and it made me remember something.  The first year I attended Southern Comfort Conference, a large transgender conference held then in Atlanta, the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus entertained at dinner on Saturday night.  One of the songs they did, and I don’t remember the name of it, was about two boys who grew up together and were best friends.  As adults, they lost touch with each other and one day one of them receives a letter from the other’s father.  The letter tells him if he would like to see his friend again to be at a certain spot on the Mall on a certain day.  Then as the song is ending, you realize that his friend is not really there, that his name is on a panel of the AIDS Quilt.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house then and, even now almost 20 years later having lost friends to AIDS, I still tear up thinking about it.

If you've missed part of this, I'm sure ABC has some online areas where you can watch it.  It is well worth the time.


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