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Read Alexandra Billings powerful post on AIDS plague: “My chosen family was wiped out”

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It seems like yesterday. It doesn’t seem like three decades. It doesn’t seem like a lifetime. And there are moments in my life when they all seem to be here. Present. Still in my life, laughing and singing and dancing and twirling around and flying through space with their arms open and their heart spaces wide. My chosen family was wiped out. They were Annihilated by a plague that ripped us through the center of our spirits and tore at us, tattered and threw us bloodied into the streets. It came at us unseen, at a time when we were exploring our sexual identity. Our gender containers. When we were moving through the shame and regret of being lawless citizens of the United States and thrown into jail and left for dead at the bottom of the heap. Humanity turn their backs on us at a time when we needed them the most. Especially in this country. When AIDS showed its face, straight America turned it’s back. …and yet there are moments when I take these pills and remember the diagnosis. I can still hear the doctor’s voice telling me to max out my credit cards because there wasn’t much of a chance that I would be alive to pay off the bills. That I should go and take a vacation. My wife at the time shuffled her feet raised her head and looked him square early in the eye and said: “Oh don’t you worry. She’ll be around.” I had someone to pick me up off the ground. I was one of the lucky ones. And so every night when I swallow these pills I am reminded. Of those I have lost. Of the friends I buried and dropped off at the emergency room exit of various hospitals because they wouldn’t put us in the ground. Of putting my friends in coffins and watching them be buried in male clothing because their families were too ashamed of who they actually were. I remember their beauty and their power and their laughter and their glorious gift to me. And how my Trans family raised me and taught me and guided me This disease is far from over and I remember it well. And so I take these pills. And so I continue to live. And I am amazed and truly blessed. Because there were many that came before me. And that is how I have survived. Because of the many. And because I remember…

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