Today is world’s AIDS day.
We may not be clinking our glasses of champagne and toasting AIDS away, but we have come a long way from the world that met AIDS two decades ago.
And while some changes has finally come - The number of new HIV infections is almost one-fifth lower than it was a decade ago, according to the UNAIDS Global Report on HIV/AIDS, The Pope approves Condom use for People living with HIV - some things have stayed the same -
AIDS was first discovered in the quiet, secret gay communities/clubs in the West. They were also found to be the most at risk but alas they were an unwelcome group. Many died because it was too late for them, while many more died because they could not seek treatment due to judgment by you and I. We thought they were an abhorrence to godly men everywhere and hence deserving of death by AIDS.
In many African countries, gay men still cannot reveal their status for fear of imprisonment (Kenya), death or being ostracized. So they conform to the social norm, make some woman unhappy through marriage while continuing theis affairs on the side.
Twenty years after, Politicians are being enthroned or dethroned based on their stand on homosexuality.
Homophobia has tainted the most innocuous of actions in contemporary society. Men can’t hug anymore, men can’t wear pink shirts, male friends can’t hold hands anymore, little boys can’t dress like girls for a costume party without attracting negative attention. Like this 5yr old who wore a Daphne from Scooby doo costume.
We really should remember that the actions of the future generation are based on what the adults of Now have taught them. The young men who were beating on gay students and even had a gay torture chamber in Chicago’s Bronx were nurtured on this hate. The young man who committed suicide cause of a video leak (can we all say no to sex videos? Thank you) had met this hate before and chose to kill himself rather than meet it again.
When Odinga, Angle and Palin spew their intolerance and we make them role models, heroes, our kids are watching. And listening.
If we sow love, we reap love. We sow tolerance, We reap tolerance. We sow hatred and bigotry, we reap wars.