Sources of Our Power: Coming Out (Again)

Cross-posting to the blog.

Subject: That was then — this is now — they’re connected

Dear Colleagues

I am sending this by email with my permission to propagate.

People ask me how I am coping. I learnt a lot from a set of peers that I miss dearly.

And sometimes, very rarely, I mention having traversed a dark time.

If you are a gay man who came of age in the 1980s. AIDS

All of us were affected. Note I said affected not infected.

This was brought home recently by a tweet from Cleve James, the founder of the AIDS Quilt project.

cleve james AIDS quilt - screen shot of Twitter post

I invite you in a quiet moment to read some of the reactions and reflect.

Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” was an anthem of our dance floors.

I leave you with this koan: survival is not not-dying.

Imagine a world where people yearly mark a Festival of Social Distancing. Walk a Quilt. Together Apart.

In some parts of that world, they shut the power off. In the Dark, gaze at the stars. Contemplate Space. Know that they are a part.


Francois Lachance

to think is often to sort, to store and to shuffle: humble, embodied tasks

And so for day 2725

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One Response to Sources of Our Power: Coming Out (Again)

  1. On the question of learning from history, consider

    Tuberculosis in particular was a recurrent threat in Harlem, a leading cause of death in the area until the mid-1950s. Dissatisfied with the city government’s response, black Harlemites found their own ways to fight this crisis. In 1920, the New York Urban League launched an Annual Health Campaign and Clean-up Week, during which preachers at black churches offered “health sermons” and volunteers distributed educational materials from door to door. The Lower East Side’s Henry Street Visiting Nurse Service joined with the Urban League to visit thousands of Harlem homes—making more than five hundred thousand visits to nearly one hundred thousand patients in 1935 alone—and the Harlem Tuberculosis and Health Committee offered a wide range of services. Community-run initiatives like these blurred the line between health-care advocacy and political activism. Even so, in 1935, in the depths of the Great Depression, Harlem’s tuberculosis rate was triple that of the rest of New York.

    From the MoMA resource to accompany Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series

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