A long time ago, especially in this world of sound bites I looked into my past and presented my memories of what it was like with AIDS in the 1980s and presented this as a sermon for World Aids Day at the Unitarian Universalist church of Manchester, NH. Here it is if you want to see what I remembered. A Dark Time
As much as I want things to be better change isn’t happening fast enough. When I was younger and my friends began wot die it was a shock when the “real” family, the blood relatives, would come in after the death to reap what they could from their dear departed beloved’s holdings. And to hell with the man that really was a apart of his life. the man that had just spent agonizing months watching the man he loved waste away and die.
Then I tripped over this on Advocate.com.
I’ve been there on the sidelines and even sitting there it’s difficult to watch and there’s damn little support to offer. Rarely I was able to help. Kenny Raksin and I ran up horrendous telephone bills planning Kenny’s funeral. I didn’t go because the affair was for Kenny’s close family and besides, he was already gone. To this day I know a bit about Jewish funerary procedures. After the funeral, Sandy Marcus an older friend told me that he was glad I hadn’t gone because the Act Up! crowd had shown up in costume to make a political statement turning a solemn dignified affair into a circus. I miss Kenny.
Marion Frazer asked for my advice and support and blessing on his plans. Because I was “practical.” Marion was a successful businessman and artist and chose to focus on living. For medical treatment he turned to a macrobiotic diet — that was as good a guess as any at the time as the public and the medical profession treated AIDS as a gay disease that would solve two problems at once by getting rid of the homosexuals. Marion enjoyed life too much to focus on the end or a possible afterlife so Marion found a kindred soul in Antonio Castelanez a man who agreed to care for Marion all the way to the end and as payment inherit Marion’s estate. Lawyer’s were involved to protect all parties and the plan was successfully executed even after Marion was gone. Marion’s family tried to break the contracts and found that couldn’t be done. One of the few times that the important people in a gay man’s life were treated fairly.