For gay/bi men, and transwomen who came of age or already were of age in the 1980s at the height of the AIDS pandemic (and it was a pandemic) it is absolutely horrifying how bad the test rollout has been. What was the number one lesson gay people learned about fighting a pandemic (and we are survivors of a pandemic)?
TESTING IS EVERYTHING! Testing allows you to know if you carry the virus and alerts you that you must modify your behavior to protect yourself and others. Testing allows early interventions. Testing allows epidemiologists to trace all known contacts and alert them to the dangers.
In a pandemic, testing is the best defense. That Trump, a man who rose to fame in the 1980s, didn’t understand that basic FACT shows just how incurious he is to learn and understand the world around him, particularly if learning requires he understands the perspectives and needs of others.
It exposes, probably more than anything else, how unfit he is to hold elective office. A leader MUST be intellectually curious.
I am feeling like I am watching the 1980s all over again. This time the pandemic is an airborne pathogen. This time we understand that anyone can get it.
And sadly, that’s the only reason we have significant concern about it. It’s not just the people you don’t like who are endangered. I have almost started bawling my eyes out a few times today thinking about it, because this reminds of the AIDS pandemic, and how little love anyone had for us then. I have felt a lot of intermittent anger while reflecting on this.
I was a closeted gay teen in the 1980s (the closet, for the most part, was the only place a gay teen could be in the 1980s), I watched in horror as the federal government did absolutely NOTHING to respond to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
I remember straight teenagers making “jokes” like this one:
“What do you call a faggot on roller skates? RollAids, ha-ha-ha,”
I watched in horror as President Reagan’s press secretary gay-baited a journalist for asking tough questions about Reagan’s refusal to do anything about the growing pandemic, and the White House press corp bellowing collectively at that “joke.”:
I watched in horror as people said they didn’t care about AIDS because it was “just the faggots.”:
I watched in horror as nearly a decade went by and “innocent victims” started contracting the virus, before cishet people and the United States government started getting concerned.
MEMO: THEY WERE ALL INNOCENT VICTIMS! EACH. AND. EVERYONE. OF. THEM!
I watched in horror as right wing “Christians” told each other that the HIV/AIDS pandemic was God’s punishment on gay people like me.
I watched in horror as the precious few straight “allies” we had told us we were going too far with our methods of protest, and scolded us for our “irresponsible behavior.” And now we see that cishet people can’t even comply with social distancing techniques for a few weeks.
I watched in horror in horror…
Well, here we are more than 30 years later and once again, the people who think the current pandemic won’t affect them ignore pleas of everyone else to take precautions.
Are you watching in horror?
Guess what? We are all THE FAGGOTS now.
How does it feel being a faggot?
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