Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Unforgettable Pride Moments - Number Four

I don't know if you've ever lost someone to AIDS but I have. I've lost family members and friends to this disease. It's interesting when you live in two different communities (I recognize that I am a member of the LGBT community and I am simultaneously a member of the African-American community). What's devastating is when both communities you're a part of are being torn apart by this virus.

Shortly after I arrived in Arizona I learned that the AIDS quilt (or part of the AIDS quilt) would be on display at the state's capital. Pieces of the memorial quilt from Washington D.C. would be transferred here. This was also an opportunity for local people that have lost someone to create their own quilt and add it to the memorial quilt.

I did not know the amount of pomp and circumstance involved with displaying the AIDS quilt. There is a ritual involved in the presenting, the unfolding and refolding. While in attendance several people spoke about those they have lost and presented their blankets. It was one saddest, surrealest, intimate and powerful experiences I've ever been apart of. This was a special moment in time that was very special to me and I loved being apart of that moment.

Sadly, ten years later, we are still dying from this disease. In the U.S., someone is infected with HIV every nine & a half minutes. But I'm glad to have witnessed this powerful moment acknowledging those we lost. For this reason, experiencing the AIDS quilt at the Arizona state capital is number four on my list of unforgettable pride moments. See more pics of this amazing event here.

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