23 October, 2010

Essays, Aging, and Not Quite There

Category: Literature,Queer — Moose @ 1:09 am

I’m reading Andrew Holleran’s collection of essays, “Chronicle of a Plague, Revisited: AIDS and its Aftermath”. I’ve met (and dined with) Andrew a couple of times, and I can hear his voice pretty clearly in the writing. I also suspect I’m just barely old enough to have a real idea of what was going on in NYC in the 80s, though I’m not old enough to have been there. Having just finished Larry Kramer’s “Faggots” which, as any good satire should do, hit far too close to home on a number of occasions (as a late 30s, single gay man), it seemed a good transition into the period just after Larry’s work.

It’s not easy reading, however. Even making it through the introduction is likely to cause an emotional response in anyone who has or does know people who live with HIV. Andrew’s descriptions of living as someone without HIV, and not quite knowing what to do, are difficult. I can see where the impulse for Act Up came from. And I admit that I struggle between the idea of conforming, seeking acceptance in more mainstream society (even looking at the possibility of supervising), and going out to challenge those norms in more radical ways. It’s part of trying to see where it is that I belong, I suppose. And heaven knows I’m not quite there. Wherever there is.

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