Labels: actup nyc, aids in america, how to survive a plague, Rob Rafsky
I first heard about this movie from a post on the wall of a Facebook friend. On his wall was a photo of a man named Rob Rafsky, one of the activists from ActUp (Aids Coalition To Unleash Power). There was Rob, chained to a gate covered in fake blood. This image together with what "my friend" wrote about the movie, really had my attention.
With footage captured by activists, men and women came together to plead for help from the government to spend more resources on stopping the spread of this insidious disease...and in the process stop their loved ones from dying.
As three to four of our friends started dying every couple of months, we all became terrified. The people who were infected had no where to go. Families would disown them. They would be beaten and evicted, then die alone on the streets.
My coworker Phillip died on the streets. My neighbor hung himself in a tree because he did not know what to do. I remember the entire village came out to see it. Families turned their backs, or hid the bodies of their loved ones from their friends and partners. Not all though... some families stood by their loved ones and their partners. Some rallied together to raise money to pay for funerals for their brothers and sisters. But this was not before we lost so, so many friends.
To stop the widespread panic, brave people like actor/playwright/proud Trinidadian, Godfrey Sealy
This brings me back to How To Survive A Plague. This movie is the most inspirational movie I have seen in years. It shows us a real sense of community and empowerment, how to take on a government that is neglecting its people and the right for survival.
As one activist said, "This fight was the greatest achievement by the gay community till this day…."