I have just moved house to be close to my little grandchild, so I have not written anything. But I will.
Before I do – in a few days the film 5B about the first AIDS Ward at San Francisco General Hospital, will open. It has already been shown at the film festival in Cannes.
Alison Moëd, in the film, was one of the first people I interviewed at San Francisco General Hospital, in 1987.
A relative of mine just sent me this article about it:
I hope you can open it.
Tomorrow I am off to Gothenburg, to speak in a church on Sunday. Pride finishes in Gothenburg tomorrow, Saturday.
I will speak about my book, and the work I have done, but I will also talk about a similar service that took place in Stockholm, in 1990, in Storkyrkan.
Pride in Stockholm always ends in that church, with a service called Kärlekens Mässa / A service of Love, with communion and all. The church is usually packed with people.
Before the service, we who were to participate, gathered in the vestry. While there we were told that a gay man had been stabbed to death in Gothenburg. It gave the service a new and very serious and chilling dimension.
It turned out that this man had been provoked by two men outside a gay club, and he didn´t back off, but went after them and that sealed his fate. He was cornered, and then stabbed, 40 or 50 times.
Both men turned out to be very young, 19 and 22, and Neo-Nazi´s. They went to jail for this, but not for long. One of them has killed another gay man since. He thinks it is his right. If he is alive, he must be 55 years old or so, these days.
During the trial, one of the older female Nazis was there to support the young men. She was interviewed about it, and she said: We don´t see Homosexuals as people. We regard this as cleansing!
My part in the service was to read, and I read a poem called Death is nothing at all, and I finished by mentioning all the men I had known, or known of, that had passed away in hiv/aids. They were so many that I forgot some of them.
Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That we are still
Call me by my own familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way you always used
Put no difference into your tone
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner
All is well.
Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918),