The first AIDS Ward and more…

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),





Författare: Pia-Kristina Garde

Born 1951, in Stockholm. Actress, author and libraryassistent. Retired from all, but Writing. In 1977 I published two books, one of them was a lay persons book on dying patients at a hospital in Stockholm, and at S:t Christopher´s Hospice, outside London. I have since then written one book about survivors from the concentration camps that came to Sweden in 1945, and several books about a Swedish author, Karin Boye (1900-1941).