Flopping Aces Website & Aids
AIDS AIDS AIDS – as if this is the be all and end all of the discussion.
But long before AIDS came along in 1981 — you were against us.
You hated and despised us.
As many expressed here today.
Don’t blame AIDS —
if AIDS had never happened you would be against us:
Face that fact at least.
You arrested us and beat us.
Long before AIDS.
You imprisoned us and institutionalized us.
Long before AIDS.
Then — after the stop of the police state against us —
After a tiny riot;
You did not realize that we were like kids in a candy store with a $100 bill.
And not a parent in sight to give us a hand in understanding what this meant.
Yes, we were like children —
We were bereft of anything yet than condemnation.
Instead of giving us guidance and support;
Instead of a moment’s compassion;
Instead of any positive word —
Instead of leading us to our happiness —
Which even we were not sure were it lay —
You continued on your rampage against us —
Emotional for sure — witness here today the attacks on me and my kind –
And I the only one to defend us!
Less so physically, for the bar raids and beatings had stopped.
And we went crazy, as “kids” are wont to do.
You had no idea what it was like —
To feel the lifting of the police state.
You had no idea —
All your talk is nothing as to what I experienced.
I lived it — you all scarcely imagine and nothing more.
Did you give us succor?
No — you told us we’re still crazy but you would no longer stomp on us too much.
Did you give us guidance?
No, you disparaged us still.
Did you give us a helping hand?
So that we might find the man of our dreams?
No, you did as you do today — Condemn with ferocity.
So, yes, we went nuts.
We went into a happiness you could not believe;
For never before were we allowed to smooch —
Without fear of being beaten.
Beaten and arrested and incarcerated and subject to cruel and unusual punishments and subject to indignities you can scare imagine.
Oh you perfect ones.
And from it came AIDS.
From our lack of guidance by you, this came AIDS.
We begged for manna.
We begged for pastoral care.
We begged for any sort of understanding of our otherness;
And we prayed to God Almighty for your help in dealing with whom we are.
And you said “No. Never.”
And then came AIDS:
For we wound up smooching too much.
For we were beyond glee and joy in being Free, free, free at last.
From the torture, the raids, the beatings, the incarcerations.
But gayness never brought AIDS —
it was the lack of guidance to us weak pitiful Pink Sheep of God
which brought our licentiousness.
And you told us that’s what we should be.
As Mr. Kukis says here today —
You told us that’s whom we are.
Even to this day you say this:
And deny any recognition of any relationship we might have.
You fight tenaciously against any true relationship we might have;
and then you accuse us of not having relationships.
The audacity is amazing; and we forgive you.
For we are a confusing people to behold;
This we admit.
If gayness brought AIDS —
Then it would have come long before 1981.
Back when it wasn’t even called AIDS:
But GRID — Gay Related Immune Deficiency.
Yet, even today, with some 15,000,000 gay folks;
Only 400,000 of us have AIDS.
Which is hardly the automatic death sentence you pretend.
And as we lie dying back then many of you were thrilled.
But you know who were the best?
St. Vincent’s Hospital on 14 Street in NYC.
A Catholic institution which came to us in a compassion we never felt before;
They did not deny us anything;
But did what they could to give us balm.
Nun and priest, counselor and social worker; lay man and clergy —
they walked with us into the valley of death.
To whom I am forever grateful.
They were there for us in a way the Catholic Church actually despised.
Those Catholics there at St. Vincents were on our side,
For once. And almost only once.
We felt we had a friend to understand our plight.
Never before or since have we felt such Godly Holiness towards us.
You are clueless.
Never have any treated us so well,
as when we were there in St. Vincent’s with our friends dying.
You know nothing of this.
You are innocents in this matter.
Speak not of which you do not know.
Those people there at St. Vincent’s denied us nothing.
Nothing. But held us in tight embrace.
In a compassion you cannot, will not, ever understand.
But still we were despised by society;
Hated, as Mr. Kukis and many of you have expressed.
But I was there – a native New Yorker —
with friend dropping dead by the dozens.
You were not.
You know nothing.
Aye, there’s a difference.
Where on earth is your guidance to us sissies?
To find our prince charming?
‘Tis no where.
For you wish us gone, one way or the other.
Alas, to you, we will not go.
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