Gentilly Girl- a part of the 99%

December 1, 2009

It’s World AIDS Day

Filed under: LGBT — Morwen Madrigal @ 1:05 pm

I got pulled into this back in ’83. I was forced to watch friends and co-workers die agonizing deaths. There was no way in Hell I could just idly watch the drama. I was with almost 200 boys as they drew their last breaths. Often I was the only one there. I cleaned their homes and cooked them food. Worked on the original AIDS Quilt so they would not be forgotten.

Some of those folks I didn’t agree with, but the right, the Human Thing, was to help in every way possible.

The World has blood on it’s hands. They stood on the sidelines as this disaster unfolded, mainly due to religious and Racial bias. The U.S. has played a huge part in that crime. This country could have moved faster to help those affected by HIV, but it didn’t because it was about “those people”.

In ’92 I found out that I was one of “those people”. I had been raped in ’84. That day the battle for those with HIV became personal. I’m now at my third trip to AIDSLand, and I will not die from it. I refuse to let the demon win, but that’s me and all that I believe in.

Many do not have my resources or strength. I have been to the Abyss more than a few times… I have no fear of dying. I have my love in Living . That keeps me going.

I have many issues that I feel strongly about, but this one is at the fore. It’s not about me; I have lived far more of Life than many will ever know. I fight because I can for those who can’t.

In ’94 a dear friend, hours before he died, told me that I had to keep going. He had “Seen” that I had to keep going. Later that day I opened the “Doors” because I knew what was happening. He passed and all is well. He is in the Summer Country resting up for his next turn of the Wheel.

We must find a way to defeat this disease. Not for me (I can live with it) but for the ones to come. They should never know the pain and sorrow of this thing.

And to everyone, “Welcome to World AIDS Day”.


  1. The 80s were tough on a lot of us. Heroes are individuals who find themselves in extraordinary situations and behave selflessly. I was privileged to know a lot of heroes during those sad years. I didn’t know you then (and don’t know you now), but I’m thankful that you and dozens of others (at first) and thousands (later) stepped up and helped. It was the result of friends like you that enabled a lot of good men to live out their lives with a modicum of dignity despite a disease that ravaged body and soul. For myself and on behalf of the thousands of young men and women who struggle with AIDS, I offer my gratitude and sincere thanks.

    I’ve got 25 years and counting. I’ll see you at the finish line.

    Comment by Houston B. — December 1, 2009 @ 3:23 pm

  2. Darlin’. the finish line is set when we call it so.

    Comment by Morwen Madrigal — December 1, 2009 @ 8:24 pm

  3. Let me rephrase. I believe in my lifetime we will see a cure for HIV. Rather than say the “finish line,” what I meant to say was the “winner’s circle.” I will have beaten that son-of-a-bitch disease. I’m 25+ years HIV+, 22 years since I took the test, and I have never taken medication for it. I’m waiting for the cure. So, I’ll see you in the Winner’s Circle when we finally get there.

    That better?

    Comment by Houston B. — December 2, 2009 @ 4:00 pm

  4. That comment wasn’t a “diss” Darlin’. All I meant to say is that we control our own Destinies.

    And yes, we will meet in the Winners’ Circle.

    Comment by Morwen Madrigal — December 2, 2009 @ 4:32 pm

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