I have horrible news -- two planes crashed into the World Trade Center! One crashed into one tower, and then 18 minutes later, a second crashed into the other tower. It is a horrible scene...
-- George Carter, e-mail to the aidsact listserv at 9:42 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11
I remember hearing a Whooomph! sound. I heard someone say that it was de
-- Randy Noak, an HIVer who worked at Merrill Lynch, across the street from the WTC
I went to St. Vincent’s at noon on Tuesday and saw the long line of eager blood donors and knew I could not be one -- nor could any gay man, positive or negative.
-- Greg Lugliani, HIVer, writer
As I watched people deal with the aftermath, I realized that I have been dealing with my own personal massacre for a decade. I lost so many and have been so deeply buried in grief that it became a second skin. The difference is that now it is the whole country coming together in grief -- acceptable grief.
-- River Huston, HIVer, poet
I’ve heard from fi
-- Eric Rofes, author/activist
I have been sensing emotional echoes of the worst days of the AIDS crisis. The randomness and violence of the attacks -- though external -- echoes the randomness and violence of HIV infection. The mass of New Yorkers vanishing in their prime. Unable to process the reality of an environment of such devastating loss, we wander the world in search of people who are “missing.” It goes on...
-- David Drake, playwright, actor
When skyscrapers collapse and bury thousands, then we watch, we remember, we mourn. Does it follow that now is not the time to remember so many other acts of brutality? I have a duty to remember the bipartisan politicians who wouldn’t set foot near the AIDS Quilt even when it was on their doorsteps, and I mourn the thousands who die daily of AIDS in places without camera crews.
-- Scott Tucker, HIVer, author/activist
For those of us who’ve lived through the devastation of AIDS, there’s nothing new about the “life can never be the same” attitude. We already know about life on the edge and about the importance of cherishing the freedoms we have with a vengeance. Like the attacks, AIDS changed the rules, and seemed inordinately evil, but the survivors emerged more tightly organized and bonded than ever before.
-- Michael Musto, writer
The idea that we have lost our innocence is incredibly arrogant. I hold my own government directly responsible for the death of each and every one of my friends who died of AIDS, and so to me America is far from an innocent victim. If the U.S. government can kill its own citizens with such callous disregard, what hypocrisy it takes for President Bush to trumpet his jingoistic bullshit about America being attacked because it’s a democracy! Osama bin Laden’s organization probably runs on more democratic principles than the United fucking States of America.
-- Patrick Califia, writer
I felt patriotism for the fi
-- Tony Valenzuela, HIVer, writer/activist
No one can say when or if terrorists will strike next. The uncertainty gnaws at us. The uncertain fate of thousands of Americans lost in the rubble of the twin towers and the Pentagon haunted their families and friends for days on end. When one of the possible outcomes is death, uncertainty sucks. It’s with great sadness that I say, “Welcome to my world, America.”
-- Joe Dee, HIVer, reporter