What would Larry do?
Maybe it’s that the current issue of POZ is dedicated to Larry Kramer, but I can’t help but think of Larry as COVID-19 continues to spread in communities all across the country. I can hear his voice whenever I see a doctor on TV warning the public that we all must do more to stop the spread. I can hear his voice telling people not to gather in public, to put on their fucking masks...
Everyone is focused on the upcoming election, and the myriad of horrific possibilities that shitshow is promising to unleash on us. If we’re not paying as much attention to COVID-19 now as we were in March, then I can’t imagine we’ll be any more dialed into it after the election, of which the results may not be known (or respected) immediately. These are certainly the craziest times I’ve ever lived through, and I was around for the who-is-better debates that ripped families apart during N*SYNC and The Backstreet Boys prime.
The elasticity of familial (chosen and born into) ties, while certainly tested by boy bands, were largely soothed by the passage of time. What we can’t come back from is death. And the invisible enemy that is COVID-19 is certainly saddling up and licking it’s chops for a third serving of Nana’s famous mashed potatoes.
I’d be less-than-transparent if I didn’t disclose that Thanksgiving hasn’t been a holiday that Gwenn and I have observed with family in quite some time. The last couple of years, for instance, we’ve gone to Las Vegas to celebrate with a couple of our best friends who live in Los Angeles. And this year we just can’t wait to get back on those slot machines and enjoy all the asses-to-elbows club nights that Sin City provides....
I’m kidding. We aren’t going anywhere. I can’t see myself traveling anytime in the near future. But I understand that it’s easier for me than it is for a lot of other folks. I don’t have kids and my parents aren’t particularly demanding. They love me for who I am and I think they really envy the Thanksgiving tradition that we had going in Vegas.
This year, though, the ultimate gamble for all of us will be Thanksgiving. Picture it: a gaggle of people inside, around a table, sharing laughs and breaking bread. Watching the game together, squeezing in on a couch. Yelling in each others’ faces about politics before having a drink and embracing in a long hug full of heart-felt apologies. Me? I’m hoping for a Golden Girls marathon and some new Hallmark Christmas movies. Oh, and the promise of a new President come January...
But right now, in our current reality, we have to ask ourselves: what would Larry Kramer do? He’d warn his friends, family and strangers about a preventable and life-threatening illness. Just as he’d done before.