hiv/aids storytelling: kearns’ open poem to same-sex marriage townhall meet 10-19-2005 (0058)

aidswriteorg-logoan open poem to the october 19, 2005 town hall meeting for the equality for all campaign

my name is richard kearns. i am a gay man living with AIDS. i’ve lived with aids a while.

how can i help in this, our common struggle? our great LGBT vision of what marriage means?

you must know how it is to haveAIDS. i must tell you. we both need the benefit of my strength and experience.

you must know how it is to lose access to your dying love who wanted suicide. how it is you failed him. how it is to wait on the sidelines for him to starve to death on morphine, completely out of his mind. a rat in a cage. to satisfy the needs of church dogma and the stale agonies of priests. a sad but firm & hostile takeover by his unenviable “real” family.

how it is to wait for rumor of his passing. (what would you like to know about marriage? i can tell you all there is: we need each other. it’s not a choice. it’s a sacred celebration.)

that is one of my stories. it bleeds to tell it to you. i want to hear one of yours. please.

here is our common strength. we know what it means to be married. we know what it means to fight for it, rather than take it for granted or let it slide. not even the married know that all the time. we have a glimpse of the truth of it. no wonder the shamblers and fakers are afraid.

we are always romeo and juliet. love’s triumph over injustice. our loves are the stuff of all great loves.

you would think great lovers make great parents. i do. great families are populated by great lovers.

and a guy played juliet opening night.

open your eyes.

open mine.

namaste

—rk

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