Time of aids : death and hate in the 80's


We were young adults, we were teens, we were 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 years old, we were boys and girls, we were non white children, we were future gay, bi, lesbian, trans, even if we didn’t know at that time, and we lived an horrible time.

I have just read an article about the “zero patient” (first patient having an epidemic disease in medicine) in AIDS epidemic and his research during the first 80’s years.

When they (scientists and journalists) thought they found him, he was a gay steward.

From that moment on, a lot of homophobic things were written and said against him. It was the excuse for hating gays and bi more than before, with the famous cliché of an irresponsible gay having (a lot of) sex with any protection.

This article breaks my heart, and reminds me what I have lived as a very young child during the first years of the 1980’s, and it reminds me too  articles about Michael Stipe, REM former and queer singer speaking about discovering his sexuality at the aids time, and the madness of that time and the accusations against bi-people (the interview of him broke my heart too).

With the emergence of aids, the heterosexuals spent their time being happy to see gays dying of the “gay cancer”. I saw them (i was 7 in 1985) with happiness and pleasure imagining the end of the gays (what Hitler didn’t manage, and flagrantly they hoped aids would manage to do). At the same time, they accused bi people with being at the origin of the hetero infection. The bi were insulted, and denigrated. They were responsible of the hetero disease (even if it wasn’t true). It was a really horrible thing from the hetero to make gays and bis responsible of the epidemic, and concerning the bis, of the hetero epidemic.

We were young adults, we were teens, we were 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 years old, we were boys and girls, we were non white children, we were future gay, bi, lesbian, trans, even if we didn’t know at that time, and we knew how the beautiful closed shutters of the beautiful bourgeois houses hid horrible thoughts.

People who said all of these dreadful things weren’t racist people, hateful people. It was normal persons, our parents, our families, our neighbours, the parents of our friends, the bread baker, the butcher, our teachers … Normal persons we lived with…

Normal persons who had to teach us respect oh the other, love for people, and acceptance of the difference. At that time, they made beautiful speeches about that, about racism but at the same time, about the gays and bi, what they did, what they said in front of us?

Instead of the good things we would have learn from them, they showed us the dark face of humanity by their happiness, their brilliant eyes of joy, their charge with regard to  gays and bi whose only crime was to love.

At 5,6,7,8,9,10 years old, we lost our innocence by seeing people dying in bad conditions and by  understanding that adults were not protective as they had to be/do, because of their joy of these deaths. What that adults learned about the Second World War, by Jewish and gypsy genocides ? Millions of people dying because of what they were, and 40 years later, what adults did , they felt happiness for the death of gay people. Where was the lesson?

 We were young adults, we were teens, we were 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 years old, we were boys and girls, we were non white children, we were future gay, bi, lesbian, trans, even if we didn’t know at that time, and we realized adults were not good persons.

They hated young adults discovering their gay and bi sexuality, at a time they risked of dying: sex and death, libido and Thanatos. And instead of helping them or having sympathy, they felt hate, and wanted death for gays. The first years of 80’s were a crazy time of death, hate and innocence loose for young gay/bi adults, gay/bi teenagers, and all children.

As children, we saw a lot of people dying with no reason (dying for loving is not a legitimate reason to dye), we saw a lot of people we knew hating other people for loving (hating people for loving is not a legitimate reason to hate).

People who were dying didn’t choose to dye, but people who hated choose to hate.

It was frightening to realize at a very young age that if your crime was to be in (gay) love, you had to dye for that normal people, for your mom and your dad, for your grand-parents, for the ice-cream pedlar on the beach. At a very young age, we realized that our parents didn’t love us, the only thing they loved was their (hetero) normality. But at 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 years old, you need to believe that adults are heroes, good and perfect, that they are love, not being people with hate in their heart.

I was a 7 years old non-white girl in 1985, and two years later I fell in love of a girl, who considered herself as a boy, and I considered her as future-boy girl. But because of the time, I couldn’t tell her I was in love of her (I tried during my 9 and 10 years), because she spent her time being threatened by other girls (because of how she defined herself) and as I didn’t know how to do well and safe for her (I was alone with my love, no adult to help, and the adults were so frightening with their hate), I was afraid of hurting her. So instead of taking the risk of hurting her, I completely broke my heart by saying nothing even if I was in a very very great love of her. That completely destroyed my heart. And I spent my time crying because of that impossibility (and now 24 years later when I recall of that, I still cry). It was my first unhappy love affair (and the only I still cry for). The 80’s were so frightening.

We were young adults, we were teens,we were 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 years old, we were boys and girls, we were non white children, we were future gay, bi, lesbian, trans, even if we didn’t know at that time, and the only lesson we received was that if we do not become white-heterosexual-bourgeois, we will have to die too when our time come, as the young gay and bi adults of the early 80’s years.

We lost all of our illusions, and it broke my heart seeing people dying because of love, and seeing people being hated because of love. At that time I cried too, because of death and because of hate.

Traumatic times for the young adults and the teens discovering their sexuality, and for the little children we were. This time broke my heart as a child seeing the “normal” adults’ happiness of gay death. How a human being can be happy about the death of people guilty of loving ?  I have never found the answer.

I am a mother now, and I don’t understand how as a parent you can say things so hatred at your child, or in front of him (and as a human, you can say and think things like that, too). My son is 3 and half years old, and since he is baby, I have told him “when you are older, and when you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend …” I want him to know he has the right to be and love who he wants. And that it’s a normal way to be.

We were young adults, we were teens, we were 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 years old, we were boys and girls, we were non white children, we were future gay, bi, lesbian, trans, even if we didn’t know at that time, and the “normal” adults got rid of us.

Text written by Tekal Neguib. Writing this article was really difficult for me, and it makes me being very emotional.

NB : i am sorry for my english, i am french, and i have written the text directly into english

Make a Free Website with Yola.