Let me start this by saying this movie is not for the faint of heart. I had to cover my eyes many times due to the debauchery. I had no idea, which in hindsight was pretty naive of me, that there’d be pornography in this movie. Not only is there porn in the movie it starts right from the opening scenes, it’s disgusting. That said, I cried through the whole thing.
You may ask why? It brought back memories I’d rather forget. Our son was born in 1985 and at that time news of the HIV/AIDS was just coming to the forefront. Back then it was thought that only those who engaged in homosexual relationships had the disease, and no one understood how it was transmitted so many people were terrified of getting it.
The fears were that you could get it from any kind of touch with an infected person. So, no more sharing a bottle of Coke, no sharing cups, knives, forks, or spoons, no sitting on the same toilet, or using the same soap, towels, sheets, or seats. No one wanted to shake hands with anyone who was Gay. Or have them kiss you on the cheek… Yes, you get where I’m going. My brother and his friends were Gay and they had HIV/AIDS and I’m ashamed to admit it but, I treated them like Leper’s.
Gary lived with my mother and would bring his friends in for tea, dinner… I was so scared of my baby getting the disease that I washed everything they touched or breathed near with bleach. Even as I write this the shame and sorrow is breaking my heart. One by one they all died a horrible death; all except my brother.
I remember one young man dying from AIDS whose friends begged his parents to come to the hospital. They refused calling him every ungodly name in the book, he was so hurt and angry with them he wore black leathers on his death-bed just to say screw you! He died an ugly painful death. No one should die like that. And if you feel like commenting that they deserved what they got or that the bible says they’ll receive their punishment in their own bodies Don’t!
Another of Gary’s friends was David. He was a lovely young man. I loved him a lot. He worked for my mother in her canteen. He was the kindest, most gentle, smart, loving, and funny guy you could ever wish to meet. But he was also exceedingly promiscuous. And when he got HIV/AIDS it just seemed as though the sun had disappeared.
On the day of our wedding our best man didn’t turn-up so we asked David if he would stand in for us. He was delighted. And he became our best man. We moved to the states and I would go home for holidays and stay with my mother. It was during this time that the disease became full blown and ravaged Gary’s friends, and when I was being most unChrist like.
As I said, David got the disease and it wasn’t long before he was seriously emaciated. He was so scared to die. He would run round to my mother’s house in the middle of the night banging on the door and crying let me in Margaret! My mother always let him in and cuddled him until he could breathe again just as if he were her own son. My mother welcomed and cuddled every one of those young men and I was the one professing Christ while trying to keep well back!
I don’t know how many of Gary’s friends died in the 80s and early 90s, but I know there were many. How I wish I could have told them I was truly sorry for the way I treated them. I did apologize to Gary. It took him years to forgive me, but thankfully he did. When I watched the Dallas Buyers Club I was transported right back to those awful days and I couldn’t hold back the tears. I’m still crying.
My brother Gary has been kept alive all these years by the grace of God and cocktails of experimental medications. But he has been weak and violently ill much of the time and has had too many heart attacks to count. His life is no fun.
Hubby was at a health conference just recently where the agencies gathered were informed that HIV/AIDS is on the rise again. I don’t think young people know about this epidemic. If they have heard about it they don’t seem to understand the dangers of being promiscuous and shooting-up drugs like Meth and Heroin. Oh, if only they could see this movie (sans porn) in middle schools and every year throughout high school. It might just keep some of them from making the same costly mistakes.
On a final note, I’ve always wondered about those parents who turned their backs on their child/ren when they were dying. I wonder if they regretted their decision. I like to believe that they did.
Amos chapter 5:21-23