Friday, May 25, 2007

AIDS and bill clinton and crixi

In response to Joe's post on Bill Clinton's success in raising funds to provide low cost AIDS drugs to 3d world countries, one of my favorite JMG commenters, Crixi van Cheek, responded with this:

It was the Thursday before Election Day 1992. I had dragged my tired wasting ass onto a PATH train to go over to Jersey City Hall. Bill Clinton, it was rumored, was going to give a speach specifically on AIDS! No other candidate, and in fact, no President had even said the word AIDS. Except for GHW Bush and that lizard in pearls, who referred to "AIDS Babies, the truly innocent victims" as if to infer the rest of us were somehow guilty. Anyhoo...there I was, anxious for some hope, any hope. I wore a long borrowed trench coat, cuz the damn IV I had came with a horrendous over the shoulder pump. I chunky, happy girl of the kind that naturally can identify a queer in need such as I was, befriended me and moved me to the front of the rope line.

Turns out the chunky girl was some sort of State Assemby person. But there we stood, the both of us, tears running down our eyes dumbfounded that this man stood there for a good long time and spoke about his personal losses to the disease and his commitment to stopping AIDS. Not only did he actually SAY the word AIDS, he had personal experience. His friends had died too. He had made deathbed promises to them. He had some of the same experiences I had.

At the end of the speach, there was a rope line of handshakes and thank you's....the cameras were turned away at his request, since he recognized that the stigma of AIDS was still a threat to those of us in the audience struggling with HIV. As he was shaking the hand of a woman to my right he looked at the campaign pins I put on the lapel of that borrowed trench coat.

One said "Lesbians and Gays for Clinton/Gore" the other "Veterans for Clinton" . Clinton, eying them both, said "I am counting on your Votes" plural addressing both issues. I responded with " Governor, you have my vote, but I am afraid it might be the last vote I cast for a president, I have AIDS." He stopped directly in front of me, he gently nudged and intrusive camera away, he held my hand in both of his massive mits and looked me directly in the eyes and said " Let me make myself clear, if you give me your vote on Tuesday I will do everything in my power to make sure you are here for my second term and beyond. You have my word."

The very fact that I am typing this comment in 2007 with a couple a hundred T-Cells compliments of a government subsidized medical program that restored my health during his administration is testiment to the fact that he kept his word. He will forever have my gratitude, not only for the treatments that would never have come to be had he not been elected, but for the simple kindness he expressed in under 30 seconds. He may be flawed, but he is a great man nonetheless.

Crixi Van Cheek | 05.25.07 - 11:16 am | #


Crixi's words broke the gloomy cloud I've been under with tears that haven't stopped yet. I will always love Bill Clinton for his humanity and for his compassion; he is a decent human being, flawed like the rest of us, but at the core, a good man. And I love my mysterious Crixi to pieces.

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10 Comments:

Blogger seth (on the left) said...

Thanks for that BAB, I hadn't read the comments in this post of Joe's, but I will now. Youre right, tears are welling up in my eyes from this

May 25, 2007 12:50 PM  
Blogger evilganome said...

Thanks Lynette. I'm a little misty at the computer at work, but that's okay. It's a good thing to be reminded that things have changed and that some of our leaders were actually capable of doing some good.

May 25, 2007 2:32 PM  
Blogger kiltmaker said...

Yes. Yes. Yes.

I had just read Ms. Van Cheeks comments on Joe's blog before I clicked in to see how your day is going. Powerful stuff man.

It was nice to have a president who understood that every life has worth.

May 25, 2007 8:12 PM  
Anonymous Kamrin said...

May we all have that courage. I remember one day I was talking to a person who has AIDS, and the kids came running over. We all talked and the kids took an instant like to the man. When the kids were ready to go, they ran over and hugged him and told him they would see him later. As they ran off, he began to cry. I asked him what was wrong and he said that hugs from non-positive people are rare, and those from kids, well, it had been a while. Seems that some parents out there are still afraid to let their kids hug a positive person. A deep seated parental fear of putting them in danger prevents them from sending the kids in for a hug from "uncle/cousin/relative"
All I could do was hold him till he was through crying, and then we walked hand in hand through the park to catch up with the kids. My heart still breaks at the idea of a person out there not being hugged because of their status. I am proud of Bill for doing all he did and is still trying to do! Sometimes it is good to be an Arkansan.

May 26, 2007 10:48 AM  
Blogger Red7Eric said...

I love love LOVE Bill Clinton. He's reason enough to feel really good about casting a vote for Hillary in November '08 if she's our nominee.

May 26, 2007 7:31 PM  
Anonymous Tater said...

That was beautiful. I have always felt that way about Clinton as well. I haven't been to Joe's site for a bit, and missed that post! Am glad you brought it to my attention. Hope your weekend is fabulous!

May 26, 2007 11:12 PM  
Blogger SubtleKnife said...

Thank you, dear, I missed that thanks to my metropolitan lifestyle - well I spend a LOT of time in Amsterdam anyway ;-) - and it's beautiful.

May 27, 2007 4:09 PM  
Blogger LSL said...

I'm so glad you posted this. Thank you!

May 28, 2007 2:39 PM  
Anonymous TedBear said...

Hi Lynette, Hi Crixi,

Thank you for sharing your experience. I am sitting here jet lagged, after returning from a combo business and vacation trip to China, can't sleep and catching up on your Blog and JMG from the last two weeks.

I love Bill Clinton. He is a great man.

Best regards,

TedBear

PS: Lynette, haven't you been getting tons of rain in Tulsa? It is totally wet in Dallas. My Dad said we got an inch of rain again today, and those inches aren't AOL inches!

May 29, 2007 1:45 AM  
Blogger BigAssBelle said...

tedbear, we have had 25" this year, when we usually get 35" . . . of course we've been about 10" off of that for the last 5-6 years. it's welcome, this drenching, but it would be nice if it spread out a bit.

so yes, tons, buckets, lakes and rivers full of water here.

May 29, 2007 4:23 PM  

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