It’s 2008 and the amount of hatred in this world sometimes still amazes me. Perhaps I am too naïve, perhaps I just am not around it enough, maybe I just ignore it when I see it, whatever the case may be I still am shocked at how unintelligent people still are.
This weekend I participated in my 9th AIDS Walk NY. I can’t remember why I started walking when I was a sophomore in college but I have been walking ever since. Thank God HIV has never affected me personally but it continues to affect millions worldwide…..and not just people in Africa, or drug addicts, or gay people. I walk for the future. I walk so that someday there will be a cure. I walk so that my children will never have to worry about AIDS.
Every year I dread the thought of dragging my fat ass (or lack of ass) out of bed that one Sunday in May. But by the time I get to Central Park I couldn’t imagine not being there. I continue to be amazed by the kindness that each and every AIDS Walk volunteer and staff member show to each and every walker. Unlike other organizations, there is no monetary limit on a walker. I went with a friend one year who hadn’t pre-registered. He just signed up there and gave them $5 and the people couldn’t have been happier. It’s not just about the money. It’s about awareness and community and tolerance and love for one another.
Getting to the point of this rant…… This year I ended up walking alone. It was even more amazing this year because I got to take it all in and truly realize what an amazing event this is. (They raised 7 MILLION dollars this year at AW NY!) I was right up front for the opening ceremonies so I hung on to every word that the speakers spouted out. Each year they have one speaker whose life has been changed for the better by GMHC (Gay Men’s Health Crisis-they run the walk). This year it was a brave man who told his amazing story. It was the first time he publicly admitted not only that he was a gay man, but also that he was HIV Positive. It was so brave and so amazing! Something that god forbid I was in his situation, would never be able to do.
After his speech, and this is the first time this has happened since I have been walking, a man in the crowd started spewing such hatred at this man. I couldn’t believe someone would try to ruin such an amazing event with such ignorance! Sara Ramirez was heading back to the mic and she wouldn’t give this person the satisfaction of putting a damper on the walk or this brave man’s speech and courage.
So to the point…..Why do people hate? Why do people fear what is different?