It's been a long day. And sort of a sad day. For several reasons. So, it took me awhile to write this "Day Before Pride" post.
My mood probably influenced the content for this post as well. Well, maybe not...
This past Thursday, before we saw La Cage Aux Folles, (and loved it!) my friend Michael Ryczek and I had a quick dinner.
We talked about the show we are going to co-direct at the beginning of next year, and that must have reminded me of the first time Michael and I worked together.
It was a production of The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer - - a play about the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic, the confusion about why friends and lovers were dying, the gay community's anger, the political power struggles, and the creation of a grass roots organization that would come to be known as Gay Men's Health Crisis.
Larry was leading the fight against AIDS during those years (and he still is today), so the play is basically his story, told through the central character of Ned Weeks.
I directed the play and Michael Ryczek played Ned. So, maybe that's why the speech that Ned gives the end of the second act has been playing over and over in my mind.
Maybe it was hanging out with Michael or maybe it was the confusion I feel watching Obama as he takes a few steps on the path created by Clinton. Once again, Dems court us for votes but abandon us once in office.
Maybe it's Philip and Eric's I'M A HOMO YOU KNOW campaign that begins tomorrow morning pre-parade.
Whatever the reason, the speech below is what I will have in mind tomorrow as I enjoy the parade, laugh with friends and scream at all the hot go-go boys.
Because while tomorrow is about having pride in who we are, it's also about coming together and seeing just how large our tribe truly is, so that we understand our power, as well as the potential that our power has to change our future.
And most importantly to me, tomorrow is not just about remembering the gays and lesbians who came before us, because, frankly, a good deal of our history has been stolen from us. And only recently have we begun to reclaim it. It's time - - PAST time!!! - - to acknowledge the gays and lesbians from our past AS gays and lesbians. We must tell the world about them, honor their accomplishments and give thanks to them for bringing us to where we are now.
So, enough of the soap box.
Here's the speech from Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart.
Just before this, Ned has been informed that he has been removed from the board of directors of Gay Men's Health Crisis, an organization formed in his living room and created, fought for and built by him. His anger fueled it.
Which is exactly why I've always been a Larry Kramer fan. That anger is something we share.
P.S. To see the speech a little bigger and a little clearer, double click on it.
Or have a double vodka stinger.
tomato / toMAHto...