Sunday, October 23, 2005

I'm Still Mad

It's been a week since I walked in the Los Angeles AIDS Walk and, frankly, I'm still seething. The walk was great. The crowds were great...enthusiastic, loving, motivated, upbeat (pardon the pun). All along the 6.2 mile walk, we were greeted by young people, shouts of encouragement, cars honking support, media...26,000 people (although it seemed like a lot more to me) all together in their goal to end the scourge that is AIDS.

So why so angry? Because I'm still seeing the three signs along the way from protesters. I know they don't deserve mention for they are looking to get attention. But I suppose that's why I'm just so angry.

What kind of sick person goes to an AIDS march and holds up a sign that says "AIDS is God's answer to homosexuality"...? God needs to speak to that nut job in a hurry. (Note to God: I know you're kinda busy what with hurricanes, famine, tsunami's and trying to keep the idiot in the White House from doing TOO much damage, but still...can't you smite cretins like the guy holding that sign?)

He wasn't the only one. There was also the guy holding the sign with two men kissing and across it, one of those international NO signs...the oval with the slash in it. It was all I could do to run over and hit him, although in hindsight, I suppose kissing him would be more offensive to his twisted way of thinking.

Besides, I'm a pacifist.

The sign that made me semi-homicidal was the one that read "Gay men marching against AIDS is like smokers marching against lung cancer." I immediately thought about the protest march against the Klan that turned violent. As a disciple of the late Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi I know violence is never REALLY the answer.
But the question left me...if not now, when? When do we shut up the Klan, and the anti-gay ilk once and for all?

It seems now that with all the civil rights, and women's rights and gay movement taking a backslide these last horrific 5 years under President Cheney, uh, Bush, staying silent, not fighting back, and walking past signs feeling hurt, without hurting back, might not exactly be the right approach anymore.

I will walk again next year proudly. Word to the sign holders...if I walk by again, I might not be so inclined to turn the other cheek. Okay?