Flying the Rainbow Flag with Pride

Rainbow Flag

I’ve always been just a little bit of an activist. I wrote research papers in high school about the Nazi extermination of gays and about the Stonewall riots when I was only 16 and 17. I really wanted to learn and teach my history.

In 1983, when I was 15, I was in my final sex education class (all about sexually transmitted diseases), and they didn’t teach HIV prevention at all. They said they hadn’t received any training about it and they didn’t have a curriculum. They let me stand up in front of the class and teach my peers everything I knew about the disease and how to avoid contracting it / spreading it. Looking back even now, what I said was correct. Less than five years later, the school district not only had a curriculum to teach HIV prevention; they changed the name of sophomore Sex Ed to something like AIDS and Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

I never make a secret of the fact that I love men and chose to spend the rest of my life with one. My husband and I hold hands wherever we go. We enjoy it, and it’s the least we can do to keep pushing the envelope in all sectors of society. We’re here, we’re queer, enjoy it!🙂

Author: Daniel Greene

I facilitate communication between Deaf and hearing people, and I teach people American Sign Language (ASL) and interpreting. Apart from doing the work I love, my greatest joys are family & friends, entertainment, food, photography, and travel.

2 thoughts on “Flying the Rainbow Flag with Pride”

  1. Daniel, I remember the first time I heard about this “new unknown disease” was in late 1983, on the car radio. I was 17 at the time. I immediately knew that the best thing was prevention of anything “unknown”. I got all the facts I could at the time. The thing that disgusted me most was that it was labeled as a “gay” disease, and also the disease of drug addicts. I knew darn well it was a “human” disease, just by the way it was transmitted, and that it was only a matter of time before it showed up in straight people. I always knew that AIDS/HIV was an “equal-opportunity employer.” Sure enough, in about 1985, it started to show up in straight people, and all of a sudden, everyone seemed to care because now “normal” people might get it, and not just gays and drug addicts. Again, the whole thing disgusted me because people were so ignorant. It mattered from day one to me, but mainstream America didn’t take notice until it began to show up in straight people. It was difficult to get accurate information then because there was no internet, and you had to rely on the stupid media, and of course they often didn’t know squat about anything.

    Those were very dark and scary days in the early “AIDies”. I’m glad we lived through them safely!!!

    Peace and hugs to you,
    Paula

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  2. Aw, great job being responsible and knowledgeable about that, and being willing to share that info to help others. And 1983, it really was pretty unknown (I was still a wee kid at the time, and my mom, for years afterward, thought it could be spread by toilet seats), and Reagan didn’t help that one bit, which was probably one of the greatest mis-steps of his administration. I’m sure you helped many people in your class think twice about safe sex and disease/infection prevention, and that’s the greatest gift you could give.

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