|Last yearâ€™s ceremony. Photo by Rink.
Once again itâ€™s time for the HIV-era Veterans Healing Party. This year, the focus will be on the people who work on the front lines in prevention, treatment, and support. The event will be hosted by American Legion Alexander Hamilton Post 448 in conjunction with RichTrove.com. Are you an Everyday Hero? Answer any of the following questions in the affirmative, and you are an Everyday Hero, probably in need of some kind of healing. Did you see the 80â€™s and/or 90â€™s and have lived to tell about it? Did you love and support someone who did? Have you worked on the front lines in HIV prevention? Do you work to treat mind, body, and spirit? Do you support those who do? Then yes, you ARE an everyday hero!
So come Celebrate and be celebrated at the HIV-Era Veterans Celebration
Memory/Healing Party on Saturday Oct. 25, 1:30 to 5 p.m. at War Memorial Veteransâ€™ Hall, 401 Van Ness and McAllister.
â€śIn addition to an exercise to honor the heroes we know and the hero in each of us, we will dance to the sounds of Rodger Jensen,â€ť says co-presenter and photographer Rich Stadtmiller. There will be entertainment by SF Emperor John Weber, SF Emperor XXXVII, Michael Dumont, SF Empress XLII Chika, Miss Gay SF 2008/ Desperate Diva 2008 Bebe Sweetwater, Miss Bay Area Rodeo Diva D., and the incomparable Anita Fixx, cover girl on the Desperate Divas 2009 calendar for AIDS Housing Alliance/SF. There will also be a special appearance by some of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc. To further the healing, Reiki Practitioners Bernice Straub and associates will also be available.
For over 25 years, queers have lived in the time of the beast now known as HIV/AIDS. Many who made it through the 80â€™s dealt with as much as possible then, setting the rest aside until later. Now is later. Now, in a supportive atmosphere and at a safe distance, it is time to reclaim history. It is time to remember where weâ€™ve been and what we have gone through. It is time to remember the price we paid and what we have accomplished.
Now is a time to honor. This battle has revealed extraordinary heroes, rightly celebrated. It is also time to honor the â€śordinary heroesâ€ť: fallen heroes who retained as much dignity and honor as possible in the face of destruction and chaos; those who made it through the 80â€™s; who carry the memories of the time and of their fallen comrades; who deny the beast its victory by surviving and living well; who give love, comfort, and support to these veterans in the battle against AIDS; who fight to keep the beast at bay - working in prevention and providing aid and comfort for body and soul.
Now is a time to heal. There are things we can do for each other that we cannot do for ourselves. With each otherâ€™s help and with the blessing of people of spirit/faith, we can acknowledge each other and catalyze the healing process.
Now is the time to move forward. With acknowledgment and healing comes closure. With unfinished business handled, we are able to carry our history instead of being mired in it. Informed of our past and living in the present, we can move toward the future where the time of AIDS is but one factor in the work of a living a balanced life.
â€śPease join us for healing,â€ť says Stadtmiller. â€śAdmission is free. Although donations are always accepted.â€ť