“Angels In America: Ann Frankly Speaking”

The current brouhaha over allegedly gay cartoon characters would be laughable if it weren't for the not so distant memories of the witch hunt hysteria of the McCarthy era. That period ended when McCarthy made the mistake of challenging the Army and finally, common sense came to prevail. The damage in the wake of McCarthy was enormous in terms of ruined lives, wrecked careers, suicides and lost economic productivity. The only ones who profited were low life scums, like the lawyer Roy Cohn, who turned out to be a closet case and died of AIDS after a long and vicious life.

Aside from Cohn's dear friend Barbara Walters and the Rosenburg family, nobody knows ol'e Roy outside of the brilliant stage production of Angels in America. Renting the CD or video of Angels is well worth the time, if you are unfamiliar with the history. Now, like then, the bottom feeders are at work making profit out of the rising tide of fear and hate churned up by the Bush administration.

It's beginning to feel a lot like 'Springtime for Bushie'. Are the times such that gays are the new communists or jews? Could be. Gays have been around a lot longer than jews. Look to your Bible. It was Able who decorated his altar more attractively and earned God's praise, where as Cain's was cheap and tacky and pissed off God . Then, as today, Cain , whose altar was ugly and smaller killed Able in envy and fear. To the evangelical way of thinking, that's evidence enough to support huge corporate welfare for the agricultural red states. Cain was a farmer.

The point, however, is not farming its 'Red Herring.' The new communists are gays. And gay marriage is the most 'red herring' of all. What's happening is not about gay marriage. It is about civil rights. Marriage is traditionally a sacred religious bonding, and also a civil legal contract. It is the contract that's the problem. Marriage is the 'red herring'– a church thing. Under the quise of moral values and bibilical authority, extremist evangelicals are not just declaring a culture war, they are waging a fascist attack on the very foundation of American democracy–civil and human rights. These people are un-American and neo-con terrorists.

What is needed is a new hero, a Dwight Eisenhower, to come forth and send these moralist wogs back to the dark sewers from which they rose. It has become imperative that Americans keep close to the soul of their humanity and embrace all of their brothers and sisters. It is not true that sticks and stones will break your bones, but names will never hurt you. Just ask the ghost of Mathew Sheppard, the most notorious crucifixion of 'gay' in recent times. As with the holocost, deniers are already rewriting the history of Sheppard– naturally, to demonstrate he was fully responsible for his own death. Against tyranny, stories passed along carry the truth with them. Adgita Diaries has obtained the following old letter from the writings of a caregiver, and wishes to share it with you in the tradition of Ann Frank :

1993 "Alone with Memories of My Days in the Sun"

The temptation to retreat to the past where horror and deprivation were only the entertainment of movies, and life seemed nothing but promise is always waiting to be summoned. One has to ask oneself all to often these days whether life is worth living. The purning downward from a life before illness, want, and endless hassles is as fast and certain it would seem as winter's spoil of spring and summer. The glass half empty feeling pervades a more simple survival at times.

Gay folks usually grow up against all odds: institutionalized religious hatred, institutionalized injustice, corrupt legal systems, and high-tech medical systems that increasingly demand patient advocacy for survival. Early on, one abandons hope that trust for survival can be placed in any outside source.

As boy children we must learn how to walk, supress imagination, act out a role of peer sameness, throw balls,and whistle (sometimes learned from tomboys, ). And so, we progress through the early years until, and maybe not until, we meet our tribe and come out of the past that denied our souls. Some of us grow fierce and strong because of the trials, but far too many of us are destroyed by the darkness of fear and the evil of hate.

Although 'coming out' is something of a cliche these days, we become comfortable in the world of urban sophistication and it doesn't take much to stab fear in our hearts on that visit home to the midlands. There we feel different, outside, and note with horror the ostracization of illness that passes quickly in the eyes of a stranger on a bus, a clerk at the old hometown drugstore, or a housewife in the produce section of the grocery store. We are ever aware, living with the iconography of a stranger's metaphor. It makes us tough over the years.

We spend years on committees, volunteering time, money and professional expertise, writing manuals for survival, and cheering our diverse communities in the bloody battles for civil rights. We glean food, lobby, organize, educate, write, communicate, waste our breath on bigots, attend our dying, change bedpans, prepare hypo's, facilitate groups, and grow brighter with the experience of hospice. Who knows all of this except a handful of survivors, friends, some family and a few others? What gets known about us is a drag photo taken from a gay pride parade to convince the righteous that hate, after all, is justified.

During our days in the sun and those of our generation, now mostly dead, we gave our all to celebration of the spirit, exhausting our time and spiritual resources helping our loved ones and 'chosen' family live and die with dignity. Anytime the child within us emerged to claim life and face the light, without an upraised fist to strike us down, we delighted. We also learned to fight back and do.

The fight for liberty always seems an endless pursuit, probably because it challenges the fixed course and the bigotry of lowered expectations. We are in the process and never arrive there. We win many battles, but wonder if the war can be won. It can be no other way for us. Now we are older, invisible, abandoned it seems at times. Yet we raise our voices against tyranny, hypocracy, religion, and failed institutions. We will not quit the passion that is our birthright.

Sometimes, when looking at all this, we recall the stories of ancient days, when heaven demanded life sacrifices for the good of the whole. Not much has changed, it seems to me. It didn't work then and it is wrong now. Then there comes at the darkest hour a sweet touch of unconditional love from a caregiver. Nourshing and sustaining, it calls us back to life with hope, a simple will to be and a gratitude deeper than an ocean's mystery."

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