I have quite a lot of reading to do for the study that I have begun. For those that don’t know, I’ve started a Law course with The Open University. Today, I submitted the second assignment, but I am digressing…
However, A Secret Edge is not part of the required reading for my law course, it is a short novel written by Robin Reardon. At only 19 chapters and 258 pages for me it was easy to read in a morning, well an evening in bed and a morning after finishing the assignment.
I’m not going to spoil the story so to read it you will have to buy it, as what hit me about it was the dedication.
For Jody Thomas 1951–1993
Robin goes on to explain who Jody was.
In 1983, across a table at a New York City sidewalk café, my friend Jody Thomas told me in hushed tones about the “gay plague.” I’d never heard of it before. Neither of us knew then that within ten years it would claim him.
Jody made me believe that, for him, gay pride was not pride in being gay but pride in being himself.
Jody, this is my square in the quilt for you.
As I lay in bed, next to my husband, I started to cry. I think I was wondering what would be the square in the quilt for those others, positive like me, who have lived and continue to live with HIV in Northern Ireland.
A simple book, that I bought off Amazon, as a bit of light reading, has started me thinking. There is no memorial to those who have lived with HIV in Northern Ireland. At least, not one in a public place where anyone can go. There is The HIV Support Centre, without which many of us would not have lived. But there is no public memorial, nowhere for us and our friends to be remembered as part of the community.
In my head, it is a simple stone in a public park, which can have the full capacity of life being celebrated and lived around it. Anyone else think the same as me? Anyone else think we can achieve this? Anyone else want to work with me to make an Memorial to those who have lived with HIV in Northern Ireland a reality? If you do… please leave a comment, and I will contact you.