[Letter: ACT UP, Are you postive?] Page: 2 of 6
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--- It isn't for those who are afraid of ethnic, religious,
sexual and political diversity.
--- ACT UP isn't for people who are so deep in denial they refuse
to talk about AIDS and avoid those who do.
--- And ACT UP certainly isn't for the "good gays" and others who
believe that the government will find treatments and a cure
in due course and nothing we do can make it happen faster,
so "why make trouble?"
So if it's not for all those people, who is ACT UP for?
ACT UP is for men and women who are willing to accept
responsibility for their own power to change the course of the epidemic.
These men and women of ACT UP New York I'm asking you to join have
truly become the conscience of our community and the primary catalyst for
AIDS-related policy change.
A year ago I was reading Frances Fitzgerald's Cities on a Hill
about how the gay community in San Francisco has changed. In the first
chapter, Fitzgerald writes about a man who finds a Kaposi's Sarcoma
lesion on his body for the first time.
As I was reading that passage, my eye was drawn to what, until
then, I had thought was a bruise on my arm. For the first time the
thought crossed my mind that it might be KS.
In the year since I've been relatively healthy and working
more productively than ever. But as I had to become more familiar with
treatment options and various drugs "in the pipeline," my frustration
I became increasingly committed to the importance of direct
action -- through ACT UP New York -- to bring new drugs and treatments
to more people who need them faster.
Not just because I'm now ill, but because the FDA and NIH's
present systems are fundamentally flawed, and I didn't fully understand
that until my own life became dependent on those systems.
Quite frankly, the progress ACT UP makes today will most benefit
persons who probably don't even yet realize they are HIV positive.
Since the beginning of the epidemic (if not the beginning of
time), the medical and political bureaucracies have moved with urgency
only in response to intense pressure.
Anger can be a powerful fuel. ACT UP is for people who want to
transform their anger into constructive action and intense pressure that
will save lives.
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ACT UP. [Letter: ACT UP, Are you postive?], text, 1989; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc916467/m1/2/: accessed June 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.