Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth and AIDS

First off, today is Earth Day.

Two of many things most Americans aren’t too concerned with is the horrible state which our environment is in and the unequal status of the LGBT community in the United States.

Doing our part in conserving energy, recycling and taking care of the earth is a no-brainer. If the air is too polluted to breath, the water too toxic to drink and our food supply too genetically modified to cause more harm in the long run, what else is there? Do we eat dollar bills? Drink the last remaining drops of fossil fuel? It’s not that hard to understand that the human race depends on a clean environment to survive. It’s very simple really.

George and I recycle. We have replaced most of our indoor and outdoor incandescent light bulbs with more energy-efficient fluorescent ones, and we car pool every day. We don’t turn the heater or air-conditioner on until absolutely necessary. Even during the summer desert heat we have our thermostat set at 84 degrees. Otherwise we’d be working only to pay for mortgage and the already way too high power bill. It’s mind of matter.

The other issue, which is rather alarming, is the fact that people of the LGBT community in the U.S. are becoming third class citizens. For whom exactly does "life, liberty
, and the pursuit of happiness," as it is stated in the United States Declaration of Independence, apply to then? Only to rich white guys? Some people want to vote for a federal amendment to ban same-sex marriage. What business is it of heterosexual people whom gays or lesbians love and want to spend their lives with? What gives them the right to take away the right of other people? Not too long ago in this country, women would not even have been allowed to vote on this subject. Or any subject, for that matter. Imagine that, certain white straight people had no equal rights at one point in history of the United States.

Then there is the whole debacle how HIV infected people are being treated and how AIDS in general is being used as a smear campaign by some right-wing, religious fanatics against anything gay or lesbian. The fact that HIV is not only affecting homosexuals, but also heterosexual people, including women and children, is conveniently swept under the rug. The claim that AIDS is a gay disease is not only a lie but also ignorant. And while the endless debates and finger pointing over whether it is an abomination and who to blame rages on; countless people continue to suffer. With no cure in sight, without help or compassion.

One of the few things that help to bring some kind of relief are events such as the annual Las Vegas AIDS Walk, which was held on Sunday. The money raised will help the AFAN (Aid for AIDS of Nevada) organization to provide support and advocacy for adults and children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS in southern Nevada.

George and I participated in the walk, as we did last year. It’s our little contribution to a great cause and it’s usually fun too. Some people came in costumes. Many families with children were taking part as well. And as always, there were lots of dogs. Countless dogs in every size and shape were present. The weather cooperated too. It was sunny and very comfortable. Below are some photos of Sunday’s event.

This is actually a picture from last year's AIDS Walk in Las Vegas. Here we are with one of the Sin Sity Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

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