Nick + Edmund White
After finishing the novel, I was inconsolable. His writing was like a love letter, the testament of a broken heart, something I was all too familiar with. I knew right then and there that his writing changed the way I saw the world when it comes to HIV/AIDS (I was yet to be diagnosed as positive) and when it comes to how two men conduct themselves within a relationship – a point of reference I’ve come back to time and time again in dealing with my own relationship.
Needless to say, when the chance was available to talk to Edmund, my heart skipped a beat. I would finally have the chance to talk to someone I admire on so many levels and there were so many things I wanted to ask him.
Brad explains the hours leading up to our chat with him perfectly. Anticipation coursed through my veins, you’d think I was going to hang out with Madonna; it took everything in my being to not jump out of my own skin.
Meeting Edmund was like visiting a favorite uncle. I immediately felt at ease with him, something I didn’t expect in meeting someone so distinguished. I felt like he was a peer, not this man who is responsible for some of the most important gay literature of the century.
A great conversationalist, Edmund quickly melted the generations between us, with his warm wit and charm. I realized after meeting and talking with him, how important this was as helped me see how indispensible love and compassion are within the community I identify with.
As a gay man who has not lost friends and lovers to HIV/AIDS yet, I finally see how important it is to remember the past in order to move forward towards the future. As a positive man, I’ve realized that although love and compassion for others may seem small in the grand scheme of things, they are important nonetheless. If we can’t take care of each other, then who will? If we don’t use our voice to talk openly and honestly, then others who can’t will slip through the cracks, forever to be remembered as a statistic instead of a person who just happened to be positive.
I hope that Edmund’s wisdom and life experience resonate with those who read this and maybe we will all finally see that we need to stand by each others side in times of darkness and light.