By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
Live and Let Die
Regarding Steve Jackson's "The End of the Line" in the April 6 issue:
My heart goes out to Ric Games and the hundreds of thousands for finding the courage to stand up to the very thing that's encompassing them. Too many people are being destroyed by this disease. I feel it is admirable of Ric to awaken himself, be responsible and use condoms. It's simply a shame that for him it may be too late.
Ric, your lifestyle was unsafe, irresponsible and plain dirty! The unnamed faces, LSD trips, unprotected sex with hundreds of strangers: What the hell were you thinking, man? You were already stricken with sexually transmitted diseases--wasn't that enough of a hint? I am pissed off at those of us who practice unsafe sex! It's not our lives we're taking, it is the lives everyone around us. We need to start taking responsible action--if not for our lovers, then for ourselves.
Ric, hang in there. Don't let your soul be destroyed. You're going to be just fine.
What a tearjerkin' story. But one must ask these questions. How did this person get AIDS? Was he forced into this type of sex (sodomy)? What about all his other lovers? Do they have a heartrending story to tell about their sickness? How many others are going to read your story and come to the twisted conclusion that this lifestyle is normal and should be followed? I have many more questions, but will go on to other things.
Steve Jackson's companion piece, "The Next Generation," is just as dangerous. It says everything but what it should say. Anal sex is not normal sex. Whether safe with a condom or not, it is strange.
Sorry, but my boo-hoos go for the innocent, those who have contracted AIDS through blood transfusions (hemophiliacs) and unknowing wives who have contracted AIDS through their bisexual husbands who practice sodomy on the side with their lovers. So sorry, Mr. Richard Games. My heart breaks because you have AIDS. But my stomach retches when I think about how you got it.
I have never been so moved by an article to write a letter to the editor--until I read Mr. Jackson's story about Ric Games. I sat at my desk and, through constantly tearing eyes, managed to make it through this article. Mr. Jackson accomplished something that is so rare in journalism today: giving Ric Games, a gay man living with AIDS, dignity and feelings and just making him human. I would imagine, at least hope, that everyone who reads this article feels something. Perhaps some will feel pity for Ric Games, and if that is what they feel, at least they feel something, though I would hope they could dig deep for a true emotion, putting aside prejudice. I don't feel pity for Ric Games. What I feel is admiration, pride and yes, even envy. Ric Games has obviously lived his life to his choosing, and he himself stated that he had no regrets. How can you regret being who you are?
Ric Games should be commended not only for his demonstrated strength as he faces life from day to day but also for his faith in God and most assuredly his faith in himself. I am not fortunate enough to know Ric Games personally. But if I'm very lucky, one day I will get to meet this man. I believe everyone should have the opportunity to know a human like him in their lives. I've known a few in my life, but they are gone. This article was a painful, yet at the same time sweet, reminder of the friends that I have lost over the years, letting me do something that I usually don't allow myself to do, and that's remember. Not because I don't treasure the memories of my lost friends, but because it's just so damned painful. But seeing Ric's strength gave me a newfound strength to bring those memories out of hiding and cry. And I felt wonderful after having done so.
I urge everyone who was touched by this article to light a candle for Ric and the countless others, and say a little prayer.
Thank you, Ric Games, for your courage and strength. And a very special thank-you to Steve Jackson for writing such a wonderful piece. Your integrity is overshadowed only by your sensitivity and caring.
In the 1950s the American Medical Association published a little magazine called Today's Health. In one publication, a doctor wrote that he had used smallpox vaccine in the treatment of herpes, Simplex I and genital herpes. We hadn't heard of the AIDS virus until after the smallpox vaccine was discontinued, but we certainly should persuade some medical officials to be aware that smallpox did control other viruses, and plead the cause for AIDS patients worldwide. The cost in lost lives, suffering and finances is immeasurable. With God's help let us pray for a solution soon.
We often hear about the so-called "innocent victims" of AIDS: the hemophiliacs and the babies, for example. It is rare, however, that the general public gets a glimpse of the real life of a member of the largest HIV-positive and AIDS-infected population: gay men. It is all too easy for many people to blame these men and say they asked for it. But what we all know is true is that no one who has AIDS asked for it or deserves it, whether they had one or a thousand lovers. I hope Ric Games, with his courage, intelligence and gigantic heart, has helped to change some of those opinions.