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AIDS Candlelight Vigil

Before the GLBT Community in Toronto will celebrate the Pride Week fabulously—starting today—, the community remembers their fallen comrades who died of AIDS at The AIDS Memorial in Cawthra Square Park in Church Street.

In a solemn remembrance of those who died, people from all walks of life came together to honor them with songs, words, prayers and candles.

It was my first to be in such a vigil. When individuals were allowed to speak the name/s of their fallen friends, relatives, family members who died of the dreadful disease, my heart stopped for a moment. The guy who stood next to me said two names and I just froze there. Then, tears formed around my eyes but they never trickled down. I controlled them obviously. I don’t know what engulfed me but I did visualize the faces of people I saw in an AIDS documentary I saw. They came back to me clearly and it was as if my throbbing heart was chained. I cried aplenty in that documentary. I don’t even remember the title of it now.

AIDS excuses no one. Not even an innocent child. It is a disease that caused the death of millions of lives around the world. And there are still a lot more who are suffering now.

It is something that the G8 / G20 leaders should also talk about when they convene here this Saturday, June 26.

I remember a time in China when we talked about AIDS in the classroom. Though they have heard it before, I asked my students if what comes to their mind when they read AIDS. Nobody answered voluntarily but I can see in their eyes that it’s something they don’t wanna talk about. It was like something forbidden.

Then, I called a student to answer. But, before he opened his mouth, he looked at everybody first and said, “gays.”

Everybody smiled—as if, they got the right answer to the question. I asked everybody if that’s what they were thinking and without shyness, they responded, “Yes” in unison. 

I told them to close their book and for a couple of minutes, I did my job of truly educating them. 🙂

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One Response to “AIDS Candlelight Vigil”

  1. Mark V
    June 25, 2010 at 4:22 AM #

    Thank you for educating your students in China 🙂
    Thank you.

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