I wrote the following letter to Logo after having watched An Englishman in New York:
Last night I was lucky enough to catch An Englishman in New York. Since I was in college and learned about gay culture and the drag culture within it. The former Lambda League as Arizona State has a book in its library called Drag Diaries. In this book I became familiar with well known drag queens such as Lypsyncha, Lady Bunny, RuPaul and Quentin Crisp. I have maintained my fascination with Quentin Crisp and even rented Orlando just because he was in it (playing Queen Elizabeth I).
When I saw previews for An Englishman in New York I became very excited that I'd have the chance to learn a little more about Quentin Crisp. Keep this in mind, whenever I mention the name Quentin Crisp around other people my age, I get the strangest looks because they know idea who I'm talking about. Nonetheless, I was very happy I saw the movie. One of the reasons was the hear what an older gay man had to say (we don't value our elderly as much as we should), and what he'd experienced. People forget what a struggle it was to be able to live openly as many of us do today.
The part of the movie that really stood out to me was the part about when AIDS started to appear in gay men. It reminded me that many people in the '80's had very little chance of survival. In the scene where a leather man confronted Quenin about the AIDS being a "fad," it reminded me of how grateful I am that I still have most of my friends. Many of them would have been long gone in the '80's. It made realize what an awful scourge AIDS was to our community. Not only were people dying, but others, who'd had to create their own families, were losing their newfound family members.
There are some that say AIDS is God's curse on our community. That would be like saying breast cancer is God's curse on women. In other words, it's a foul, cold-hearted, uncompassionate and glib comment. I don't agree with these comments. Being a young theologian, I prefer to look at the fact that the medical breakthroughs in the last twenty years show his mercy on all of us. Every day when I see my friends who are infected with HIV, I'm grateful that the still have HIV and not AIDS. People may say that it's they who are suffering, but many of them live full happy, lives (except for the burnden of informing people of their condition). I choose to praise God that my friends are still here and I don't have to live my life without them. I love them very much and I'm very grateful I don't have to find out how sad I'd be if I'd lost most of them.