Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tales from the Invisible War

Last night i was privileged to attend the premier of "We Were Here," at the Castro Theater. There was a swank VIP reception before hand and i got to meet Rufus Wainwright.

Before they open the theater for seating several people, including Dana (the executive director of Project Inform) and David Weissman (the Director), spoke about their time in San Francisco durring the height of the AIDS crisis. It struck me, maybe for the first time, that i am part of a legacy of service that stretches all the way back to Harvey Milk.

Rufus sang a couple of songs before the movie started. Including "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" (the song we played at my dad's funeral... i knew at this point i was going to fall apart.)

WE WERE HERE (trailer) from David Weissman on Vimeo.

The movie it self is simply perfect. Funny, tender, and utterly heartbreaking. David has a gift for making you fall in love with his narrators, or maybe he just has an eye for narrators you can't help but fall in love with.

It's a story we've all heard before. The plague that struck us low just as we were coming into our own. The Invisible War that we fought with a mysterious enemy, while a whole nation (our nation) looked the other way. It's the story of our Holocaust, and it's been told before. But never this viscerally or honestly.

I broke down early and sobbed my way through the whole movie (and i'm not one for crying in public). I am humbled at the thought of the losses suffered and sacrifices made by the generations of gay men and women who came before me. I'm in awe of the services and support networks that they created out of whole cloth.

I kept looking at the smiling scruffy faces on the screen and i could help but think "this could be us, this could be my friends and family. And thats when i really lost my shit, because i don't know what i would do if i lost everyone. I don't think i'd be strong enough to go on.

We are so lucky.

I am so lucky.


MM said...

Not just lucky. We came into this theater after those dark days, true, but we fight, we stand, we contribute, we educate, we defend, love and shine. We're carrying that torch, even thought there's still a long way to go. Let us not forget that burden, that honor. And you, my friend...keep shining.

divinewinds said...

When I saw the trailer you just posted, I felt the sincerity of everyone in that trailer... I felt the emotion in your words. It is great that we don't have it... that we still have our loved ones (well, some of them). I've been following your blog for a while now (well, it's bookmarked but not actually "following") and I'm really glad about how sincere you are. Thank you for being so genuine. About the drinking that you do (for your volunteerism and fund-raising events) I hope you don't burn your kidneys too fast. I volunteer too, but they don't really cater to the LGBT community. I should look for one. LOL! Take care Brenden. Hope to have a conversation with you someday. You seem like a very interesting person. :)

divinewinds said...

btw, it's been a while since you've written anything on here..... I'm beginning to worry. I hope you're doing ok.