In response to the turnout at the conference: as a member of “Ohio RSOL” who has been struggling to reach people in Ohio, I am delighted with the attendance, at least 1/3 of whom are from Ohio. (I say “Ohio RSOL” in quotes because, until Friday, there were three of us active. Now I predict our numbers will multiply, not as fast as gay pride, but exponentially compared to prior years).
My brother died of AIDS in 1995 before they had conquered this battle. I remember sitting with him in Central Park and having people leer at him, or leave the bench when we sat down. Kind of like people treat “sex offenders” today.
There were no parades back then. There has to be some level of human compassion and understanding for parades and marches to work. Otherwise we are just a freak show and set our cause back years, if not decades.
If you attended the conference, you would hear a consistent theme: change will come, but it must be incremental change. The problem did not occur overnight, it will not go away overnight. We must stick together, not tear each other apart, to accomplish any kind of meaningful change.