December 1st is World AIDS Day. This holds special significance for the LGBT community and its rhetoric, for as AIDS activists ACT-UP remind us: silence = death.
First I’d like to highlight some AIDS speeches in the Queer Rhetoric Project archive. In 1992 Mary Fisher gave an incredibly eloquent and poignant speech to the Republican National Convention attempting to draw their attention to the scope AIDS crisis and call them to action. The speech, “A Whisper of AIDS”, is remembered as one of the top speeches in the 20th century and serves as an exemplary example of LGBT-related activism.
A second noteworthy speech is one given just last week by AIDS-Free World co-director Stephen Lewis at the Commonwealth People’s Forum. This speech targets in particular Uganda’s recent passage of an extremely anti-gay bill that mandates the death penalty for HIV-positive gay men and lesbians. For more information on the bill, see a clip from the Rachel Maddow Show here.
For more resources on World AIDS Day see:
World AIDS Campaign
NPR: “World AIDS Day 2009 Sees Progress, Challenges”
The National Institutes of Health’s HIV page