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In those early years they hoped we would burn out like a forest fire. We were in the thick of a massacre and time had ground to a halt. We lost children. Jobs. Discarded our dreams. There were funerals every week.
They talked about condom use, how to prevent the virus from spreading. But we wanted to live. We sat on pillows in that empty office and hung on each other’s words like gold. Dating, treatment, having kids. How to stay healthy. How to survive. We wrote newsletters and saw ourselves reflected for the first time.
When we moved to Isabella, everybody was there. We were queer, straight, trans. Wealthy and poor. We were newcomers and the newly diagnosed. Here, we could talk and be understood. From that little back room we counselled each other and planned retreats. We met and visited in hospitals and homes. Rode the Greyhound from Ottawa, Windsor, the Sault. We cleaned the toilets. Ran a telephone service. Fixed the photocopier. Got haircuts. We fought and we laughed.
Poz sisters, it all came from the Voice, from the speaking. Do you remember how we grew? We’ve been blown and scattered, but we’re still flying in the wind.