On Friday 12/21/12, some predict the end of the world, citing the end of the Mayan calendar. Others say that the Mayan calendar is infinite and that 12/21 signifies not the end but a new beginning. Perhaps the Mayans were saying change is good and that sometimes we have to let go of the box, not merely step out of it.
On Tuesday we learned of the death of Spencer Cox, one of the founders of Act-Up and TAG. Spencer and many others in the early days of AIDS kicked the box aside and made the blueprint. They crafted it out of their anger, their desperation and their love. For them and for Bailey House’s founders, silence and inaction were not choices.
On March 28th we will be celebrating our 30th anniversary by giving the “First Decade Award” to 30 individuals, who along with us made defiance and action the mantra. In 1983, when we started, holding someone dying of AIDS was an act of defiance in a room full of doctors dressed in Hazmat suits. Providing someone dying of AIDS with permanent housing was considered a waste of resources – bureaucrats said they would die anyway. We kicked that box so hard it splintered into a thousand pieces – almost as many as there were Bailey House residents who proved them wrong.
We wish the Mayans were here to give us some insight, but since they are not we will create our own. As we move towards 12/21/12 and 2013, we’d like to quote our favorite seer – His Holiness the Dalai Lama: “It’s not enough to be compassionate. You must act.” We wish you and your loved ones a very happy holiday season and as you ring in the New Year we hope that you will put box kicking and making positive change on your list of 2013 resolutions. With your support they are at the top of ours.