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World AIDS Day and Chris Tyrell’s essay

Chris Tyrell has been my best friend since we met backstage at the Arts Club Theatre in 1975, I an actress and he an assistant stage-manager. We connected instantly then, and still connect, at the deepest level, despite his eventual gay marriage and my straight one, my moving east and having two children, he staying in Vancouver, suffering heartbreak and contracting AIDS, downgraded to HIV. Through the years, the calls and emails, the mutual insults and great love have never stopped.

One day last month he was complaining to me in his usual intense, dramatic way about the fact that whenever he connects with interesting men and hopes for a relationship, eventually he has to tell them about his HIV status, and they disappear. He is extremely healthy and his viral load is nearly invisible, but still, he’s treated like a pariah – ironic in the very community that purports to support men with AIDS or who are HIV +, but rejects them as lovers.
I said, don’t complain to me about this – write it as an essay for the “Globe.” So he did, and two days later he sent it in and sent a copy to me. I have to tell you, I was horrified and wrote back to say so. “It’s too raw!” I said. “It covers too much ground, it’s all over the place, it’s too emotional.” Oh well, said Chris, the worst that can happen is that they won’t run it.
They ran it today – with a few excellent edits by Lori Fazari the “Globe” editor, but mostly it’s just Chris’s piece as he wrote it. So much for my editing sensibilities. The piece is like Chris – startlingly open and honest, compelling you to respond.  When he woke up this morning, there was already an email message waiting, and there have been scores of responses on the “Globe” website.
You can read and respond on the “Globe” website too, at “theglobeandmail.com”, under Facts and Arguments.  Read what happens when a brave, open man simply tells the truth as honestly and passionately as he can. Knock your socks off.

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8 Responses to “World AIDS Day and Chris Tyrell’s essay”

  1. David Crowe says:

    I'm trying to get hold of Chris Tyrell to interview him for an AIDS-related podcast (How Positive Are You?) following his article in the Globe & Mail. Can you ask him to contact David Crowe at 403-289-6609 or David.Crowe@cnp-wireless.com ?

    Thanks.

  2. beth says:

    I’ve let him know, David.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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