(Or CAP as we called it) was created by the gay community and its many straight allies. Something had to be done while the government remained silent and was content to let gay Americans die. Cap existed because of volunteers and donations.

One of the volunteer positions I did was the speakers bureau. Two people, the speaker and a person with aids , would go and talk to anyone who would listen ( schools, churches etc.) about aids. We would be seated in the front of the room at a table. We would ask for a glass of water and when given our water we would take a sip. I would stand up to speak. During my talk, I would reach back and “accidentally” take a sip from the wrong glass. The crowd would gasp and someone would say ” You drank from his glass”. A good teaching moment. I would then explain that aids could not be contracted that easily and that people with aids should be hugged and embraced, not feared and shunned and isolated.

I also volunteered at the free clinic, signing people in at the front desk. The clinic existed because some of the doctors, nurses and interns at the CU Medical Hospital convinced the Hospital that the clinic was desperately needed. These medical professionals donated their time freely, in the evening after their shifts. This provided a space for anyone to come and be tested free and anonymously.

The anonymous part was the tricky part because ,at the time, state law required a name and phone number when people signed in. We had a Denver phone book on the front desk and people would pick a name and phone number randomly. The state auditor never questioned the sign in sheets. He knew the good that was being done having the clinic open and the chaos that would be ensue if the clinic was closed. This place was packed every night. It also remained open long after the 9PM designated closing time. Even after working a full day at the hospital, these medical professionals stayed and made sure that everyone was seen and treated as best they could. To me this exemplified “Christian” “family values”.

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