One of our members wrote this after the town hall held on September 25, 2014. The event was One Year Later: Setting a Grassroots Long-Term Survival Agenda. Over 100 long-term survivors attended.
Friday 26 September 2014
During last night’s town hall style meeting of Let’s Kick ASS, the group’s organizers offered their proposed “A Vision for Our Future” for discussion. We attendees settled into four smaller groups to read and react to the proposed proclamation. When we reassembled, someone from each of the four groups summarized for us the points that had been raised in his group.
The last of the group spokesmen reported that someone in his group had said that he (or she) found the organization’s name – Let’s Kick ASS – “offensive” and “unfortunate.” Or perhaps the speaker was worried that others might find it offensive. That was rather unclear from the summary. But it was getting late in the program, and there was no further discussion of the comment. Looking at other puzzled faces around the room, I sensed that a few other people found the comment as baffling as I did. But then,
Cake! (Yummy, yummy cake, by the way!)
I’ve thought about that comment all day now. Speaking for only myself – fully cognizant of and respectful of everyone’s right to disagree – I happen to LOVE the name of this organization! “Let’s Kick ASS” exemplifies for me precisely the attitude we need to maintain in order to make this organization worth our efforts.
I wondered if the objection was to the word “ass” in the name, the acronym for AIDS Survivor Syndrome. It’s possible, I suppose, that the word “ass” might offend someone in the 21st Century, but – really?! I happen to like the acronym. Frankly, my 62-year-old ass is too tired, and is running out of time too fast, to be coy any more. This tribe of wounded warriors we’re talking about is not some myth set in a might-happen-someday dystopian fantasy world. It’s US. Here. That “future we never dreamed of”? It’s in our hands, right now. Right now. If securing our future necessitates stepping on a few people’s linguistic toes to get their attention and get results – well, okay, I apologize for stepping on your toes, but now that I have your attention….
Some, I guess, might object to the “violent” image of “fighting” that the name implies. Well, for me, that’s exactly what being positive has been for more than twenty-five years – a knock-down drag-out bareknuckle fight between me and a soulless featureless little fucking virus that has wreaked havoc on my physical health, on my mental health, on my financial stability, on my emotional stability, on my relationships, and on my friends – both the living and the daily-remembered dead. I’ve been fighting for 25 years just to stay alive! We all have! Besides, we didn’t start this fight, this stupid vicious bug started it. And it doesn’t fight fair! Not only has it attacked us unrelentingly for the last 20, 25, 30 years, now it’s planning to make our growing older even more painful on us than it already is on everyone! And so, yes, we fully intend to continue fighting as long as we have to. It’s been our willingness to fight together that has kept many of us alive this far! I’m glad and proud that we’ve all still got some fighting spirit left in us! For me, “Let’s Kick ASS” embodies that spirit perfectly – it’s not just the name of an organization, it’s a call to action, a rallying cry for the fight ahead.
At the LKA town hall last night, I was reminded and proud of what an intelligent, passionate, articulate, strong, feisty, community-spirited bunch of adults we’ve become! I’m glad I found this group. Already the women and men I’ve met through Let’s Kick ASS have given me hope – and courage — for our future by reminding me of the beauty, the in-your-face strength we have in numbers.