Last year was the first time I attended Toronto’s annual AIDS memorial and vigil. The one hour service is bittersweet as we mourn over the lives that have ended but celebrate the unity of this amazing community. In the 1980’s, as a response to the stigma that comes with AIDS, a group of gay men created the memorial for a place to grieve and celebrate.
This year I was honoured to participate in the service as a candle holder. While last year gave us warmth, this year was dark, cold, and wet. With hard rain coming down consistently, I was sure we wouldn’t get a large turnout. This community amazed as they always do by coming out with rain ponchos and umbrellas to honour this cause.
As we all lit our candles, and spoke out the names of ones we are remembering we, without having to say so, supported each other.