Over the years, we have had LGBT documentaries and film nominated for Oscars. Many have won and all have enriched the experience of not only LGBT Americans but our also our neighbors, families and friends. However, the nomination of "How To Survive The Plague" is of exceptional importance. Being nominated for "Best Documentary" ensures that tens of thousands of people who have not seen this remarkable story of our epic struggle for life and freedom in the HIV/AIDS epidemic will now see it.
One of the great tragedies of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980's to the mid-1990's is that so much of our history was lost. Often when a friend with AIDS died their family would arrive and remove any trace of their being gay. Papers were burned, death notices wouldn't mention cause of death, partners were banned from hospital rooms and services and they would simply vanish as a gay person. Years of our history was destroyed. Our story tellers for the next generation disappeared. Mentors to the next generation died before sharing their extraordinary journeys.
As the survivors of that generation quickly age, we run the risk of losing so much of our history. Each new person from that time that makes the transition takes with them so many stories, so much of our history and represents a great loss to future generations.
Without a history, without the stories of struggle and without knowledge of our past struggles, culture and journey, it will be harder for future generations to build upon the those journey's. Nor will they be able to protect all that is good about being an LGBT person including a history of courage, a marvelous cultural that is uniquely ours and amazing stories that could inspire millions in the future.
That is why the nomination of "How To Survive The Plague" is so important. This extraordinary film deserves an Oscar. Not only for its brilliant story telling or its excellence in film making but for helping to save our history and passing it on to our young. If you are an Academy member, please vote for this powerful achievement not only in film making but as a vehicle to tell the story of so many who no longer are here to share those stories.