This past week has been overwhelming....
Last Sunday, The Latino American TV named me a Hero on their show. A segment was filmed highlighting a little of my life. It was a very well produced segment on the national syndicated program.
it was the first time on national TV that I shared a picture of David Ruiz, my best friend who shared about his HIV status wiht me over 19 years ago that led me to become an AIDS activist.
As I watched the program, I squirmed in my seat. I did not know what to expect. I did not know how I would react.
As I watched with family and friends, I realized that my life has been full and accomplished. I had a dream and it came true and people acknowledge and appreciate it. I also saw the picture of my friend on national TV as part of that segment.
While, David was out of the closet sort of, he really was not. it always took him awhile because he was scared that his co workers would find out about his sexuality. I remember a time when we all went to the March on Washington in 1987 where hundreds of thousands of us gathered. As we gathered in front of the California delegation, he shied away for fear that the television cameras for fear that he would be seen on a local TV station. As the march started I was in front savoring every moment of the energy for this historic occasion. He walked well beyond the banner until we were an hour into the march and then I saw him come and joined me with rainbow flag and marched along my side....I was so proud and so happy that he felt empowered to be able to seize the moment that way he did. So watching that part of the show and seeing his picture next to me, brought me to a very special moment. David died three years ago in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
This last Wednesday, i presented several awards on behalf of The Wall Las Memorias to Benjamin Bratt, Laura Diaz of CBS TV News and a good friend, Mario Perez who is with the County of Los Angeles.
On Saturday night, I attended the CNN Heroes taping and post party event. At the event, I met several honored heroes, but the most exciting experience was meeting some of the Chilean miners who attended and participated in the show, I was so thrilled to have met some powerful men, who survived through the grace of God. I had an opportunity of talking to them, taking pictures with them and even interviewed one of them.
I work countless hours but I also meet some of the best people one could ever imagine....