I wanna go back to this horrible title again for a minute here. 'MY AiDS'. What is with the AIDS, right? You might be wondering, 'does Dan have AIDS?' or 'has Dan ever had AIDS?' Or you might just be thinking about what you had for dinner last night.
No, I don't have AIDS. I have never had AIDS. For a person who has HIV, I have thankfully steered pretty clear of coming anyplace close to having AIDS. So why do I have a show called MY AIDS and not MY HIV?
First and foremost MY AIDS rolls much more trippingly off the tongue. But more importantly, AIDS is kind of absolutely terrifying. So why give my show such a terrifying title?
Because I have to.
I first heard of someone referring to being HIV positive as 'My AIDS' years ago. A friend of mine worked with a woman who was HIV positive. She was a large, black woman who wore her AIDS like a badge. She had no shame or embarrassment about it. In fact she told stories about how if she wanted a seat on the bus, she'd start coughing and hacking and then apologize with , "Woo- hoo! My AIDS is kickin' my ass today!" If the line in the supermarket was taking too long, "Oooooh! My AIDS is making me tired!" She got a seat and she went to the front of the line. This has always stayed with me as radical, brave and unapologetic.
And not to mention, totally fucking hysterical.
The night I was diagnosed with HIV, I was with friends. We watched Sarah Silverman's Jesus is Magic. At one point in the show, she says for whatever reason in her bratty, little, faux ignorant way "...when life gives you AIDS... make LemonAIDS!" I laughed very, very hard.
Because I had to.
What do you think of when you think of AIDS?... The 80's? Tom Hanks? Magic Johnson? Ryan White? When I think of AIDS I think of a cold that won't go away... muscle failure... slowing down... facial wasting... hospital beds... IV's... machines...
So I am just gonna keep on laughing as hard as I can... and I hope you'll laugh with me
Because we have to.
You can buy tickets for MY AiDS at athandtheatre.com