Okay. Someone help me figure this out. I don’t understand why, in a city the size and composition of Toronto, there has been so little media coverage of yesterday’s ScotiaBank AIDS Walk for Life. I tried doing a Google search to get a description of the afternoonregarded as “unusual” or even “perverse”; and the coverage was not necessarily fully supportive. (At the first Pride Parade in Conway, AR, for instance, much of the coverage focused on the manure that was dumped along the parade route before it started. The violator had to clean it up and the parade proceeded. (The Advocate, 2004)) But here in Toronto: I thought things were different. I understand “The Sun” not wanting to cover the event; they have their own “take” on such happenings, and much like Fox News in the States, if there’s nothing sensational about the event, they won’t cover it. But I expected more from our other news agencies.
Yet when I try to do a search, everything I find is dated from last week, and comes up with “advisories” that streets will be closed, and information about the “upcoming” event. I found nothing about the walk itself: after it happened, or the party atmosphere on Church Street. How many people walked, or how much money was raised: I just don’t know. On the subway coming home I saw a blurb on the TTC News terminals that said “1000 marchers” had turned out for the event: that sounded about right. It was pretty crowded. But I have not been able to confirm any numbers since.
Maybe that’s why I’m getting more hits than normal on my Flickr picture set: “ScotiaBank AIDS Walk Toronto, 2013“. I filtered the pictures and uploaded them last night, so I could distribute the link at work today. But it seems that in general there aren’t very many pictures out there. I would’ve put up more if I’d realized.
So, the report: I attended the “ScotiaBank AIDS Walk for Life” for the third time this year. As with previous walks, this one was enjoyable, exciting and informative. I was not sure about the official “theme” this year, but I did get a specific message. Perhaps it was my more personal experience, but I heard a lot about “stopping the stigma”. One of the hosts for the event this year had recently been diagnosed, and in spite of his long-time support for HIV awareness, it was hard for him to ‘come out’ with regard to being positive. For many of us, this is a strong dichotomy: between the support we show for others and the ethics that are applied around us. HIV is still stigmatized, more than any other disease. It is the leprosy of the modern world. And that very stigma means that many people don’t know enough about it, or don’t know themselves if they have it: and as such it adds to the infection rates.
The pictures at right are from the event yesterday. Next year I want to put together a “team” so that we can walk together: I had hoped to do so this year, but I was less than persistent in getting people to join me.