I remember the cover of Essence that Rae Lewis Thornton was on. I'll admit that up until about a year ago, I didn't know that she was doing AIDS activism. I thought she was just someone who told her story to a magazine. And while a touching story, I didn't realize that telling her story is her life's work.
Her Essence cover was iconic because before that time people thought that AIDS was gay man's disease, a white gay man's disease and if nothing else I'm sure people thought it only happened to poverty-stricken and lower echelons of society. Rae showed us that that wasn't true and so we perked up and listened. Well, I don't know about anyone else, but I definitely took heed to the lessons and decided that condoms were a must. (Pretty sure I wasn't having sex when this article came out, but I'd made that decision as a shorty that when I DID start having sex that's what I'd be on).
I recently saw Rae Lewis Thornton get honored by the Red Pump Project and she very candidly said "Don't just say you love me and support me. Go to my blog daily, become a Facebook fan." She went on to say that AIDS isn't sexy to the media anymore and as a Black woman with AIDS she's really not getting a lot of high-paying speaking engagements. I can't hardly pay for emergencies on my salary, so I can only imagine what AIDS medication cost.
So, I'm imploring my readers to stop what you're doing right now and click on www.raelewisthornton.com, add her to your blogroll, add her on Facebook, buy one of her bracelets and support her life's work. Because of women like her, I have the information to protect myself from a disease that has killed so many. I do love & appreciate her and I'm putting my money where my mouth is.