Since my fellow student Niki wrote about a way they have informed about HIV in her home country Germany, I will tell you about a now ongoing process from my country of birth (aka Sweden). A Swedish book called Never dry tears without gloves (Torka aldrig tårar utan handskar) has just been released (the TV series based on the book will premiere in Sweden at Monday). The book is about two young homosexual men in Stockholm (the capital of Sweden) in the 1980’s, the period of time when HIV first appeared in the city.
It’s written by the Swedish author and comedian Jonas Gardell, an openly gay man (but not HIV-positive) who wrote the book to tell the story of the homosexuals during a time when the society thought of them as cockroaches. About why Gardell wrote the book, the author himself has said: “It’s a sort of honorary task. To describe my time and our history as homosexuals, we who fought back and changed the world.” One of the things that really touched me about the book was a part of synopsis on the back of the book. It says:
“What’s told in this story has happened. It happened here, in this city, around this blocks, among the people who have their lives here. In a city where the most people continued to live their lives like nothing had happened, young people started fall ill, fade away and die.
I was one of them who survived. This is me and my friends’ story.”
Never dry tears without gloves is a trilogy, and this one, the first part of the series, is called The Love. The other two books, The Illness and The Death will be released next year.
The book is not translated to other languages at the time being, but I hope it will be because it’s a very important part of the history that is told. The history of HIV is not to be forgotten. And neither are our actions – then and now.