ay Games VII has come to a close. I'm trying my best to fight the melancholy thoughts that keep creeping into my mind. The extreme pleasure of meeting so many people from so many different places, combined with a week spent working closely with my co-hostess with the most-ess Amy Matheny, has left me tired but sated. Three cheers for the Queers, and three cheers for Mayor Daley, whose city I'm proud to live in. And speaking of this city and queers, Market Days is here. I was surprised to hear that this is the 25th anniversary of the celebration.
Twenty five years ago everyone was playing Pac-Man, swooning over Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark and shouting 'Come here, Norman. Hurry up. The loons! The loons! They're welcoming us back' in Hepburn's voice. And for some reason people were singing that infernal Christopher Cross song 'Sailing' more than they should have been. Ordinary People won the Oscar for Best Picture.
Some famous voices were born twenty five years ago: Justin Timberlake, Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland, Josh Groban, Craig David, and Britney Spears. Actors Jessica Alba, Elijah Wood, Natalie Portman, and Alexis Bledel were also brought into our world.
The late Lady Diana Spencer and Charles, Prince of Wales were married twenty five years ago. Sandra Day O'Connor became the first female justice to the U.S. Supreme Court twenty five years ago. Ronald Regan became the 40th U.S. President, and was shot two months later. The pope was also shot that year.
Almost 300 people were arrested during bathhouse raids in Toronto. A crowd of thousands, eventually swelling near the 4,000 mark, gathered to protest the raids. Billie Jean King was sued for palimony by Marilyn Barnett. King denied her homosexuality, and then later admitted she was a lesbian.
AIDS was first identified twenty five years ago. A generation of men and women would shortly be wiped out by the epidemic, and more are still dying. According to the CDC, more than 25 million people have died. That's nine times the population of Chicago. They also estimate that over 40 million people are currently infected.
Twenty five years ago, our world had problems. Today, they still loom over our heads. The difference is that today we are more empowered than ever before in our history. You CAN make a difference if you try.
Don't be one of those people whose only involvement with the queer community is drinking at a bar. You are far too special, talented, and smart for that to be your only link to us all. Get involved in as many organizations as you have time for. Get your friends involved with you.
Just think of how many wonderful things we can achieve if we work hard over the next twenty five years. You finally have the power to make change happen. Now it's time to use it.
With you in 4/4,