How could I not think of courage given the thread by Andreus and the post by ahotjock71. I am not sure that I would always admire courage, but I do admire and love these two men.
Courage, to me, is having one value or emotion within you overcome the fear that is within you. And fear is a survival trait, for many fear is a good thing; we need to have fear and feel fear in order to survive. It is a trait manifested in most animals. Those animals that failed to fear the lion or the tiger or whatever, are no more.
For gays, fear is the closet - again, a survival tool. For Andreus and ahotjock71 to face fear, to allow themselves to be vulnerable took courage; took a great need to prevail. To me, that need was love for their gay brothers. My interpretation is that their love for others forced them to speak out, forced them to display courage, forced them to be vulnerable.
I believe it was Andreus that spoke of how this admission altered some of his self-images; altered his value system. Forcing change upon oneself takes courage; being honest with oneself takes courage.
I sense that these two men value integrity, value life and value their fellow gays. AIDS is an issue that complacency and ignorance will not fight and these two are fighters. Their fighting spirit was also a key in overcoming fear.
Their courage, maybe all courage, is action, overcoming the fear inertia. Courage is a value to be embraced by gays. Courage is what countless have shown in fighting the prejudice and hatred and bigotry shown our community. Courage is stirring the fires of concern and action against complacency.
I am embarrassed at how little I know of AIDS. I am ignorant how one person in the hinterlands of Oklahoma can help in the fight against the disease and the ignorance of the disease that is impacting my people. I am hopeful that the courage of Andreus and ahotjock71 will continue and that they will undertake to educate and inspire the rest of us.