Victoria Noe

Award-winning Author, Speaker, Activist




Friend Grief and AIDS

Friend Grief and AIDS
Apr 23, 2013 by Victoria Noe
I always knew that one of the books in the Friend Grief series would address the AIDS epidemic. Like many who lived through those early years, it was something that shaped my life. It was, I believe, close to the experience of being in in a war. At least, that’s how it felt.I wasn’t sure what my focus would be for the book. There are already many incredible books about AIDS and ACT UP and the Names Project and other aspects of that time. But I quickly realized that the role friends played, especially in the early years, was critical.We knew we were needed, that we were depended upon to take up the slack for disapproving families and an indifferent...

World AIDS Day 2012

World AIDS Day 2012
Nov 30, 2012 by Victoria Noe
Despite the fact that my production schedule has been blown to hell, this week I managed to finish the first draft of the second book in the Friend Grief series: Friend Grief and AIDS: Thirty Years of Burying Our Friends.It’s not the book I thought it was going to be. Whether it is any good at what it is remains to be seen.But what came up time and again – as I re-read classic books by Randy Shilts and Larry Kramer and watched new documentaries on the history of ACT UP – was the frustration and anger that still exists today. And it exists because AIDS still exists.Even the victories have unintended consequences. The AIDS cocktail of drugs that has...

"How to Survive a Plague"

Oct 02, 2012 by Victoria Noe
Art by Keith HaringThere’s a moment near the end of How to Survive a Plague, the powerful new documentary about the AIDS epidemic, and specifically, the role of ACT-UP in changing the way drugs are tested and made available in the US.There’s a contentious meeting of ACT-UP New York going on, and playwright/activist Larry Kramer is shown, his face tightening in frustration. Finally he explodes: “Plague! We’re living in a plague! Listen to yourselves!”Living through the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic was like living in a plague, or in a war, because it was both: a health crisis that became a desperate war to save lives.The truly remarkable thing to me about this film is that it exists at all....

It’s Time to Get Angry Again

It’s Time to Get Angry Again
Apr 02, 2012 by Victoria Noe
The late, great Keith HaringI attended the “Beyond Disenfranchised: LGBTQ Community Resilience and Healing” session at the ADEC (Association for Death Education) conference last week. It was my last session of the only day I was able to spend there. Much like the lunchtime networking group on Buddhism, something drew me to this.It was clear from the start that there was frustration in the room. Some of it was directed towards ADEC, and how the LGBTQ community’s experiences (particularly in terms of medical directives and emotional support for end-of-life issues) were not being included in the larger discussions. The panelists were on the front lines, both in terms of the LGBTQ community as a whole and HIV/AIDS services (which are...