Victoria Noe

Award-winning Author, Speaker, Activist

Celebrity death

Chadwick Boseman Was Right...And So Was My Friend Delle

Chadwick Boseman Was Right...And So Was My Friend Delle
Oct 08, 2020 by Victoria Noe
"Would you tell me if you were sick?"

It took awhile for me to realize that the question I asked my friends was based on my experiences in the early days of the AIDS epidemic. Back then, with no effective treatments, a diagnosis was an almost certain death sentence. One day you'd realize you hadn't seen someone for a while, and the next day you'd read their obituary in the weekly LGBT paper. Unless you were in constant contact you might not have a chance to help them or say goodbye. Even then, some people shut off contact with their friends, keeping their final illness a secret.

I thought of the answers I got from my friends - some said yes, some said no - when the shocking news of actor Chadwick Boseman's death was announced. Few people knew he'd been diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer four years earlier, and those who did know kept it a secret. During that time, he made some of his finest films, including Black Panther. I watched it a couple days later, and was struck by the fresh poignancy of some of the scenes.

A popular post on Facebook since then has been a photo of Boseman with the headline, "If 'No Excuses' Was a Person".

Really?