I wrote a little blog on World AIDS day 2006. I think you'd enjoy the story, so I just copied it here :)
"A little memory on World Aids Day.
In april 1993 I was 13 years old. Thirteen is the age that your parents still decide when you have to sleep. Each saturday I was allowed to stay up until midnight, a lot of hour after my normal bedtime. At 11pm my favorite TV show started.
The host of the show was a guy named Paul de Leeuw, a Dutch comedian. Paul offended, insulted, said the most horrible things and 90% of the country hated him deeply. But everybody watched his show. More than once the Sunday papers were filled with comments about the horrible insult Paul de Leeuw used in his shows the night before.
Paul has the ability to translate his anger in though-provoking jokes. He made me think. His shows were rated to be seen by 16 years and older. At the age of thirteen, my dad loved that I loved this show so much. He saw it helped me in my world-vision, he saw it opened my mind more. He fought with my mom to be sure that I could watch this show. My mom hated it. Paul was in those days also very vulgar, used dirty language and on top of it all, he was very openly gay.
In the beginning of the 1990's there was a lot of misunderstanding about Aids. That same misunderstanding is still very present now, by the way. According to many, Aids is a sickness caused by those filthy homosexuals. People are funny when they don't use their brain.
April 1993, a Saturday night. My dad and me sitting on the couch, waiting for the show of Paul de Leeuw to start. Like every week my mom joined us, simply to annoy us with her comments.
The show started with a few pictures of a male model. A muscular strong gay guy with no shirt on. My mom already getting annoyed. Which always was part of the fun. The pictures stopped, and the show started.
Next to Paul was what appeared to be a kid, a very little slim guy named Rene Klijn. Rene Klijn was Paul de Leeuw's ex boyfriend, and pretty soon it became clear to us that Rene Klijn was the same guy as the big strong guy in the pictures. Rene Klijn had Aids and was gonna die soon.
The whole show was a beautiful, gentle, soft human ode to Rene Klijn. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen on TV. The friendship between these two men jumped off the screen. Two men, simply talking as if they were home, about life and more specifically about what caused his Aids. And how he lived with Aids. And how much prejudice he had to fight over the last years living with Aids. Two gay guys talking about Aids. A TV show of one hour, and in that hour both guys became humans instead of homosexuals.
Science can teach us a lot. When science argues with our own prejudice, the message only comes across when the right emotional button is pressed.
At the end of the show they sang a song together, which can be seen in the Youtube clip at the end of this blog. During that song, my dad cried. I cried. And yes, my mom cried. I'm pretty sure half of the country cried. I'm even sure that the biggest homophobes couldn't keep their eyes dry.
Even weeks after Rene Klijn had already died, the song still topped the Dutch charts. The profits were donated to the Aids Fund.
Science can teach us a lot. It took an emotional TV show with two very open-minded gay men to teach us that Aids is not a homosexual disease, but a human disease.
My dad allowed me to watch this show every week, at an age when I was far too young to watch it. A perfect parent would never do that. My dad did, which made him the perfect parent."