Gerard

Gerard

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Atlanta, GA
Gerard: In 1990, I was working on a three year contract as a dancer, in Germany. I was about to go on stage when I got the call that my mom only had two weeks to live. She had full blown AIDS. I asked if I could leave and they said, “well, you don’t have an understudy.” I said, “two weeks… I only have one mom!” The director, Andre Heller, came to me and said “here’s the tickets for you, boo boo. You go home.”

She had a little cough before I left. This had been about a year. I remember telling her that she should get it checked out. 

She was only 4′11″ and 125 pounds normally. By the time I got home she was down to 75 pounds. I had to carry her everywhere. I got real educated, real fast because I’m the oldest son and I had to take care of my mom. At the time they only had AZT. A lot of people dying… 

BW: How did she acquire AIDS. Do you have any idea?

Gerard: Well… my mom was very angry and pissed off at my dad. She found out, when my brother was born at 2, that my dad had another child, my age. So, my mom got a nice, simple divorce. I think, as a jab at him, she fell in love with my uncle [dad’s brother]. He had seven kids of his own. We all hated it. So much so that she didn’t want to come around, he didn’t want to come around. He didn’t want to be my uncle and she didn’t want to be my… you know, it was best that they just leave. 

So, they left and went to Egypt and she became really Muslim. She was there for 10 years. She didn’t know at the time that my uncle was an intravenous drug user. I’m sure she found out but just didn’t want to admit it. She got AIDS from my Uncle. 

BW: You got to spend the last 2 weeks with your mom?

Gerard: Yes but she held on for 6 months. She started to get her weight up a little bit but…

Meshel

Meshel

Gerard

Gerard

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