it hits me because i haven’t thought of this name in years – Rae-Lewis Thornton. i was in high school in the 1990s when i saw her speak on two occasions. i went on a field trip to see her speak at a local community college auditorium and then another time she spoke to our high school.
then i remembered that we were disruptive to her when she was speaking to our auditorium. she definitely gave a quick STFU to the audience after they continued to chat or even spoke loudly to her. many of us didn’t want to hear what she had to say.
i listened in part all i know was that she had HIV. she somehow got infected with the virus and she dedicated herself to speaking about the disease and hopefully save lives. i was a naive kid back then but it wasn’t until high school when i realize young folks my age were having sex. there were quite a few young women who were walking around pregnant and it didn’t matter if they were freshmen or seniors.
all the same, is this a reason i’m still a virgin. a partial reason, high school was the first period that i had sex education. a rapper – Easy E – died of AIDS my freshman year of high school. a health educator gave us a talk about about that and educated us on condoms and STDs as a result. now i still wonder how many of us didn’t listen and contracted an STD not just get pregnant.
perhaps in her own way she saved my life although i had already decided on the idea of sex after marriage. one problem i still had from those days, i never really talked to the girls nor dated. which means i never figured out what to do back then.