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With Pride I Go Forth

   (9 reviews)
Sub-genres: Drama, General Romance

Being gay has always had its pitfalls, but nothing could have prepared us for the devastation of the last two decades of the twentieth century. Michael is very sick, but there is one more thing he feels the need to do as he lays in bed waging the biggest fight of his life. As an activist, he still wants to be of some use, no matter how little. It's not his nature to give up until he has to. This is a story about PRIDE, and what it represents to our community. Pride month means many things to many people. For some it is a parade and a chance to celebrate, but for others, it holds different connotations.  

You will find some sadness here... real life often is... but there is hope too. This story was initially written for the one thousand word limit Pride Flash Challenge, but it got out of control. 

Copyright © 2021 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.

Story Recommendations (15 members)

  • Action Packed 0
  • Addictive/Pacing 6
  • Characters 13
  • Chills 1
  • Cliffhanger 2
  • Compelling 3
  • Feel-Good 2
  • Humor 0
  • Smoldering 1
  • Tearjerker 15
  • Unique 13
  • World Building 10

  • Like 4
  • Love 13
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   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

I was in tears several times while reading this story.  The tears were for the many friends I lost to AIDS during the 80's and early 90's.  They were wonderful friends and some chosen family to me.  HIV is still active in our world and is of concern to everyone.  Gary has written a compelling chronicle illustrating the history of AIDS at a personal level and capture the time so well.  I know, because I was there to watch many friends die of the disease.  This is a story of pride, hope and love.  It is also a tale of second chances for those infected with the HIV virus.  No matter who you are, remember the history and pride.  I strongly suggest this story be read by all. 

Response from the author:

Thanks you, Terry. This was a time of tears, and a time of horror for so many. I chose to write Michael's story because of the hope it gives, and the hope he gave to those who waited with held breath. You are right that HIV/AIDS is still a major concern, and I have never given up hope for a vaccine. We must never forget those we lost, nor our bravery as a community, fighting against all the odds to put a spotlight on AIDS, when our leaders preferred to ignore it. There are so many to thank for the tide turning, and there is PRIDE in what was accomplished. Never Surrender. :hug: 

  • Love 3
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   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

It has taken me a hell along time to get around to writting this review. My pain to real and even after all these years still to fresh in my heart. I lost many of my best friends and I would have had it other wise.

And still I would say that you should read this well written story which took me back to those very ugly days and still I will tell you to read this story:unsure: The tears flow as I write this and as I read this story!

Response from the author:

Thank you, Albert! This story speaks of a time in gay history that should never be forgotten. The kind of death that was prevalent was uglier than anyone not a part of it can imagine. Still, our community rallied and supported one another. You could walk down the street of any gay village and see the hollow faces, the fear behind the eyes, yet there was strength too. I love when others read Michael's story... it really does fill me with PRIDE for so many things. I understand the tears... every time I reread this it gets me, especially this line...  "His name was Charlie, and I stitched his name on a quilt." Thanks again for this wonderful review... I hope it stirs others to read this. Cheers!

  • Love 4
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   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

This is probably one of the most profound and heartfelt stories I have ever had the pleasure to read! It brought me to tears several times!! 

Response from the author:

Thanks, David! As a writer, I have this little platform which allows me to voice things that matter deeply to me. It is a blessing, hard as it was to write Michael's story. I never want to forget the people I knew, nor the people I didn't, ones who went through this living hell with no hope. I wish that hope had come sooner, but we have to be thankful it came at all, given the lassitude our community faced. Thanks again, for taking the time to read this, and to review so others might be encouraged to experience it. Cheers! G.

  • Love 4
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Gary L

   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

A letter so relevant in 2021.  Even though one had friends, and anonymous lovers, who died in the 90’s, here in my adopted village it all seems ancient history.  And yet, the tombstones scattered around of guys in their twenties.  Here many more because of drug addiction as well.  
a Jewish rabbi taught me this:

Civilisation passed from one generation to the next by the gossimer thread of MEMORY.  

For me, this letter by Michael is one such thread.  Headstall, Gary, I believe, has written a very important piece.  Beautifully written, as usual, but wow the message provoked me to awaken from my slumber.  
We must not forget! We owe it to our brothers, sisters, lovers and friends.  

read this!  

Response from the author:

Thank you, Gary, for this beautiful review. I'm pleased this piece affected you so. Pride isn't just about a parade for me. Your Rabbi friend spoke words of great wisdom... it is to our detriment to forget. Our memories instruct us, inspire us, comfort us, pain us, and spur us to make life and lives better. 

Thank you for encouraging others to read this... it is something dear to my heart, and my attempt at reminding us of the strength we have to move mountains. Cheers! 

  • Love 4
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   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 members

Michael's story is a great show of PRIDE. This is a vibrant, but thoughtful story as we watch him battle the greatest illness of his life.


Response from the author:

Thanks so much for leaving a review, Chris. Michael is one of many heroes from that time period, someone who cared for his brothers and sisters, and fought hard for justice. When I think of PRIDE, I think of him, and others like him, ones who weren't so fortunate to still be alive in 1996. Cheers! :hug: 

  • Love 3
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Story Reader

   5 of 5 members found this review helpful 5 / 5 members

This was a most powerful story of a man that should have had love his entire life in a short letter. Gary, you should have a OSCAR for writing this. Hope I don't start crying all over again before I go to bed. But the tears will be worth it.

Response from the author:

The best thing I could hear is that tears shed are worthy ones. I totally agree. This was a difficult part of our history, and this story takes place on the cusp of change. This is when hope turned into something real. Thank you for your kind words, and I hope they will encourage others to read this little story... and think about all that PRIDE means. Cheers!

  • Love 4
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   5 of 5 members found this review helpful 5 / 5 members

Reading this brought back many memories of the 80's and 90's and my best friend Jim, who I watched die of AIDS.  We had the same lifestyle, yet he got sick and I didn't.  I still don't know why, but I'm grateful I made it. After all these years, I still miss Jim and will always.  Michael's ruminations were so much like Jim's, but the only problem is, Jim didn't make it.  I could see him writing this and I wish his story had turned out as Michael's did.  This is very much worth reading.  It makes one realize what a struggle we have been through and what the rewards are for making it through more or less intact.   Thanks Headstall!

Response from the author:

Thank you, Ty. I see you related strongly to this little story, and while that is the goal for me as a writer, I am sorry for your loss. Jim deserves to be remembered, as do all the other victims of this horrible scourge. Thank you for sharing your thoughts of him in your review. It is what I was doing in telling Michael's story. Unfortunately, miracles were scarce during those years, so all we can do is not forget them. Happy pride, my friend. :hug: 

  • Like 2
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   7 of 7 members found this review helpful 7 / 7 members

A powerful story vibrantly narrated by Michael as he navigates what must be the toughest battle of his life. Read it for PRIDE month, and again for every month of the year. With Kleenex. 

Response from the author:

Thanks, Mags. I'm glad you found it so. We must never forget that time when reason was found to hope, nor the desolate times before it, and those who were sacrificed. Yes... Kleenex might be a good idea. :)  Cheers!

  • Like 1
  • Love 4
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   6 of 6 members found this review helpful 6 / 6 members

This is a beautiful declaration of pride.  Grab a Kleenex or two!

Response from the author:

Thanks so much, Kris. I hope this will encourage other readers to give it a chance. Cheers! G.

  • Love 5
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