HIV Treatment Activist, Founder, HIVHaven.com; Bronx, N.Y.
I caught the tail end of ACT UP's heyday. There were so many of us and we were dedicated, militant and organized. It's hard nowadays to get a group of people together more than 15 strong. We were angry and anger is an amazing motivator. It seems to me that most of us are now so worried about being politically correct and hurting others' feelings that we don't speak up when something is wrong and thus things are slow to change.
Being angry doesn't equate to having a negative attitude. Being an activist is not a popularity contest. A real activist is often a lone voice of dissent in a room full of smiling faces, saying and doing what needs to be done to save lives. In losing our anger, we've lost our will and power to force change when it's desperately needed. The dying hasn't stopped for all of us. We need to find our anger again.