The liberating potential of AIDS
White discusses how AIDS has played something of a liberating role in his life. It terrified him to learn he had the disease, but he felt confident to know how he was going to die, and knowing that he might die young encouraged him to take risks.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with William E. White Jr., October 29, 2000. Interview R-0147. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
- ASHLEY CROWE:
I think, do you feel like there's anything else that you need
to clarify, or go back to that we talked about today?
- WILLIAM E. WHITE, JR.:
[pause] Oh goodness. Actually other than,
the disease, and that was a huge turning point in my life. It actually
had some good points, I would have been living with him or anybody else
for that matter. I was just too scared. I guess what it did for me was
make me think, "Okay, you now know roughly what
you're going to die of. And you know there's a
possibility that you may die younger that most people you know. So start
taking some risks." Now taking risks means things like, moving
out of my house, into his, it doesn't mean, oh I
don't know, walking across the swinging bridge at Grandfather
Mountain, I'm terrified of heights. It means taking emotional
risks, and that I think is the most life-altering thing I've
ever had. That's about it.