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I don’t want to talk about it : a biography of aids warrior Tony Carden

ISBN: 9781923007963
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Publish Central
Origin: AU
Release Date: July, 2024

Book Details

The direction of Tony Cardens short life was determined by two pandemics: Child Sexual Abuse and HIV/AIDS. Unlike the compassion extended to victims of the recent COVID 19 pandemic, vilification was the burden borne by those who contracted AIDS and silence the lot of Child Sexual Abuse sufferers. On both occasions Tony’s only response to his anxious mother was: ‘I don’t want to talk about it.’ Even after a failed suicide attempt at eleven, his response remained the same. He resolved instead to deal with his problem his way. At eleven this brave young boy became a warrior. Several years later, despite having won NIDAs Young Actor of the Year Award, he fled his tormentors for New York City to study acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute and to apply for American citizenship. New York wrapped its dazzling arms around him and in response Tony gave his best to the city he loved. But the timing was not fortuitous: America’s gay community was enjoying its hard-won liberation just as the momentum of a new pandemic was gathering… In 1986 Tony’s childhood friend Andrew was dying of AIDS in Sydney where medical support for the little-understood disease was sparse and the harsh stigma of AIDS discrimination was brewing. Knowing how much it would mean to his ailing friend, Tony reluctantly put aside his budding Broadway career and returned to Australia to help care for Andrew and to support Elizabeth, Andrew’s mother. Five brave young men, former school buddies, took on challenges doctors, nurses, even funeral directors refused to tackle. I Don’t Want to Talk About It -Biography of AIDS warrior Tony Carden takes readers on a mother-and-son journey across the rocky terrain of child sexual abuse, homophobia and living and dying with HIV/AIDS. It is Tony’s other family, Sydney’s gay community, who shoulder the weight of caring as they lead Lesley across a chasm of misunderstanding, just in time. Tony’s story covers the historic record of Sydney’s chapter of ACT UP and reveals how a group of activists put aside traditional banner-waving and slogan-chanting to turn their protests into theatrical performances, achieving results that saw Australia become one of the first Western countries to reverse the rate of infection. In response to their suffering, gay communities expressed their pain through art. Two such artworks live on to commemorate Tony Carden and those he saw as AIDS Warriors. Both, like Tony, experienced challenges before reaching their final resting places: Canberra’s National Portrait Gallery and Sydney’s MAAS (Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, aka Powerhouse Museum).