Walking the Rainbow – An Arc to Triumph (2008)
Walking the rainbow, written by Richard René Silvin, is a fascinating and inspiring memoir. The story begins with the first hints of the new pandemic and chronicles the grizzly story as thousands of young Americans experience humiliating and dehumanizing deaths. His personal story sits atop a well-researched history of HIV/AIDS and offers the reader both a history lesson of the mysterious deadly disease as well as a riveting story.
Having demonstrated extraordinary, innate survival instincts while enduring a potentially emotionally crushing upbringing, Mr. Silvin manages to proceed with his adult life in a manner he hopes will deliver the respect and admiration he so richly deserved as a younger man. Singularly, this endeavor would prove to be challenging under normal circumstances, however, the author was forced to come to terms with his own sexual identity. Having long closeted the realization of his homosexuality, he valiantly strives to conform to the expectations of society by entering into a marriage. When he learns of his new in-laws’ impending personal financial calamity, his altruistic nature comes to the fore as he calls upon his finely honed creative and business senses to rescue them from an eventual fiscal disaster.
As a man who viscerally abhors pretext and mendacity on all levels, his attempted camouflage of his sexual preference through his marriage wears on him continuously. Seeking the satisfaction and affection he truly desires, his union with his wife dissolves as he turns to gay havens to find and express his needs. Finally true to himself, he ‘comes out’ and is free to live his life without regrets. Tragically, during this era, the initial insidious wave of the AIDS virus gains a significant foothold among males of the gay community.
The author’s newfound freedom to openly experience the culture to which he was genetically predisposed comes with an enormous price as he contracts the virus. In a grisly succession, all those dear to Mr. Silvin succumb to the disease despite their hard-fought and heroic efforts. As a testament to his incredible will combined with access to the finest medical treatments, the author has thus far proven to reign victorious over this most lethal of foes. While many under similar circumstances would undoubtedly wallow in self-pity, the author has become a voice of reason, clarity, and inspiration despite epic negligence and scandal by those charged with protecting the global community. As a man who has conquered seemingly insurmountable odds throughout his life, it should come as no surprise that he will stare down the plague of our century.