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  • We remember Margaret Moore of Bastrop, Louisiana, who “transitioned” (as they say in the South) on Sunday. She was 55 years old.

    I’ve never written an obituary. It would be easier to write this had Margaret died from her illness. You could point to the disease, you could question medical care. She did die in the hospital, but it was not from HIV/AIDS.

    Last week, Monica, Tammy and Katie, who we’re following in our documentary, held their bi-monthly HIV support group meeting. Margaret came dressed in a hot pink and lime green pants suit. Compliments cascaded from the 20-plus member group. Margaret said she felt like dressing up that day. She opened up about an abusive situation that she was trying to work through. She was also stressed about being uprooted from her house with no plans on where to live next.

    Monica said it was the first time Margaret had talked about her abuse. “People tell you what they want you to know. You just never know where people are at.”
    Margaret talked about finally living for herself. She stood up and did her signature twirl with her arms outstretched, saying: “This is my space.” Miss Katie said that it was the only place she could claim for herself — just as far as her arms could reach.

    Margaret came to the group in 2003, sometime after her HIV diagnosis. Though she was afraid to ride the bus, she’d take the shuttle to Monroe at 5:30 or 6 a.m. and wait for the meeting to begin at 10 a.m.

    “She was in sad case when we first met her,” Miss Katie said. “She had zero support — talk about stigma! But she blossomed, losing weight, getting out of her walker, taking care of herself. Last time I saw her she was just so cute - that pink and green was so bright. I wish I knew what happened.”

    Whatever happened to Margaret, the circumstances of her life overwhelmed her. HIV was a mild virus in her basket of social illnesses.

    Rest in peace, Margaret Moore (August 7, 1956 - October 23, 2011)
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