"The AIDS virus is not a political creature. It does not care whether you are Democrat or Republican. It does not ask whether you are Black or White, male or female, gay or straight, young or old. Tonight I represent an AIDS community whose members have been reluctantly drafted from every segment of American society."
So said Mary Fisher in her historic speech at the 1992 Republican National Convention. My Name Is Mary chronicles the emotional events leading up to and following this momentous evening. In a memoir that exhibits the same grace and unflinching honesty that moved the nation, Mary Fisher shares the story of her life.
Raised in a socially prominent, affluent Michigan family, Mary Fisher seemed to have it all. She socialized with important and often famous friends and eventually married a handsome artist with whom she had two sons. Although the marriage ended in divorce, Mary continued to thrive in her roles as mother and artist. However, in 1991 Mary's world was turned upside down by the news from her ex-husband that he had AIDS. An HIV test revealed that Mary, too, was infected. Terrified, struggling against fear, depression, and anger, Mary ultimately found a new life mission in her positive status—she began to educate others about the need for compassion and activism in the face of this epidemic. Her unspoken motto is powerful—one person can, indeed, make a difference.
Whether describing her difficult childhood, reflecting on raising her two sons, discussing her evolution as an artist, or explaining her coping mechanisms for survival, My Name Is Mary is warm, caring, and inspirational—like Mary Fisher herself.
Mary Fisher is an accomplished artist and the author of two collections of speeches, I'll Not Go Quietly and Sleep with the Angels. She has been recognized with tributes and awards, national honors and honorary degrees. She lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her two sons, Max and Zachary.