When HIV treatments improved and people stopped dying by the thousands, many gay men took stock and said, “So…now what?” Their peer group was decimated and they themselves had only escaped death by a narrow margin.
Retiring to California’s Palm Springs seemed like a viable decision. Health services were great, housing was affordable, there was a large gay population and it was always sunny. The roads they took to get there were varied, but all promised a veritable Lost Horizon, where age, illness and sin were a thing of the past.
However, being left to your own devices in a town where the sun always shines has a way of exposing who a person really is. With no friends, no job, and traumatized by recent memories, the burden is entirely on the individual to make something meaningful grow in the dry, harsh desert.
Desert Migration examines the lives of these men; their history, their present, and their possible futures as they struggle to come to terms with the second chance they have been given. Faced with their own mortality and the inevitable wear and tear on their bodies from both the virus and the medications designed to save them, how do they strive to create a life of value? Their stories illuminate how people across the US and the world are struggling as they age with the virus and the damage it has caused.