Have we looked deep enough at our motives?
First, this blog entry is meant as an explanation of questions that have haunted me for many years. Even before the current "End of AIDS" debate began, I wondered about the questions I pose here. I skirted with the subject briefly in my novel, but I did not delve as deeply into it as I will here. I want to be very clear that this is an exploration of a personal fears, and some doubts I have about the motives behind much of the debates we see in our community. It is not a suggestion of any one individual's or movement's actual motives. Read More
I find myself at a crossroad. I am waiting to hear about some possible professional opportunities. I am trying to live, as Dr. Suess said, "in the waiting place." When I was young dealing with the stress of waiting was always easy. I didn’t have time to wait. I was HIV+ and I was going to die. I would keep looking for the next thing, the next almost right thing, any project that could keep me engaged and which might help me leave a mark on the world. At the ripe old age of 22, I felt that I had lived enough to contribute. More importantly, I felt I had to contribute fast, before my awful, unfair, and inevitable end rose up to take me. Every time I felt overworked or overtaxed, I would imagine what it would be like if tomorrow was the first day I couldn’t get out of bed. How would I feel if today was the day I had given up? It’s possible that outlook is what kept me alive. Read More
I love life. I love the size and complexity of the world. I love the truth in the old saying, “If you want to make God laugh, make a plan.”
I also HATE that saying.
I hate it because in this world, I must always learn. I can never be sure. I hate it because I must constantly accept that no matter how hard I work, my vision will never be realized. I will never be able to make what exists in my imagination become reality. Read More
Imagine the shock of this, after I had come of age with a two-year life expectancy. Every few months my expected time on this earth was rounded up a few more months, but the prognosis was always bleak at best. This went on for nearly a decade, almost all of my 20's. And there was no doubt that my health was declining. Recently, I saw a man on a talk show, a leader in the HIV/AIDS community, who described a similar experience, and received a round of applause when he stated his doctors, “Got it wrong.” This bothered me, and I have been struggling with the complexity of what his statement, and the audience’s reaction, really meant. What I have decided is that his statement was inaccurate. If effective treatment had not been discovered in mid-90s, those doctors would have been right. To my mind, the man on the talk show and I were simply lucky, and I don’t like being credited for luck. Perhaps we are both fighters, but we can’t know that’s what saved us, because that spirit did not save many other fighters that I knew. To me it seemed that he, like so many others, is now taking his survival for granted. Read More
How “The Lego Movie” Can Stop AIDS
And fix almost everything wrong with the world!
Last Friday, amongst the fears of what was unfolding regarding the disastrous fate the Malaysian Airlines flight headed for the World AIDS Conference, I stumbled across a guy named Robert Brandon Sandor via Social Media. Sandor’s website is dedicated to the mission of ending HIV through sero-sorting, a term that is used to describe the practice of negative and/or positive people limiting their sexual partners to people of the same status. He has a plan to reach out to youth to take a pledge, which made me laugh, because I grew up in a school with an abstinence club, whose leader was sleeping around and kept the position to fool her parents. Read More
This is an open letter to ask that you help get the word about the messages contained within my novel. Whether you read or buy the book is irrelevant. Its message is what you need to share, now and loudly. Writing this book took over a decade. It took all those years, not just because it was a process in which I had to make sense the horrible losses of many friends to AIDS, and loss of my mother who lost a five-year battle to Cancer, the year after the AIDS crisis had “ended.” In spite of all that loss, what I most needed to explore was what I lived as soon as the “crisis” was over. Read More
I highly doubt Governor Andrew Cuomo has read my novel, but his recent announcement of a three-point plan called “Bending The Curve,” reads like he has. At the very least, Cuomo is listening to AIDS activists in a way that few politicians (outside of President Obama), have listened in the past two decades. His announcement of the plan, outlined in the New York Times last week, on Gay Pride was clearly an appeal to gay male voters, but I say, if any politician wants to pander with a bold move like this, then let them appeal away. I for one, am grateful to see someone at a state level stepping up to the call for an AIDS Free Generation.
But I have to point out that even the New York Times coverage makes the plan seem PrEP-centered. His plan involves more than just getting HIV Negative men to take PrEP. It works because it is holistic, and attempts to provide for all. In addition to PrEP, it also uses state money to find HIV positive people who are unaware of their status and to get them into effective treatment. It also helps pay for effective treatment for people who are positive but can’t afford medication that suppresses their viral load and keep them undetectable. Read More
This blog post is a video that we pulled together to accompany the audio tack of my recent interview on The Frank DeCaro Show. The interview was conducted by the show's regular guest host, Dennis Hensley, as Frank was traveling to NYC for gay pride. Dennis and Frank are both old friends of mine, so when I got an email from Dennis, asking if I could join him on the air the next day, I jumped at the chance.
At Sirius/XM, the offices and studios were bustling with the amazing energy that I remember NYC to be all about, a guy in a suit standing next to a guy in shorts and flip-flops, each in line for the same bathroom stall, each anxious to get through the line fast enough to stay on schedule. I was thrilled to finally see the infamous “Rainbow Room” at Sirius/XM OutQ radio.... Read More
Today is June 27th. It is and average day leading into prime time summer summer. And due to the lingering cold, summer started late this year. Today, you probably want to cut your work day short, enjoy an ice cream from a Mr. Softee truck, hit the beach or the park, spend time with your kids, or do any one of a thousand things that go with the season we all love to enjoy. Read More
I am going to take a break from the AIDS and HIV prevention in today’s blog, because I am much more than just an HIV + man. I often found myself frustrated with the gay community’s amazing ability to weaken itself with subdivision, as if being white, gay, and HIV+ were not enough to separate me from the whole of humanity, I am also expected to be identify as a “long-term survivor,” “over-forty,” “hairy,” “bearish,” and now expected much more than I am comfortable with, a “Daddy.” And make no mistake I recognize all to well the safety and comforts that are found in the subdividing “sameness”. They are powerful tools in making a community and creating empowerment for in individual. But there is an inherent dichotomy in that as well. Read More