The lobby of the Melbourne convention center at the international AIDS conference last July was packed with scientists, community educators, and activists. I was busy wrangling interviews for my daily video blogs. Across the room I spotted JoAnne Keatley and Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, two of the most visible transgender women in the world and experts [...]
Before my interview with activist Sean Strub, author of Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival, let me share a revealing story. It was late 2011 and my life was in shambles. The breakup of a long term relationship had sent me into a spiral, followed closely by a devastating drug addiction [...]
Charles Sanchez skips a lot. It is a natural, vivacious skip, an outpouring of unabashed joy that melds the cheerfulness of The Sound of Music with the bliss of the Pharrell Williams "Happy" video. Nothing stands in the way of his delight. Not even life with HIV. It is that joyful vibrancy that makes Merce, [...]
In the late 1980's, I let this odd, fussy man into my office at LA Shanti, my first AIDS agency job. He seemed earnest and harmless and he just wanted a few minutes of my time. "I have the cure for AIDS," he politely announced. Sadly, he wasn't the first person to say that to [...]
Kearns’ story includes a bizarre intersection between us that I found so revelatory and disturbing that I had to actually put the book down for several days while I reexamined an entire section of my life.
There were moments while reading It Gets Better, the new book inspired by the YouTube video project to help bullied youth, when my heart leapt to my throat and hovered there. It happened a few times, quite unexpectedly, usually while in the middle of some essay from an author I'd never heard of. In an [...]
My memorial service will be fabulous, I can assure you of that. I first outlined it during the initial, deadly wave of AIDS in the 1980's, and have edited it here and there over the years, updating the songs I would like played or the video footage shown. Focusing on the spectacle, though, may just [...]