‘Tis the season, y’all. And you know how much I love a nice holiday video. Okay, maybe a naughty one, too.
The folks at Mistr, the telehealth platform that provides free PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and STI testing, sure do have my number. They’ve just released a “Mistr Wonderland” music video, and it’s got holiday cheer galore. And naked muscle boys in various colors. And gingerbread frosting applied in provocative ways. It’s not exactly safe for work, but it does a terrific job of mixing playful sexuality with a message about including PrEP in your stocking.
It sure is nice to see a return, however gradual the last few years, to the importance of sexual pleasure in the context of HIV prevention. It’s a much more joyful – to use a seasonal term – and effective means of encouraging people to take care of their health.
The trend has been building for years, including the cheeky “The More You Can Ho” music video produced by Charles Sanchez and Tyne Firmin (Merce the Series) a couple years back and continuing through the current POZ Award-winning YouTube series, “Tub Talks with Damon,” in which therapist and HIV advocate Damon Jacobs interviews his subject, you guessed it, stark naked in a bathtub.
But on to more family fare, and I mean that literally. It’s my tradition to post “The My Fabulous Disease Holiday Spectacular!” each year, because it’s got mom teaching us how to bake her Christmas cookies, a visit from Santa, and the participation of nearly my entire family, who speak candidly about loving a family member living with HIV.
The video was produced 11 years ago, and since then we’ve lost Mom and my sister, Linda, which makes this viewing bittersweet. But that’s the thing about the holidays: they can bring back some wonderful memories, and my family will always have this hilarious, moving video to remember some unforgettable people.
And finally, because I am nothing if not shameless, let me share with you the classic recovery-based reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ by drag philosopher Anita Mann. Any resemblance between Ms. Mann and myself is purely coincidental, of course. This funny and jubilant rendition of the story will especially appeal to our friends recovering from substance use. God, I am grateful to be sober and alive today.
Please, my friends, have a happy and healthy holiday season. If you’re lucky enough to do that, then please take the time to help lift the spirits of someone else.
All the best for a bright 2023.