As a support of the Dan Savage-led "It Gets Better" Project, it was great to see my composer friend (and future Tony Nominee) Jay Kuo assemble a lot of Broadway's young talent to capture this message in song. Check it out!
By Jeff Walsh
On last week's Project Runway, one of the best designers this season, Mondo Guerra, created his own fabric for the challenge. The pink fabric with the plus-sign design became high-waisted pants that won him his third challenge in a row. When he was asked about the inspiration for the print, he clammed up and just said it was very personal to him. Nina Garcia, one of the judges, said she wished she knew the story that inspired the fabric.
In that moment, Guerra's life changed. The 32-year-old designer made the decision to share what he had kept a secret for the past 10 years, one that his own family didn't even know. He is HIV-positive.
When Guerra said this, the designer had his fellow contestants crying, and as he finished speaking, you could literally see the weight coming off of his shoulders, and a designer we already adored became that much more human, vulnerable, and less troubled.
HIV is sort of this thing that we hear about, but it rarely is made real to us. I know people that have it, but it's like knowing someone with high blood pressure. They take some pills, and their life seems fine. But it is always important to remind ourselves that this is an important issue in our community, and one that should be taken seriously.
The youngest designer this season, Andy South (who we'll probably interview in Oasis before the season ends) is the same age now as Guerra was when he was became infected, so it really hit home for him. South was kind enough to share his thoughts with us on Guerra revealing his HIV status.
Whether you like Project Runway, fashion, or not, Guerra's story is still reinforcing a lesson that we all need to hear: that whatever private issue is burdening you in life is probably not worth the effort of keeping it a secret.
Here's what Mondo and I said this morning:
After seeing this past week's episode of Project Runway, where Mondo Guerra revealed he is HIV+ during the runway show, I knew I wanted to get him in Oasis (you can read my interview with Mondo here). I think HIV/AIDS is an important issue to bring up with LGBT youth whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Andy South is also gay and the youngest contestant on the show this season, which is why I already planned to feature him in Oasis as the season progressed. Because Andy is closest in age to the members of our site, I asked him to share his thoughts on Mondo revealing his HIV status on Project Runway last week. This is what he wrote:
"Mondo and I are 10 years apart in age, and knowing he has been living with HIV for that amount of time made me really think about where I am in my life. Mondo was infected when he was my age and it really opened my eyes to how unpredictable life is.
Tell me, what do you think about when
the debutante moon has lost her charm
and there's nothing on TV to keep you up past 11 o'clock?
Do your eyes glaze over, remembering
how I used to hold your head on my knee and rake my
fingers through your yellow hair, baby?
Does your chest burn like a joint in the night with
the absurd memory of my mouth pressed to your
shadowy abdomen under turquoise plastic stars?
David, it was heaven, making you come undone!
You were dirty and beautiful; a clean-cut
little show choir first date gone wrong.
And I know I said you weren't my type
I got my third college acceptance letter last week, so that was nice. I am not going to that school, though, but I'm still glad I got accepted. I know I'm not going to that one because on Saturday morning, I got a fourth letter. This one was from Boston University. Not only did I get into BU, but I also got their Presidential Scholarship along with an absolutely AMAZING financial aid package. I'm so happy!
i remember when you told me
once or twice, that you left a spot next to you in bed every night
1200 miles (well it’s actually 1267, you’d chime in) away
and yet you kept a space there
in case I, sleepily, crept into your arms in the midst of the night
rest with you
now it is i, 1200 miles away
who leaves a spot for you every sleepless night
my bed’s not big enough for your 6’2” body
and definitely not your dick,
i’d say, like always, ever-the-immature-one
and we’d laugh just like before, your childlike giggle
Where are you? Your voice
has escaped from me and
I worry that when I
look inside my heart
and call for you,
you will not
You are missing from me,
and sometimes loving
you is like hearing
they found a dead
child on the news,
only they don't
So I stay afire, after dark, waiting
for your voice on the telephone
and ink marks forming
letters on hospital
I just want to open the doors
to all the haunted houses
inside you and say
The day that I wrote my last journal entry I handed in my science class project, and two poster presentation on the fermentation of grains to make alcohol. It took me two weeks to make and I thought it was a good effort by me.
Wow was I wrong!
On Monday my teacher told me she needed to talk to me, which surprised me a bit because I'm a good student in her class, and I'm never in trouble.
"Riley, you're project is not appropriate for your grade level or age. You'll have a week to turn in another "acceptable" one or you'll be given a zero for the assignment."
I just wrote, costumed, casted, filmed, and edited a movie in 72 hours. And that's over the course of three school nights.
Why, you might ask? I'll tell you why. Because my Mythological Figures composition presentation is going to be the standard by which all Mythological Figures composition presentation Mythological Figures composition presentations are graded. It is going to be the presentation that Mr. fucking Richards is going to talk about for the rest of his life. And it is going to get an indisputable A.
Hello everyone *waves enthusiastically*
(^_^ I just spelled enthusiastically correctly!!)
Anyway I haven't been to this site in a long time, I used to go by Meldiseus but this is a new account, and a lot of things have changed since then.
I'm in college, studying to be an actor, and have a wonderful bunch of friends. I'm out to my mom, 6 people, and I know that if I want to I could come out to my friends cause they're mostly people who know about the LGBT to some extent and get pissed at people who aren't understanding.