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.
I've been getting a lot of extra hours at work lately, which is good. Twenty-three hours this past week, nineteen of which were during the weekend. I like to gripe about it but really it's good for me. When I'm working my mind is only focused on the tasks at hand. It's a distraction. A greasy way to kill time, if you will. Plus the money is nice to have, although I don't particularly yearn for tons of cash. Good news is I can buy books and put more in my pathetically small savings account.
So I'm going to eat lunch w/ Lina. We've been talking a bunch on FB but I'm not really sure if she *likes* me or thinks I seem like a good friend...It would be helpful if I knew she was gay.
I'm dressing up anyway :)
I just got back from shopping in Portland.I got 3 new dresses: A floor-lengh Grecian-style dress w/ blue flowers on it; A shorter green dress w/ white embroidery at the hem; and a short black tunic w/ little white hearts on it. My new green blouse and vintage blue shoes arrived too.
Can you tell I like clothes? :) I think I'll wear the green dress to lunch tomorrow.
As the title suggests. I am so very happy. I'm in love you see. The rest of this post will probably give the impression that I am immensely depressed. But these are all tiny insignificant problems really when compared to the insane head-over-heels happiness that I am feeling. Just little niggles I need to get out of my head really. Because by the end of the upcoming school week pretending that there is nothing going on between me and Jane they will be bothering me more, but I think it's best to write about it now while I'm feeling optimistic. I'm waffling...
Hello Im back, but it'll be in distances of time when I write again
I went to the library and started reading Ulysses. It's really great although I didn't check it out but will. To my surprise I actually understood what was going on.
For a scholarship about gay rights I could write about my experiences so I begun that although I have no idea what the point of what I've learned has to do with my life now.
On a side note I've been reading william blake's work and I might apply an organized innocence philosophy to my life
We wanted to make history.
We wanted to make this an
epic thing filled with riots
and dangerous kissing
behind liquor stores,
feeling the thrill of
being chased to death,
having our hearts
beating on the edge.
Or perhaps, that was what I wanted.
Darling, you only wanted waffles,
sugary and tasty at 8 A.M;
holding hands while listening
to Harvey Milk on the radio.
"You gotta give them hope," he'd said.
You always liked a good
watching from the window
as it ripped open the sea
and spilled its foamy secrets
all over the harbor.
Yesterday was horrible.