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.
Brad Taylor And Dylan Meehan, The 'Cutest Couple' This High School Didn't Expect
I hate it when people talk about themselves 24/7. Like even if you try to change the subject, they turn back to themselves. If you want to talk about yourself, look in a mirror and chat away. I don't need your life story all in one day. I can barely handle my own life. Thanks.
Icy raindrops slid down the collar of Darren’s shirt as he opened the door to his apartment complex and hurried inside, drying his feet on the welcome mat before sprinting up the staircase. The lobby was dimly lit as usual but he didn’t miss a step as he raced to number 203.
Not much happening in DarkestValley world.
Still with that guy from ages ago, things are better between us, actually a lot better we dont fight anymore! But he's still annoying with the whole, not having a job, #notgoinganywhereinlife agenda.
ha. What's up with all u guys?
Well hello everyone I am back, though not really for the better since last time. I have started writing novel, made 3 suicide attempt and started cutting, one was extremely serious and I came pretty close to dying or so they say, as well as gained a 6th Doctor attitude towards other people in general. Anyone who gets the reference gets plus +1 internet.
I tried to kill myself a few nights ago. I was in a place where I just didn't care anymore and I remembered how my mom is always talking about the stats on deaths due to salmonella, which is actually really common. So I went to the fridge, grabbed a hunk of raw cookie dough, and ate a bunch of it. Then I waited for hours to start to feel the effects, planning on keeping them a secret until it was too late. Thankfully my cookie dough wasn't contaminated and I just got a headache from watching too much TV while I waited.
Hello everyone. I'm back. Since my last post, I've gotten out of my state of depression. I had a surgery and my small intestine is now sticking out of my body. I have an ileostomy. It's pretty cool, but it gets annoying. Only 5 more weeks left until my next surgery. I'll get my stoma pushed back in and my plumbing fixed. It's awesome, but painful. After all of this, I'll be close to normal.