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.
What can I do now since I quit classes? I could sleep in, shower, masturbate, draw, and make plans for my future magizine business. I could also clean house for mum, clean 2 bathrooms for Grandpa (i get paid for doing that). I could go for walks with my dog to loose weight, do some healthy eating.
Any other suggestions that I could do to keep me busy? Besides PORNS!!!!!
Yes I quit the college classes I took, since I became so fusterated. Not that its to easy, but it bores me and it makes me feel that nothing is doing anything to get me motivated. It stunk hell on ice.
Firstly.. i havent gone to sleep yet ... but there is a good reason for this.. as there always is.
Today i wrapped up a multi-million dollar project, which will be used by thousands of people... everyday .. in almost a dozen countries worldwide. I did all this by myself , and the system I have written is probably the system I am most proud of (since it is all my code, and it works.. well!).
Prom Rant is back!
I don't think I'll fully know until I've had a relationship with a girl.
And it seems like that will nnneeeevvvveeerrr happen at this rate!
blah. as petty as this may be, it's truly the source of much frustration.
as i step out of the car door i can feel the change already. I leave the un loving arms of my mother and walk into school full of people wh actually care. Have u ever felt like your friends care more than your parents? well thats how i feel everyday of my life. My parents can not even look me in the eye, let alone love me. The word gay makes them cringe, and i make them cringe. I love them so much but it is hard to stand in the shadows and watch them hate me.
I hate how stupid things make me jealous.
I hate how I thought I got over being jealous but I guess I lied.
I hate how I can't seem to find a still point, the world seems determined to move so fast I get lost in the vertigo.
I hate howI can't write good things.
I hate how I can't write like I used to, when it wasn't bitching-in-poetry.
I hate how much I hate.
I hate how everything I think is true contradicts the truth.
As I've slowly become more aware of the possibility that any of the girls I know could be more with me, I've almost wished that my feelings had remained obscure. When the dance teacher comes close to me to show me where my position on the stage will be, I can smell her sweet perfume and am thinking about how attractive she is. I looks at the beautiful asian girls in my class and almost feel sad as I realize how nice they look. So then I started wondering: What's the different between simply admiring a woman's beauty - and feeling jealous - and being... turned on by what one sees? I think I intuitively know the answer to this, but whenever it comes to sexuality issues I second-guess myself.