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.
The scene: Paris, 1927. A time of the great writers Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway.
Heingway, unbeknownced to Gertrude and Alice, has been bad mouthing the pair to anyway who will listen. (In legend, this is because Gertrude was seducing one of his wives with Alice's brownies. This is legend of course.)
Gertrude and Alice go to their barbar, but to their horror he has left town. Gertrude complains about this bad luck to her 'friend' Ernest who reccomends his personal barber who tends to his entire family. He is thanked and the couple goes on their way. Ernest calls ahead and askes for a bit of a practical joke...to shave their heads.
After a couple of intense impromptu debates, I went home to my boarding school, and my friends and I all sat down and talked for about an hour in the caf at dinner. Seated to my right was my debating partner, a particularly smart and interesting boy I shall call Nesterly. To my left was an incredibly hot bi chick with her chair slanted slightly towards me and her leg touching my ass. Across from me was Sidney, and beside her was No Ah.
Guys and porn. What else could a bi girl ask for? Well...maybe girls too.
What do flip flops, the DMV, and mullets have in common?
They're really just random occurences in my blog for now.
Thoughts on t. A. T. u. ?
i've never blogged before. i just signed up for oasis a few weeks ago and have been avidly reading the blogs and occasionally visiting the forums, but never posting.
As for not being straight, i realized that i for sure wasn't straight about 4 months ago. The thought had already crossed my mind in the months before, and at one point in those few months before i thought i was bisexual, but then i got really confused and considered myself questioning instead. But now, i'm finally sorting it out more. i know i'm attracted to girls, more so than guys i think, but i'm not sure where i stand with guys. I'm giving it some time and eventually i'll know more of where i stand in the scheme of things. For now, i'll focus on the females :).