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.
that some people just have toooooooo much fucking time.
I am waiting anxiously for latest toy to arrive. ... mwahahaha.
Pretty soon I'll have my own arcade cabinet in my living room. Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, etc etc. mmm.. can't wait.
Over the last few years, I've been trying to assert my identity and I've run into some problems as a gay black male. I don't seem to exist. At least not in the sense of having a visible and accessible community to fall back on. During the entirety of my coming out and my identity development process I've understood this to en extend but still tried to explore the communities open to me. At the time that I was coming out this meant exploring gayness and getting a feeling for gay culture. I failed at joining some type of larger gay community in high school or finding a group with any strong gay identity (except for this one youth center) and I had no idea how to incorporate my gayness and blackness.
Have you ever gotten that one phone call where everything stops and all u can hear is your heart racing and the other person
As I write these words I am seething towards my parents.
I don't even like that word for them.
Granted there are worse.
However, my mother's control issues piss me off to no end.
I'm 18 years of age. I can legally vote, smoke, buy porn and rent a hotel room.
I cannot, however, take walks at night. Go anywhere alone. Use public transit. She expects the school to call if I don't show up to my 7:00 AM class (when school starts ay 8:00) because I might have died on the way there.
First of all, I really (and I hate to ask for this, here or anywhere, but it is a necessity) need a livejournal code. If anyone has an extra one (or something. I'm not 100% sure how the code thing works) and would be willing to give it to a stranger in need, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aside from that, some random snippety drabble things I have written recently:
Did you every cry so hard you soul bled out I never have but I think I would very much like too and I never cry it is almost a physical impossiblity for me and why does it hurt so much to not hurt numbness is never good and I