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 need someone to sleep with. Not stupid lame ass sex..no hot steamy love making. I just need to cuddle up and sleep. Someone I could curl up next to kiss the back of their neck..wrap my arm around them and feel safe and like the feeling of makin someone else feel safe. Do u know how hard I try to find just that!? I mean I look at every girl hoping I could do just that. And for some odd reason everyone thinks im a gay slut. Cause I keep juggling hoping to find just that. But shes not my type and then I give up.
So... I know that I owe [myself] the coming-out entry...
... but, like always, I've started thinking about things (why does that always lead to trouble?), and so now I'm going to pour my introspection into this silly little blog thing. Today my mom told me that I get online too much to think about these things; that I retreat into the depths of my mind and get lost along the way. I guess maybe she's right.
Close encounters of the military kind.
Survivor, American Idol, Sexist Man or Woman Alive, are they sterotyping them for looks, the way they wear, how they are and their weight status?
Do they happen to realize that there are millions of ppl out there feeling like shite becuase of the tv personal gain? What is their goal? To increase the onlookers and the interest of Americans and other countries to look onto them and think they are superior than us? Thats full of b.s! Excuse me for swearing kids but its just utterly low and shameful. There should be a tv show for the sexiest fat man on the planet, or somthing with brains and the moxie award for their good acheivements or the good things they did. Them good lookers cant help but showing off for cock and pussies to gain their sexual bias and have ppl drooling for the best!
I feel that I have been neglecting this site, and that makes me sad! Sad in a manic kind of way, but still sad! I've been doing some blogging on my new domain, so check out Stentorian if you'd like. Also, drop me a line on AIM, but I must warn you, I'm not much of an internet talker. I SHALL return and be more active here!
Nothing too exciting is happening on this side. My band, which does NOT suck, will be having a show soonish, and I hope that I can get some sound clips up somewhere on the internet. And I'm actually doing something on Valentine's Day! It's not datish, but at least I'm going to be with other lonely people! I will still wear all greys and blacks and listen to My Bloody Valentine, as always, but I'm also going to see my friend's band play! With people I like! YAY! I had a chance to ask a cute boy, but I chickened out, since we haven't spoken in MONTHS. Ok, I'll end this, and spew my mania on this website more later! No worries:) (and I mean that! NO worries! Or I will find where you live and beat the worries out of your corpse!)
I sit here at my desk and stare at the application in front of me: Standing Committee for Gay and Lesbian Student Needs--Application for Undergraduate Student Members. I also think about the OutreachND club; the unofficial student run support group. They, too need officers for next school year...specifically a female co-chair aka co-president. Could I really do this? Do I want to do this? Why did I print out the appication if I don't?