25 ways to fight AIDS

Today, December 1, is World AIDS Day.

Wait! Before you click the ‘next’ button or scroll down your news feed hear me out: The LGBT community has been living with AIDS for three decades now. For people of my generation the message to get tested and use condoms has been stated and restated so many times that it has faded into the background with the result that, all too often, people do not take the steps they need to to protect themselves. Harris County is responsible for 30% of the new HIV/AIDS diagnosis in Texas and men who have sex with men account for 64% of newly diagnosed men statewide. The threat is not over, the fight is not over, AIDS still endanger the LGBT community.

But I don’t want to just talk about just condoms and testing (as important as they are). Fighting HIV/AIDS is easier than you might think. I present to you 25 ways, in no particular order, to fight AIDS in Houston.

25. If you’re over a certain age talk to a young LGBT person about how your life has been affected by HIV/AIDS. You might be surprised how eager we are to hear your stories.

24. If you’re under a certain age listen to an older LGBT person tell you how HIV/AIDS has affected their lives. I know you aren’t eager to hear their stories, but listen anyway. You may find that learning the history of your community is more empowering than you’d expect.

23. If you are a sexually active gay man or transgender woman participate in the Baylor College of Medicine’s HIV Vaccine Study.

22. Ask your local public or school library to put books about HIV/AIDS on the shelf, not just in the back room where they have to be requested. Access to accurate information is crucial in fighting the spread of the disease.

21. Post HIV/AIDS stories to facebook.

20. Ask your clergy person what your community of faith is doing to fight the pandemic.

19. Sign up for action alerts from the Texas HIV/AIDS Coalition at texashiv.org

18. Actually follow through when the action alerts from the Texas HIV/AIDS Coalition arrive in your in-box.

17. Volunteer for organizations that deal with communities at high risk for infection: high school dropouts, victims of sexual assault, the poor, the homeless and sex workers. Fighting AIDS means fighting the injustice in our society that all too often contributes to new infections.

16. Say AIDS out loud.

15. Ask political candidates what they will do to continue funding to fight HIV/AIDS.

14. Once they’re elected, ask those candidates why they aren’t doing more to continue funding to fight HIV/AIDS.

13. Remind yourself that it’s OK to be tired of hearing about HIV/AIDS.

12. Thank a person who volunteers their time to the fight.

11. Take a moment to remember the people we’ve lost.

10. Take a moment to think of the people we may loose if this pandemic isn’t stopped.

9. Take a HIV/AIDS healthcare worker to dinner.

8. Wear a red ribbon.

7. Recognize that wearing a red ribbon isn’t enough.

6. Work with communities other than your own. HIV/AIDS effects us all.

5. Get angry.

4. Get over your anger.

3. Donate to an HIV/AIDS Charity.

2. When you pass a mobile HIV testing center, thank the workers.

1. Don’t pretend the fight is over, and don’t let other people pretend it’s over either.

—  admin

Apple Removes Anti-Gay App From Library

Remember The Manhattan Declaration, the anti-gay manifesto drafted just last year by Catholic, Christian and Protestant leaders? An excerpt from the homophobic document reads: "Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good, we are compelled by our Christian faith to speak and act in their defense."

Mandec Back in October, Apple approved an app called The Manhattan Declaration in which users were asked survey questions about same-sex marriage, abortion and gay relationships. The app was, of course, put out by those who issued the manifesto in 2009, so if your answers did not mesh with their own hateful points of view, you scored very low in the survey.  In their eyes, or in this case the "eyes" of the app, the only correct answers are the ones found in The Manhattan Declaration.

Change.org set up a petition to ask Apple to remove the app. Looks like it worked. Try searching for the app on iTunes today and you'll, thankfully, come up empty.

The Huffington Post reports that "the creators of the Manhattan Declaration responded to the 'radical liberals' with its own blog post, saying, 'These radicals often pollute the debate with ranting. They rant about 'equal rights,' without explaining how homosexuality deserves it, 'women's rights,' without explaining how women have a right to kill their child, and even 'hateful Christians,' without showing instances where we hate.'"

 


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Housing and anti-LGBT discrimination

Chalisa D. Warren, senior public information representative with the city of Dallas Fair Housing Office, will give an overview of the city’s Human Relations Ordinance, known as Chapter 46, that prohibits discrimination in employment, housing or public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation, on Saturday, March 27, at 2 p.m. at the Oak Lawn Branch of the Dallas Public Library.

The program, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the Dallas Public Library’s GLBT Adult Programming Committee.

For more information, call 214-671-9580.

(Thanks to Phyllis Guest for the heads-up on this one.)

—  admin