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

Council member Jones to be first cisgender reader at Houston Day of Remembrance

Jolanda Jones

Jolanda Jones

Houston City Council member Jolanda Jones is scheduled to be the first cisgender reader in the history of Houston’s Transgender Day of Remembrance. Lou Weaver, president of the Transgender Foundation of America, one the events sponsors, says that Jones was originally approached to be a speaker at the event because of her advocacy for trans children, but that she requested to read instead.

“I begged to read, I begged them,” corrects Jones, “they asked me if I wanted to speak and I begged them to read instead because it’s profound and it touches you. I think it’s better to read because it’s important.”
Jones said she was particularly moved at last year’s Day of Remembrance by the story of 17 month old Roy A. Jones who was beaten to death by his babysitter for “acting like a girl.” “I was so touched when they read about the baby that was killed,” said Jones, “the readers tell the story.”

Jones led efforts this year to encourage local homeless youth provider Covenant House to adopt a nondiscrimination policy that covers both sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. She used her position on City Council to threaten to cut Covenant House’s funding unless they addressed accusations of discrimination. That threat persuaded the organization to overhaul their policies and begin regular meetings with community leaders to discuss their progress in serving LGBT youth.
The Houston Transgender Day of Remembrance is Saturday, November 19, from 7-9:30 pm at Farish Hall on the University of Houston Campus.

—  admin

Sally Kern: Gays (and Gaga) are the real haters!

Rep. Sally Kern

In case you missed Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern’s appearance on Tim Wildmon’s American Family Radio, she was on promoting her new book, The Stoning of Sally Kern.

Wildmon is the president of the hate group the American Family Association. Kern is the legislator whose district includes a large number of those killed in the Oklahoma City bombing, but who says that homosexuals are a bigger threat to this country than terrorists.

On the show, Wildmon said, “Nobody hates the individual homosexual.”

That’s great to know.

“To me what is hateful is when those people who say ‘you’re born this way, there’s no hope in change, you’re stuck in this, deal with it,’ that is hate,” Kern responded. “There’s no hope in that.”

—  David Taffet

Watch: Gay Kansas Candidate Dan Manning Discusses Death Threat

Manning_dan

Earlier this week, I posted about the death threats posted to the front door of gay Kansas House candidate and Army veteran Dan Manning’s home. Manning spoke with local station NBC2 about the threats:

“It was very scary. I wondered if there was still someone waiting at the house, someone who was waiting for me to come home. I checked the doors, checked the locks and called the police right away. It clearly has to do with my campaign and my sexual orientation. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to talk about this during this campaign, because it really is a distraction from what’s important.”

Manning’s opponent, incumbent Brenda Landwehr, has been using Manning’s sexual orientation to stir up her constituents.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Gay candidate for State Rep. in Wichita found death threat on his front door

Via Joe.My.God who got the news from the Kansas Equality Coalition, Dan Manning, a candidate for State Rep. in Wichita, found a written death threat on his front door over the weekend.

Here’s what it looked like:

More from Thomas Witt at the Kansas Equality Coalition:

The note is clearly an offensive way to use threats of deadly violence in an attempt to intimidate and silence Dan and his campaign and, by extension, our entire community and our interests in Topeka. Dan has no intentions of backing down and has seen this latest example of bigotry as proof that his campaign must go on. He and his campaign team’s resolve is now stronger than ever.

Dan’s campaign has been a struggle from the first day. While the challenge of defeating a far-right, incumbent Republican in a swing district is one thing, that Dan’s sexual orientation has been used against him in a hateful way is another thing. Dan not being able to count on the support of his own Democratic Party is another thing altogether. Dan has even had party officials suggest that he hide his own sexual orientation and spend the campaign in the closet. Dan needs support, not indifference.

Worse than indifference from the Democratic Party has been the reaction from some in our own community – those whose apathy or resignation has led them to believe that there’s no place for openly gay candidates and leaders in Kansas. Their willingness to surrender the public stage to people like Brenda Landwehr, and to the person who left this hateful message on Dan’s door, is unacceptable. Dan will not surrender, and neither should we.

Extreme violence in politics is a road Wichita has been down quite recently. Until his assassination 14 months ago, Dr. George Tiller endured years of death threats and attempts on his life. Dr. Tiller never compromised on his commitment to women’s rights. Like Dr. Tiller, Dan will not be intimidated into silence, and will not be pushed back into the closet. Dan believes that the only way to respond to those who would silence us is by making our voices louder and more numerous, not by surrendering in silence and fear.

As Kansans, we must send a message to those who oppose us that we will not be intimidated, we will not be forced back into the closet, and we will not be treated as second-class citizens whose relationships don’t matter.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Glenn Beck: Gay Marriage is Not a Threat to America

Beck

Bill O’Reilly asked Glenn Beck about threats to the country, and asked him his thoughts on gay marriage. 

Said Beck: “Honestly, I think we have bigger fish to fry. You can argue about abortion or gay marriage or whatever all you want. The country is burning down…I don’t think marriage, that the government actually has anything to do with…that is a religious right…I believe that Thomas Jefferson said, ‘If it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket, what difference is it to me?’” 

 Watch, AFTER THE JUMP

(via huff post)



Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright