The Importance of Prom

Do you remember the advice you were given when you were a teenager? I do. Lots of adults – whether they were parents, teachers, or family friends – all shared similar words of wisdom, most of which began with the word “don’t”: Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. Don’t do drugs. Don’t have sex (or don’t have sex without protection). Looking back, it seems that most of the advice I was given was about what not to do. On the rare occasion that the advice was meant to encourage me to do something, it was usually practical things like working hard and […]

The Boy with the Bicycle

Outside of my life as an activist / columnist / freelance musician, the job that keeps a roof over my head and entirely too much pizza in my diet is as a front desk agent for a hotel. Most of my shifts are uneventful, the most exciting part of the evening being the 15 minutes I eat my salad. The night I met Bo was no exception. It is not uncommon to have people ask to wait inside our lobby to escape the elements in the winter, and the night I met Bo was one of those. It was an […]

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish!

Dan Hawkins has been a full-time professional DJ for 31 years. His company, MusicMasters, provides DJs for all kinds of events. They regularly win awards for their work. They’re not cheap, starting at just under $1,000, nor are they over-the-top expensive. Dan and the DJs who work for him are frequently seen at weddings and events all around Baltimore. I know Dan, like his work, and think the world of the guy. He’s kind, has integrity, and is very, very good at what he does. Dan posted the following story on Facebook, which he has given me permission to use […]

Cowhide on Cape Cod

There are a few places that every LGBT person simply must visit at least once. San Francisco always comes to mind first. Others include Fire Island, Palm Springs, Key West, and Provincetown. These locations are not just iconic LGBT vacation spots, they are important pieces of the fabric of LBGT history. When I heard that the Bay State Marauders, a leather club based in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston, were hosting their sweet 16 anniversary weekend in Provincetown, Massachusetts, along with a meeting of the Atlantic Motorcycle Coordinating Council (AMCC), I really wanted to go. Plus, even though the Pilgrims […]

Queer Group Therapy

It’s interesting that Boy George and Culture Club, as they are now known, would call its new studio album – its first such release in almost 20 years – Life (BMG) as that’s the one thing it could use more of. For a group that was so influential and groundbreaking in its early 1980s heyday, Culture Club sounds surprisingly out of touch. You have to wonder what it is they’ve been listening to all these years. At a time when electronic dance music is having a strong resurgence, Life would have benefited from some of the house music energy that […]

Baltimore in My 1960s

It was nearly 51 years ago that I first crossed the threshold at Leon’s in Baltimore and declared to myself that I was out. The world was in turmoil. It was the worst of times, but as with Dickens, it was also the best of times. Despite the Vietnam War, the political assassinations (Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy), there was a general feeling in my boomer generation that, with the status quo seeming on the brink of collapse, we were going to pick up the pieces and remake the world into a better place. Perhaps, part of our […]

Avuncular Secrets

Dear Andre, This isn’t really a love or relationship question, but I’m still hoping you can help me out. I’m 26 years old and a lesbian, and recently one of my uncles passed away unexpectedly. The two of us always had a strong bond, and he felt more like a best friend than family. I’m absolutely devastated. About a week ago my mother asked if I would go to his apartment with her and help organize his belongings. While doing so, I stumbled on a shoe box under his bed that was filled to the brim with explicit gay male […]

A Farewell to Project Inform

The HIV community was dealt a sad blow when it was announced that the iconic non-profit HIV treatment advocacy organization, Project Inform, will end its programs. Project Inform’s director of research advocacy, David Evans, has been working with the organization in various capacities for the last 27 years. In this message shared with My Fabulous Disease, David reflects on Project Inform’s legacy and on the influence of its legendary founder, Martin Delaney. We must all honor this legacy by ensuring that HIV treatment advocacy remain at the forefront of our movement. – Mark S. King by David Evans Project Inform It’s […]

Take a Moment for Your Testicles

April is testicular cancer awareness month with April 1st kicking off awareness week. Over 9,000 men will be diagnosed this year, but the good news is the survival rate averages 95% with 99% survival for early detection before it spreads out of the testicle. I had the opportunity to interview fellow physical therapist and testicular cancer survivor Scott Chupnick about his experience with testicular cancer with regard to what initial symptoms took him to the doctor, the challenges and transformation he and his family have gone through, as well as the life lessons from this experience. He also has an […]

U=U Maryland Campaign

Last fall, Baltimore became the newest city to join the worldwide scientific consensus that HIV-positive individuals who are in treatment and have an undetectable viral load cannot transmit the disease to their sexual partners – Undetectable=Untransmittable. Since then, the community-driven U=U Maryland campaign has worked to share this critically important message statewide, including at an upcoming Lunch & Learn workshop scheduled for Thursday, April 11th from noon to 1:30 pm at Chase Brexton Health Care’s Mount Vernon Center (1111 North Charles Street, Baltimore). The session will include information from Dr. Sebastian Ruhs, director of Chase Brexton’s Infectious Diseases Center of […]