He Wrote That First AIDS Report in 1981

This June 5, 2021 marks 40 years since the famous report in a CDC publication, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), in which Dr. Michael Gottlieb outlined the troublesome cases of five gay men dealing with pneumonia and skin cancers. It is widely considered the “start” of scientific acknowledgement of the emerging AIDS crisis – before it even had a name – and the first writing about it in a scientific or governmental publication. The peculiar new cases were already on the radar of other clinicians who served gay men, of course, including the writings of New York physician Dr. Lawrence Mass in The […]

Transition and Marriage

Me and my wife have been married for over 30 years. All marriages take work; however, transgender marriages take ten times the work. That is just reality. Marriages are full of highs and lows. One of our greatest highs was when our children were born.  Some of the lows can be really bad like a death of a child. Thank god we have not dealt with that. We all struggle with finding our way in the world. But as a team life is easier. For many in the transgender community, transition strains a marriage more than anything else. If you […]

Foxy Red

Foxxy Red was the name of the first character I played in a movie. About ten years ago I decided that an easy way to come out would be for me to play female parts in movies. I thought it was brilliant because people could get use to me as a female and not be threatened by me changing my gender. I saw an audition that was casting in New Orleans for a transgender woman. I went to the audition and hit it off really well with the director. I got the eight-page part along with a minute and a […]

Sir Elton John and Olly Alexander Absolutely Crush “Its a Sin”

Sir Elton John has always shown great generosity towards younger artists, especially those with whom he shares a sense of theatrical DNA. At the Brit Awards last night, the legendary performer and lifelong HIV/AIDS activist proved his taste for talent is still incredibly well-placed, owning the stage with Olly Alexander (Years and Years) for what is already being christened the best performance of the annual event’s history. The two pop stars have developed a close relationship since Alexander starred in the British mega-series, “It’s a Sin,” about the dawn of the AIDS epidemic in the UK. While I had creative differences with that series, […]

Smile

A simple comment to a trans-female turned my thinking on its head. I told her to smile more. She was highly insulted, and I was taken aback. I certainly did not mean for it to be an insult. However, when I told a friend about it, he did a faceplant and said, “How could you not know this is a trigger.” The person I told to smile told me that males do that to dominate women. Which I still call BULLSHIT after thinking about this for a year plus. This is something I have never heard of at the time […]

The Politics and Pitfalls of HIV Community Language

Kiara St James, Ben Plumley, Jose Romero, and Mark S. King Two broadcasts this week took a look at the words we use as people living with HIV – and the words others use to describe us. Those words can be hurtful or weaponized, even among ourselves. As a participant in both conversations, the question boils down to, “how willing are we to update our vocabularies to make the world a little safer for other people?” It might be as simple as naming your pronouns, which was one of the topics of a webinar hosted by the HIV Caucus this week. The […]

How to state sanction murder of transgender youths

This title is Click bate, it can’t be true, right? Actually, under a new law, transgender youth in Alabama it is true. If passed and a doctor treats you with puberty-blockers, hormone therapy or surgery they will be committing a felony. Senators voted 23-4 to approve the measure, dubbed the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, sponsored by Republican Senator Shay Shelnutt. The bill now heads to the state House of Representatives, which has already approved a companion bill. The two bills would make it a felony for medical professionals to treat transgender minors under the age of 19 with gender-affirming care. Violators […]

Hormones

I been on hormones for more than five years. Here are my experiences. Please remember that you should only follow your doctor’s recommendations and anything you read on the internet should be seen with a cautious eye. So, let’s start there, yes you need a doctor. You can get hormones off the internet, but you don’t have any clue of what you are really getting, and I think I got some weird shit in the beginning. If you cannot afford a doctor find a gender clinic, many offer free or reduced cost services. You really need a doctor. Also, many […]

Should People Living with HIV Qualify for Early COVID Vaccination?

Karl Schmid, the plucky television broadcaster who revealed he is living with HIV in 2018, has been putting his notoriety and adorable Auusie accent to excellent use since his courageous announcement. Schmid has created Plus Life, a series of social media posts and interviews that work to “turn positive into a plus,” as his catchphrase pronounces. Recently, Schmid’s +Talk series turned its attention to the state of the COVID vaccine and whether or not people living with HIV should qualify for early vaccination. By bringing together the monumental HIV vaccine expert Jeff Taylor and myself, Schmid might have been secretly hoping for fireworks, since […]

Sophie VS Transmission

My youngest son, the one pictured here, had his car hit by a guy high on drugs. It was parked on side of the road in New Orleans and yes it was totaled. The guy hit it so hard it pushed the rear tire a foot forward. Also, the car was slammed into a tree crunching the front passenger side. So, I let him borrow the truck until we did something about his car. At the beginning of December, we swapped vehicles so I could pull my equipment trailer to set of a movie we were making. On the first […]