IML Winner Jack Thompson

… on sex, HIV, and facing transphobia Jack Thompson, who just won the 2019 International Mr. Leather (IML), is a lot. And he carries it well. Jack is biracial. He’s gay. He’s transgender. He’s extremely kinky, depending on what scale you use to measure such things. Jack is also utterly transparent about all that he is, to a disarming degree. His speech at the IML competition (“You are enough.”) laid bare all of his identities and became an instant viral meme. Over breakfast at his favorite diner in his newly adopted home city of Baltimore, Jack discussed coming out (as many things), sex, […]

What Self-Care?

Fainting is weird, especially the third time it happened during one weekend. By that time, I knew enough to grab a safe spot – the front steps of the house, I had been admiring the blooms in the courtyard – before the queasy rush that had suddenly consumed me would knock the lights out. Waking up is even stranger, when your scrambled brain is flashing images of an Amy Schumer comedy and a rabbit hole Godzilla loud argument … What the hell?Am I here? … and then the front steps come into focus and holy shit I just fainted again. […]

City Council Candidate: ‘Out, Proud, and Ready to Serve’

Dear LGBTQ Communities, Can you believe, in this day and age, that Baltimore has no openly LGBTQ representation in city government? Representation is power. When elected leaders from our community are in the room, they humanize our lives, impact policy and legislative debates, and influence other colleagues to vote in favor of equality. LGBTQ elected officials are our best defense against anti-LGBTQ efforts at all levels of government and are best positioned to advance equality for our community. This letter is my own “coming out” as a politician, just in time for Baltimore Pride! This is the time of year […]

The First Ladies of AIDS

My first job in AIDS in the 1980s was at the Los Angeles Shanti Foundation, an organization that provided companions for the dying. When our founding director, Daniel P. Warner, retired from the organization, the final candidates for his job met with the full staff for final interviews.One of those job candidates, Sue Crumpton, had the audacity to be a straight woman. Trying to replace our gay founder. At an AIDS agency. In 1991.Sue’s credentials as a skilled administrator with a background working on behalf of battered women didn’t resonate with some of us. For gay men like me, our […]

AIDS WATCH: Why is the CDC Withholding Billions in PrEP Profits?

You are going to read this story and think it is too outrageous to be true. You would be wrong. And, especially if you are an HIV advocate attending AIDS Watch in Washington, DC, this week, you must demand that our elected officials answer for it. Here’s the story, and some simple questions for you to ask our elected officials in Washington. Truvada is a drug that has been used for many years as a treatment for people with HIV. When the US government researched the use of Truvada as the first drug for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), US taxpayers footed […]

AIDS WATCH: ‘Strong Interest’ in Hearings on Truvada Patent Profits

Advocates pressuring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to claim royalties from sales of “Truvada as PrEP” report “strong interest” in congressional hearings on the growing controversy, based on visits to the Hill between HIV advocates and their elected officials and staffs. The CDC owns patents to the use of Truvada as PrEP and has been criticized for not claiming what could be billions of dollars in royalties from Gilead, the manufacturer of Truvada. “Senior health policy staffers have a strong interest in claiming the money the CDC has left on the table,” said James Krellenstein, part of […]

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 […]

Interracial Love: Bad Advice?

To the Editor: When advice columnist Andre Shakti (“Interracial Agonistes,” Baltimore OUTloud, March 1st, 2019) burns her hand on the stove, I bet she treats the injury with scalding water from the tea kettle. When a dog bites her right arm, she sticks her left in the lion’s cage at the zoo. Just saying, because when Shakti says she wants to fight racism, her answer is to dig in deep to racist stereotyping. Reducing a person to a racial epithet is as good a definition of racism as any. Yet that’s just what she does to her hapless correspondent – […]

Methodists Against Orthodoxy

Dear Baltimore OUTloud Community, As a pastor here in Baltimore, I am grateful for the opportunity to share some background to the recent headlines about the United Methodist Church, and some words about the welcome of all. The Methodist movement began in England in the 18th century and has been a part of the American landscape since colonial times. There have been multiple iterations of the Methodist movement, including churches bearing both Methodist and Wesleyan titles. The United Methodist Church was officially formed in 1968 and includes churches in the US and throughout the globe. Our church polity, or governing […]

A Teenage Girl Made a Film

When Ella Johnson made a video documentary about Greg Louganis for her National History Day project, she knew most of her fellow students would be shocked. Ella is a high school freshman in Whitehall, a very small town of the west coast of Michigan. It’s not a bastion of progressive thinking. Ella was right. Her classmates were not exactly enthralled by her choice of topic. But she’s used to it. “My video was met with the usual ‘stupid liberal’ comments,” Ella told me, “but my teachers were very impressed.” Ella has a thick skin for a 15-year-old. She has attended the Women’s March and proudly sports […]